Healthy Brown
Information for Undergraduate Students


Academic Calendar

Dates for all semesters of the 2020-21 academic year can be found on the Registrar’s official Academic Calendar. The dates currently published on this site assume that public health guidance does not alter Brown's plans.

Pre-registration for Fall 2020 will begin at 12pm on August 10. All incoming and returning undergraduates received an email communication with instructions on how to proceed with pre-registration on July 28. These messages are posted on the Healthy Brown website.

Shopping period dates can be found on the Registrar’s official Academic Calendar, and will take place remotely. To facilitate the virtual shopping period, you can access the published Canvas sites for any course in your [email protected] (CAB) Primary Cart until the end of the shopping period on Tuesday, September 22. 

Please consult the Registrar’s Academic Calendar for updated dates and deadlines for the 2020-21 academic year.

Please consult the Registrar’s Academic Calendar for updated dates and deadlines for the 2020-21 academic year.

Please consult the Registrar’s Academic Calendar for updated dates and deadlines for the 2020-21 academic year.


The Pre-Registration FAQ section was developed in collaboration with the UCS Academic Affairs Committee.

The previous first-come, first-served system allowed students who were fortunate enough to register at precisely 8am to reserve and hold spaces in limited-enrollment courses throughout the shopping period. This fall, with everyone spread out across various locations and time zones - with different levels of availability and internet access - establishing a new system where all students can express their preferences in advance is the fairest way to ensure that everyone has a chance to pre-register for the Fall 2020 courses that they want the most.

Most notably, this system is not first-come, first-served. At any point before August 10th at Noon EDT, you can change your Primary Cart contents. In addition, the add/drop period has been extended and will start before classes begin. Finally, although upperclassmen and concentrators will receive priority in the matching system, this new way of pre-registering will allow for a greater array of students to have access to classes for which they qualify.

You can add courses in your Primary Cart until August 10th at Noon EDT.

No, there is no way to rank your course preferences in your Primary Cart. All courses will be given equal consideration. However, please note that courses will be prioritized based on student interest and available enrollments, such that matches are prioritized for courses where student interest exceeds enrollment capacity.

You can place both courses in your Primary Cart, but the course registration system does not allow students to register for two courses that overlap. For questions about course conflicts, please see below in the "Courses & Enrollment" section.

Yes, adding courses to your Primary Cart provides you with access to published Canvas sites, and helps share your interest with instructors. Adding non-capped courses will not impact your pre-registration matches, because the method will prioritize matches for capped courses. The more clearly you express your preferred courses, the better this system will be able to provide initial matches.

This new course matching process is designed to create diverse class rosters based on student interest. Similar to the prior first-come, first-served system though, it will prioritize placement by class year, and will introduce a new consideration for concentration requirements. Therefore, it is possible (perhaps likely) that extremely popular courses may be matched to primarily seniors or concentrators, but there will certainly be a wide variety of upper-level & seminar courses that are matched to non-concentrators as well as students of all class years.

All courses being offered online will say “Course offered online” in the “Schedule and Location” portion of the course page in CAB. You can find such courses by selecting the “Fully Online” Mode of Instruction option from the filters in CAB. 

Some courses this coming semester are being offered online and asynchronously; these have no meeting time. Under the “Schedule and Location” portion of their CAB page, these courses will only say “Course offered online” and have no scheduled time.

No. Concentration declarations will only affect matches for juniors and seniors.

It is recommended that juniors and seniors update their concentration declaration before August 10th.

Like usual, it’s recommended that you contact the professor to discuss if any accommodations or alternative arrangements can be made to allow you to register in the course.

No. Advising PINS are not required for pre-registration or registration this fall.

No. Once pre-registration closes on August 10th at Noon EDT, the contents of your Primary Cart will be automatically sent to the course matching system.

There are no courses that you should not add. However, we will not be able to match you for courses that you do not qualify for based, for example, on semester level restrictions or stated prerequisites unless you have already received override permission from the instructor.

