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Add Drop Help

Frequently Asked Questions

For Students

For Approvers


When I try to access the Add Drop form, I get a message telling me that I am not registered.   I'm sure that I registered!

The most likely cause for seeing a message that you are not registered when you believe that you are is that you have missed the final step of submitting your approved registration selections to the Registrar.  When you meet with your advisor at the beginning of each term, your advisor will approve your selections in Online Registration, but you won’t be registered until you return to Online Registration, agree the with the terms and conditions, and submit your registration. 

If your advisor has already approved your registration selections, but you have not yet submitted your registration to the Registrar, you do have the option to get in touch with your Advisor and ask him/her to unlock your registration form if you want to make any changes.  In this case, your advisor will need to re-approve any changes that you make before you’ll be able to submit your registration.

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I’m trying to add a subject, but when I type in the subject number, I get an “Invalid Subject” message.

As you start typing a subject number, a drop down menu of valid subject number will appear.  You must select a subject number/title from the drop down list.

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I don’t see the subject I want to add in the drop down list.

Are you sure that the subject is offered this term and that you are using the correct subject number? Please check the Subject Listing and Schedule.  Subjects that are offered in the current term will display meeting times and locations.

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If I am adding a subject with variable units, how do I know how many units to enter?

You should check with the instructor, graduate academic administrator, or undergraduate academic administrator.

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I only want to drop this class if my request to add another class is approved, or vice versa. How can I coordinate that?

If you need to make registration changes that are dependent upon each other, you may do so using the Link Changes option. The option to link subjects is presented on the Preview Changes page, just prior to requesting approval. To link Adds and Drops so they are approved as a group, click the "Link changes" button, select the subjects you want to link, and click "Link". Approvals for requested changes that are linked will be made simultaneously.

You may unlink changes from the Status Page later if you wish.

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Why doesn’t the grading option I want show up in the drop down list?

The grading option menu only displays valid grading options that you have for each particular subject.  Note that you won’t need to specifically designate the P/D/F grading option for subjects that are inherently graded on a P/D/F basis.   Such subjects are noted as such in the Subject Listing and Schedule. 

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I’m an undergraduate, and I’ll be registered for less than 36 units if I submit this drop request.  Am I still a full-time student? How do I apply for a light load tuition adjustment?

Undergraduates are considered full-time if registered for 36 or more units.  If you are registered for less than 36 units only temporarily (say you dropped a class, but are waiting for approval to add another class), it is normally not an issue.  However, carrying a registration load of less than 36 units after Add Date may affect financial aid, loan deferments, compliance with immigration regulations, eligibility for varsity athletics, and external health insurance requirements. You should speak with an assistant director of Financial Aid if you plan to register for fewer than 36 units.

Undergraduates registered for fewer than 32 units may be eligible for a Light Load Tuition Adjustment.   Further details and instructions for completing the Light Load Form are available on the Registrar’s Office website.

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I want to drop all my classes this term.  How do I do that?

To drop all subjects in the fall and spring terms, you must arrange a Withdrawal rather than using an Add Drop Form. Graduate students should see their departmental registration officer and undergraduates should see Student Support Services, 5-104.

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The subject I want to add, drop, or change is a cross-registered subject (at Harvard, MassArt, etc).  Can I use the online Add Drop form for that?

The Add Drop Form may be used to drop or change the status of a cross-registered subject.  However you will also need to follow instructions from the host school to be sure your registration is also adjusted on their side.

Add Drop forms cannot be used to add cross-registered subjects.  You will need to follow proper cross-registration procedures to do that.

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Why do I need the instructor to approve my request? In general, and especially when I am just trying to add a class as a listener?

The instructor’s approval is required to add a lotteried subject, to add any subject after the first week of classes, and to change the number of units for a variable units subject.

The Instructor’s approval is required to add subjects, even when adding as a Listener, because it is at the instructor’s discretion whether or not to allow Listeners.  

