Harvard Kennedy School’s course registration process consists of four phases:

  • Registration Round I
  • A single round of bidding for oversubscribed courses
  • Registration Round II
  • An online add/drop and cross-registration petitioning period

The Office of the Registrar emails faculty members each semester outlining the relevant specific dates and encourages them to contact the registrar with registration-related questions.

Harvard Kennedy School courses are open to: students who have matriculated in one of our degree programs, Harvard University staff who qualify, or students enrolled in any Harvard school or college. Cross-registrants and Harvard University staff do not participate in the HKS registration steps listed below. Staff members enrolling through the Tuition Assistance Plan (TAP) submit enrollment requests directly to the Office of the Registrar. Cross-registrants submit petitions to faculty members through the university’s cross-registration portal. Others who are interested in HKS classes may audit the class with faculty permission. See below for details.

1. Registration Round I

Students log on to my.harvard for Registration Round I and may request up to 20 credits (including cross-registered and reading and research courses) they wish to take. They may change their selections at any time during the Registration Round I (and later during Registration Round II).

2. Bidding

Students who have selected an oversubscribed class during Registration Round I will receive an email from the Office of the Registrar about the option to bid on the course. Students are given an endowment of points per academic year to use during the bidding process. The endowment is determined by a student’s anticipated graduation year and program.

3. Registration Round II

After the bidding period, Registration Round II opens in my.harvard to allow students to revise their schedules. Registration Round II is first come, first serve. Students are advised to check the course capacities for these classes often to determine space availability.

4. Add/Drop and Cross-Registration

After registration closes, add/drop and cross-registration begin. At this time, HKS students may revise their schedules in my.harvard; cross-registrants will submit online registration requests as well using the university’s cross-registration portal. HKS student and cross-registrant registration requests will appear in my.harvard for faculty members to review and approve. Faculty members have the discretion to choose students according to their own priority order during the HKS add/drop and cross-registration period.

Jointly Offered Courses

A jointly offered course carries an HKS course number as well as a course number in one or more of the other Harvard schools. The HKS Office of the Registrar will contact faculty members on how many places to allocate for HKS students and for students registered under the non-HKS number.

January Classes

Enrollment in January classes takes place in October; the process is the same as in the fall and spring terms. Details about specific courses and registration dates are available during the fall term.

Class Lists for HKS Courses

Class lists (rosters) are generated by the Office of the Registrar and may be accessed on my.harvard by faculty members and their staff assistants. The list includes all students who are formally enrolled in the class, including cross-registrants. Auditors and fellows do not appear on the roster. During registration, rosters change regularly as students adjust their schedules.

Class Rosters for Jointly Offered Courses

If a course is jointly offered with another school, the instructor will receive a separate roster of students registered under the other school's number from its registrar. For example, DPI-115 is jointly listed as Govt. 1540. The faculty member receives one class roster from the HKS Office of the Registrar for all students (including cross-registrants) enrolled under DPI-115, and a second class roster from the FAS Registrar for all students, including a different set of cross-registrants, enrolled under Gov. 1540. Faculty members do not receive one fully integrated list of all students registered in the course under all numbers. See HKS grading details for submitting the grade list or changing a grade.


With the exception of the National Security Fellows, it is the instructor’s decision on whether to accept auditors in a course. If, however, there are more students who want to take the course than available slots, auditors will not be accepted. Auditors do not formally enroll in classes. The Office of the Registrar keeps no records of any kind of auditing or auditors, and their names do not appear on class rosters or grade sheets. An audited course is not recorded on a student's transcript. Instructors may require auditors to participate fully in course activities, including completing all assignments. Learn more about how to audit a course at HKS.

National Security Fellows

For course registration purposes, National Security Fellows are given the same access to classes as degree program students; however, they do not register online through my.harvard. National Security Fellows are senior officers in the U.S. armed services with about 20 years of experience, and who come to HKS for a year of advanced study. Typically the group numbers 20 or more. National Security Fellows are included on the class roster, though they do not receive grades for any coursework. For details, contact the program's assistant director at 617-496-4980.

Lee Kuan Yew Fellows

For course registration purposes, Lee Kuan Yew (LKY) Fellows are given the same access to classes as degree program students and use my.harvard for course registration. Named for the former Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Kuan Yew, these mid-career officials from various Asian countries attend HKS classes during the spring semester. LKY Fellows are Master in Public Management (MPM) degree candidates at the National University of Singapore's Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy. The HKS component is part of the MPM curriculum. At HKS, the LKY Fellows Program is part of the school's Singapore Program. LKY Fellows are included on the class roster.