Academic Affairs
March, 2006 – Revised November 2021
To establish a policy and process for managing course enrollment, including setting of enrollment limits, monitoring enrollment to add or cancel courses, establishment of waitlists, handling of students on the waitlists, and notification of students.

Departments have the responsibility for determining which courses need to be offered each semester based on degree requirements, student demand, faculty resources, space availability, etc. Courses need to be offered with sufficient frequency and availability to ensure that students have the ability to complete their program of study in a timely manner and with the goal of each student achieving satisfactory progress toward their degree and graduating within four years.

This policy is designed to provide a consistent approach to the way that class sizes and waitlists are set among the colleges, resulting in a better student experience.

This policy eliminates variations across colleges in the way that class sizes and waitlists are set, ensures that students are notified when they are placed in a class, and keeps students from assuming they are enrolled in classes when in fact they are not.

To ensure that students are able to schedule classes necessary for completion of their program of study, departments and colleges are expected to work with Academic Affairs to manage course enrollment proactively. This process involves the initial determination of courses offerings and availability, monitoring course enrollment and waitlists, adding or deleting offerings as demand changes, and contacting students as changes are made that impact their schedules. The following sections detail procedures to be followed.


Course Schedules and Availability. On the date requested by the college dean, Departments submit a proposed schedule of classes to the college dean for review. The dean checks the schedule and resolves any issues with the department. The dean then submits the proposed schedule within deadlines set by the Offices of the Provost and Registrar.

The department chair and dean must ensure that courses have a sufficient number of sections and number of seats in the sections to meet student demand. These decisions need to be made using historical data, and projections for growth.

Initial Waitlists. Where appropriate, students shall have the ability to sign up for a waitlist if the desired section is full. The number of seats available on the waitlist shall be at least the same number of seats as the initial class limit. This waitlist size is necessary so that department chairs can monitor student demand and consider the addition of sections. Colleges with the concurrence of the Office of the Provost can limit or eliminate waitlists depending on their academic and scheduling needs.

Enrollment Reports and Management of Waitlists. The Office of the Registrar sends weekly enrollment reports to the Provost, Deans, and Department Chairs from the time registration opens until the beginning of classes. These reports show the number of students enrolled and the number on the waitlist for each class. The Office of the Provost will assist with managing enrollment by continuously checking enrollment and waitlists. In cases where small class sizes are noted, or where there exists potential for the addition of sections, the Provost Office will work with departments and colleges to adjust offerings.

If the waitlist for a course reaches sufficient size to warrant an additional section, it is the chair’s responsibility to add additional sections in consultation with the dean. In cases where it is difficult to add a section, every effort should be made to accommodate additional students in existing sections, or consider approving an alternate course for the student. The Provost Office will provide assistance in such decisions.

During each registration period, the Office of the Registrar monitors the waitlist and moves students from the waitlist into open slots as space becomes available. The Office of the Registrar notifies the student anytime their enrollment status changes, particularly if they are moved from the waitlist into the course, or if they are dropped from a course for any reason.

The Colleges will work throughout the enrollment period to provide slots for students in the classes the students need so that all students have a class schedule that meets their needs. The waitlist will remain active until the 6th day of the semester. At that time, final class rolls will be established and the waitlist will terminate. The Office of the Registrar will produce a list of students on the final waitlist at the time of termination for informational and planning purposes to be distributed to the deans of the colleges and to the Provost Office.

Academic Affairs and Final Reporting. After the "freeze date" for enrollment, the Office of Institutional Research, Effectiveness, and Assessment will produce a final enrollment report showing courses taught, course enrollment, the number of students left on the waitlist, and other enrollment data. These reports will be distributed to departments and colleges for discussion and for use in future scheduling decisions.

Academic Affairs will review the policy every five years or sooner as needed.

Policy and Process for Managing Course Enrollment