Banner Waitlisting

How the Waitlist is managed in CST:

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.

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. Please see for a list of courses with reserved seating. 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.

Waitlist Timing:

Much of the movement on the waitlist does not happen until final grades from the previous term have posted. Students pass courses they had not been sure they would pass and then drop scheduled retakes of those classes. Conversely, students do not pass courses which serve as prerequisites to courses in the next term, and then must drop those planned subsequent courses. Rapid movement in the waitlist occurs as a result of both of these situations.

The Spring waitlist is managed as quickly as possible once Fall grades are complete. If there are plenty of seats in other sections, you need to figure out what else can be modified in your schedule to fit one of those options. If there are no available seats, it might be because the course cannot be expanded further.

The Fall waitlist is a slower process due to the availability of Summer courses. There may still be a significant Fall waitlist after Spring semester grading has been completed, because students may be completing prerequisites for Fall courses during Summer I and/or II. We protect seats for students in Fall courses who are retaking a course in summer that they did not succeed in during the spring. As a result, seats become available throughout the summer. If there are no available seats, it might be because the course cannot be expanded further.

In all cases, 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.

We do our best to meet the total demand, and thus far it has worked for students. If you have recommendations for improvements, please let your academic advisor know.

Tips for you:

• Use the "Look-Up Classes" button in Self-Service Banner to determine the true number of available seats (Remaining minus the WL Actual) for each section before you decide to try to add/waitlist for a section. Often the first section (Section 001) of a course has an overflowing waitlist and later sections have available seats.

• A waitlisted section cannot serve as a concurrent prerequisite for another course. If you are waitlisted for course “A” that you need as a concurrent prereq for another course, course “B”, you are likely to have to wait until grades are posted and the waitlist shift occurs before you can add the desired course, course “B”. Make sure you are flexible in your prerequisite course selection. Restricting your prereq course section selection could jeopardize your ability to add a desired linked course.

• Monitor your email for waitlist updates at all times, but pay particular attention to the aforementioned “peak activity” periods immediately following grading postings.

• If you are still on a waitlist two weeks before the start of classes, speak to someone in the department who manages that course. This could be a course coordinator or a faculty advisor. You can reach out to your advising unit for more information on who to speak to for particular courses. Also, faculty advisors are listed here: and a link to each department is at the bottom of: