Waitlist & Registration FAQs

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 upper-level 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 GRSJ & CSIS Program Advisor (kim.snowden at ubc.ca) or the Program Assistant (grsj.programsassistant at ubc.ca) to find out your spot on the waitlist. 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 but we recommend asking the instructor first because sometimes classrooms are limited in size and space. 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 am waitlisted for a required upper-level 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 upper-level courses.

Q: I’m graduating this year and I’m waitlisted for a required course. I’m a GRSJ major or GRSJ/CSIS 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: 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: 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: 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: Why do I get a warning when I try to register even though I have the prerequisites?

A: The SSC doesn’t recognize year standing, transfer credits, or equivalent courses as prerequisites – you can still successfully add these courses. 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 don’t have the relevant prerequisites for a course.  Can I still register? 

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 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.

Q: The course is full but I am on the waitlist and classes are starting.  Should I attend class?

A: Ask the instructor if this is an option. Sometimes classrooms are limited in size and can’t accommodate extra students.

 Q: I’m interested in taking a GRSJ / CSIS Directed Studies course, but my registration is blocked. What do I do next?

A: Directed Studies courses are restricted to GRSJ/CSIS majors and minors.

A Directed Studies course allow GRSJ/CSIS students to study in-depth a topic/area they are interested in. They must do so under the supervision of a GRSJ faculty member. A total of 6 credits of Directed Studies courses may be counted towards your degree. Students must complete the following steps before being registered into a directed studies course:

  1. 1.Choose a topic or area of interest.
  2. Identify a faculty member  you would be interested in working with and inquire if they are able to supervise the course. Sessional Instructors are not able to supervise these courses.
  3. 3.Work with your supervising faculty member to design a detailed course description, forms of assessment, and a draft reading list.
  4. Once you have the approval of the supervising faculty member on these documents, please submit a Directed Studies form and other relevant documents online. Information can be found here.
  5. If your course plan is approved by the GRSJ Undergraduate Chair you will be registered in the course by the department

Q: I have a number of transfer credits related to GRSJ/CSIS, how do I know if they have been applied to my major/minor or if they will be applied?

 A: If you have declared your major/minor you can look at your Degree Navigator to see where and how your credits have been applied.

If you haven’t declared your major/minor yet, you can contact the Undergraduate Advisor to find out which credits will be applied to your program.

Q: My credits transferred as GRSJ 1ST, 2ND, 3RD etc. instead of specific courses – do they still count?

A: Yes, they still count. Usually, these will automatically add to your Degree Navigator.  If they don’t contact the Undergraduate Advisor and we will move them manually to your major/minor

Q: My GRSJ/CSIS related credits transferred as a general Arts credits or were applied to a different program. I think they should be GRSJ/CSIS – can I count them?

 A: Most of the time, yes. We can assess the course and make the necessary changes. Contact the Undergraduate Advisor

Q: I took a course in another discipline but I think it should count as a GRSJ/CSIS course. Can I count it?

 A: The Undergraduate Advisor can assess the courses and determine if they can count. Depending on the course, a syllabus or detailed description may be required.

Q: I am transferring from an institution that only required/offered 3 credits of 100-level GRSJ courses and I am now missing a first-year prerequisite course.  What are my options and can I progress in my program?

 A: Yes, you can still progress with upper-level courses without completing your 100-level requirements.

For students transferring with 3rd-year standing and all other lower-level courses complete, we can approve an upper-level course equivalent to replace the remaining 100-level course or use additional 200-level transfer credits to complete the requirement.

Contact the Undergraduate Advisor to discuss options and recommendations.

Q: I took many 100- and 200-level courses at another institution. How many can I count?

A: You can count 12 credits (4 courses) towards your major/minor in GRSJ or CSIS. Extra courses will count towards your general electives in your degree

Q: Can I count 200-level transfer credits towards my upper-level courses?

A: We do not usually accept lower-level courses for upper-level requirements. However, this can be assessed on a case-by-case basis with the Undergraduate Advisor and will require a syllabus for the course in question.

Q: Do my GRSJ transfer credits count as prerequisites?

A: Yes. However, the SSC may not recognize transfer credits or equivalent courses as prerequisites –  but you can still successfully add these courses. 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.