Wait Lists


For most undergraduate courses, you will have the option of placing yourself on a waitlist when a course section has no available seats.  There are certain exceptions, like the Faculty of Education courses do not have a waitlist option, nor do laboratory (i.e., lab) sections, IDS and CRS practicum courses, or directed reading courses. Generally, if there is no waitlist button the course does not have a waitlist option.

In order to maximize the benefit of the wait list system for everyone, students should not request to be on a waitlist unless they truly want that course for their degree program.  Students are able to remove themselves from a waitlisted course at any time in WebAdvisor/Student Planning.

Note: Check your University Webmail and Manage My Waitlist on a daily basis.  You have 3 days (or 72 hours) to claim your reserved seat in the waitlisted course section. You don't want to miss out!

If you place your name on the waitlist, it is your responsibility to monitor your rank or placement. This is done in Manage My Waitlist (please see the Manage My Waitlist section below).

How to Waitlist a Course Section

Starting from the Course Catalog in the Student Planning tab, once a course section reaches its maximum seating capacity, the column on the left will change from Seats to Waitlisted.

 Screen shot showing Waitlisted column

The above course has reached its maximum seating capacity and a waitlist has started (although no one is on the waitlist at this time).

Click Add Section to Schedule to display the Section Details screen. This will also show the seats available as well as the waitlisted status. Click the Add Section to Schedule button again to continue. At the top right part of the screen you will see that it has been placed on your schedule.

Click Plan & Schedule and move the left or right arrow to go to the term where your course section is planned. Click the Waitlist button.  Please see below.

Screen shot showing Waitlist button

You are now on the course waitlist.  The Waitlist button changes to a Drop Waitlist button.

Screen shot showing change to Drop Waitlist button

Manage My Waitlist

To see where you are (i.e., your rank or position) on the waitlist, you must go Manage My Waitlist.  In the Manage My Waitlist screen - see below - you can drop as well as register your waitlisted course sections. You can access this screen by logging in to WebAdvisor and selecting the Manage My Waitlist link under the Registration heading.

Note: If the waitlisted course requires a laboratory component (i.e., a lab section) – for example, PSYC-2101-001 requires PSYC-2101L-071 – you will need to use Plan & Schedule in order to register them together.  For more information on this please refer to the section How to Register a Course Section off the Waitlist – WITH A LAB.

The Manage My Waitlist screen can be helpful by showing what you are waitlisted in, your waitlisted status, the term in which you are waitlisted in, and most importantly, what position you are in on the section’s waitlist.

Screen shot showing Manage My Waitlist screen

If your Rank/Waitlist is, for example, 10/10 but the Waitlist Status is Permission to Register, it is okay to register.

The following explains what each column means in Manage My Waitlist:

a.             Remove - removes you from the waitlist (does not try to register you in the section),
b.             Register - attempts to register you into the section.

Waitlist Status:
a.             Active - means you are on the waitlist,
b.             Permission to Register - means that a seat has become available and you have permission to claim that spot any time before the expiry day/time.
c.             Expired - means you have missed your opportunity to claim your seat in the waitlisted course section.

Expire Date: if you have been given permission to register, this is the date by which you must claim your seat. After the expiry date, you can either place your name back on the waitlist for the same course section or select another course (please see the WebAdvisor & Student Planning Guide).

Term - identifies the term for which the course is waitlisted (e.g., Fall Term 2016).

Section Name and Title - this will show you the course number and course title.  Click on the course section and title and more information will display in the Section Information screen.

Location - this should normally be UW Campus. Anything other than UW Campus is quite possibly an off-campus course.

Meeting Information - this shows you the class start and end dates, the days and times of the lectures as well as the room number.

Faculty - this column shows you the name of the instructor.

Credits - this column shows you the course section's credit value (3 or 6).

CEUs - this column is not used.

Rank/Waitlist - this column will show your placement on the waitlist in relation to the total number of student on the waitlist. For example, 10/15 means you are the tenth person on the wait list and 1/15 means you are first on the waitlist.

Note: If you have a Hold on your student record (for example, an outstanding library book, a library fine, or unpaid tuition fees), you will not be able to register or place your name on the waitlist.

When a Seat Becomes Available

How to Register in a Course Section off the Waitlist - NO LAB

Note: You can only register when a seat becomes available and you have received an email notification allowing you to register.

WebAdvisor/Student Planning provides you with TWO options to register a course section off the waitlist.  The FIRST OPTION is to log into WebAdvisor, select Student Planning/Registration, choose Student Planning and wait for your program data to load, and then click on Plan & Schedule. Click the arrow to the left or the right to find the term where the waitlisted course is planned.  If necessary, you may need to scroll to find the waitlisted course on this screen.

Screen shot showing how to put yourself on Waitlisted course

Once you have found the waitlisted course section, click the Register button.  Read and Accept the University’s legal statement.  Once it has completed processing you will see the box has changed to green and a checkmark is beside “Registered.”

Screen shot step #2 click register button to join Wait list

The SECOND OPTION to register off the waitlist is to use Manage My Waitlist. You can access this through WebAdvisor and select the Manage My Waitlist link under the Registration heading. You will see the waitlist status has changed from Active to Permission to Register.  To register you must select Register in the Action column.  Click “Submit” to be registered in the waitlisted course section.  After submitting your request, you will get a Registration Results screen. This shows whether your registration was successful or not.

 Screen shot alternative way to waitlist using Manage my Waitlist

Screen shot showing confirmation in Manage my Waitlist

How to Register in a Course Section off the Waitlist – WITH A LAB

If the waitlisted course section requires a lab section, you cannot register both the lecture and the lab together in Manage My Waitlist. You must use the Plan & Schedule tab in Student Planning.

Make sure you have the lab section already planned on your timetable before you try to register.

When a seat becomes available, you will receive an email notification in your Webmail account identifying the course section and term that you can register. You have three days (72 hours) in which to register for both the lecture and the lab together.  In Plan & Schedule both the course section and the lab section will have a Register button.  Click the Register Now button to register the course section and register the lab section at the same time.

Screen shot for joining a Wait list for a course with a lab

They must be registered together because the lab section is considered a co-requisite to the lecture section.  Upon being successfully registered in both the lecture and the lab you will see the waitlisted course section and the lab section boxes have changed to green and a checkmark is beside “Registered”.

Lab sections are a co-requisite to lecture sections but there are several other courses, too, that can be a co-requisite to a course section. For example, Introduction to Calculus (MATH-1101/6) is a co-requisite to Foundations of Physics (PHYS-1101/6). Both these courses require a lab section and must be planned on your schedule in order to register successfully off the waitlist.

Note: Student Planning / Registration will let you know that the last seat in a course section has been taken – please see in the following screenshot.

Screen shot indicates last seat in course section taken


After Classes Have Started

After classes have started, if you are still on a waitlist for your preferred course section, you should attend class. Keep up with the reading and note-taking and let the instructor know you are on the waitlist and wish to be registered in his/her class

If a space becomes available during the Course Add/Drop Period you will need written authorization on a Permission Form from the instructor to officially register.  Take your Permission Form to Student Central, 1st floor, Rice Centre (489 Portage Avenue), before the end of the Course Add/Drop Period.

Note: Each Permission Form is signed and dated by the course instructor. The Permission Form will expire after three business days. Take your form to Student Central within those three business days to get officially registered.

Once registered you are expected to pay for the class no later than the end of the Course Add/Drop Period. Otherwise, a late payment fee penalty may be assessed on your student account.