Waitlist & Registration FAQs

Q: How can I find out why a course is restricted or blocked? 

A: You can find this information on the section notes for each course on the SSC or by browsing the questions below.

Q: How do waitlists work? Will I be automatically enrolled if a seat opens up?

A: Students on the waitlist are enrolled in classes in order of registration when seats become available. For GRSJ required courses, GRSJ majors and minors have priority on the waitlists.  When you are moved into the class, you will receive email confirmation.

Q: How often are classes and waitlists updated?

A: We try to update every l-2 days. During busy times, this may take longer.

Q: I am on the waitlist but see open seats in the class. Should I drop the waitlist and register myself? 

A: No. Usually classes a blocked from registration once they fill up to make sure waitlisted students get those open seats. If you drop the waitlist, you won’t be able to register and will lose your position on the waitlist.  Stay on the waitlist, we update the classes as often as we can.

Q: How do I find out my number on the waitlist?

A:  Instructors don’t have access to the waitlists. You can email the Undergraduate Advisor (Kim Snowden) or Program Assistant (Wynn Archibald) to find out.  However, registration will shift a lot on both the classlists and waitlists before term starts. We recommend waiting until closer to the start of term as we will have a better sense of your placement and whether you might get a seat.

Q: I’m on the waitlist, should I attend class on the first day?

A: UBC recommends that you do, especially if you are near the top of the list. However, sometimes classrooms are limited in size and space and this can make things difficult. Our goal is to have course outlines sent out to waitlisted students during the first week and to let the waitlists know what their options are for attending. You can always email the instructor and ask them as well.

Q: I’m graduating this year and I’m waitlisted for a required course. I’m a GRSJ major/minor, what are my options?

A: If you are concerned about missing a requirement, contact the Undergraduate Advisor right away.  We will help you with options to make sure you graduate on time.

Q: Why are some classes blocked from registration?

A: When classes are full, registration is blocked to accommodate waitlisted students and move them into any open seats. You can still register for the waitlist for blocked sections.

Q: Why am I blocked from registering on a waitlist?

A: Waitlists count towards your overall credit limit for the year – make sure the waitlist doesn’t exceed your credit max.

Q: I am waitlisted for a required course and I’m a GRSJ major/minor – how can I get a seat?

A: Staying on the waitlist is your best bet. GRSJ majors and minors are prioritized for open seats in required courses.

Q: Why is a section/class restricted?

A: Some classes are temporarily restricted to allow majors to register or to make sure that students can get into the appropriate courses for their year standing.  There are no restrictions for waitlists and this is your best option.

Q: I tried to register for a 3rd-year course and was told I don’t meet the prerequisites but I have transfer credits and/or 3rd-year standing. Why do I get a warning and can I register?

A: Yes, you can still register. The SSC doesn’t recognize year standing, transfer credits, or equivalent courses as prerequisites – you can still successfully add these courses.

Q: I want to take an upper-level course but I haven’t completed the prerequisites yet.  Can I still register and is this okay? 

A: While we prefer that students complete the prerequisites of lower-level courses before proceeding to upper-level courses, we recognize that this isn’t always possible.  You can still progress through your major/minor and register in upper-level courses.  If you are concerned about course content and assignments, contact the instructor.

Q: I received a warning when I tried to register in a course. Was my registration successful?

A: Typically, the warning will say “section successfully added” if you were able to register. Otherwise, you can check your timetable or look at your degree navigator to see if you have been added to a course

Q: I really, really, really want to take this course but it’s full – can I be added anyway? Should I email the instructor?

A: We really appreciate your enthusiasm but, unfortunately, faculty and staff can’t add you ahead of waitlisted students.  The waitlist is your best option.