The purpose of waitlisting is to allow students to get in a queue for available seats once a class becomes full. It is also intended to help the faculty and administration determine when extra class sections should be added based on demand.
This page includes frequently asked questions (FAQs) and an instructional video which outlines the waitlisting steps. We hope this information makes your transition into waitlisting a smooth process.
(Click a question below to view the answer.)
What is a Registration Waitlist?
A registration waitlist is an electronic list of students who are waiting to register for a
filled course. Students may sign up for this when they attempt to register for a section that has
reached its capacity. The first student on the Registration Waitlist is notified via email when a space becomes available. This student then has a defined perior of time, (24 or 12 hours depending on registration phase), to register for the section. If the student does not register for the section within the specified timeframe, they will be dropped from the registration waitlist for that section and the next student on the list will be notified.
What does the department or the instructor need to do about the Registration Waitlist?
Departments and instructors don’t need
to do anything with the registration waitlist. It
is handled electronically.
Departments may choose to manage their waitlists. If they do want this ability:
- the waitlist managers are required to attend training provied by the Registrar's Office
- they must publish their policy for managing waitlists on their departmental website so faculty and students may review them at any time. The Registrar's Office also publishes a list of links to departmental waitlisting policies so students can find the various departmental waitlisting policies in one location.
May students sign up for the waitlist for a course for which they do not meet the pre-requisite,
section restrictions, etc?
No, students must meet the pre-requisite for a course before they sign up for the waitlist.
They must also meet all course restrictions attached to the section before being able to add themselves to a waitlist.
How does a student get on a Registration Waitlist for a section?
A student may get on an registration waitlist at the time they attempt to register for a
section that is full. When a student receives a Registration Add Error stating ‘Closed – Waitlist Available,’ they may select ‘WAITLIST REQUEST’ from the dropdown menu under Action.
How does the instructor or department know who is on a Registration Waitlist for their
a) Instructors may see a list of the students waitlisted for their courses by going to Web4U under the Faculty Services menu, and selecting the Summary Wait List page. Select term and CRN. If there are students on the waitlist a list of those students will be displayed. Return to the Faculty Services page to select a different term or CRN to display another list.
b) Within Banner, through job submission the class list SWRSLST, has an option to include students on the waitlist. Choose Y (yes) or N (no) to include or exclude the waitlisted students on the class list. The waitlisted students will be listed together for each CRN at the bottom of the report in alphabetical order with a status code of ‘WL’ for waitlisted.
c) Within Banner, through job submission the Waitlisted Students Report SWRWLST, has options to report on waitlisted students. Criteria allows reporting by College, Department, Subject, Course or CRN.
d) In Web4u on the Faculty Registration Permits/Overrides page, faculty may see a student's schedule, including courses for which they are waitlisted.
Where can I see how many students are waitlisted for courses?
a)Within Banner, through job submission, the Enrollment Status Report, SWRENRL, includes a count of how many students are waitlisted for each CRN. The report includes options to print courses with waitlist registration or those that are waitlist eligible. A download is also created.
b) Within Banner, through job submission the Waitlisted Students Report SWRWLST, has options to report on waitlisted students. Criteria allows reporting by College, Department, Subject, Course or CRN.
When a seat is available, is the next student on the list automatically registered for the class?
Students are not automatically registered for a class. They are notified via their WWU email account
that a seat is available. Students are given a window from the time of notification to register for the class.
May a student sign up for more than one Registration Waitlist?
Students may register for more than one Registration Waitlist. There is no limit.
However, we strongly urge all students to remove themselves from all registration waitlists
once their registration has been finalized so that others may have an opportunity to register for available courses in a timely manner.
If a student registers for one section of a class and he/she is on the Registration Waitlist for
other sections, will he/she be automatically dropped from the Registration Waitlist of the
No, students must drop themselves to be removed from any registration waitlist.
The student received an email informing him/her that a space was available in a section and he/she
could register. However, the student did not read it in time to register before the deadline. Now what?
Students are responsible for routinely check their WWU email. Students who miss the deadline must re-add themselves to the waitlist if they still wish to register for the course.
May students still be on a Registration Waitlist if they have failed the in-progress
prerequisite the prior term?
Once a student has signed up on a registration waitlist, they are not dropped from it
unless they drop themselves. However, if they are notified that a seat is available in a section for
which they have failed their in-progress prerequisite, they will receive a Prerequisite Not Met
registration error and will not be able to register for the section.
Will students be able to register for one component of a multi-component course and be on the
Waitlist for other components?
No, students must register for all components (lecture and lab and/or discussion) of multi-component
courses. They may sign up on the waitlist for a preferred section of a lab/discussion and
‘exchange’ it (drop the one they are registered in and add the one they want at the same time) if a
space becomes available but they must register for all components initially.
Will students be able to waitlist for a section that causes a time conflict on their schedule?
Yes, students will be able to sign up for a waitlist that will cause a time conflict if they have the
opportunity to register for the section. They will not be able to register for this section without
resolving the time conflict. This gives students flexibility in creating a schedule.
May a student sign up on a waitlist for a single section multiple times to increase their chances of
getting in the class?
No, students may only be signed up one time per section. If they are dropped from that waitlist or drop themselves from the waitlist, they may sign up again.
May a student sign up for a waitlist if they have a registration hold?
No, a registration hold will prevent the student from both registering for a class, as well as signing up
for a waitlist. If a registration hold is put on a student after they have signed up on a waitlist, they will
still receive a notification when a space becomes available but they will not be able to register for the
Within Banner, the Student Registration Permit Override form, SFASRPO, has a new column in the Student Schedule area. What does it mean?
The new column in SFASRPO, Waitlisted, will indicate how many students are on the waitlist. Use the scroll bar to scroll to the right to see the student’s registration status. A status of WL indicates the student is Waitlisted in the class. To see a description of all registration status codes click on the drop down arrow under Registration Status.