Special Registration

Special Registration can be done either via a Special Registration Form (Undergraduate or Graduate) or through a Course Override by the primary instructor through ESTHER. The directions below refer to the Special Registration Form, but generally, a Course Override in ESTHER will perform the same task for many of the issues which need a Special Registration Form.

Note: Please see the Academic Calendar for important dates relative to registration and fee assessment.

Add/Drop

Students have the option of adding and/or dropping courses once registration opens, and after the start of the Add/Drop Period. Please refer to the academic calendar for important deadlines.

In most instances, the student-initiated action of adding and/or dropping course is done electronically in ESTHER. In some situations students may need to complete and submit the appropriate Special Registration Form (Undergraduate or Graduate).

Late Drop (Spring 2021 Academic Relief Accommodation):

On January 27, 2021, Rice’s Faculty Senate approved the following motion: "For Spring 2021 courses, all Rice students in all programs will have until after the conclusion of the term to drop any of their registered courses1. For Spring 2021 degree candidates, the deadline to drop a course is Friday, May 21, 2021; for all other students the deadline is Wednesday, June 2, 2021. For these late drops occurring after the posted drop deadline2 (Friday, April 2, 2021), the drop will be considered a “rare situation” as defined in the General Announcements, and will be noted by the grade of "NG" on the transcript. Due to the potential negative impact of late drops on visa status, all international students must receive prior approval from the Office of International Students and Scholars before the Office of the Registrar will process a late drop for that student. In addition, the use of these late drops will not prevent students from being disciplined as a result of cases brought before Student Judicial Programs. For graduate students, departments will retain the ability, with the approval of the Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, to expel graduate students from their programs who are not making sufficient progress."

1. FWIS courses are ineligible and cannot be dropped as part of this academic relief accommodation.
2. For the Spring 2021 semester, as with Fall 2020, the Drop deadline is/has been moved from Week 7 to Week 10.

Designate a Course as Pass/Fail

Please refer to the directions found on The Pass/Fail Option page.

Overlapping or Double-Booked Courses

In order to register for more than one class which meets at this same day/time, you will need the approval of the instructors of each class.

To register for Overlapped or Double-Booked Courses:

  1. Download and print the Special Registration Form (Undergraduate or Graduate).
  2. Fill out the form and check the box for the appropriate exception and have the instructors approve and sign the form.
  3. Turn in the completed form to the Office of the Registrar.

Courses which require the permission of the instructor

You will need the permission of the instructor to register for a course if:

  • the course is full, and the instructor is willing to permit your registration
  • the course is "instructor-permission required" and the instructor requires his or her approval prior to admitting a student to the course
  • the Add deadline has passed, and you have petitioned with extenuating circumstances and been granted approval from the Committee on Examinations and Standing (EX&S)
  • the instructor is willing to allow you to register and must approve an exception if:
    • You are missing a required prerequisite
    • You cannot fit a required co-requisite into your schedule
    • There is a level restriction on the course
    • There is a classification restriction on the course
    • There is a major restriction on the course
    • You are attempting to register for a duplicate course in the same semester

To register for a course requiring the instructor's permission:

  1. Download and print the appropriate Special Registration Request Form (Undergraduate or Graduate).
  2. Fill out the form and check the box for the appropriate exception and have the instructors approve and sign the form.
  3. Turn in the completed form to the Office of the Registrar.

Variable Credit Courses

Through the 2nd Week of Registration:

  1. You do not need to come to the Office of the Registrar. When you registered for the course, it defaulted to the lowest applicable credit hours for that course.
  2. If you need to adjust those hours, you can do so through ESTHER. You will find the Change Variable Course Credit option on the Registration page under Student Services. More instructions for adjusting credit hours of a variable credit hour course can be found here.

Past the 2nd week of registration:

  • Undergraduate students: A petition that includes the pertinent and required extenuating circumstances must be submitted to the Committee on Examinations and Standing, care of the Dean of Undergraduates at ugdean@rice.edu.
  • Graduate students: Obtain the appropriate form from your academic department and appeal for a late change to the Dean of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies at graduate@rice.edu.

Audit a Course

Students have the option of auditing courses. Audited courses will be noted on your transcript with a grade of either "AUD" or "NC" (No Credit). There are no credit hours associated with audited courses and auditing a course does not affect your GPA.

  1. Download and print the appropriate Special Registration Request Form (Undergraduate or Graduate).
  2. Fill out the form and check the box for the appropriate exception and have the instructors approve and sign the form.
  3. Turn in the completed form to the Office of the Registrar by the end of the 2nd week of the semester. (Please note: if you have previously registered yourself for credit for the course, you have until the end of the 7th week to change from registration to audit with permission from instructor).

Drop-Back Provision for Select MATH/CHEM/PHYS Courses

For a select list of courses, a long-standing provision exists, one referred to as the Drop-Back Provision. For more information on this Drop-Back Provision, click here.