FAQ: Closed Courses, Waitlist
Dr. Seth Ward
Click here for Dr. Ward’s Home Page
Guidance for Wait list registration: http://uwyo.edu/sward/Wait-list.htm#q7
Although some of the responses here apply across the board at the University of Wyoming, others reflect my general policies, which may not be the same as those of other instructors at UW. Moreover, my policies may change from time to time without notice, or university policies may take precedence.
The Registrar’s website is http://www.uwyo.edu/registrar/
Many of my courses are cross-listed (usually HIST and RELI). Sometimes cross listed courses will show open seats in one or both sections even though the course is listed as “closed”; this may well be because those “open” seats” have been filled by registration in the cross-listed section—this means the sum of all the sections has reached the registration limit for the course. However, sometimes students who cannot register for one section of the course can register with the cross-listed section—but if you do so, make sure that they are in fact sections of the same course (for example, for campus courses, make sure they meet in the same room at the same time)! In this case there is no difference in terms of USP or departmental credit.
Sometimes students cannot register for a course because registration is not open yet. The dates for the start of registration may be particularly confusing for the Summer Term. Sometimes registration is not open for an individual student due to issues of standing, PERC, blocked registration for non-receipt of payment or grades, or other concerns.
Some courses have pre-requisites or require Instructor approval. For the most part this does not impact registering for the course. If this is the case, contact the instructor for further directions. Often--but not always—Instructors will waive these requirements for obviously qualified students.
Some courses are closed because they require Instructor approval before the course is opened to a student for registration. In such cases, the Instructor must approve participation, and then a student will receive a notice from the Department indicating that the course is open for him or her, with the CRN needed to register.
Sometimes a student may not be able to register for a class because it is “not available for registration.” Classes are generally available for registration only within certain dates, and registration dates can be particularly confusing for summer online courses. It can take four to six steps for student registrants to get to the screen that displays registration availability information for a specific class section, so many students miss it. In any case, a message such as “Registration is not available at this time” may indicate that the reason you cannot register for the course is because it is not yet open for registration. Follow the clicks for the particular section to find the exact dates during which it is available.
In general, registration in any section of a cross-listed course makes no difference if both listings indicate the same time and room assignment for a classroom course. But be careful! For some courses, for example, RELI 4500, different section numbers usually means a totally different course, or a section meeting at a different time. I often offer the same course both in the classroom and in Online UW, and if you do not pay attention, you can register for the online UW course when you mean to register for the classroom version, or vice versa.
What about taking multiple RELI4500 courses in one term? In some cases, Wyoweb will not let you register for two different courses with the same course number, even if they have different section numbers and are totally different courses. This can happen especially with RELI 4500 “topics” courses. In most cases, you or your advisor will have to speak to our departmental administrator, Clayleen Rivord, to arrange for enrollment; it should not be a problem.
If you are on the waitlist in my course, you will probably get in (in part because I often override the size limitation to offer admission to all waitlisted students).
If you cannot get into the waitlist, advise me of your situation and (for campus courses) attend the first sessions of the course regularly. I will usually be able to override any registration blocks based on seat limits to admit you into the course.
Because of the way cross-listing works, it is possible that there are open seats in a cross-listed section even if the other listing indicates the course is closed. There may well be open spots in the Waitlist. Even if the course is cross-listed in multiple departments, there should be only one Wait list. It may need to be accessed from the cross-listed section—in my courses, usually (but not always) you may need to register for the waitlist from the RELI listing, not from HIST or any cross-listed department. (that is, if you cannot register for the waitlist using the History section CRN, try the Religious Studies CRN). If the course is cross-listed and there is no waitlist in one section, try the other section.
My courses often have four sections, two on-line using the same eCampus course shell, and two on Campus meeting in the same room at the same time. The online and campus versions of the course may be different, and certainly the experience of a campus course and an online course is different. However, there is no difference between two Campus sections taught in the same room at the same time, or between two, cross-listed Online UW sections unless specifically noted.
All cross listed sections, and all courses with the same number, (regardless of section or whether the course is Online or Campus) should fulfill the same University or College requirements (e.g., CH or G). [2015: Note that these requirements are changing at UW].
In my courses, I try to include guidance about the degree to which two formats offered in the same term are similar. Often the Campus and Online versions of a course may be substantially similar in contents, structure and requirements, even if the delivery is different. If so, if there is a Wyocast of the Campus course it may be relevant to the Online sections, and students comparing notes and assignments between the two formats may find them strongly parallel. Nevertheless, the Online and Campus sections may be quite different. For example, in one recent term, the Online UW course shell was copied from a previous year, but the Campus version was reorganized. So, in some cases it may be possible to switch between an Online and a Campus section of the same course if a student’s situation warrants, in other cases this is not possible.
The only difference between a HIST section and a RELI section might have to do with credit towards a degree in History or Religious Studies, or towards a degree in a department which recognizes one of these listings but not the other. This should not happen: Usually a Major or Minor will accept a course towards completion of its requirements regardless of the section in which you are registered. But students should determine whether there are any ramifications for their degree or major requirements that relate to whether, for example, the course is listed as HIST3220 or RELI 3220. If it does, it should be possible to switch registration from RELI to HIST or vice versa—but please attend to this early in the term.
Sometimes it is not obvious how to add your name to the waitlist. Please read this note from the Registrar about how to add your name to the Waitlist:
Most classes will have spaces open by the end of the drop-add period; in some cases there are spaces after the first days of classes, when many students who over-register make their selections.
On campus: If you cannot get onto the waitlist, come to class anyway, and speak to the instructor at the end of the class. In general, at least in my experience, you will be able to get in.
Online UW: if you cannot get into the waitlist, you should email me immediately, and again at the beginning of the term or, even better, a day or two before the beginning of the term.
I registered for a course but cannot attend it. What should I do?
If you have registered for a course but do not attend, take care to arrange for the drop in a timely way. Not only does this help those who are on the waitlist, it can avoid the need for special forms from the Registrar. Registrar’s Office is increasingly less sympathetic to students who do not drop courses they never attended. You may find that the Registrar will not accept a late drop, and you will have to live with the “F” on your transcript, and an irreversible financial charge for tuition.
Even if you think everything is in order, I recommend you check registration just before the end of the open drop-add period, while it is still relatively easy to correct any mistakes.