Are students usually able to take their first choice courses?
There are three rounds of bidding for modules in Yale-NUS. A given module’s availability depends on the class, and how popular it is. Furthermore, different classes will have different capacities for how many students can enroll in them. For mods with higher subscription rates, priority is generally given to upperclass students that require the classes for their majors. The rationale is that freshmen and sophomores will likely have opportunities to take the same courses later on in their college careers.
In choosing courses, it is important to consider major requirements. Each major has some prerequisite courses that students need to take prior to taking higher-level modules. Most of these can be found on the school website.
At the same time, it is a good idea to take advantage of the liberal arts education at Yale-NUS and explore different subject areas. Over your four years, you have the freedom of trying out different courses and taking various courses for fun if you’d like to, especially if you’re not too concerned about getting a minor. Even if students are pretty set on their majors, they still go out of their way to take a module in something like oil painting or perhaps pick up another language. Some courses are worth less credits and only last half of a semester, such as the popular Intro to Python. Even for students who don’t want to major in Computer Science, mods like these provide an opportunities to acquire some useful skills that will also look good on a resume.
The bidding process is slightly different for NUS modules and modules from the NUS Center for Language Studies (CLS). Specifically, applications for CLS modules have to be submitted earlier for processing. If you’d like to take any NUS modules, you will need to submit a separate form to your Vice Rector. These are subject to approval by the respective NUS faculty, so you won’t know whether you can actually take the mod until closer to the start of the semester. Moreover, keep in mind that you will be competing with NUS modules with the rest of the NUS student body. This is accounted for somewhat by the large class sizes, but popular NUS mods will probably be harder to get into in general.
For the most recent guidelines on module registration, please see this link: https://ourcors.yale-nus.edu.sg/