Enrolling in Full History Courses

Streets of Rome. Photo Contributed by Andra Eisen.

Even though the majority of history students are able to successfully enroll in their top choice history classes, it does not happen 100% of the time. At times, enrolling in popular history courses can be somewhat competitive. If you are unable to enroll in a class because it is already full, consider having a backup plan or be prepared to work for the classes you want. Here are a few steps you can take to secure a spot in an otherwise full class.

1) Monitor the course to see if enrollment space becomes available at a later date. Students are sometimes dropped from courses for unpaid fees or drop themselves because they have simply changed their minds.

2) Sign up on the course wait list. On the first day of your wait list appointment period, you may add up to 10 wait list credits (two 5 credit lecture courses). Note: Students cannot add themselves to a wait list if they have not met the course prerequisites and/or enrollment restrictions. If space becomes available in a previously full course, the enrollment system will attempt to “auto-enroll" students from the wait list. Students are notified by email if they are successful enrolled from the wait list.

3) Students on the wait list who have not been auto-enrolled by the first day of instruction are encouraged to attend the first class meeting. This is a practice commonly referred to as “crashing a course”. Students who fail to show up on the first day of instruction are dropped from the course to make space for those students who are crashing. Permission numbers are required for all classes after the seventh day of instruction but may be required earlier. If necessary, the instructor will issue class permission numbers. If the course requires enrollment in a secondary discussion section, your section assignment will be determined by the course instructor.

Wait Lists: The Basics

A wait list is a simple way to express your desire to enroll in a closed course. During the second pass of the two-pass enrollment appointment schedule, students may enroll in up to 10 units of wait list credit if a class is full. You can view your quarterly wait list appointment by clicking on "details" under "Enrollment Dates" in your MyUCSC Student Center.

For a detailed description of the MyUCSC Wait Lists, visit the Office of the Registrar's Wait List FAQs page here.

Important Wait List Information

Avoid wait list limbo: Students who wait list courses and/or course sections that conflict with their existing schedules, or students who attempt to enroll in more units than allowed, will be skipped by the auto-enrollment process. The system will move on and attempt to enroll the next person on the wait list. If you are enrolled on a wait list and you are passed over for enrollment, you will be notified by email. If you receive a message that you have been passed over for enrollment in a course, you MUST fix your wait list enrollment preferences if you hope to become enrolled in the course.

Avoid course conflicts: If you are signing up for a wait list and plan to drop one of your courses, it is important to use the "Swap" function instead of "Add." Detailed instructions on swapping from a wait list are available online here. If you are trying to wait list a course that has a scheduling conflict with a course you are currently enrolled in, you will also need to use the "Swap" function. Use the weekly schedule view in your MyUCSC portal to check for course conflicts.

When wait listing a required section:

  • DO NOT simply wait list the first section. Most people do, which does not improve your chances of becoming enrolled.
  • Find an open section to wait list. This will give you the best chance of becoming enrolled.
  • If there are no open sections, start with the last section and work your way up the list until you find a section that works with your schedule.
  • Choose unpopular section times. 8am and 8pm sections tend to have the most availability.
  • After you have wait listed a required section, continue to watch for a section to open. If a section opens, you can change your wait listed section.

If enrollment in section is not required, do not wait list a section. Doing so decreases your chances of becoming enrolled.

Permission Numbers

A class permission number is an assigned number that can override restrictions and/or prerequisites if a class is full. It is specific to a class and can be used only once. It cannot override time conflicts, your maximum allowed credits, or enrollment holds. Permission numbers are required to enroll in all classes beginning the eighth day of instruction. Consult with the instructor of the course you are interested in to obtain a class permission number. Permission numbers are not necessarily issued based on your wait list position number. Course instructors prioritize their wait lists as they deem appropriate.

See Also