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Fall 2014 Courses FAS Courses of Instruction (Registrar)
Spring 2015 Courses  

How do I get into VES limited-enrollment courses?

You may hear that it is difficult to get into VES courses. While this may not be entirely true, there is a process involved for admission. The majority of courses offered in Visual and Environmental Studies have enrollment caps of either 10 or 12 students. This is because the majority of VES courses are “making” courses, meaning students create artworks or films, and the optimal way to conduct these courses is in small groups. Some seminars are also limited-enrollment. To be admitted to a VES course, simply go to the first meeting of the class, meet the instructor and teaching assistant or teaching fellow, and shop the course in real time.  The instructor will give you all the information you need to take the course. Sending an e-mail to the instructor in advance of the first meeting isn’t necessary, but you should definitely have a second and third choice course if you don’t get a spot in your first choice course. During the first week of classes, “shopping week,” students are fortunate to be able to check out a lot of different courses before deciding on their plan of study on study card day. The course sign up procedure is outlined below:


  1. Fall term/shopping week begins on Monday, January 26. Students shop VES courses.
  2. On Thursday, January 29 at 5:00PM, All VES profs/TAs/TFs of limited enrollment classes will send their class list(s) by e-mail to all admitted and wait-listed students.
  3. On Thursday, January 29 at 10:00PM, students must let their Profs/TAs/TFs know by e-mail if they accept or decline admission to the class(es)—including those students on the wait list.
  4. STUDY CARD DAY: By Friday, January 30 at 9:00AM, Profs/TAs/TFs will send a FINAL class list(s) by e-mail to admitted students.
  5. Your professor, or Paula Soares (VES manager of academic programs) can sign your study card from 9am to 5pm. Paula’s office is Carpenter Center 102, in the main office. There will be laptops and a printer set up in the main office of the Carpenter Center for you to print your study cards. Study cards are due in the undergraduate houses by 5pm.

students on the stairs of the Carpenter Center
Photo: Stephanie Mitchell. Reproduced with permission of the Harvard University News Office.

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