How waitlists work

A waitlist typically starts when a class is full, to prioritize enrollment when seats become available.

The waitlist feature allows students to wait in line for classes that are full or have reserved seats. You can add yourself to the waitlist through How to enroll. As seats open up, students on the waitlist will be automatically enrolled, as described below.

How students are enrolled from waitlists

The enrollment system begins at the top of the waitlist and tries to enroll the first student. If you are first on the waitlist and eligible, you will be enrolled. If you are not eligible, the system will skip to the next student. You might not be eligible for a variety of reasons, including:

  • You do not meet reserved seat requirements for that class.
  • Your related section, such as a discussion section, has no open seats.
  • You have a hold preventing registration. See errors.
  • There is a time conflict between the new class and one of your other classes.

The enrollment system checks waitlists 4 times per day through the 3rd week of instruction. After that, waitlists are processed manually.

Important Reminders

Waitlist position

In general, your chances of getting into the class are higher if you are close to #1 on the waitlist. If you see people after you getting enrolled, check your eligibility.

If the class has a related section, such as a discussion section, you will only be enrolled if the discussion section also has an open seat. For example, if you see Discussion 101 has 20 seats and 20 students enrolled, you might want to select Discussion 102 with 20 seats and only 18 students. This would give you the best chance of actually getting enrolled into the class.

Reserved Seats and Prerequisites

It’s important to understand how reserved seats and prerequisites work. Then check on the Berkeley Guide Class Schedule to make sure that you meet the requirements for this specific class. If you do not meet the requirements, you will not be enrolled through the waitlist process.

Related Sections

Related sections, such as discussion sections, can have a significant impact on your eligibility. If the related class is full, you will not be enrolled from the waitlist. Please see switching related sections for details.

Dropping from Waitlist

If you are on the waitlist for a class you do not intend to enroll, it is your responsibility to drop your waitlisted class. If you do not drop it, you may be enrolled from the waitlist, and then you will be responsible for the class.

Multiple Waitlists for One Course

Some courses have multiple classes in one semester, with each lecture having a different professor and running completely independently. If a course has multiple classes, such as COLWRIT R4B, you may waitlist for more than one. For example, you add to the waitlist for LEC 011 and LEC 018. A spot becomes available in LEC 018, so you are enrolled in it. However, once you are enrolled into one of the classes (LEC 018), you will automatically be dropped from the waitlists for the others (LEC 011). 

Please note, this does not apply to discussion or lab sections for a single class. Also, each waitlist will counts towards your unit limit.