Waitlists:  What, When, How?
Waitlists have changed. Here is what you need to know:


Why can’t I get on the waitlist for this class?

Class waitlists are limited. When a waitlist is full, the class will show as closed.

I can’t get on the waitlist, what are my options?

Continue to check the waitlist for availability or add a different section or course.

If a class is open, it will have a green circle under "Status" as shown below:

If a class is has a waitlist that is not full, it will have a yellow triangle under "Status" as shown below:

If a class has a full waitlist, it will have a blue square under "Status" as shown below:

What is a waitlist?

A waitlist is an online list for a specific section of a specific class.  If someone drops the class, the waitlist gives priority to the students on the waitlist before opening the class up to the rest of the student body.

Why would you add yourself to a waitlist?

You would add yourself to a waitlist in two situations:

  1. The specific section/time of the class you want to take is already full.
  2. A waitlist already exists for the specific section/time that you want to take, even though the class is not full at the moment.

You're #1 on the waitlist.  Why didn't it add you to the class?

There are three reasons why the waitlist system will skip you and add someone lower on the list instead.
  1. The class overlaps with another class already on your schedule.
  2. Adding this class to your schedule will put you over the number of units you are allowed to take.
  3. You are already registered for the same course at a different time or with a different professor.
As long as one of those three things is true about your schedule, the waitlist system will never add you to the class.

If you need to drop a class so that none of these three things are true about your schedule, but you don't want to drop it unless you get in to the waitlisted class, use the swap tool to add yourself to the waitlist.  This will tell the system to drop the first class if it can get you into the second class off of the waitlist.

**If you need the system to drop a class once it gets you into another class off of a waitlist, you MUST use the swap tool to add yourself to the waitlist.  You cannot add yourself to the waitlist and then go back and swap the classes.**

Here's how the waitlist works:

  1. The class is full, so when you try to add it, you check the box to be added to the waitlist.
  2. The system adds you to the waitlist.
  3. An hour later, someone drops the class, which opens up a spot.
  4. The system keeps the class "closed" so that anyone wanting to add it has to get on the waitlist.
  5. Around midnight, the system works down the waitlist, checking to see if anyone is eligible to add the class.  (See below for more info on eligibility.)
  6. Once it finds an eligible student, the system adds that person to the class.  Every student that was checked and skipped will receive an email telling them why it didn't work for them.  (The email might go to your junk folder, so keep an eye out for it.)
  7. If no one on the waitlist is eligible to be added to the class, the system opens up the class to the rest of the student body.
  8. If no one else adds the class and takes that open spot, then the system runs through the waitlist again at about midnight the next night to see if anyone has made the necessary changes so that they can be added to the class.

One last thing:  Let's talk about classes with labs or discussions.

If the class you need has an attached lab or discussion, the waitlist system gets a little tricky.  Try to avoid waitlists for these classes whenever possible.

If you must use the waitlist, keep in mind that you cannot waitlist yourself for only a lecture or a lab.  You must be waitlisted for both the lecture and the lab.

You can also check out our tips for successfully registering for classes with labs or discussions.

To add yourself to the waitlist for a class:

Step 1: Go to your One Stop tab at home.apu.edu.
Step 2: Click on "Add a Class" under the My Class Schedule box.
Step 3: Add the class to your shopping cart by entering the 5-digit class number or finding the class using the search option.
Step 4: On the Enrollment Preferences page, check the box marked "Wait List if Class Is Full".
Step 5: Click on "Proceed to Step 2 of 3".
Step 6: Check "Agree" if you agree to the listed terms for registration.
Step 7: Click on "Finish Enrolling".
Step 8: You will see a green checkmark if the class was added to your schedule OR if you were not registered for the class, but you were added to the waitlist. Read the message next to the checkmark to find out if you are in the class or on the waitlist.

You will receive an email notification from the system in each of two cases:

  1. The system tried to add you to the class off of the waitlist but failed for one of the above reasons.
  2. The system successfully added you to the class off of the waitlist.

Keep in mind that adding yourself to the waitlist for a class means that you are telling the system that you definitely want to take the class.  The system WILL enroll you if it is able to do so.  However, adding yourself to the waitlist does not guarantee that you will get into the class.