Enrollment FAQ

Here are some of the Frequently Asked Questions about the enrollment process in CalCentral.

Enrollment Process

How do I sign up for / enroll in classes?

There are multiple avenues to enroll:

  1. Schedule of Classes → Shopping Cart: Explore all classes on Schedule of Classes, select a class and one of each primary (i.e. lecture) and secondary component (i.e. sections) to add to the shopping cart, and enroll on the shopping cart.
  2. Schedule Planner → Shopping Cart: Add classes to Schedule Planner, select classes for potential schedules, view one or more schedules at a time, add to the shopping cart, and enroll from the shopping cart.
  3. Add one class from CalCentral on the My Academics page of the Class Enrollment card, and add another until you’ve hit the enrollment cap.

Where are my enrollment appointment dates?

Some student have a Class Enrollment card on their My Academics page but are unable to view their enrollment dates. Simply reloading the page corrected the issue. If the problem persist, file a support ticket with sishelp@berkeley.edu.

Where do I enroll for classes next semester on CalCentral? I don’t see it.

A new Class Enrollment “card” and set of tools may be found on CalCentral on your My Academics page. Some students will not see this card, are unable to enroll in classes, for several reasons:

  • If you're an undergraduate student on the Degree List who will be graduating this spring 2018.
  • If you want to delay your graduation date, you should go to your departmental advisor and, afterward, email sishelp@berkeley.edu with your SID to tell them you have done so.
  • A small number of students (such as double majors) may have been given approval from advisors to extend attendance for another semester (greater than eight semesters) and you may not see the option to enroll in classes. If so, submit a support ticket to sishelp@berkeley.edu.
  • There may be a block or hold on record that impacts students who will be taking more than eight semesters. If so, please see advisor about removing the block or hold.
  • If you are expecting to continue your career as a graduate student at Berkeley, you have not been currently admitted yet and class enrollment begins in August.
  • If none of these apply to you and you still do not see this card, please fill out a support ticket to sishelp@berkeley.edu.

How do I drop a class?

Click on the “drop” link under Class Adjustment on the Class Enrollment section of My Academics.

How do I switch secondary sections?

To switch sections, select the “Options” link on CalCentral on the My Academics page of the Class Enrollment card under the “Class Adjustment” section. You will not be dropped from the primary component (lecture, etc) if you select this option. You can only do this if you are enrolled but not on the waitlist. *Do NOT use “Swap” to switch sections!*

What if I’m trying to switch into a section that is full, but has a waitlist?

If you are enrolled in the class and secondary section, you can only switch to other secondary sections that are open when using "Options". You cannot switch to sections that are closed or are full with a waitlist. If you attempt to switch to a section that is full but has a waitlist using "Swap", you will be moved onto the waitlist for the class as well as the section.

What’s this “Swap” link on CalCentral?

Say you really want to get into Introduction to Astronomy (Astro C10) with Professor Filippenko, but it’s a really popular class and it’s completely full. Its time slot from MWF 3-4pm is ideal to you, so you’d love to have this class at that time. You consider a backup class at the same time that’s still available, Math 16B. Swapping allows you to do the following:

  • You can waitlist Astro C10 and enroll in Math 16B. When you’re off the waitlist for Astro C10, you’ll be enrolled in the class and dropped from Math 16B.
  • If you are already enrolled in Math 16B, and now you want to add Astro C10 that is suddenly available. You can use “Swap” to drop Math 16B and enroll in Astro C10 for an easier enrolling experience.
  • You cannot use this function to swap two classes if your swapped class exceeds the phase limit. You also cannot use swap to switch secondary sections if you are on the waitlist.

What happens if I never get off the waitlist during a Swap?

You stay enrolled in the class you had selected to swap out of.

How do I waitlist a class?

Add the class to your shopping cart, and select “waitlist if class is full” from the schedule of classes or the enrollment page. Instructions here.

When would I swap or waitlist a class? What’s the difference?

Swapping is a way to hold two classes at the same time. Waitlisting is a way to put yourself in line if the class is full or there is a requirement that doesn’t allow you to be enrolled right now.

You should waitlist a class if you feel you have a chance of enrolling in it. You should swap if you are afraid of not being able to enroll, but you have a backup class that is at the same time. If you swap, you’d be dropped from your backup class if you enroll in the first class.

How do you cancel a swap?

Say you currently have two classes you have for a swap. You really want to get into UGBA 10, but you’re on the waitlist. You are willing to swap it for Nutri Sci 10, which you are enrolled in but want less. These classes are not in a time conflict. As time passes, you realize you want to cancel your swap due to the following cases:

  • You want to drop UGBA 10 and stay in Nutri Sci 10. You can use the drop function get off the waitlist for UGBA 10. You’ll stay enrolled in Nutri Sci 10, since there would be nothing to swap it with.
  • You want to keep both UGBA 10 and Nutri Sci 10. One way to do this is to drop from UGBA 10, and re-add without using Swap, but you would lose your position on the waitlist. You could also drop Nutri Sci 10, but this method is only recommended if the class is still has empty seats and you are confident you’d be able to enroll right away.
  • You want to drop Nutri Sci 10 and stay in UGBA 10. This is exactly what swap is used for, so sit tight!

