Wait List

The Wait List allows students to wait for a course and be enrolled automatically if an open seat is available or when faculty add seats from course section wait lists. By selecting Wait, during registration, the student will be added to the Wait List for the course. My Wait List is a list of courses the student selected to add to their wait list.

  • Registration–Fifth Day of Classes: Students can add open course sections to their schedule from the day they register through the fifth day of classes. The fifth-day rule applies to fall and spring semesters only. The timeline is different for summer session. Review the Academic Calendars for specific date information.
  • No Open Seats: If a course section is full, students can join the Wait List for a course section on or after their registration date and time. Through the fifth day of classes, when students drop a class, students on the Wait List will be automatically enrolled in the class based on their wait list rank.
  • Sixth–Tenth Day of Classes: Students must join the Wait List for all course sections even if there are available seats beginning on the sixth day of classes through the tenth day of classes (days vary for summer terms). At this time, only faculty can enroll students from the class wait list up until the schedule adjustment deadline.
  • Wait List Ranking: The Wait List ranking is calculated based on completion of prerequisties for the course, the student's units earned, and if the student already is enrolled in a section for that class. The Wait List ranking is subject to change at any time throughout the registration and schedule adjustment period. Student information remains anonymous until after students are added to the course section.
  • Faculty Add: Faculty must add seats to their course sections in order for students to be added from the Wait List after the fifth day of classes. Be aware instructors may not be able to enroll students from the Wait List due to classroom space.
  • Email: Students enrolled from the Wait List will receive an email notification to the email address listed on the student's SDSU WebPortal account. Students can update their email address via the SDSU WebPortal.

Best Practices for Students

  • Register for open course sections before waiting for any course sections. The Wait List does not guarantee enrollment in a course section.
  • Once the first day of classes begins, communicate with instructors to see if they will be enrolling students from the Wait List.
  • Since the Wait List is automated, students and faculty must actively monitor and manage their wait lists and class schedule inside the SDSU WebPortal throughout the entire schedule adjustment period. A student's ranking on a course section's wait list may change at any time depending on other students who are added or removed or faculty adding seats.
  • Review My Classes and My Wait List in the SDSU WebPortal and remove wait list classes that are no longer wanted to avoid being automatically enrolled. If a student fails to remove unwanted course sections from the Wait List, the student risks being automatically enrolled, which could cause a class to be dropped from the student's schedule or result in enrollment in a class that the student does not want or need.
  • Try to avoid adding classes to the Wait List that contain a time conflict with enrolled classes (review the FAQ's for more information regarding time conflicts).
  • If a student is attempting a non-repeatable course for the third time, they must submit a petition for approval at the Office of Advising & Evaluations (SSW 1551).
  • If a student plans on enrolling in a course(s), which requires requiring department approval (for example, Special Study), the student should start the process early to assure a spot (check the course schedule to verify course requirements).

