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Course Search & Enroll - Wait Lists
An overview and step-by-step guide to adding yourself to course wait list.
Many sections are set up to have a wait list when they become full. These sections are marked with an orange triangle in the section detail.
If you really want to take that class, add yourself to the wait list. If a seat becomes available (when someone drops the class or if the department adds seats), you may be able to enroll from the wait list.
On the wait list for a class you no longer wish to take? Remove the class from your wait list. This helps other students on the wait list get into the class faster.
How many wait lists can you be on?
- Undergraduate students can be on up to 18 credits of wait listed classes in the Fall and Spring terms, and up to 12 credits of wait listed classes in Summer term. Enrolled credits do not count against the maximum number of wait listed credits.
- Graduate students (not yet in dissertator status) can be on up to 15 credits of wait listed classes in the Fall and Spring terms, and up to 12 credits of wait listed classes in Summer term. Enrolled credits do not count against the maximum number of wait listed credits.
- Other types of students also follow the maximum number of enrolled credits allowed for their program.
For more information about wait lists, see Course Search & Enroll - Wait List FAQ.
- Search for the class.
- Open the section details for the wait listed section.
- Select "Wait list me if course is full when I enroll."
- Add section to cart.
- In the cart, select the class and enroll.
- If the class is still full, you will be added to its wait list. If a seat is open at the moment you enrolled, you will be officially enrolled in the class.
- Review your Wait list in the My Courses tab to confirm that you have successfully joined the wait list for the correct section.
Search and view only open and/or wait listed sections
- Filter your search by adjusting seats options in the main search panel.
- Change which sections appear by changing "Section filters" in the sections panel.
Seats and the sections panel of a class
After you have searched for the class in the Search tab and found a course, open the sections panel by clicking the "See Sections" button.
Sections will display one of the following symbols to alert you of the section's status:
- check_circle Open: section has available seats.
- warning Wait list: section is full, but has available wait list seats.
- report Closed: section is full.
Open the section to view more detailed information about class availability, such as class capacity, wait list capacity, and number of available seats.
"Wait list me if course is full when I enroll"
Select the "Wait list me if course is full when I enroll" radio button before adding the section to your cart.
Note: You can use the "Wait list me if course is full when I enroll" option for sections with open seats, too.
If that open section has only a few seats remaining, and it is a busy enrollment time, you will be added to that section's wait list (if it has one) if the course is full by the time you actually enroll.
Enroll to wait list
The enrollment system will confirm that you are eligible for this class. Resolve any validation messages or errors, select the class and enroll. For full instructions, see Course Search & Enroll - Add & Enroll in Classes.
Note: Although you have followed the enrollment process, you are not yet enrolled in the class - only added to a wait list.
Read below for how to enroll in your wait listed class.
Your list of wait lists
Confirm that this class is now showing in the "Wait list" list in the My Courses tab.
When a seat opens for you, the department offering the class will send an email to your wisc.edu account inviting you to enroll.
The department has set up a temporary special permission that will allow you to enroll in the class until the deadline given in the email.
Before the deadline time noted in the email (usually two full days after your notification email was sent), go to your assignment Wait list in the My Courses tab, select the course and enroll.
Review your Enrolled list on the “My Courses” tab to confirm that you have successfully enrolled in the correct section.
Permissions are usually student-specific and the enrollment system will recognize you are allowed to enroll from the wait list. However, in some cases, the enrollment system will require a permission number to enroll from the wait list. If the department provides you with a permission number, you will need to enroll from your cart, not the wait list list, after entering the number under "Do you have a permission number?"