How Waitlists Work

As you register, you may find that a class you want to take is listed as "closed", and you are given the chance to add yourself to a waitlist. Here are the rules the waitlist works by:

  1. A waitlist starts for a section only when that section is closed, which means the registered number of students is equal to the current capacity.
  2. You must be eligible to register for the class to get on the waitlist. You must also be eligible – including no schedule conflicts – to register for the class from the waitlist, when that happens. Important: Not even Instructor Consent can let you onto a waitlist if you are not eligible. Similarly, not even Instructor Consent can let you onto a waitlist that doesn't’t exist yet. 
  3. During the first days of registration (registration by earned credit total), the waitlists are not authoritative. If you add yourself to a waitlist in the morning, but by the afternoon there has been enough registration movement to open a seat, another student might register into it, despite there being a waitlist. Important: First year registration for Spring semester is split into 2 days. This caveat about the waitlist not being authoritative pertains to both days.
  4. During Open Enrollment (refer to the Academic Calendar online), the waitlists are authoritative. Waitlisted students will receive an email informing them when they have permission to register themselves from the waitlist into the class. Students with permission have a limited time window (24 hours) to make use of this permission. Important: We in the Registrar’s office have seen students attempt to register themselves during Open Enrollment for a waitlisted class before receiving permission to do so. Their attempt usually has the counterproductive result of dropping the student from the waitlist. There isn't’t a way to undo this, so please don’t do it.
  5. Lectures and Labs (or Screenings, etc.): If there is a course that is offered in more than one part, you need to register for both of them.
    1. If there is only one of each part (only one lecture and only one screening), there is only one waitlist, on the lecture.
    2. In opposition to this, if there are multiple labs and one lecture, a waitlist is on each of the labs, and there is no waitlist on the lecture. Once you get into the lab, then register for the lecture.
    3. If there are multiple lectures and multiple labs, this takes more finesse. Please register for both the lecture and the lab of your choice, but if you have to waitlist one, that’s OK: you’ll have all of Open Registration and the Add/Drop period to settle into your lecture and your lab. The requirement to be in both will be enforced during the first two weeks of the semester: watch your email and listen to your professor for instructions about this.

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