Frequently Asked Questions

How do students enroll in a course section from their wait list?
Students are automatically enrolled in a course section from their wait list if a seat becomes available through the fifth day of classes for the term or if a professor adds students from the course section wait list by the schedule adjustment deadline for the term.
Who has access to enroll students into a class from the Wait List?
Faculty and department coordinators have access to enroll students from the Wait List. Academic Advisers do not have access to enroll students from the Wait List.
How does a student know if they have been enrolled in a course from their wait list?
Students will receive an email notification if they have been enrolled in a course section from their wait list.
What happens if a student is enrolled in a course from their wait list, but the student is already enrolled in another section of the same course?
The student will be enrolled in the course section from their wait list, and the previously enrolled section will be automatically dropped. An email confirmation will be sent to the student.
What happens if a student is enrolled in a course from their wait list that conflicts with a current course on their schedule?
SDSU does not allow registration time conflicts. Therefore, if students are enrolled in a course from their wait list that conflicts with a current course, the current course will be dropped and the waitlisted course will be added. Students will be warned of this action when they add a course to their wait list that conflicts with a course on their current schedule. Please keep in mind that not all time conflicts will be automatically dropped in order for a wait list class to be added. Students will not be enrolled in a course from their wait list if:
  1. The course on the wait list time conflicts with a required course on their schedule, and the waitlisted course is not the same or equivalent to the required course.
  2. The course on the wait list conflicts with part of a course block on their class schedule.
What if a student is enrolled in a course section from their wait list that they no longer want?
Students can drop course sections by the schedule adjustment deadline in their SDSU WebPortal. Each student is responsible for managing their wait list. Students should remove any course(s) from their wait list if they no longer desire to be enrolled in the course(s).
Why was one of the classes in a student's wait list canceled?
A class in a students wait list may be canceled for one or more of the following reasons:
  1. If enrolling in a course from their wait list before the first day of classes causes them to exceed the maximum enrollment unit limit allowed for their major (18 units for most majors).
  2. If there is a time conflict with the course on their wait list and a required course on their schedule, and the waitlisted course is not the same or equivalent to the required course.
  3. If the course on their wait list conflicts with part of a course block in their class schedule.
  4. If the course prerequisite(s) or restrictions have changed since being placed on the wait list, and they no longer qualify for the course.
  5. If they are attempting to enroll in a non-repeatable course for the third time and have not received approval from the Office of Advising and Evaluations.
How will cross-enrollment be impacted due to the Wait List?
Students in cross-enrollment should search for open sections. If there is a wait list for a course section, the student will not be enrolled in the course.
How will students in ALI or Open University enroll in courses using the Wait List?
Students in ALI or Open University will work with College of Extended Studies (CES) and use the registration tool created by CES to wait for a class. Students are encouraged to search for classes with open seats.
How many course sections can a student add to their wait list?
Four course sections is the maximum number allowed at any one time.
Does the limit of four classes only apply to the enrolled classes or the Wait List?
Students can only have four class sections on their wait list at any one time. However, students can be enrolled in more than four classes from their wait list as long as they do not exceed their maximum units before the first day of classes.
Can a student attend a course that is on their wait list?
Yes. It is recommended to speak with the instructor to determine if students from the course wait list will be enrolled. After the schedule adjustment deadline has passed, students should only attend courses they are enrolled in for the term.
Can an instructor drop students who do not attend on the first day of class?
Yes. Faculty have the discretion to drop students who do not attend the first class meeting.
If a student is on the Wait List, will the student have access to Blackboard?
No. Once a student is enrolled in the course section from the Wait List, access to Blackboard for the class will be given.
How are students ranked on the Wait List?
The ranking criteria consist of the following: completion of course prerequisites, total units earned, whether the student is already enrolled in a section of the course, and date/time added to the Wait List.

Ranking is dynamic so students and faculty should always manage their wait list.

Why did a student's ranking change for a wait list course?
Wait list rankings are automatically updated as students are added or removed from a course section wait list.
If a student was on wait lists for multiple sections of the same course and then enrolled in one of the sections, why was the student removed from the remaining wait list course sections?
Once the student is enrolled in one of the sections from the Wait List, the remaining waitlisted sections are removed. This automated action prevents further schedule changes from occurring for the same course.
Will the number of students that are allowed on the Wait List be determined by the number of seats in the course section?
There are no limits on the number of students that can be on a wait list at one time.
Could a student be ranked higher than the students that are currently on the Wait List?
Yes, the criteria determine where on the Wait List students are ranked. It is possible to rank higher on the Wait List than the students already on the Wait List.
If the Wait List ranking criteria includes prerequisites, what happens if a student is currently enrolled in the prerequisite course?
A student currently enrolled in a prerequisite course will be ranked lower than a student who has already completed the course.
Is prerequisite checking determined by a degree audit?
Yes. If a course has not yet been evaluated and posted to the record it will not be used in the check.
What happens if students have prerequisites pending from summer courses that are being transferred?
Courses in progress at SDSU or other institutions will not be posted as completed on the student record so they cannot be used to meet a prerequisite.
How are transfer students without a completed evaluation ranked?
The lack of a complete evaluation will affect a student's wait list ranking based on the lack of potential course prerequisites, which leads to an inaccurate number of total units earned on the student's academic record.
How will the third course attempt be handled if students want to add it to their wait list?
If the request is approved, the Office of Advising and Evaluations will contact Office of the Registrar to add the student to the Wait List.
What happens after the fifth day of classes?
Even if seats are open in the course section, an instructor must use the Wait List to add students. Instructors need to manage their wait list through the tenth day of classes using the WebRoster on the SDSU WebPortal.
What happens to the Wait List after the schedule adjustment deadline?
The Wait List will be available for students to view in the SDSU WebPortal, however no actions are allowed after the schedule adjustment deadline.
What if a student is added on the tenth day and they want to change to Credit/No Credit?
If students are thinking about changing the course grading to credit/no credit, we recommend that they do not add the course section to the Wait List as no changes to grading basis can be made after the schedule adjustment deadline.
If there's a long wait list, will the university recognize that and open another section?
Departments are able to view how many unique wait listers there are on the Wait List. Unique wait listers are students who are not currently enrolled in any sections of the course. Departments can use this list to communicate with students regarding new sections or additional seats.