Registrar's Office

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Academic Calendars

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Semester Offerings

Instructions & Offerings, FAQs Course Listings, List, Color Grid, Co-Curriculars and more Read More


(from Academic Policies) 



Current Semester Information and FAQ

Prior to each semester is a designated registration period (generally in November for the spring semester and in April for the fall semester) in which returning students will speak with their advisers and make choices for course selection.  New students register in August.  Real-time enrollment information may be viewed through the portal or the College website, and will be available approximately 10 days prior to registration. Descriptions for Special Topics courses and other courses not listed in the course catalog may be found in the Semester Information section of the website. 

Registration is held through over the course of several days, beginning with seniors or rising seniors. Registration will be open to cleared and eligible students only.  A cleared student is one who has met with his/her adviser and has an updated learning plan.  An eligible student is one who does not have an outstanding financial balance with the college.

NOTE: Courses available at the time of registration may be subject to a minimum enrollment to be offered.

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Olin has cross-registration agreements with Babson College, Brandeis University, and Wellesley College (the BBW schools). These agreements increase the academic offerings available to Olin students in the natural and mathematical sciences, arts, humanities, social sciences and business. Olin students, with the exception of first-semester, first-year students, are permitted to enroll for one course each semester at each of the BBW schools, subject to the continuation of the cross registration agreements. 

Courses taken at a BBW school through cross-registration will count toward a student’s total degree credit load at Olin. Normally, Olin students are not permitted to take courses at BBW schools which would substantially duplicate the content of a course or set of courses available at Olin, but they may petition the Course Substitution and Transfer Board (CSTB) for an exception to this rule. With prior approval from the CSTB, students may use courses taken at the BBW schools to satisfy general course requirements, distribution requirements, and program specific course requirements.

Students are responsible for all deadlines and registration procedures related to the host school including, but not limited to, pass/fail, drop, add and withdrawal policies. Information regarding procedures for cross registration to Babson and Wellesley may be found on the BOW website. Information about cross-registration to Brandeis may be found here.  NOTE: Due to the variation of grading deadlines at BBW schools, seniors are strongly encouraged not to cross-register during their final semester at Olin.

Olin welcomes students from Babson, Brandeis and Wellesley to register for Olin courses with the permission of the Olin faculty member.  BBW students should send a request for a course through their Registrar’s Office to the Olin Registrar’s Office.  Click here for more information.

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Add Period

The Add period is the first 10 class days of the semester.  During this period students may add and drop Olin courses through Discussions between students and their advisers are strongly suggested. Students are responsible for submitting their request no later than the 10th class day and classes may not be added after that time. Special dispensation may be granted for BBW courses when there is a variation in the academic calendars. BBW courses should not be dropped by the student; both the Olin Registrar and the Registrar of the host school must be notified by email.

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Dropping a Course

After the Add Period, students may decide to drop a course from their schedule without penalty as long as they maintain a minimum of 12 degree credits. The drop date for full-semester courses is the 45th instructional day of the semester. Course drops during this period must be made in person at the Registrar’s Office and require the appropriate instructing faculty signature and the student adviser signature.  See the Registration Supplement for deadlines for dropping half-semester courses. Olin students cross-registered at one of the BBW schools must follow the academic policy on course drops of the host school, including their deadlines.

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Withdrawing from a Course

Students may withdraw from courses up through the last day of instruction in the semester. To withdraw from a course, students need written approval from the instructing faculty member and their adviser. Students must then process the course withdrawal at the Registrar’s Office. A grade of Withdrawn (W) will be entered for the course and will not affect the grade point average. Credits attempted will be noted, but course credit will not be earned. Students are responsible for meeting with their adviser to determine how the credits, and/or requirement will be completed in the future. Olin students cross-registered at one of the BBW schools must follow the academic policy on course withdrawals of the host school, including their deadlines.

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Half-Semester Courses

The Add, Drop and Course Withdrawal periods are prorated for half-semester courses. The Add Period is the first five days of the session. The Drop Period lasts until 10 days prior to the last day of instruction for that session. Course withdrawals can be done up through the last instructional day of the half-semester course.  See the Calendar with Academic Deadlines for each semester’s exact dates.

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Course Overload Policy

Olin students may register for a maximum of 20 credits each semester. The maximum load of 20 credits is a total of degree and non-degree activities. In exceptional circumstances, students may petition the Committee on Student Academic Performance (COSAP) with the consent of their adviser for approval of a course overload. This reflects Olin’s commitment to reasonable expectations. First-year, first-semester students are limited to taking a maximum of 18 credits. 

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Olin Self-Study/Independent Study/Research

The Olin Self Study Requirement is a graduation requirement that all Olin students must fulfill with 4 credits of approved work. All activities give students experience in identifying areas and questions of interest; developing and following a plan of study in pursuit of understanding important concepts in the proposed area or in pursuit of an answer to the proposed question; and communicating the knowledge they gain, apply, analyze, synthesize, and/or evaluate through the investigation.

All OSS activities must explicitly achieve the following:

  1. Develop students’ skills in working independently to learn challenging material and to tackle challenging problems
  2. Develop students’ skills in communication relevant to the field and project
  3. Hone students’ skill and attitudes enabling life-long learning

Still have questions? Consult the complete User's Guide to Self Study @ Olin  

Approval varies depending on the type of project:

  • If fulfilling the OSS requirement with an AHS or E! capstone project, approval of the project will go through those program committees.
  • If fulfilling the OSS with research, the research must be a second semester of research with the same faculty member to insure advanced level work at a 3000 or 4000 level. The research must also include a significant self-study component, receive a grade, and allow the student to contribute on an intellectual level to a field, and produce a relevant deliverable such as a literature review or work towards a research paper appropriate for submission.
  • If fulfilling the OSS with an Independent Study, the work must be sufficiently advanced to be considered equivalent to a 3000 or 4000 level course, an Olin faculty member must be the primary point of contact for the activity, and the project must receive a grade.
  • If fulfilling the OSS requirement with an ARB approved course, the student must take the class for a grade. Courses can only be submitted for qualification to the ARB by faculty members. If a student believes they are taking a course that should fulfill the OSS requirement they should discuss this with the faculty member.

User’s Guide

Olin Self-Study Form

Research/Independent Study Form

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Co-Curricular Offerings are (1) non-credit activities combining fun and intellectual awareness, (2) scheduled for a limited time (e.g., one semester), (3) led by a staff or faculty member or by a student working in concert with a faculty/staff member, and (4) funded by the Office of Student Affairs and Resources. They differ from curricular offerings in that they are not graded and attendance is not strictly enforced. They differ from extra-curricular activities in that they have an intellectual component, faculty/staff leadership and limited lifespan. 

The semester list of co-curricular offerings is released during the first week of classes and students may register for them through

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Passionate Pursuits

Passionate Pursuit Proposals are due in the Registrar's Office no later than the end of the add period.  Complete information may be found here.

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