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What is a Course Waitlist?

Some SIU courses are set up by the department with a registration waitlist available to them in case the course gets full.  Therefore, if a specific course section in which a student is interested has enough students registered for it to be at its registration capacity, and that section has a waitlist available, then that student can choose to get on that waitlist.

Getting on a waitlist means that the student will be in line for a spot in that currently-closed section should an opening occur in the future (due to, for example, someone else dropping the class).  Having that option available allows the student to not have to log in frequently and check for any sudden openings in that section – and maybe miss any openings that did occur – so waitlisting can be a very helpful tool.

Waitlisting is available for courses in a number of departments.  Departments are not required to offer waitlisting on their courses, and those departments that do so may offer waitlisting on only a portion of their courses.  In addition, there is no guarantee that a course section with a waitlist will even have any openings in the future, or that such a section will have enough openings in the future to benefit all of the students who may be on the waitlist.

The bottom line is that a course that is full may never be available to an interested student, but a department that utilizes a waitlist and sees additional demand via the students on the waitlist may – if they have the ability to do so – decide to open up more spaces in response to that demand, so students should utilize a waitlist if they can.

1. What if a registration error message mentions "Waitlisted"?

If you receive a message like this when you are using the Add or Drop Classes page in SalukiNet Self-Service, and you wish to get on the waitlist of that course section, then click on the drop-down arrow next to the course under the Action column, select the "Waitlisted" choice, then click on the Submit Changes button.  If successful, the course will be shown as Waitlisted with today’s date, but with zero credit hours (since you are not actually registered in it yet).  Then, on your Student Detail Schedule, you will be able to see your Waitlist Position for that course (lower Waitlist Position numbers are better).

2. So what happens after I get on a waitlist?

You can monitor your Waitlist Position to see if you are getting closer to the top (which is Position # 1).  Once at # 1, if another spot in the course opens up, it will be made available exclusively to you for a short amount of time (not less than 24 hours), and you will be notified of this opening via an e-mail sent to your SIUC e-mail address within an hour after the opening occurs.

3. If I get notified of such an opening, what do I do next?

The notification e-mail will tell you exactly how long you have to do something (as will the Student Detail Schedule at that time), and will give you more details about what to do.  If you have been on the waitlist for a long time and are not sure if you should still get into that section, you should check with your advisor.

Basically, if you still want to register for that section, you should return to the Add or Drop Classes page in SalukiNet Self-Service, click the drop-down arrow next to the course under the Action column, select the "Registered" choice, then click on the Submit Changes button.  If successful, only then will you be officially registered in that section, and that course will be shown with an actual number of credit hours (no longer zero hours) in your schedule.

4. Can the e-mail notification go to a different e-mail address?

Only if you have set up your SIUC e-mail address to forward e-mails to another e-mail address.  Official University communications are sent to the SIUC e-mail address, so students are expected to monitor that address on a regular basis.  Because the amount of time you would have to deal with changing a waitlisted status to a registered status is as short as 24 hours, you should make it a habit of checking your SIUC e-mail at least daily, if not more frequently.

5. What if I fail to register for that course during the notification period?

Once the notification period expires, you will be dropped from the waitlist and no longer affiliated with that section.  If you still want to try to get into that section, you will have to get on the waitlist again and, if you do, you will then be at the bottom of the waitlist.

6. Can I bypass a waitlist and somehow get into the course?

No.  Neither the instructor nor your advisor can override a closed section that is waitlistable and get you into that section (any attempt to do so will result in an error for them1).  Waitlisting is designed for a "first-to-act, first-in" experience for students, so circumventing the waitlist is not allowed by the system.

7. How long will waitlists continue for the term?

For most courses, the waitlist will be purged about a week before the start of the term.  If you are still on the waitlist when the waitlist is purged, you will be sent an e-mail (to your SIUC e-mail address) letting you know that it was purged and that you are no longer affiliated with the course.  If the course is still closed at that time, you will not be able to register for it unless you are given permission by the instructor (which will require an override entered by the instructor or your advisor).

1 The error message for the advisor in INB will say, "ORACLE error: unable to INSERT record."  The error message for the instructor in SSB will be a long data dump that starts off by saying, in part, "error during execution of trigger 'SATURN.SIU_SFRSRPO_CAPACITY'."  Neither the advisor nor the instructor can do anything to get past these errors, since this is intentional system behavior for a waitlistable course.