How Waitlists Work

What is a Waitlist

A waitlist keeps track of students who are in line for spots in a full class. If a place becomes available before the first day of class, the student at the top of the waitlist will have the spot reserved for them for 48 hours.

How to Join a Waitlist

Join a waitlist online through your mySierra account.

  1. Go to mySierra and log in with your mySierra login information.
  2. From the homepage, select "Registration and Classes."
  3. Click on "Add, Drop or Withdraw from Classes."
  4. Select the correct term from the drop-down menu and click submit.
  5. You'll see a section called "Add Classes Worksheet."
  6. In the CRN area, there are several text entry boxes. Enter the CRN of the class you want to waitlist and click "Submit Changes." A CRN is a five-digit Course Registration Number. You can find CRN's on the course schedule.
  7. If the status of your selected class says "Closed," a note will advise you to choose the "Waitlist" option from the drop down menu.
  8. Select the "Waitlist" option, then click "Submit Changes" again.
  9. Now the class should appear on your current schedule with the status of "Waitlist."
  10. Click "Finalize Registration." You have successfully waitlisted the class.

You will Not be Charged Fees for Being on a Waitlist

You will not be charged for being on a waitlist. You will need to pay registration fees once you are able to add the class.

Once a Waitlist Reaches 20 it Becomes Full

For most classes and sections, the waitlist becomes available after the last seat in a class is taken.

Once the waitlist reaches its maximum capacity of 20, no more students can join. If the waitlisted students either enroll in the class or drop from the list, the waitlist will open up again.

You Can Waitlist Multiple Sections of a Course

If you have not already registered for a course, you can be on waitlists for multiple sections of the same course. However, once you register for a section, you cannot join additional waitlists for other sections.


You can be on a waitlist for ENG 1A @ 8:00 AM M W F and on a waitlist for ENG 1A @ 3:00 PM M W F.

After you register for the class @ 8:00 AM M W F, you will remain on the waitlist for the class @ 3:00 PM M W F, but will not be able to get on other waitlists.

Waitlists Check for Prerequisites

You must have the proper prerequisites to register for a class. Joining a waitlist does not waive prerequisite requirements. If you can register for a class and have not met the prerequisites, you will be dropped.

You Must Clear All Holds Before Joining a Waitlist

You cannot join a waitlist if there are holds on your account. A hold placed on your account will prevent you from accessing the Add or Drop Classes page.

It is your responsibility to keep your account in good standing. You will receive holds on your account for outstanding fees, unpaid library fines, parking citations, unreturned books or materials, and disciplinary issues. 

Contact the Bursar’s Office at (916) 660-7617 if you have holds on your account.

Instructors Cannot Add Students to Class Waitlist

You are responsible for joining a waitlist.

The Last Day to Join a Waitlist

You can join waitlists until midnight of the day before the first day of class.


If your class starts on a Friday, you have until 11:59 PM on Thursday night to join the waitlist. After midnight on Friday, you can no longer join the waitlist. Instead, you would need to add an authorization code to register.

Add the Class within 48 Hours When You are Given a Spot

When you reach the top of the waitlist, which is position (0), you will have 48 hours to register. If you do not register within the 48-hour window, you will be dropped from the waitlist. 

If this happens, you can add yourself to the waitlist again. You will have to wait for the next available seat to become eligible to register.

Waitlist Students Must Attend Once Class Begins

If you remain on the waitlist after the semester begins, you must attend the first and second class meetings in order to be considered for an add code.

At their discretion, faculty may issue an add code to students in the order they appear on their waitlist. Waitlisted students who are given a seat on or after the first day of class will require an add code to register for the class.

How to Drop from a Waitlist

If you are no longer interested in a class, please drop from the waitlist because it frees a spot for someone else who may need the course.

You can drop from a waitlist at any time by following these steps:

  1. Go to mySierra and log in with your mySierra log in information.
  2. From the homepage, select "Registration and Classes."
  3. Now click on "Add, Drop or Withdraw from Classes."
  4. Select the “Drop before Start by Student” action from the drop-down menu.
  5. Click on the “Submit Changes” and "Finalize Registration."

If a Class is Canceled

If a class is canceled, we will notify all registered and waitlisted students. All students will be dropped from the class.

Video Tutorials


Watch how to join a waitlist with step-by-step instructions.


Watch how the waitlist works in real time.


Article ID: 73410
Fri 3/8/19 1:04 PM
Thu 6/13/19 9:18 AM