Course Enrollment

Information about Enrollment in Undergraduate Economics Courses

List of Fall 2020 Classes

Head GSI

The Head GSI for the Department of of Economics is Preston Mui. You can email him at If you have a question about enrollment procedures, you should email the Head GSI, rather than the faculty or GSI for the course. They will likely just forward you onto the Head GSI anyways. While the Head GSI cannot directly alter enrollments, the head GSI can help answer questions and point students to the correct resource. If you are an exchange student (UCEAP, BISP, Concurrent Enrollment, etc. do not email the Head GSI about your issue; they will simply refer you back to your program).

The Head GSI for the Department is not the same person as the Head GSI for Econ-1, 2, 100A, 100B, or 140.

Head GSI Office Hours are held in Evans 548 during the first two weeks of the semester; afterwards, by appointment

Applying for a Permission Number

For students who require an exemption to the waitlist procedure, the Department reserves a small number Permission Numbers (PNs) for seats in some courses for these circumstances. If you would like to apply for one of these seats, visit the Head GSI Office at Evans 548, during the first week of instruction. You must apply in person. For Spring 2020, PN forms are due to the Head GSI office at 5PM on Wednesday, January 29th. We will not accept late applications.

The Department is very strict about who we give these reserved seats to. The following reasons will not work:

  • You would like to take the course
  • The course works better for your schedule
  • The course is related to your interests, or is required for your employment
  • The course is required for graduation or your major, but it would be possible for you to take it in the future
  • The course is required for graduation or your major, but it would be possible to fill this requirement with a different course
  • You would like to graduate early
  • You need credits to graduate, and would like to use this course to fill those credits
  • You are an Economics Major (the Major grants you Phase I access, but not waitlist priority; there are many other Economics majors on the waitlist)

All of these reasons are tantamount to simply wanting to take the course--there are other students on the waitlist with similar reasons to take the course. Please note that our seats are reserved in certain sections, so you must make sure that the seat you are applying for works for your schedule.

Phase I Enrollment Restrictions

All upper division economics courses are restricted to declared majors only during Phase I (except ECON 100A and ECON 100B). Undecleared students and students from other majors should put themselves on the waitlist during Phase I. Students will be enrolled on a space available basis during Phase II and the Adjustment Period. We strongly recommend all declared Economics majors officially enroll in their economics courses during Phase I to ensure a seat in their classes. If you do not select economics courses in Phase I, you may not be able to add those courses in Phase II or the Adjustment Period. Having intention, or plans, to declare the major do not grant Phase I access, you must be officially declared an Economics major.

Attendance Policies

The Department has a mandatory section attendance policy during the first week of class. The reason for this policy is to encourage students who do not intend to enroll in a course to drop the course as soon as possible. For Spring 2020, you must attend any and all Economics sections you are enrolled* in from January 21st through January 28th, inclusive. Failure to attend these sections puts you at risk of being automatically dropped from the course. If you cannot attend a section but intend to stay enrolled in the course, let the GSI teaching the section know ASAP. If you switch sections during this period, please email both the GSI for the sections you are switching from and to and notify them.

* If you are waitlisted for the course you are exempt from this requirement.

Impacted Courses

Please be aware that some of our courses are very popular and are difficult to get into. Courses that are commonly impacted are Econ-140, Econ-141, Econ-136, and Econ-138. The probability of getting off of the waitlist into these courses is low. We do not expand courses to accommodate more students.

Concurrent Enrollment Questions

If you are a Concurrent Enrollment student with questions, please contact your program coordinator, rather than the Department, faculty, or the Head GSI, with questions. If you are awaiting approval or denial to get into a course, please note that the Department--and not faculty--approves / denies requests through the 4th week of courses, and concurrent enrollment requests are assesed after Berkeley students requests.

CalCentral Enrollment Questions

How does the waitlist work with sections?

