Using the course waiting list

In this article, you'll learn how to use course waiting lists.

Settings that affect the waiting list

Course waiting lists behave according to various general- and course-level settings:

  • Enable waiting list over-enrollment: In Academics > Settings > General, this setting lets students waitlist themselves in courses that conflict with their schedules and term enrollment limits.
    • This article describes how waiting list over-enrollment works.
  • Max Enrolled/Max Auditors: On the Course > Settings view, these settings affect whether there will be limited openings for enrollment/auditing and, therefore, whether the various waiting list settings will affect how students can register for the course.
  • Waiting List Management: Also on the Course > Settings view, this lets you choose how to manage the waiting list for a particular course. Your options are:
    • Automatic means that when a student drops this course, Populi will automatically move the first waitlisted student onto the rolls.
    • Manual means that when a student drops, an academic admin or registrar will need to manually move students from the waitlist. This also permits those users to add students directly to the waitlist before the maximum enrollment has been met.
    • None removes all waitlisting options for the course altogether.
  • Enrollment: This setting (also on Course > Settings) gives you the option to allow course faculty to manage the waiting list (among other enrollment functions).

The Automatic waiting list

The Automatic method is the default setting for the waiting list. It only kicks in for courses with limited enrollment. Here's how it works:

  1. Using the Max Enrolled setting, you limit the number of enrolled students permitted in the course.
  2. As students self-enroll on Profile > Registration during an online enrollment period, the course roster fills up until it reaches the maximum enrollment number.
  3. As students continue to self-enroll, they are given the option to get on the course waiting list. Each student on the list is given a position—1, 2, 3, etc.
  4. When a spot opens up in the course—say, an enrolled student drops the course—Populi automatically moves the waitlisted student in the #1 position into that opening. The remaining waitlisted students are then moved up one more spot.
    • You can also change the positions of waitlisted students by clicking edit next to Waiting List and editing the numbers.
    • You always have the option of manually-moving a student off the waiting list. Click next to the waiting student's name and change her status to Enrolled.
  5. This continues until the course Add/Drop date.

Keep in mind that the Automatic method described above only works when students are self-enrolling. Registrars and Academic Admins can bypass the Max Enrolled limit just by registering a student on Profile > Student > Courses or on the course roster.

The Manual waiting list

The Manual method lets you manually-add students to the waiting list whether or not there's an enrollment limit.

  1. On the course roster, use one of the Add students options.
  2. Next to the student you wish to add to the waiting list, select Waiting as the status.
  3. After you save, the student is then added to the waiting list.
  4. When an opening becomes available, you will need to manually enroll a waitlisted student.


You can see all waitlisted students for all courses in a given term by going to Academics > Academic Term > Waiting List. You can also retrieve waiting students in Academics > Reporting > Enrollments.

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    Cyndi Myers

    Do students get any kind of automatic notification if they are automatically move off the waitlist and into enrolled?

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