Waitlists and Reserved Seating

Wait Lists

Wait lists provide students with choices and help to measure demand so that the university can react appropriately. In many cases a large wait list indicates that there is a difference between forecasted and actual demand for courses and, where resources permit, academic units respond to this demand by adding new sections or by increasing the size of existing sections subject to classroom availability.

You may be able to wait list a course section if the enrolment limit has been reached or if the course section is reserved. If a course is reserved and if reserves are to be lifted, a reserve wait list and a general wait list are maintained. Memorial Self-Service will inform you of your position on both wait lists when you try to add such courses before reserves are lifted. The following scenario illustrates how the wait list feature works:

You are a Biology major, trying to register for Chemistry 2440. Memorial Self-Service indicates your reserve wait list position as number one and your general wait list position as number ten. Before reserves are lifted, you will become registered if one Biology major drops the course. After reserves are lifted, ten students must drop the course before you will become registered.

Up until you become registered in your maximum course load, the registration system will permit you to be registered and wait-listed in a maximum of 21 credit hours. If you become registered in one course section, other wait-listed sections of that course will be dropped. Also, your wait lists will become inactive once you become registered in the maximum number of credit hours required by your program.

Some academic units have placed limits on the lengths of wait lists. Therefore, if a wait list for a particular course section is full, you will not be permitted to wait list for the course.

If you are on a wait list, you should check your schedule via Memorial Self-Service at regular intervals to establish whether you have been accepted into any course for which you had been wait-listed; however, it is not necessary to check more than once per day, as waitlist processing occurs overnight.

Remember, you may become registered in a course by moving from the wait listup to approximately one week before the start of classes (check the Relevant Dates or the Diary for the actual date each semester). If you are about to graduate and completion of your program will be unduly delayed by your inability to register for a course you should consult the head of the appropriate academic unit. However, if the course in question is an elective, you may want to consider other courses.

Be realistic about wait lists. Your position on the reserve wait list may not be a good indicator of your chances of becoming registered in the course if reserves are to be lifted, as it is possible to be number one or two on the reserve wait list but number 25 on the general wait list. If you do not become registered before reserves are lifted your position on the general wait list thereafter becomes the determining factor.

When you have been accepted in the maximum number of courses (i.e., credit hours) permitted by your academic program, all wait-listed courses that you hold at that time will become inactive. This means that you will not become registered in a course for which you are wait-listed even if you are at the top of the wait list when a space becomes available. However, if you drop a course, your wait lists will be reactivated with your same priority positions until you have once again been accepted into the maximum number of credit hours permitted.

All wait lists will be deactivated after the close of the registration systemapproximately one week before the start of classes (see Relevant Dates for the specific date each semester). After that time and up to the add deadline it may still be possible to add courses using Memorial Self-Service as many students change or drop courses during this period and spaces often become available in courses which were previously full. The key to becoming registered is to try frequently.

Alternatively, or in addition, after wait lists are deactivated you should contact the academic unit of the course which you wish to add. Academic units are provided with the wait lists as they existed when they were deactivated and thereafter may have their own priority system for majors and minors who need particular courses. In some cases closeness to graduation may determine priority for any spaces which become available; in other cases, a student's position on the wait list at the time wait lists became inactive may be used to assign any available space in a course.

In summary, after wait lists are deactivated and if you were wait listed but did not become registered, it is important for you to make contact with the academic unit both to clarify its policy with respect to wait lists and to seek advice on how to become registered or advice on alternative courses.

Reserved Seating

Priority in registration in many courses will be given to students who meet specified programs of study, such as admission to a degree (including diploma and certificate) program, major and minor/concentration. This will be indicated on a line below the course listing. For example under COMP 2650 you may see:

This means that students who have declared majors in dietetics, or biochemistry, or biology, etc., will be given priority in registering for this course.

If you see


the course will be reserved for students who have declared a major in anthropology and a minor in English.


If you see


the course will be reserved for students pursuing a bachelor of science (honors) with a major in physics. Check the reserve codes table for possible reserve entries.

Please note that reserves may vary according to course section. You should check all sections of a course to determine if you are eligible to register for it. In addition, it may be that not all spaces have been reserved, which means that an attempt to register could be successful.

If you change your academic program after registering, any course reserving in effect will be enforced. When your program change is processed, your registration will be reviewed and any course section for which you do not meet course reserve requirements will be dropped from your schedule. Reserved seating will be lifted at the end of the day on which all undergraduate students have had the opportunity to register (see Relevant Dates for the specific date each semester). Therefore, if you were wait-listed for a course which was initially reserved, you may automatically become registered in it after this date. Check Memorial Self-Service for your status after reserves are lifted.


Office of the Registrar

230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000