You can view your course matches in [email protected] and Banner Self-Service beginning on August 14th.

All students will have an opportunity to modify their course registration after the initial matches. 

If you are a first-year undergraduate student, you will be able to change your course registration after speaking with your  academic advisor and Meiklejohn Peer Advisor in early September. 

All undergraduate students at semester level 2 or above and all graduate students will have an opportunity to change their registration during the add/drop period, which will begin on August 17 and run through September 22.

If you are not able to get into a course required for completing your concentration requirements, it is recommended that you contact your concentration advisor to discuss alternative options. You should also contact the instructor of the class regarding your situation to see if any accommodations can be made. Please note that there will continue to be flux in course rosters through the add/drop period until the end of shopping period.

The emails regarding updates to the pre-registration and shopping period processes were sent to all returning and incoming students on July 28th. You can find copies of these messages on the Healthy Brown website.


If you have any other questions, please contact your assigned academic or concentration advisor, or email [email protected] to connect with an academic advising dean.

Courses & Enrollment

Fall 2020 courses are currently visible in [email protected].

Banner will not ordinarily allow students to register for classes that meet at the same time or overlap. However, during the Fall 2020 semester, the College will waive the usual course overlap guidelines to allow students to be registered for overlapping courses that are predominantly asynchronous, online courses (for example, a course with largely recorded lectures) where both instructors support the student's request for an exception. Please note that courses with significant synchronous components such as live discussion sections will not be eligible for this exception. The full list of updated policies for Fall 2020 is now available on the Healthy Brown website.

Undergraduate petitions may be submitted via the Advising Sidekick (ASK): You can also navigate here from ASK > Petitions > CAS: Petitions > My Petitions. Please click the "New Petition" button, then select the "Enrolling in courses with overlapping meeting times" petition type and complete the petition. You will need the approval of both instructors/supporters, who will be notified when you select the overlapping courses and instructors at the bottom of the petition.

Operations for lab and studio courses will be based on guidelines from the RI Department of Health. Since these guidelines may change, please stay tuned for additional information closer to the start of the semester.

Please reach out to a degree completion dean via [email protected] to discuss your specific circumstances.

We anticipate that students will be able to enroll for 2 semesters during the de-densified 2020-21 Academic Year, and you should make your academic plans accordingly. If you have questions about academic planning, please contact an academic advising dean or email [email protected].

Yes, permissions granted by the Committee on Academic Standing (CAS) will be honored.

If you have questions about your specific circumstances and academic plans, you can request an appointment with an academic advising dean by following the instructions on this website. You can also email specific questions to [email protected]

Brown degrees are conferred once per year in May. If you complete degree requirements in Summer 2021, you will earn your degree in May 2022. However, you can receive a Certificate of Completion from the Office of the Registrar if you need to provide documentation of having completed you degree before your degree is conferred.

If you complete your degree requirements in the summer or fall, you are eligible to participate in the Mid-year Completion Ceremony, as well as in the Commencement exercises prior to and after you complete your degree requirements.

Just as you would during summer in the 2-semester system, you will be able to engage in remote research and other co-curricular experiences.

In Fall 2020, Brown will follow the standard grading policies outlined in the Faculty Rules and Regulations, which support both student and instructor choice around grade options. Some courses will be offered mandatory Satisfactory/No Credit (S/NC) at the discretion of the instruction. If your course is not a mandatory S/NC course, you can elect to take the course either for a letter grade (A/B/C/NC) or S/NC. The grade option deadlines for the 2020-21 academic year can be found in the Registrar's Academic Calendar.

Location of Study & Remote Learning

There are five possible options for location of study: 1) on-campus (in Brown-owned or Brown-leased housing), 2) off-campus in the Providence area (either as a senior or with permission from Residential Life), 3) remote (outside of the Providence area), 4) as a commuter (permanent address within 30 miles of Providence), and 5) in RISD housing as a RISD-Brown dual degree student. 

