If a class you want is full during registration, don’t give up. You may be able to get in line for the next open seat by joining the waitlist.

CU Boulder has two types of class waitlists. Automatic waitlists are first-come, first-served, enrolling the person who’s been on the waitlist the longest if a seat becomes available. Resequenced waitlists give priority based on the student’s class standing and major.

When you’re on a waitlist, take these five actions to be prepared for any outcome.

  1. Resolve registration holds.
    Log in to Buff Portal and check your holds and to-dos card to see if you have a registration hold. Each hold has instructions on how to resolve it and who to contact with questions. Resolve holds immediately to ensure you will be enrollment-eligible if a spot opens up in your waitlisted class.
  2. Register for backup classes.
    Review the semester plan you put together with your advisor. Enroll in open classes that would still keep you on track to meet your goals if your first-choice classes don’t become available.
  3. Set up “drop if enrolled.”
    After registering for your backup class, join the waitlist for your preferred class and follow the instructions to set up “drop if enrolled.” By setting this up, the registration system will automatically drop your backup class if you’re enrolled into a class from the waitlist. This will prevent time conflicts and will keep you within the allowed number of enrolled credits for your program.
  4. Attend your waitlisted class.
    If you’re still on the waitlist when the semester starts, attend the first class and talk to the instructor about the situation. They may be able to tell you how likely it is that you will be able to join the class off the waitlist and whether you should attend future class meetings.
  5. Reserve the course in a future semester.
    If you’re still on the waitlist after the third Friday of the semester, you’ll be removed from the class roster. However, you may be eligible to use course reservation to ensure you get a spot the next time the course is offered.

View more information on how to join a waitlist and check your position on the Office of the Registrar’s website.