Apply for a Seminar




(PLEASE NOTE) Synchronous Expectation in Freshman Seminars:
Seminars are conducted weekly at times posted in the application and My.Harvard.
Students must attend seminar classes live during meeting times.


Videos:  Get tips for applying from students & hear them discuss their experiences in Freshman Seminars!


FAQs: view a list of frequently-asked questions for guidance with applying


Please contact us if you have any questions:
(617) 495‐1523


How to Apply: Instructions and Information

Because demand for a specific seminar often exceeds its number of seats, we recommend that you submit at least seven applications to help us match your top choices against your top offers. You may apply for as many seminars as you’d like, and rank them in order of preference until the deadline at 9am on Monday, August 17. Instructors will review applications and rank their choices as well, and then we run an algorithm to match students with seminars. You will be notified of your assignment at 1pm on Wednesday, August 19 and you must accept or decline your assignment before 11am on Thursday, August 20. We will then post all seminars that still have openings at 1pm.

How to Apply: Specifics

Access the online application system.

Modify my personal data.

Please complete this section accurately to help us keep in touch with you about your applications.

Browse / Search for seminars to add.

Here you may sort seminar offerings by number or title, or, you may search by schedule (e.g.“Tuesday”) or by keyword (e.g. “science” or “art”).


Once you’ve decided to apply to a particular seminar, hit the “apply” button on the seminar description page in order to reach the essay section of the application. The essays are the most important means by which the instructor will learn about your interest in the seminar. All seminars require that you complete one short essay; some also require that you respond to an additional question. Please read the instructions carefully, and note that some seminars require interviews and/or mandatory field trips that will take place outside of regular meeting hours.
Please note that essays are limited to 250 words.

Rank / Manage Current Applications.

The algorithm will try to place you in the order of your preference, so please think carefully about your rankings. By default, your first choice for a seminar is the one to which you apply first, and your subsequent choices are those to which you apply in that sequence. We encourage 7 applications in order to increase your chances of getting a seat in one of your top-choice seminars. You may reorder, edit, add, or delete applications until the deadline. All applications received by this deadline will be treated equally. Please note that status confirms that your application has been successfully submitted.

Additional Information

Usually, instructors make admission decisions based on the essays. Occasionally, instructors will interview applicants, either individually or in groups. Any special requirement will be included in the application instructions to each seminar.


You will be notified whether or not you have been admitted to a seminar via email at 1pm on Wednesday, August 19. If you receive an assignment, you must accept or decline online before 11am on Thursday, August 20 so that we may post open seats.

Posted Openings

If you do not receive an assignment by algorithm – likely there were too many applications for the seminar(s) on your list – you may still join a seminar. Not all seminars fill to capacity and most have unexpected openings due to declined offers. We will post all seminars with open seats on our program website after 1:00pm on Thursday, August 20. We encourage you to browse the openings and to email the instructor for permission to join a seminar if you did not receive an assignment by algorithm.

If you are invited to join a seminar, you must respond to the invitation within 24 hours and send a copy of your acceptance to Placement by permission of the instructor may continue until the Course Registration Deadline. Please notify the instructor and our office if you drop/change your seminar.

Course Registration Deadline - Weds, August 26

You must have the instructor's approval online in the system to enroll in a freshman seminar. 


We are glad to help in any way, so please let us know if you have any questions at any time. You may contact us at or (617) 495-1523.  We look forward to hearing from you!