How to Review and Rank Applications

Freshman Seminar Program Application Review

Please contact us if you have any questions.
Toni Trainor, Department Administrator: (617) 496‐3993 
Nina Duncan, Program Coordinator: (617) 495‐1523

How to Review and Rank Applications

Please note: we recommend that you use the browser, Firefox.
Some instructors have had difficulty using Google Chrome and Safari.

When the system opens for reviewing, click on the button above to enter the application system. You will be prompted to enter your HUID and PIN. Once the page opens, click on your seminar to begin the process of reviewing applications.
Select “View all applications to this seminar”
You may sort applications by student last name or application date and download or print the applications for easier reading. Click the “Home” link at the top of the page to proceed to the next step.
Step 1: Accept/deny students for this seminar
This option lists all students who have applied to your seminar. The default status is “ACCEPT,” so you will see a check mark next to each name. If a student has not completed the essay, the check mark is removed for a status of “DENIED.”
You are encouraged to accept all students who meet your criteria for admission, even in excess of the enrollment limit, as not all accepted applicants will be placed in your course (please see “About the Algorithm” section below for more information).
You may sort this list by student name, HUID, Application Completed, or Your Ranking by clicking on the titles at the tops of the columns. Click the “submit” button at the bottom of the page to proceed to the next step.
Step 2: Rank applications to this seminar
You have the following ranking options:
Sequential Order Preference: (Recommended) You can either rank students in sequential order (1, 2, 3, etc.) or place them into ordered groups (any number of equally acceptable students may be ranked "1" and the next group "2", etc.). The first method allows you to designate the exact order in which spaces will be filled depending on the availability of each student; the second method does not draw distinctions among individual students, and they will be randomized within their "group."
First Choice Preference: You can see if a student has ranked your seminar as their first choice on the list of applicants in the column "Student's First Choice?" If you wish to give preference to those who listed your seminar as their first choice, you should indicate "1" for each student in this group and "2" for your next preferred group, and so on if necessary. 
If you rank more students with a "1" than your seminar has capacity for, those who have ranked your seminar as their first choice will be admitted first. If more students have marked your seminar as their first choice than your course has capacity for, they will be selected randomly from within the group. Keep in mind that if you rank a student with a "1" and they have not marked your seminar as their #1, then the matching algorithm will attempt to place that student in their #1 choice first. If you select exactly 12 or 15 students who have ranked your seminar as their first choice, these students will be admitted to your seminar.
No Preference: By leaving the rank boxes blank, you are indicating no rank order preference. This option creates a random preference for all applicants to your course, regardless of how they ranked their applications.
Viewing your Preliminary Enrollment and Accepting Additional Students
You will be able to view the preliminary list of students assigned to your seminar on our application module site at 10:00 am on Friday, January 19. This list will display whether a student has accepted (“Confirmed”) or declined the slot. We will post the list of seminars with open seats on our website on Friday, August 31 at 3:00 pm and encourage freshmen to email you directly to request a spot. By default, we will not include your seminar on the list of those with open seats if you have two or fewer seats available. Please let us know if you’d like us to do otherwise.
Adding Students & My.Harvard Registration
Please note: if you accept students into your seminar via email, they will not appear on the preliminary class list. We regret that we cannot keep track of the students who add or drop your seminar via email. Please download your preliminary class list from our application site and use this to keep track of your open seats. Students on this preliminary list were already accepted by you and will be enrolled by the registrar's office and no further action by you or the student is required. 

For students that you are adding after the initial application period, please remember that added students will not be able to enroll in your freshman seminar until you go online to give your approval in the website. Please log into the Teaching Portal in Student petitions are with the courses listed at the bottom of the page. Your official class list may be found here as well.

Course Registration Deadline - Wednesday, September 12
You will need to approve the enrollment for all students you add to your seminar by email. Please go to the website,, for instructions about the process.

About the Algorithm
Our matching algorithm is the creation of Alvin E. Roth, Nobel Laureate and George Gund Professor of Economics and Business Administration, Emeritus. He specializes in game theory and market models, and he created the matching algorithm for the Harvard College Housing Lottery (random match) and the New England Program for Kidney Exchange (paired match). His algorithm for the Freshman Seminar Program matches the student’s top choices in seminars against the instructor’s top offers in a random sequence to find the best mutually‐agreeable assignment for each applicant. We run the algorithm once each term and it matches students to seats until each applicant gets a seat or runs out of applications. In order to maximize assignments, there is no waiting list.