In the Fall 2020 Location of Study Form, you will only see the options that are applicable to your circumstances based on your semester level, permanent address, and whether you are a RISD-Brown dual degree student. 

You can, however, take some or all of your courses remotely regardless of your location of study.

If you chose “remote” as your location of study, you are affirming that you have no intention to visit the campus or reside in the Providence area. As a remote student, you will not be able to access campus, campus facilities, or in person resources. Doing so is a violation of the Code of Student Conduct.

Juniors must have permission from Residential Life to live off-campus in the Providence area. Sophomores are not eligible for off-campus permission unless there are extraordinary extenuating circumstances.

Choosing remote as your location of study in order to live off-campus in the Providence area without permission from Residential Life is a violation of the Code of Student Conduct.

If your circumstances change after you have submitted the Fall 2020 Location of Study form, please contact [email protected] to request changes to your fall location of study. Late requests will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, and may result in less flexibility regarding your location of study (e.g., move-in and housing assignments for students who wish to live on campus).

All courses will have a remote or online participation option, so that all registered students (whether remote or here in residence in Providence) can engage fully.

Yes, all students will still have the choice to participate in courses remotely.

If you elect to enroll remotely in a Brown course this fall, you will be able to access Brown Library resources using your Brown login information. You will also have remote access to campus resources such as Brown’s Writing Center and Tutoring program. For information about student access to campus resources in Fall 2020, click here.

No, if you choose to study remotely, you will only have access to online resources and facilities. If you choose to study remotely and you come to campus during fall semester, this could be considered a violation of the Code of Student Conduct.

Academic Programs & Resources

Yes. Until further notice, all undergraduate research must be conducted remotely unless the Principal Investigator has received approval from the Office of the Vice President for Research for undergraduates to engage in-person research.

Given the uncertain nature of the global health crisis’s continued effects on both public health and on travel between countries, Brown made the decision to cancel all University-sponsored undergraduate study abroad for Fall 2020. Brown will continue to monitor the situation before making any determinations about study abroad for Spring 2021. We encourage students to continue exploring study abroad options for the spring semester. In the event that study abroad for Spring 2021 is restricted, we will convey any decisions with as much advance notice as possible. More information.

Please stay tuned for more information about opportunities available to students who are not enrolled during the Spring and Summer terms.

Brown Wintersession has been suspended for 2021 with plans to resume in Winter 2022.

The cross-registration program with RISD will be available in Fall 2020. However, due to differences in academic calendars, this program will not be available in Spring 2021 or Summer 2021. Brown students will not be eligible to participate in RISD Wintersession courses in January 2021.

As in a typical Summer break, continuing students actively enrolled before and after their break term will continue to have access to all Brown academic resources available online. You can access most of these resources with your Brown online login.


To declare your intention to return for studies, you should contact the academic advising dean who filed your personal leave or another advising dean. While the College will make every effort to accommodate requests for return to studies for a particular term, we cannot guarantee there will be space available. More information.

For information about student access to campus resources in Fall 2020, click here. Please visit the College's Leavetaking FAQ for more detailed information about access to various Brown resources. 

Students who are on leave can participate in any Brown activities or meetings that would normally be open to the public or with permission as a guest of a Brown student at events that permit guests. However, students who are on leave are not permitted to hold a student leadership position (such as president of a student group) or be an active member of a student group during the time of their leave. More information.

You may work with faculty on research projects if you are not paid from a student employment budget. You may not earn degree credit for work with faculty during the period of the leave. Until further notice, all undergraduate research must be conducted remotely unless the Primary Investigator has received approval from the Office of the Vice President for Research for undergraduates to engage in-person research. More information.

International students on F-1 visa status with established legal residency in the prospective home country of study may be eligible for Brown's study away option which enables them to enroll in and take courses as a non-degree visiting student in an approved institution in their country of residence. For more information about declaring a leave, visit the Leavetaking FAQ. To schedule an appointment with an advising dean or request more information about study away, please email [email protected].