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Four female students with laptops and papers in class, looking at the front.
July 2, 2019
2 mins read

What to do if a class is full

You refresh the Student Service Centre (SSC) the minute your registration opens, ready to click “Register All” on your worklist. Then your heart stops—“this section is full”.

Before you think your chance is gone, don’t worry. You still have time to look for an open spot or to choose a new course.

Use these student-tested tips to make your schedule the way you’d like it:

Check SSC strategically

You can use this tip during the summer, and definitely once term starts (the first week of term is prime class-switching time).

When Jump Start begins, lots of first-years change their schedules to be with their new friends in the fall. During those couple of weeks, check the SSC to see if a spot in the class you’d like has opened up.

Pro tip: if you want to get into a specific lecture, check the SSC during and right after that class ends. Many students go to the first day or week of lecture, don’t like it, and drop it on their way out the door. That will be your time to grab their spot.

Shop around until the drop date

Don’t feel stuck in the schedule you made back in June—be open-minded and flexible.

I wasn’t very happy with one of my courses in second year, and my friend texted me that I had to sit in on her Canadian Lit class right now. I snuck in, loved the reading list and professor, and made the switch in the same hour. Now, it’s one of my favourite English classes that I’ve ever taken.

Make sure you check the drop deadlines: you have around 2 weeks to add/drop classes without a W (the dropped class doesn’t show up on your transcript), and around 4 weeks to drop classes with a W (your transcript shows that you withdrew from the class, but it doesn’t affect your GPA).

And if the class still stays full 

First, see if there’s an online course waitlist. If so, add yourself to it as students will be moved off waitlists whenever a spot opens up.

If there isn’t an online waitlist, check with your department to see if there are other guidelines or processes to get into the class that you want, especially if it’s a prerequisite to second-term or second-year courses.