I tried to enroll for a class, but it wouldn’t let me. What happened?

Here are the following reasons that may have happened:

  • You selected two classes with overlapping time slots. Please resolve those time conflicts by dropping one of the classes, or applying for “Swap”. As of July 18, 2016, if you attempt to enroll in two classes that have a time schedule overlap, a notification will appear in your CalCentral, My Dashboard page. The message will offer you an opportunity to request a time conflict override if no other restrictions prevent you from enrolling in both classes. More information about this on the Time Conflicts page.
  • You did not satisfy the requirements for the class. Restrictions are now enforced in the new system. Take a look at “restrictions” for more information.
  • You selected more units than the phase can allow. Undergraduate students are no longer allowed to enroll in more than 10.5 units during Phase 1, and 16 units during Phase 2, which includes waitlisted units. (For graduates, the limits for Phase 1 is 12 and for Phase 2 is 20.5 units.) This is a hard cap enforcement. You are free to enroll for more units during the Adjustment Period in August (Fall) / January (Spring).
  • The class is full. Please select “add to the waitlist” when you first added the course to your shopping cart.
  • If none of these happened, please submit a support ticket to sishelp@berkeley.edu.

I’m an undergraduate. Why can’t I enroll in more than 16 units in Phase 2?

Phase 2 now has a hard cap of 16 units. This means that you cannot enroll in more than 16 units of coursework, including waitlisted units. However, you can add more units in the Adjustment Period, just like before!

Can I enroll in two classes that are held at the same time?

No. If your purpose of enrolling in these classes is because you are worried about not getting off the waitlist for a more important class, feel free to use the “Swap” function on CalCentral. Check out “Waitlists” for more.

As of July 18, 2016, if you still attempt to enroll in two classes through the shopping cart that have a time schedule overlap, a notification will appear in your CalCentral, My Dashboard page. The message will offer you an opportunity to request a time conflict override if no other restrictions prevent you from enrolling in both classes. Keep in mind that conflicts include midterms as well.

Please note you will not be able to generate a schedule through the schedule planner with conflicting classes. You’ll need to manually add the second one from within the shopping cart. More information can be found on the Time Conflict page.

When should I swap and when should I just try to enroll in both at the same time?

You should “swap” courses if you intend to take only one of the classes that are available at the same time. If you try to enroll in both, CalCentral will notify you of the possible opportunity to enroll in both courses. Please note that if you choose to take two classes at the same time, instructors are not obligated to accommodate you for any conflict that you have. Some colleges also will not approve of students taking conflicting courses.

When should I swap and use “options”?

You should use “options” when you want to switch from one secondary (discussion, lab, etc) to another and you are not on the waitlist. You should “swap” when you want to enroll in a different class.

When can I change my schedule?

You can change your schedule anytime until your Phase ends. No need to adhere to previous rules or timeframes as to when you can make changes to your schedule.

Of CalCentral, Schedule Planner, BerkeleyTime, and Schedule of Classes, which enrollment numbers are the most accurate?

CalCentral updates in realtime. The rest update once a day.

What does “Enrollment by Permission” mean?

Enrollment by Permission suggests that this class requires Instructor or Department Approval. Please consult the department or instructor for permission to enroll.

Where can I see the grade distributions?

You can continue to access grade distributions for classes via BerkeleyTime.

What are these error messages?

  • "You are not authorized to access this component. (40,20)": This intermittent error message is occasionally appearing for some users. If the problem still persists, reloading the page usually resolves the issue.
  • "Your account hasn't been created yet. Please try again later.": This intermittent error message occasionally appears and reloading the page usually resolves this.

Waitlists, Priority and Restrictions

What are the chances that I get into the class when I’m on the waitlist?

Waitlist processing has not changed with the new system. The system checks for open seats twice a day on the primary component waitlist (lecture, for example), and checks to see if there are open seats on the secondary component (discussion, lab, etc) waitlist. If you are first on the primary waitlist and both the primary and secondary section that you have enrolled in are available, you will be enrolled in the class, given that you meet all requirements (such as requirements for the class, enrollment phase, have no holds, etc). If there’s no space in the secondary section you have selected, you will be bypassed and the process will continue to the next person until all primary component seats are filled. Note that your position on the secondary component waitlist does not matter as long as there are open seats in the section.

Your chances will be increased if you are at a low waitlist position on the primary waitlist and if there are many open spots in both the primary and secondary components that you have selected.

I’m put on the waitlist for one class, but I’m afraid of not getting in. What are the options I have?

