How Do 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.

Video Tutorials

Are There Any Strategies for Getting on a Waitlist? 

Before you waitlist:
  • Make sure all holds are cleared on your student account and your account is in good standing.
  • Complete prerequisites for the course you want to join (if needed).
After you join the waitlist:
  • Double check your class schedule to make sure you joined the waitlist properly.
  • Be flexible. If you really need a course, register for multiple waitlist sections to maximize your chances of getting into one of the sections of the course.
  • If a waitlist is full, but you still want to join the waitlist, regularly check to see if waitlist spots open up.
  • Be patient if you really want to add the class. 
  • Check your waitlist position daily on your class schedule on your mySierra account to see if you are eligible to add the class.
  • If you move to the top of the waitlist, also known as position (0), make sure you add the class within 48 hours, or you will forfeit your spot to the next person on the waitlist.
If you are still on the waitlist after classes begin:
  • Attend the first and second class meetings even if you are still on the waitlist.
  • Let your instructor know you are on the waitlist and are interested in adding when you attend class.

How Do I 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.

What if a Class is Full or I’m on the Waitlist?

Each class has its own designated course registration number (CRN) to differentiate classes with the same name that occur on different days and times.

If you find that that the CRN is closed, you can either:
          a) try to find a new class that works for you or  
          b) you can opt for the waitlist

For help finding a new class, refer to the video on how to use the online class schedule and register for classes (in English). The video is also available in other languages.

  • When you find a class that works for you, copy the CRN into your registration page and click “Submit Changes.” 
  • If the class has open seats, you will automatically be registered into it.
If there are not any open seats, click the pulldown menu (found next to the course) and change to “waitlist.” Then, click “Submit Changes.” 

How Do I Check My Position Number on the Waitlist? 

You can look up your position on the waitlist by checking your Class Schedule. Check your Class Schedule every day to find your position number on the waitlist. 

To check your position number:

  1. First, log into mySierra.
  2. From the home screen, select "My Class Schedule."
  3. Select the registration term from the drop-down menu.
  4. On your class schedule, there will be a waitlisted classes section (this will only show up if you are waitlisted for a class). 
  5. Next to the CRN number for your class, you will see a number inside a set of parenthesis. This is the number position you are on the waitlist.
  6. Make sure to check your schedule every day to check on your number. When you reach position zero, you will have 48 hours to register for your class before you are dropped from the waitlist.
  7. If you have questions, contact Admissions and Records

How Do I Receive an Add Code if Waitlisted for an Online Class? 

If you are waitlisted for an online class, keep the following in mind:

  • Check your schedule regularly to keep track of your place on the waitlist. 
  • Waitlisted students will not be able to access the class until they add the class.
  • You can email your instructor and ask him or her to add you to the class. However, many instructors will not add students to a full online class. You will likely only receive an add code if they have enough space in the class for you. The decision to add a waitlisted student to an online class is entirely up to the instructor.
  • You can find your instructor's email address on your course schedule in mySierra or by clicking on the course's CRN in the Sierra College Class Schedule.
  • If you receive an add code for the class, be sure to add the class within the time frame given by the instructor.

If you do not get an add code from the instructor within the first week of the class, it is safe to assume that you will not be added to the class.

Will I Be Charged Fees for Being on a Waitlist?

No, 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.

When Does a Waitlist Become 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.

Can I 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 at 8:00 AM M, W, F and on a waitlist for ENG 1A at 3:00pm M, W, F.

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

Do 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.

Can I Join a Waitlist with Holds on My Account? 

No, 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.

Can Instructors Add Students to Class Waitlist?

No. You are responsible for joining a waitlist.

What is 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.

How Long Do I Have to Join a Class Once at Top of Waitlist? 

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.

Do I Have to Attend the Class(es) I'm on the Waitlist for? 

Yes. 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 Do I 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."

What if a Class I'm on the Waitlist for is Canceled?

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

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Article ID: 73410
Fri 3/8/19 1:04 PM
Wed 6/1/22 11:51 AM