End of Add/Drop Period

NOTE:  The information provided below has been updated to reflect the new early registration, and course selection and add/drop process for Yale College Students as of Fall 2021.  Graduate and Professional School students will eventually follow this same process once their schools adopt the new registration process.  

This article provides information on Canvas enrollments for officially registered students and visitors at the end of the add/drop period. For information specific to your role in Canvas, see below:


After the last day of the add/drop period, all Visitor enrollments (as enrolled by students adding a course to their Canvas Worksheet in Yale Course Search) will be removed.  Extraneous manually-enrolled Visitor enrollments will be removed on a pre-determined date for which Instructors and Visitors will be notified in advance.**

After this notice has been posted, students who receive permission from an instructor to unofficially audit a course must send a request to their course instructor to be added to the course with the role of "Guest Student" to avoid losing access to course sites.

Note: Unless the student is officially registered for a course, course membership is at the discretion of the instructor.


Visitor enrollments (as enrolled from the Banner-to-Canvas feed) will be automatically purged from courses after Add/Drop has ended - but the timing of that purge varies from semester to semester because Add/Drop closes on different dates for different schools.  Visitor enrollments cannot be purged until all schools' add/drop periods have ended.

Regardless - Global Announcements (visible on the dashboard page in Canvas) are posted regularly to notify both visitors and instructors when the visitor enrollments will be purged from the system.

Instructor Information

Granting Guest Student Access to a "Visitor"

Students who were manually added to your course

Please be aware that if you have manually added any students to your course with the role of “Visitor”, these students will also be removed as part of the end of add/drop processes.

If you receive a request from a manually added "Visitor", please go to the “People” tool and edit the user’s course role to “Guest Student”.  For instructions on changing a manually added user’s course role, please visit the "How do I edit user roles in a course?" article.

Students who a added your course via official registration

If you receive a request from a student who added your course officially (via Yale Course Search worksheets), you will not be able to modify their course role.  These students will either need to officially register for the course through Yale Course Search and/or with the assistance of their departmental registrar or you will need to add the student to your course as a Guest Student. This will allow the students to be listed as "Visitor" and Guest Student in the course. In order to do so, please visit the "How do I add users to my course?".

Note: Adding a student as a Guest Student will not resolve official enrollment issues.

Additional Information Regarding Users with Multiple Roles in Your Course Site

If a student is listed with multiple roles in the same section within your Canvas site, as long as one of their roles is "Student" or "Guest Student" they will not lose access to your course site when the visitor enrollment is removed.

However, if you are using custom Canvas course sections to subdivide students for targeted assignments/announcements/etc, you will need to add the user's to your custom course section with the role of "Guest Student".

Image showing visitor section enrollments in the same section versus in different sections

Student Information

If you are listed as a Visitor in a Canvas course at the end of the Add/Drop period, you either added the course to your Canvas Worksheet or you may have been manually enrolled into the course by your instructor or department/school registrar.  

If you are registering for the course...

  • You need to add the course to your Registration Worksheet.  When you add the course to your Registration Worksheet, you will be added to the course as a Student (may take up to 2 hours).  
  • If you leave the course on your Canvas Worksheet, you will still be listed with the Visitor role, but after the add/drop date your Visitor role will automatically be removed (may take up to 2 hours).  

If you do not plan on taking the course...

  • Remove the course from your Registration Worksheet.  Your Registration Worksheet represents those courses that you plan on registering for.  If the course is listed on your Registration Worksheet, you will need to remove it.  
  • If you are listed with the Visitor role, you can either:
    • Remove the course from your Canvas Worksheet OR
    • Do nothing - after the add/drop period ends, your Visitor role will automatically be removed.**

** NOTE:  If you were manually added to the course with the role of Visitor, after add drop period ends, you will see a Canvas Announcement on your Canvas Dashboard page letting you know when manual Visitor Enrollments will be purged.  

If you do not plan on registering for the course, but would like to maintain access to the course...

  • Contact your instructor and ask the instructor to add you to the course with the "Guest Student" role.  Please be aware that course membership is subject to the instructor's discretion.

If you are listed in the Canvas site with 2 roles...

  • As long as one of your roles is "Student" or "Guest Student", your account will continue to have access to the course.

Questions about your role:

If you have any questions about your role or unsure of what role you have in your course, you can go to your "All Courses" area in Canvas or you can contact your instructor to have them check your role in the “People” tool.  If you have questions about your registration status in a class, please contact your Residential College Dean's office or your Departmental/School Registrar's office.

For more help, please contact canvas@yale.edu.