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I requested approval for a registration change, but I’ve changed my mind or entered the wrong units/grading option. Now the subject is locked and I can’t do anything?  How do I fix this?

Return to My Forms, find the Add Drop form you would like to edit in the results list, and click the link in the Form Name field to view the Add Drop Form Status page. Any changes that appear under Saved Changes, Approved Changes, Held for Consultation, or Pending Changes may be cancelled by clicking the check box near the subject number and then the Cancel Selected Changes button.  Once you’ve cancelled the requested change, you’ll be free to request approval for the corrected change by clicking “Edit Add Drop Form”.

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I requested approval for a registration change days/weeks ago, and my instructor and/or advisor still hasn’t responded.

It often takes time to collect approvals, especially during the busy periods at the beginning of the term and shortly before Add and Drop date.  Requests that need more than 1 approval need more time to process.   It is strongly suggested that each approver be given at least 24 hours to enter a decision.  If there is a deadline approaching and you are concerned about a pending registration change that still needs to be approved, you should try reaching out to the instructor or advisor who needs to approve it.  If you have trouble reaching an instructor, the academic administrator in the department that offers the subject may be able to help.  If you have trouble reaching your advisor, the academic administrator in your department may be able to help.  The UAAP publishes Undergraduate Academic Administrator contact information.   The ODGE published Graduate Academic Administrator contact information.

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Why did the instructor or my advisor deny my request?

If the instructor or your advisor denies your request, they may enter a comment to explain why.  The comment will appear in the notification you receive and on the Add Drop Form.  If the instructor or advisor does not leave a comment, only they would know the reasoning for the denial.  It may be that the class is full.  It may be that you chose the wrong subject number for a joint subject.  It may be that you aren’t eligible for the grading option that you selected, for example if you tried registering for more than one sophomore exploratory subject in the same term.   If you have questions about a denied change, you should get in touch with the person who denied the change.

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What does “Held for Consultation” mean?

If a registration change you requested has been held for consultation, it means that the advisor or instructor who put it on hold wishes to speak with you about your request before entering a decision.  You should get in touch with the person who placed the hold. 

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Why do I have to submit my changes to the Registrar?

As the student, you have the final decision on submitting approved changes to your registration. The system requires you to submit approved registration changes to the Registrar in order for your registration to be updated so that you will have an opportunity to make that decision for yourself.

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I submitted my registration changes to the Registrar, but I am not sure if my registration has been updated.  How can I confirm?

After you submit approved registration changes to the Registrar, you should be able to see your updated registration in WebSIS almost immediately.  You should check your Status of Registration to confirm.

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Why can’t I access the Stellar class site for the subject I just added?

Stellar updates your class access list approximately every hour, based on your current registration.  The hourly Stellar update takes place only during business days, Monday through Friday, 7am through 1am.  If you add a subject and do not get access to the class Stellar site within about an hour, you should check your Status of Registration on WebSIS to be sure that you are indeed registered.  If you are, you may need to close your browser and re-launch it to reinitiate your web certificate before logging back in to Stellar.    If you use the Add Drop Form to submit registration changes before Registration Day, you may not see the changes reflected in Stellar until after Registration Day. Students should also keep in  mind that not every subject has a class Stellar site.

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Why is the subject I dropped still showing up on my Stellar class list?

Stellar updates your class access list approximately every hour, based on your current registration.  The hourly Stellar update takes place only during business days, Monday through Friday, 7am through 1am.  If you drop a subject and it is not reflected in Stellar within about an hour, you should check your Status of Registration on WebSIS to be sure that the class was dropped. If it has been,  you may need to close your browser and re-launch it to reinitiate your web certificate before logging back in to Stellar.  If you use the Add Drop Form to submit registration changes before Registration Day, you may not see the changes reflected in Stellar until after Registration Day.

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I already submitted a registration change to the registrar, but I’ve changed my mind or entered the wrong number of units/grading option. Now what?

