Canvas @ YaleStudent Guides Setting up CanvasHow do I "shop" a Canvas course?

How do I "shop" a Canvas course?

FALL 2020:  The schedule for Course Selection has been modified to accommodate earlier registration for courses prior to arrival on Campus.  Below are key dates for Yale College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences:

  • August 7: Expanded course descriptions available in Canvas for fall 2020 courses
  • August 7-12: Students submit preferences for limited-enrollment courses
  • August 17: Students informed of admission to limited-enrollment courses
  • August 21: Deadline for students to submit a preliminary course schedule
  • August 25: Course schedule adjustment period (“add/drop”) begins and "shopper" enrollments will begin converting to "student" enrollments in Canvas.
  • August 31: Classes begin
  • September 4: Final schedules due 

This article guides students through the process of being added to the Canvas course sites of the courses they are shopping. Once registered as a shopper, students are automatically added to the Canvas site within a few hours.

NOTE: School of Management has a different process for enrolling in their courses. Please contact the SOM registrar at for more information.

Search for Courses and View Course Syllabi

Students will need to search for courses using Online Course Selection (OCS) or Yale's Course Search. Syllabi are available in Course Search if the course has been published by the instructor.

NOTE: If a course does not have a syllabus, it may mean that the instructor has not posted a syllabus or they have not published their course site.

Register to Shop the Course

Students will need to add the course to their OCS worksheet. (For additional information on how to use Yale Course Search / OCS, please refer to the Yale Course Search Resources section of the Registrar's Website.

Once you have added a course to your worksheet, it could take several hours before you are enrolled in the course site.  Course enrollments are processed approximately every 2 hours.

When your enrollment is processed, you will be added to the course as a "shopper".

Finalize and Seal Your Worksheet

Once you have made your final course selections for the semester, you will need to seal your OCS worksheet.  

After you have sealed your worksheet, your enrollment in the courses you have chosen will change from "shopper" to "student". For all courses you shopped but decided not to take this semester, you will automatically be un-enrolled.

For more help, please contact