Wait list Process


This webpage has been set up to help address questions you might have about the wait list process.  

For additional information, please see the links below:



Fall wait lists enrollments are on.

Like regular enrollment, students will have varying wait list enrollment periods based on students' priority level, determined by the number of the units students have already completed.

Students are processed from the wait list into open seats every half hour from 9:10am to 4:40pm during open business hours.

Wait lists will be dropped on October 6, 2018.  You are encouraged to download your wait list before this time if you will be using it to issue permission codes after this date.  From this date on students will need permission codes to enroll in any course. 


Q: How will I know if my course will have a wait list?

A: Most likely your course will have a wait list unless 1) it is an interview only course or 2) is a special interest course set up for unlimited capacity.

Q: How does the wait list work?

A: After the enrollment period ends, students are given a wait list appointment based on class level. (Note: If a course becomes full before the wait list period begins, students must still wait until their wait list appointment time to add themselves to the wait list).  Once a student enrolls onto a wait list, the student is given a "wait list position number."  The wait list auto enrolls students based on their position on the wait list.

Q: How often does the system check for open seats for courses with wait lists?

The auto-enroll process runs every 30 minutes during business hours.  Students are notified when they become enrolled in the course and when they have been passed over for enrollment.

Q: A student has emailed me stating s/he enrolled on the wait list but did not get into the course when spaces became free.  Can this happen?

A: Yes.  A student is skipped on the wait list if s/he:

1) is already at the max number of credits allowed per quarter (19 credits)

2) did not enroll in a corresponding discussion or lab section

3) is enrolled in another course or section at the same time

Q: Can graduate students enroll on wait lists?

A: Yes, as of Fall 15, graduate students are able to enroll on wait lists.

Q: How do permission codes work during the wait list period?

A: During the wait list period, instructors are only encouraged to give permission codes to students who they feel are qualified to take their course, but do not meet prerequisites.  A permission code that overrides prerequisites will only allow a student to get on a wait list if a course is full.  It does NOT allow a student to jump in front of others on the wait list.  Instructors are DISCOURAGED from using permission codes that override course capacity and therefore, must receive department approval for this.  If you give a student a permission code, you must be clear to the student about what it will do.

Q: On the first day of class, many students who enrolled are not present.  How can those seats become available to students on the wait list?

A: It is critical that you take attendance and administratively drop students from the class roster who are not present on the first day of class.  This will help make seats available for students on the wait list. 

Q: How do I administratively drop (unenroll) a student not present on the first day of class?

A: ADMINISTRATIVE DROP-To remove a student from a class, fax (9-5051), e-mail (registrar@ucsc.edu), or send via campus mail one of the following:

1) List of students to be deleted, including students’ first and last name, student ID number, course (e.g. CMPS 101) and course number (32579); or

2) Annotate "admin delete" on the class roster next to the name of the student(s) who did not attend the first class meeting. Please send as soon as possible after the first class meeting or no later than the first week of instruction.

Q: How long is the wait list period?

A: The wait list period is from the end of the last day of enrollment to the eighth day of instruction.  On the eighth day all wait lists are purged.  Students who want to get into a course after this point must have a permission code to enroll.  The reason for this is because, students who have not attended a course prior to the eighth day fall behind on course content.  Only the instructor can decide if a student will be successful in a course with late enrollment.

Q: I don't want to use the wait list function for my course.  Can I opt not to have a wait list?

A: Wait lists are set up for all eligible courses.  The Wait list Policy was established to reduce student confusion in the enrollment process and deliver a consistent message to students who are not able to get into courses during the enrollment period.  Any practice that veers form the Wait list Policy has the potential to create confusion among students and increase workload for instructors and staff.  Because of these implications, an instructor who wants to stop using the wait list process on the first day of class must receive department approval.   This is called "zeroing out course capacity."  To do this, an instructor must have written department approval and send it with a request to Instructional Support Services at instruct@rt.soe.ucsc.edu before the first day of class.