Brandeis holds two registration periods for each semester. The first 'pre-registration' period typically runs for one week during the second half of the preceding term: pre-registration for fall is typically in April of the preceding spring term, and pre-registration for spring is typically in November of the preceding fall term. The second period is the regular registration period, typically starting a week or so before the first day of classes for a given term (though, for the first time, fall registration this year opened in July), and running through that term's first couple of weeks.
As a graduate student, you will not have any trouble getting in to any course that you need for your degree. You will still be able to enroll in any COSI or LING courses that are listed as "closed" in Sage and the Schedule of Classes because the enrollment limit has been reached. This is important to note, since it is likely different from your undergraduate experiences.
As described in the Course Selection section, the course schedule for each student is tailored to the student's individual needs (in terms of computer science and/or linguistics background needed) and academic interests. In order to achieve this, we hold meetings with all new CL MS students in the week leading up to the first day of classes of the semester, and by request (which we are always very happy to fulfill) for returning students. For new students in the program, these individual meetings follow the CL MS new student orientation meeting, where general course and advising information and guidelines are provided. Once the semester's course schedule has been decided, students can then formally register for courses in Sage any time through the last day of the regular registration period.
You can come to any courses you like on the first day of classes, regardless of whether or not you have formally added the courses in Sage. 'Shopping' for classes in this way is common and encouraged, and is helpful if you have any courses that you are not yet positive you want to take. When possible, it is optimal to attend from the first day any course that you think you might end up enrolling in, even if you're not sure, so that you don't miss any material or information.
Courses Requiring Special Permission
Certain courses cannot be added in Sage, but are instead added to your course schedule by handing in a form in person at the Registrar's Office. Once the office has processed the form, the course will appear in your Sage course schedule for the term. Courses added this way have the same deadlines for adding and dropping courses as regular courses added by using Sage directly. These forms should be printed from the Registrar's Office website.
Courses below 100-level typically require that a 'Petition to Receive Graduate Credit' form be handed in by the student to the Registrar's Office. (Note that this includes most of the COSI courses taken by CL MS students for CS background, including COSI 11a, 12b, and 21a.) The form requires signatures from the course's instructor, as well as from the CL MS Chair or advising faculty (i.e., James, Lotus, or Bert).
Independent Instruction Courses like independent studies and the thesis and internship courses (see the 'Exit Requirement' section below for more on these) require that an Add/Drop form be handed in in person by you as the student to the Registrar's Office. Add/Drop forms too require signatures from the course's instructor, and from the CL MS Chair or advising faculty (i.e., James, Lotus, or Bert).
Consent Codes for courses are obtained from the course's instructor (and not from CL faculty/staff like James, Lotus, or Anne, who have no access to these codes).
Most courses do not require a Consent Code to enroll in them. However, for certain courses, Sage will prompt you for a Consent Code. When this occurs, you should ask or email the course's instructor for a code (each code is unique, and only used once). You will then enter the code in Sage, which will usually then allow you to make the desired change (e.g., adding the course), without filing any physical forms.
Some courses (especially advanced CL and COSI courses, which may require several prerequisite courses) require a Consent Code for each student in order to add the course. This is so that the instructor can verify that every student who enrolls has the background needed to take the course.
Adding or dropping courses beyond certain dates can sometimes be done by the student in Sage using an instructor Consent Code, without having to file a physical Add/Drop form at the Registrar's Office. This is often not possible later into the term, and sometimes not possible for graduate students (even if still possible for undergraduate students), who may be required to file an Add/Drop form so that the Registrar's Office can ensure that graduate student progress toward the degree is not hurt by dropping the course.
Courses for which the enrollment limit has been reached or exceeded (as often occurs with foundational CS courses like COSI 11a, 12b, and 21a) can be added using an instructor Consent Code.
Courses taken outside of Computer Science or Linguistics—especially courses whose primary audience is undergraduate students—often do fill up during the pre-registration period held during the preceding term. This is especially true for language courses, especially at the introductory level (e.g., French 10 or Japanese 30). For these, it will be important to register for the course as early as possible during the term's pre-registration period, since the courses may already be full by the end of the pre-registration period.
After the regular registration period for a semester ends (usually around the second week of September in fall terms, and the third or fourth week of January in spring terms), it is NO LONGER possible to add a course. Thus, by the close of the regular registration period, you should be sure you have added all courses in Sage that you think there is a chance you will complete. You can drop them later, if need be, but it you cannot add them later.
The deadline for graduate students to DROP courses in Sage extends much later into the term—typically mid-November of fall terms and early April of spring terms. Thus, any courses that you added in Sage during the registration period can be dropped (with the consent of CL advising faculty) up to this time.
These add and drop deadlines for graduate students are adhered to very strictly by the Registrar's Office. They may not allow any exceptions (even if asked by CL faculty!), and it is thus very important for you to remain aware of these dates each semester. In particular, be sure that you can complete and do well in all courses remaining in your schedule in Sage beyond the last day for graduate students to drop courses. It may not be possible to drop them later, if troubles arise.