What should I do if my course is full?

You've built your schedule and you're ready to go! You click to submit your registration, and you get the dreaded error message that a section you want is full. Don't panic! Sometimes it happens, and we have some tips to help you manage it.
Registration is underway! Unfortunately, sometimes courses fill quickly. Therefore, we thought it would be helpful to provide you with some information on how to request access to closed courses.

All academic departments handle access to courses differently. For instance, introductory physics courses open in increments throughout the registration period to ensure balanced sections. Openings usually appear due to student cancellations, additional seats added, or reserved seats returned to general registration, so you should check the website frequently.

On the other hand, all available seats in introductory chemistry courses are immediately open at the start of the registration period. Like physics, you should continue to check the website if you can't get into a specific section and adjust your enrollment if a seat becomes available. Permission numbers are not provided. 

Several departments have established specific guidelines for requesting access to their courses. Because it is at the academic department's discretion as to whether or not they grant you access to a closed course, it's important to know their preferred method for requesting permission.

Below are the policies and procedures for each department. Departments with specific information about course access on their websites are hyperlinked:

  • Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics
  • Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering: Contact the instructor of the course you are interested in    
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Chemical Engineering and Materials Science
  • Chemistry: No access is granted to closed courses
  • Civil, Environmental, and Geo-Engineering: Contact the instructor of the course you are interested in  
  • Computer Science
  • Earth Sciences: Contact the instructor of the course you are interested in  
  • Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Math 
  • Mechanical Engineering: Contact the department advisor at mefront@umn.edu or 612-625-0705
  • Physics and Astronomy: Watch to see if a spot opens in up in the class you need.  If your are not able to register before the semester begins, you may attend the first two weeks of the lecture only, and keep checking the class schedule for openings.  If you still can't register for a lab during this time, contact info@physics.umn.edu on the Monday of the third week of the semester.
  • Statistics

Keep in mind that registration changes are frequent during this time, and you could get into your desired course with a little patience and perseverance. If you have exhausted all avenues and access to the course will not be an option, you should connect with your academic advisor to discuss additional possibilities.

While dealing with closed courses isn't fun, it is something that happens. However, by having back-up options in place and understanding the steps involved if you need to request access to a closed course, you can handle it like a pro!