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Office of the Registrar

Closed Courses & Waitlist

If you register for a class that's full, you'll receive a closed-course notification and—if available—the opportunity to add yourself to the course waitlist.

If the error notification you receive says waitlist seats are available, simply click "submit changes." If you've successfully added yourself to the list, you'll see the notation "waitlisted" within the status column.

How does automatic waitlisting work?

The Automatic Waitlist process allows for a more proactive approach in the communication and registration of classes.  The waitlist feature offers students a fair and consistent way to enroll in a full class if openings occur.

Students who attempt to register for a closed section may add their names to the waitlist for that section. If a seat in the section becomes available, notice will be sent to the University of Denver’s recorded preferred email address of the student at the top of the waitlist, who will have 24 hours to log in to his or her PioneerWeb account and add the class.

The open seat will be reserved solely for the student at the top of the waitlist: no other student may register for the seat during the 24-hour time period. If the student at the top of the waitlist does not add the class within the 24-hour period, he or she will be removed from the waitlist and the next student on the list will be notified.

Departments that have used waitlisting in the past to control registration access to a course may want to utilize other methods to do this besides waitlisting such as course restrictions, or reserved seating.

The waitlists will continue to move as space becomes available until Friday at 5:00 pm of the first week of class.  After that time, the waitlists are closed and no more activity occurs.

Do students need to receive special permission from the faculty member to add their names to the waitlist for a closed class?

No, if a waitlist is available students instead will simply choose the waitlist option from the drop-down menu after attempting to register for a closed class. Students may attempt registration for a closed class by navigating to the “Add or Drop Classes” page in PioneerWeb, entering the four-digit CRN in the “Add Classes Worksheet,” and clicking “Submit Changes.”

Automatic waitlisting also means that faculty members and departments do not have to maintain waitlists, and record overrides when seats become available. Faculty members may still record overrides for otherwise qualified students who do not meet course prerequisites, corequisites, or restrictions. Faculty may also record overrides for students who have insignificant time conflicts.

Are students who sign up for a waitlist guaranteed a seat in the class?

No, there is no guarantee that even one seat in a class will become available for students on a waitlist. For this reason, students should register for a full complement of at least four full courses or the equivalent in addition to any waitlisted sections.

Even though there are no guarantees, what are the chances that one or more seats will become available for students on the waitlist for a class?

No one can say for sure. Chances of getting a seat in a closed class are better for students who have a high position on the waitlist; however, even the first student on the waitlist may not be offered a seat. In general, we expect only a few waitlisted students at most will be offered seats in any given class section. Again, students on a waitlist should not assume that a seat in the class will become available and should register for at least four full courses or the equivalent in addition to any waitlisted sections.

How are students on a waitlist prioritized?

Waitlists for most classes are prioritized on a first-come, first-served basis. That is, the first student signing up for the waitlist will be offered the first available seat in the section.

How do seats become available in a section with a waitlist?

A seat in a closed section becomes available when a registered student drops the class or when the enrollment limit is increased.

Are there any requirements to get on the waitlist for a section?

Yes, students must meet all academic requirements, including course prerequisites and restrictions, in order to waitlist for a closed class.

Can students avoid the waitlist for a closed class by asking the faculty member for a registration override?

No, it would not be fair to students on the waitlist if other students could bypass the list altogether.

What about students who really need a closed class to meet requirements?

Students who are approaching graduation and have a pressing need to register for a required course should register for that course during their first registration window. Seniors and juniors are seldom closed out of required courses if they prioritize such courses over electives. Students who find a required class closed should add their names to the waitlist and register for an alternative course.

Is there a way for students to know their position on a waitlist?

Students may view their waitlisted classes by viewing their class schedule in their PioneerWeb accounts. A student in position 1 (one) on a waitlist is next in line if a seat becomes available. A student in position 1 (one) will move into position 0 (zero) if a seat becomes available. He or she will receive notification that a seat has become available and will have 24 hours to log in and register.

What happens if a student at the top of the waitlist does not register for an open seat within 24 hours of receiving email notification?

A student who is offered an available seat and does not register within the 24-hour window will be dropped from the waitlist and the seat will be offered to the next student on the list. For this reason, students should check their DU preferred email account at least twice each day, especially if they are close to the top of a waitlist.

What if a student waitlists a class and later decides he or she is no longer interested?

As a common courtesy to other students, it is expected that students will drop themselves from the waitlists of any sections they no longer plan to take.

May a student waitlist a class that has a time conflict with another course?

Yes. Although they may not register for sections with time conflicts, students may add themselves to waitlists that have time conflicts with other registered or waitlisted sections. If the student is notified that a seat is available in the waitlisted section, he or she must first drop the registered section before adding the waitlisted section.

Is there a limit to the number of seats available for waitlisting in a section?

No, but remember that only a few waitlisted students at most are likely to be offered seats in any given class section. Students should not assume that a seat in a waitlisted class will become available and should register for at least four full courses in addition to any waitlisted sections.

How long are waitlists maintained?

Students will be able to add their names to a waitlist through the first week of classes. 

If a student on a waitlist receives notification of an available seat and has a registration hold, may he or she register for the waitlisted class?

No, registration holds must be cleared prior to any registration activity, including waitlist activity.

If a student on a waitlist receives notice of an available seat and accidently drops the class, may he or she get into the waitlisted class?

As long as the student is within the 24-hour window, he or she may add the class by going to the “Add or Drop Classes” page in Banner web, typing in the CRN in the “Add Classes Worksheet,” and submitting the changes.