Information for

Course selection (previously called “pre-enrolment”) is important to help us plan for upcoming terms. In the past, CS maintained a waiting list to assist students who had trouble getting into courses. However, we have discontinued the waiting list. If you relied on the waiting list in the past, you need to read this information.

Course selection

What is it? Course selection is when you make your best guess about which courses (if any) you want to take in a future term. This information is vital for our planning purposes. We need to know how many sections to create, how many professors and TAs to assign, etc.

When is it? Course selection occurs two terms before you take the courses. In the fall, you select courses for the following spring. In the winter, you select courses for the following fall, etc. 

What are the benefits? Students who participate in course selection are automatically enrolled in those courses before the drop/add period begins. You have a very good chance of getting the courses you signed up for. If you miss course selection, you can only choose from the left-over courses.

CS policies

We can divide the time leading up to taking a course into the following time periods:

  1. Course selection: You choose the courses you want to take. This happens two terms before you start the courses.
  2. Sectioning: The Registrar’s Office places you into specific course sections. This happens the term before you take the courses.
  3. Drop/add period: Your opportunity to swap courses or sections to optimize your schedule. This starts several weeks before classes begin and ends after classes begin.
  4. Classes begin

In Computer Science we make two modifications to the University’s procedures. In Step 2, we drop the enrolment caps by 15% to give advisors room to handle special cases. If any spaces are left after handling special cases, they will be available on Quest several days after classes begin.

The special cases are:

  • Students who selected courses but something went wrong because of:
    • a time conflict
    • an enrolment block was applied after course selection
    • dropping or failing a course after course selection
  • Students who could not select courses because they:
    • recently transferred into CS
    • are international exchange students
    • were hospitalized
    • had an S&P or ELPE decision or related academic matters


Students who do not select their courses in advance and do not fall into one of the above categories:

  • will be required to wait until after advisors have handled failures and other legitimate situations
  • will compete on a first-come-first-served basis on Quest for any remaining spots
  • will not receive help getting into courses (e.g., overriding full sections, adding new sections, or enlarging existing sections)

Overrides are available during course selection just like during the drop/add period. See a CS advisor if you need an override to select a course.

Other notes

These changes only apply to CS courses. Math and elective course policies are set by other academic units.

We've observed some students selecting up to five courses and then dropping several at the beginning of the term. We view this as an abuse of the system. Selecting more than three CS courses may result in some of them being dropped before sectioning occurs.