Closed Seats & Waitlists
Automatic waitlisting is a proactive approach to class registration, offering students fair and consistent opportunities to enroll in closed courses when additional seats become available. Students on waitlists should not assume seats will become available, and should register for at least four full courses, or the equivalent, in addition to any waitlisted sections.
The Automatic Waitlisting Process
If you try to register for a class that's full, you'll receive a closed-course notification and, if available, the opportunity to join the course waitlist. If the notification says waitlist spaces are available, simply click "submit changes" to add your name. The status column should then display the word "waitlisted," confirming you've successfully joined the list.
When a seat becomes available, an email notification will be sent to the student at the top of the waitlist, who will then have 24 hours to log in to PioneerWeb and add the class. Each open seat will be reserved solely for the student at the top of the list — no other student may register for the seat during the 24-hour time period. If the seat is not claimed within 24 hours, the reservation will roll over to the next student on the waitlist, who will then have 24 hours to add the class. This process will continue as spaces become available until 5:00 p.m. on Friday, the first week of class. After this time, waitlists will be closed.
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 at the top of the list and offered the first available seat in the class. Students may view waitlisted positions within their class schedules on PioneerWeb. A student in waitlist position 1 is next in line, and will move into position 0 if a seat becomes available.
The higher your position on the waitlist, the higher your chances of being offered a seat in the class. However, even the very first student on a waitlist is not guaranteed to get in. Remember to always register for at least four full courses, or the equivalent, in addition to any waitlisted courses.
There is no limit to the number of students who can join a waitlist, but few, if any, waitlisted students are likely to be offered seats in a given class. For this reason, you should not assume seats in waitlisted classes will become available. Be sure to register for at least four full courses, or the equivalent, in addition to any waitlisted courses. As a courtesy to other students, you will be expected to drop your name from the waitlists of any classes you no longer plan to take.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need special permission to join the waitlist for a closed course?
No. If a waitlist is available, you can simply choose that option from the drop-down menu after attempting to register.
Can students avoid the waitlist for a closed course by asking for a registration override?
No. In order to ensure the waitlist process is fair for everyone, no student may bypass it altogether. Faculty members may still record overrides for otherwise qualified students who do not meet course prerequisites, co-requisites or restrictions, or students who have insignificant time conflicts.
What if I need to register for a closed course to meet graduation requirements?
Students who are approaching graduation and have a pressing need to register for a required course should do so during their first registration window. Seniors and juniors are seldom closed out of required courses if they prioritize them over electives. If you find a required course is closed, all you can do is add your name to the waitlist and register for an alternative course.
Can I waitlist a class that has a time conflict with another class?
Yes. Although you may not register for classes with time conflicts, you may join waitlists that have time conflicts with other registered or waitlisted classes. If a seat becomes available in the waitlisted class, you must first drop the conflicting registered class before adding the waitlisted class.
If I receive a notification for an available waitlisted seat, but accidentally drop the class, can I still register for it?
Yes. As long as it is within the 24-hour window, your spot will stay reserved, and you will be able to re-add the class.