Using waitlists

The See My Waitlists page shows how many lists you are on, the date you joined the list, your place, the latest notice sent to you, and your swap class if you have selected one.  From this page you can also remove yourself from a waitlist or update your swap class. 

What are waitlists? Waitlists are exactly what they sound like-- a list that students can join and wait for open seats in a class. Waitlists are turned on by a department when all the seats in a class have been filled. If a student in the class drops it, a seat opens up and is filled by a student on the list.

When are waitlists active? Waitlists are active from the first day of registration through the 4th class day (fall and spring) or 2nd class day (summer) in a semester. The department offering the class must turn on a list before it becomes available for students to join.

How do students join waitlists? When registering for a closed class, students will get the chance to join a waitlist if its department has turned a list on, and the student is registered for at least one class. The class will appear closed or waitlisted in the Course Schedule. The student should attempt to add the closed or waitlisted class; the student will be notified that the class is closed and if there is a waitlist available they will be given the option to add themselves to the list. Students can join up to two lists per course, and can be on four lists at any one time.

How do I get into a class from a list? During registration, if a registered student drops the class, a student on the waitlist will be added to the class. Nightly, the system fills as many leftover seats as possible.

Why am I not always offered a waitlist for a class?  

Some things prevent the system from letting you onto a list:

  • The class doesn't have a list. (Check the Course Schedule to see if a class has one.)
  • You don't meet course restrictions or prerequisites. (The registration system will let you know this.)
  • The waitlist is full.
  • You must have at least one class on your schedule to join a list.
  • You can't join more than four lists.
  • You can't join the waitlists for more than two sections of the same course.

How do I leave a list?

  • You can drop yourself, from your See My Waitlists page
  • An administrator can drop you, and will notify you by e-mail
  • The system can drop you, through a zap or a withdrawal
  • You can be added to the class.

Can I get stuck on a list?

 Yes, in a number of ways.

  • By a turned-off list
  • By a full or cancelled class
  • By a change to restrictions by the department
  • By a schedule conflict with time, maximum hours, or duplicate class
  • By various system errors 

What's a swap class?  It's a class on your schedule that you choose to drop if you get into a waitlisted class. For example, you might want BIO 340L but it is full so you add BIO 455L instead, and list it as the swap class. If a seat opens in 340L and you are added, the system drops you from 455L. If you drop 455L but don’t update your waitlist, you will not be added to 340L even if a seat opens up.

Do I have to choose a swap class? No. Swap classes are optional.

When do I choose a swap class? When can I change it?  You can choose a swap class when you join a list during registration, or you can choose one later on your See My Waitlists page.

How do I update my swap class? 

From your See My Waitlists page you can update your swap class as follows:

  • To choose or change your swap class, choose a class from your schedule in the pulldown menu, then press the Change button.
  • To turn a swap class off, choose None in the pulldown menu, then press Change.

If I waitlist a class, am I guaranteed a seat?   No. Joining a waitlist doesn't ensure you'll be added to the class; it's just a way for you to wait in line for an open seat. If a seat never opens up, you never leave the list. It's up to you to decide if you've waited enough, or if you need to drop the list and find another class.

How do I get notified about my waitlist classes?  

Waitlist notices appear in two places; check them both regularly.

  • Notices from a section's department are sent to your current email address on file with the University. Keep this address current, and check it often.
  • Notices from the Waitlisting system itself are posted to your See My Waitlists page. Check it often, too. We send notices when you have been blocked from adding the class for various reasons or if you get added to the class.

Should I keep my schedule open during the time of the waitlisted class?  Yes! The waitlist system can’t add you to a class if there is a time conflict unless you have the class as a swap option.

If I'm not sure I want a class, should I join its waitlist?  Maybe not. By signing up for a waitlist, you've told us you want to add the class. If a seat opens up and you qualify for it, the system will put you in the class and it will be added to your tuition and fee bill. So if you're not sure, don't join a list.

What do I do if the system won’t let me add myself to a waitlist because the class is restricted?  Some classes are restricted to certain majors/degree programs. If you have a question about the restriction, contact the department offering the course.

Every single class I wanted to take this semester is waitlisted. What do I do?  Talk to your adviser. He or she can suggest alternative courses which will satisfy your degree plan.