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

How do I "shop" a Canvas course?

SPRING 2021:  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:

  • November 30: Expanded course descriptions available in Canvas for spring 2021 courses
  • December 1-14:  Students can add courses to their Primary Worksheet on Yale Course Search to shop courses.
  • December 1-9: Students submit preferences for limited-enrollment courses
  • December 14: Students informed of admission to limited-enrollment courses
  • December 14: Online Course Selection (OCS) opens for students to begin building preliminary course schedules.
  • December 18: Deadline for students to submit a preliminary course schedule
  • January 25: Course schedule adjustment period (“add/drop”) begins and "shopper" enrollments will begin converting to "student" enrollments in Canvas
  • February 1: Classes begin
  • February 5: 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