Limited-Enrollment Courses and Waitlists

If a course has limited enrollment, it is noted in the course description and course search results.

Tips for registering for courses with limited enrollment

  • Check course availability using the course search as soon as registration begins. Search results display the enrollment limit, as well as course and waitlist enrollment.
  • Take any required placement tests early. Many courses require the test of critical reading and writing skills and you cannot register until you have passed the test.
  • Register online early. Courses with limited enrollment fill quickly. Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis, and many courses fill and close before classes begin. When registering online, you know immediately whether you are registered, waitlisted, or closed out of a course so that you can register for an alternate course, if you wish.
  • If you register for a place on the waitlist, you are charged full tuition. If the course is closed, the waitlist is full and you may not register for it.
  • To hold your seat once registered you must:
    • Pay all tuition and fees by May 18. If you are not paid in full by this date, you will be dropped from all limited-enrollment courses and waitlists by the Registrar’s Office.
    • Attend all classes or participate in online courses and complete all required work through the late registration period for your course. Otherwise, you may be dropped from limited-enrollment courses by the Registrar’s Office. After classes begin, if you add a course you have not attended, your registration may be canceled by the Registrar’s Office.

Tips for students on waitlists

  • Log in to online services regularly to see if you are still waitlisted. Your waitlist position is based on the date and time of your registration. We cannot predict your chances for admission.
  • Check your e-mail. After being admitted to a course or closed off of a waitlist, you will be sent an e-mail message the next business day advising you to view your course schedule to see the registration change.
  • Pay in full by May 18 to keep your waitlist place and remain eligible for admission. If you are not paid in full by this date, you will be dropped from all limited-enrollment courses and waitlists by the Registrar’s Office.
  • Attend all classes or participate in online courses, and complete all required work through the late registration period for your course. Otherwise, you may be dropped from the waitlist by the Registrar’s Office.
  • Do not ask instructors for special consideration. Instructors do not admit students. Only the Registrar’s Office does.
  • Attend an alternate course in case you are not admitted from the waitlist. (This is especially important for students with an I-20 certificate from Harvard Summer School who must meet the enrollment requirements for students with I-20s.) If your alternate course is also limited, you should register and pay for it to ensure you won’t be closed out of the alternate course, as well. Remember to drop the alternate course by the full-tuition refund deadline if you are admitted to your first-choice course.
  • If you are an international student with an I-20 from the Summer School and you are not admitted from the waitlist, you must register for an alternate course to meet the enrollment requirements for students with I-20s.
  • To be removed from a waitlist, drop the course (online if possible) by the full-tuition refund deadline for your session.
  • Most waitlists are resolved by the end of late registration. If you are not admitted, you are issued a full-tuition refund.