Once you submit approved registration changes to the Registrar, your registration will be updated immediately.  If you change your mind about a registration change that you submitted, you will need to request approval again to make further changes to your registration.

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I requested approval before the deadline, but the instructor and/or my advisor didn’t submit a decision on time. Do I have to petition?

The Add Drop deadlines are the deadlines to submit registration changes to the Registrar.  Since the approval process takes some time, it is recommended that you request approval for registration changes well before the deadlines.  If a deadline is approaching and a registration change you requested is still pending approval, you should contact the person who needs to approve your registration change.  If you are having trouble getting in touch with that person, you can go to the Undergraduate Academic Administrator or Graduate Academic Administrator in the appropriate department for help.  After the specified deadlines, requests for registration changes must be made by petition. Undergraduate students petition the Committee on Academic Performance (CAP) and graduate students petition the Office of the Dean of Graduate Education (ODGE).

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What do I do if I missed the deadline?

After the specified deadlines, requests for registration changes must be made by petition. Undergraduate students petition the Committee on Academic Performance (CAP) and graduate students petition the Office of the Dean of Graduate Education (ODGE).

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Where can I get help?

Help is available online in the form of web-based and PDF manuals. In addition, participants are encouraged to inquire with their Department Academic Administrator or send a message to records@mit.edu.

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I want to submit a decision for a registration change that one of my advisees requested, but it is still “Pending Instructor Approval”.

When the instructor’s approval is required, the instructor must submit a decision before advisors can submit a decision.  If you are an advisor with concerns about a pending instructor approval, try contacting the instructor or Academic Administrator in the department.    

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The student entered the wrong number of units, wrong grading option, or wrong subject number. How do I fix this so I can approve the request?

Approvers are not able to make these kinds of changes on behalf of students.  Instead, you should get in touch with the student and instruct them to resubmit a request for approval with the correct options selected.

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I want to talk to the student about the registration change they are requesting before I submit a decision. How?

Select the “Consult” option from the drop down menu when submitting  the decision for the registration change.  You may use the comments field to instruct the student to get in touch with you.  A notification will be sent to the student when you submit a “Consult” decision.  The notification will include any comments that you entered.

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I get an email every single time one of my advisees requests approval for an Add Drop. Are there other options?

Click “Settings” in the page head of Student Forms and Petitions to change your notification setting.  You may choose to have notifications sent weekly, daily, or whenever a form is submitted.

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How do I access an Add Drop Form that I already acted upon? How do I change a decision that I already submitted?

At the My Forms page, uncheck the “Action Required” check box to begin your search.  You can search by the students name, Kerberos ID, or MIT ID.  Locate the form in the results list and click the link in the Form Name field to open the form.  All previous decisions that you have made on the form will be listed. Click the Edit link to change your decision.  The option to edit your decision will be disabled if you are an instructor and the advisor has already approved your original decision, or if you are an advisor and the student has already submitted the changes you approved to the Registrar.

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What happens after I submit a decision?

After you’ve submitted decisions for an Add Drop Form, the student will be emailed a notification of the decision. If you are an Instructor approving a registration change, the Advisor will be notified that the request awaits their approval.  If you are an Advisor approving a registration change, the student will be notified that the change has been approved and may now be submitted to the Registrar.  No changes to a student’s registration are made until the student submits them to the Registrar.  Further information about what comes after a decision is submitted is posted here.

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I approved my advisee’s request for a registration change, but her registration hasn’t been updated. Why not?

It may be that her registration has been updated, but she doesn’t know where to look to confirm that.  Stellar is not always updated immediately.  The student should check her Status of Registration on WebSIS.  If her registration indeed has not been updated, she should return to the Add Drop Form and double check that she actually submitted her approved changes to the Registrar.  If she did, but is still not seeing the changes in Status of Registration, she should contact the Registrar’s Office at records@mit.edu.

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Where can I get help?

Help is available online in the form of web-based and PDF manuals. In addition, participants are encouraged to inquire with their Department Academic Administrator or send a message to records@mit.edu.

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