department menu

Waitlists, Permission Numbers, etc.

Enrollment Timeline 

Below is detailed information about how waitlists and permission numbers work. To summarize, here is a breakdown of how these two features of enrollment are used during the add/drop period: 

  • Before Classes Begin:
    • Students are enrolled from all waitlists once per day, (early morning). Eligible waitlisted students are moved into open seats. 
  • First Week of Classes:
    • Students are not enrolled from the waitlist once classes begin.
    • Both regular and open-enrollment students can enroll themselves in any OPEN class. It is expected that faculty will honor first week enrollments. 
    • All students, including those on the wait list, will need a permission number to enroll in CLOSED classes.
  • Second Week of Classes:
    • Students will need permission numbers to enroll in any/all courses.

 Wait Lists 

Check out the Waitlist FAQ page for more questions and answers. 

  • What is a waitlist and how does it work?

    Waitlists are an optional feature of the class schedule that allow students to be added to a waitlist when a class is full. The decision to use the waitlist feature in the class schedule lies with the department offering the class. Here is how it works:
    • Once added to a waitlist, a student may be automatically enrolled if a seat opens up and they are eligible to enroll (more about eligibility in a moment). The process that automatically enrolls students from the waitlist runs every night from the start of early enrollment all the way to the day before the start of the semester.  As students are enrolled, they receive an email notifying them of the enrollment.
    • Once classes begin, students may no longer add themselves to the waitlist and students on the waitlist are no longer automatically enrolled – if the class is closed, they must request a permission number to enroll.
  • Why are some students ‘skipped’ or not enrolled from the waitlist automatically?

    If a student is not eligible to enroll, the system will skip that student and enroll the next eligible student on the waitlist. Examples of why a student may be skipped:

    • The student is in another section of the same course. Students cannot enroll in 2 sections of the same course.
    • The student is in another class with a conflicting day/time.
    • The student is enrolled in too many units. There are unit limits during certain time periods, first up to 16 units, then up to 19 units. See “Enrollment Limits” dates on the relevant semester Enrollment Calendar.
    • The student does not meet the requisites of the course.
  • What is the status of the class when there are students on the waitlist?

    Generally, the status of the class is CLOSED. There is ONE scenario where a class appears as open with students on the waitlist: if there are only non-eligible students on the wait list and the section has open seats, the section will show as OPEN (with the ineligible students are on the wait list). Unfortunately, such a scenario would only be apparent by reviewing the system for errors in the enrollment process for students from the waitlist (by the Office of the Registrar) – so, if you have a concern or have questions about this particular scenario, please let us know. To recap:

    OPEN Status

    • Appears when there are available open seats and no eligible students on the wait list, even once classes begin.

    CLOSED Status

    • Appears when the class capacity has been reached (e.g. the class is fully enrolled).
    • Appears when a student gets on the wait list, unless that student is currently ineligible to enroll, such as when seats are being reserved for particular major(s)/minor(s) or student group(s) in that class.
    • Appears when there are eligible students on the wait list.
    • Appears when a class is TENTATIVE, which means no one can enroll in the class.

    You can find additional details and a breakdown of how waitlists work before and after the start of the semester, as well as best practices for students, on the Waitlist FAQ page. And for those creating the class schedule, the Academic Scheduling site offers additional tips and information regarding the creation of waitlists in the class schedule.


 Permission Numbers 

 Permission numbers are unique 6-digit codes that are system-generated, issued by the instructor, and allow students to enroll into a particular section of a class. They are required for all classes that require instructor consent, as well as in closed classes during the first week of the semester and all classes during the second week.

You can find permission numbers for your section in MyCSUSM (Faculty Center). 

  • A permission number allows a student to enroll in a closed/full class or a class that requires instructor consent or has reserved seats.
  • A permission number does not allow student to enroll if pre-requisites have not been met; see the Pre-Requisite Waiver page for more information

 You can find more information about the generation of Permission numbers, as well as how to request more, on the Academic Scheduling site.