How the waitlist is managed in the College of Science and Technology.
A section may appear to have seats available, but if a seat has already been offered to someone on the waitlist, then it is not really available to you. We recommend you use the “Look-Up Classes” button in Self-Service Banner which shows the full information: Capacity, Actual, Remaining, WL Capacity, WL Actual, WL Remaining. The true number of available seats = Remaining - WL Actual.
When registering for a course, you will sometimes be unable to find an available seat in the section you want. To help address this, Temple University’s Banner registration system has a waitlist process. Here's how it works: A student who is unable to register for a section is invited to add herself to its waitlist. Based on the number of students waitlisted for that course, and the availability of other sections, additional sections are created if possible, and the waitlisted students are notified first. This way a waitlisted student has advance notice on the requested course, and, at the same time, waitlists give the University a running tally of the need to open new section.
In most introductory courses, we are able to expand the courses to meet demand as long as we know about it with enough notice. Students who waitlist for courses they want and are eligible for (in priority registration or as early as possible), and then convert their waitlisted sections to fully registered sections as soon as the seats become available, and are flexible in the possible sections, have all gotten into these courses. Some upper level courses cannot be expanded. The time to be in communication with departments is if you have been on the waitlist for a long time and the term is two weeks away.
It is a virtuous cycle. You waitlist courses to help us understand the need, we add sections, if at all possible. As a waitlisted student, we let you have first crack at the new section or seats. When we open new sections, our standard process is to initially do so without making them visible in the university-wide schedule. We give waitlisted students advanced notice of the new section. We then wait a day or so before making the new section visible to all students, at which point those who have not waitlisted the course are able to take the seats. This process will happen up until the start of classes.
The College of Science and Technology (CST) reserves some seats in introductory courses for its majors. While CST usually has plenty of seats open for non-majors, the college has to first preserve section choice for majors, as these students are harmed more if they are delayed in their studies. The Course Section Detail in Self-Service Banner only shows the total number of seats and the total number of waitlisted students. We have asked computer services to get the same information posted on that screen for each reservation subgroup so students can be fully informed and make better decisions, but for the moment we understand that students do not have all of the information they may want when choosing a section.