You will not get off the waitlist if you have a time conflict. That being said, you may utilize the following options if this you do not have a time conflict:

  • Wait and hopefully get off the waitlist. Look at the previous question for your chances.
  • Switch secondary sections (discussion, etc) into one that has the most open space, which will give you the highest chance to enroll. You can do this by dropping from the waitlist and re-adding with the newly selected secondary section. However, you would lose your previous waitlist position number.
  • Utilize CalCentral’s “swap” function. You can enroll in two classes, specify the class you want to get in the most, and once you get into the class, you will be dropped from your backup class.

What does “validate” mean on my Shopping Cart?

This validate button checks to see whether there are any time conflicts in your schedule. If there are, you may not enroll.

Where can I find out if I qualify for a class? Where are the “restrictions”?

There are many potential restrictions on the class, and you can view reserve capacity requirements, special consent, and drop consent on Schedule Planner or Schedule of Classes, as shown here.

As an undergraduate, can I take graduate level classes?

You cannot enroll without instructor approval. Email your instructor for information about their policies.

Does Cal check prerequisites?

Currently no. The system checks prerequisites for a few items, such as the English Language Writing Requirements. There will eventually be more prerequisites in the system, please keep updated for that.

What are “reserve capacity requirements”?

Some classes reserve available seats for students of a specific college, major, or year. If you do not meet these requirements, you will be unable to enroll in the class. However, you may still add yourself to the waitlist if there are still available seats. After a certain date (determined for each class), the unused seats will be released and made available to all students. You may view these on Schedule Planner by viewing a class’s more information. Enrollment is currently almost completely controlled by these reserve capacity requirements.

What is “special consent”? “Drop consent?”

The term "special consent" is used in Schedule Planner next to the label Consent as in "No Special Consent is Required" - If it read either Instructor Consent or Department Consent is required, students would need to get permission to enroll from the instructor or department and should contact them accordingly.

Drop Consent requires students to obtain consent in order to drop the class.

Why are my enrollment appointments so much later than last semester?

Students will now enroll based on how many terms or semesters they completed at UC Berkeley rather than be based on how many units they’ve completed. New transfer students will enter with four terms completed.

I’m on the waitlist and the instructor gave me a class permission code. Where do I use the code to get into the class?

First, embark on the enrollment process, and select the class you would like to enroll in. Under “wait list” on the following page, there is a field called “Permission Nbr”. This is where you should use the code to enroll in the class.

Final Exams

What does my final exam schedule look like?

Unfortunately, official final exam schedules will not be released until after the start of the term. However, you are welcome to check out the Final Exam Schedule released by the Office of the Registrar, which states which class should have which final exam slot in accordance with the class’ start time. As a result, if you do not have any time conflicts with your current schedule, you will likely not have any final exam conflicts as well (But there are some cases in which you may have a final exam conflict, for example if you take Monday-only and a Wednesday-only class meeting at the same time, the two classes may be assigned the same exam time).

Some classes may or may not use this final exam slot, as some classes may choose to not hold a final exam, place their exam on the last day of instruction, or move their exam to the week before final exams. Please consult the class syllabus on the first day of class, as instructors are required to release their final exam plan by then.

Please note that functionality is being developed to show both unofficial and official final exam schedules so that you know what to expect!

What happens if I have a final exam time conflict when the schedule is released?

You are welcome to discuss these issues with your instructor, but please keep in mind that instructors are not obligated to reschedule your final exam if you are not able to take it at the scheduled time. Please hold off on scheduling all flights until the official release date, or consult the Final Exam Schedule for final exam certainty.


How do I add myself to the graduation list?

Undergraduate students will be added automatically to the graduation list after 8 terms in attendance and having met a unit count threshold relative to the number of majors they are in. Once on the graduation list, students will be processed to determine if they meet all of the University’s requirements for graduation. During the Fall 2016 semester, students will be able to see a new Graduation Term entry on their My Academics page, as well as a Graduation Status indicator for students in their graduating term.

How do I take myself off the graduation list?

Students who are determined to be eligible for graduation will be presented with a message at the start of Phase 2 of enrollment to inform them that they have been placed on the degree list. Students in some colleges will be given the option to opt out by selecting a response in the message. Students who are not given the option to opt out must visit their College Adviser who will review their request and opt them out if approved.

Cancellations and Withdrawals

How do I cancel all my enrollments and not get charged?

Students may drop to zero units or not enroll in any units. These students will not be assessed any fees for the term. At a certain point in the term, all students with zero enrollments will be administratively cancelled.

How do I cancel all my classes (withdraw) after the start of the term?

Cancelling all classes after the start of the semester is processed as a withdrawal by the University and can have a number of important impacts. Please refer to the comprehensive withdrawal guide (link is external) on Cal Student Central’s website.

More Questions?

Where can I go to if I have read this guide and still have problems enrolling?

Please open a case at Cal Student Central at https://saservices.berkeley.edu/CSC/student-case.html