You need to have a seat in both the section and the lecture to be enrolled in the class. Your waitlist number is for the lecture overall. When a space is open in a section, CalCentral looks at those waitlisted for that section and enrolls the person with the lowest waitlist number. This means that someone with a higher waitlist number can get enrolled before someone with a lower waitlist number, if they are waitlisted for different sections. This also means you can be somewhat strategic about which section you waitlist for. Unfortunately we cannot see the waitlist by section.

See more here.

What are my chances of getting off of the waitlist?

We don't know. We don't have the historical data handy. Sorry.

I'm currently on the waitlist for one section. However, there is another section that has a shorter waitlist. Should I try to enroll in that other section?

You can try, by dropping your spot on the waitlist and waitlisting for the other section. Note that this puts you at the back of the course waitlist. However, if the other section has a very short waitlist then this may actually get you into the section faster. We can't tell you if it will be faster in any particular situation.

I tried to enroll in an upper-division econ class during Phase I and was put on the waitlist even though there are many open seats. I have submitted my application to the major and anticipate being declared into the major before the beginning of Phase II. Once I'm declared in the major, will I automatically be moved off the WL if there is space available in the section I chose?

Yes. Once your application is reviewed and approved, you will be notified of your admission decision via email according to the schedule listed on our website. If you are currently undeclared in L&S, please wait approximately 2 weeks after you receive the email notification for you to be declared in CalCentral. Once you are declared in CalCentral, the system will recognize it automatically and move you off from the waitlist if there's still a seat in the lecture and section that you chose. Please note there are different processes to be declared in CalCentral if you are currently declared another major or from another college, and all the procedures will be explained in the email notification. 

I'm really interested in taking [Class], but the class is full and there is a waitlist. Is there any way I can take the course?

Generally speaking, you need to go through the waitlist procedure like everyone else. We won't let you jump the waitlist just for wanting to take the course -- that would be unfair to other students on the waitlist. If you think you have a situation that merits jumping the waitlist, apply for a Permission Number (see above).

Will the course enrollment or the waitlist be expanded?

No. If we could increase course enrollment, we would have already done it. The waitlist is limited to a realistic limit so that we do not have large amounts of people on an unrealistic waitlist scrambling to find replacement courses when they do not get off the waitlist last-minute.

I would like to switch to another section.

Please note that switching to another section is different than switching to another course. To swap one enrollment for another enrollment in a different course, use the swap function.

To switch to a different section in the same course, see here.

If you are enrolled and switch into a section that is full, you will be unenrolled from the course and placed on the waitlist for the full section. This is risky, and you might not get into the course!

If you are waitlisted and want to switch into a different section, you will need to drop your current waitlist for the course and re-add the course with the desired section. If that section has open seats, you will be enrolled into the course. If that section does not have open seats, you will be waitlisted for the course at the back of the waitlist.

Note: If you want to switch to another section that is taught by the same GSI you may do so without switching on CalCentral pending the GSI's permission.

I have a time conflict with another course. Can you override this or can I switch sections?

The Department of Economics does not override time conflicts. If you want to resolve this by switching sections, see the "switch sections" question right above this.

I am a senior / major / etc. and I am waitlisted for a course. Is there any priority for me?

Not once you're on the waitlist. Other students on the waitlist are in similar situations. If you feel strongly about taking a course, apply for it during Phase I.

There are seats physically available in the class. Why can't I enroll?

Even if there are seats physically in the class, enrollment in the class is also limited by the number of students our GSIs can handle. This number is contractually limited by the Academic Student Employees' collective bargaining agreement.

My waitlist number actually increased!

This is normal. If someone is enrolled in the class and attempts to switch to a full section, it takes them out of enrollment, and puts them on the waitlist, increasing everyone's waitlist number. Of course, this opens up a new seat in the class, so overall your waitlist status should not be affected.

Someone with a higher waitlist number than me got in off the class.

See the section above about how the waitlist works with sections.

I'd like the see the course materials. Can you add me to the bCourses roster?

You will have to ask the faculty that is instructing the class. Please note that being added to bCourses does not constitute enrollment into the class.

For more questions about enrollment, please visit Berkeley Student Information Systems (SIS) Enrollment FAQ.