Course Enrollment

Information about Enrollment in Undergraduate Economics Courses

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Head GSI

The Head GSI for the Department of of Economics is John Wieselthier. You can email him at headgsi@econ.berkeley.edu. 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 anyway. 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 Lead GSI for Econ-1, 2, 100A, 100B, or 140.

Head GSI Office Hours are held through Zoom 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, a google form will be available during the first week of instruction.  For Fall 2020, PN forms are due at 5PM on Wednesday, September 2nd. We will not accept late applications.

The PN application is closed now.  

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.

Fall 2020 - Fall semester will begin with fully remote instruction

The Office of the Registrar created a FAQ webpage for fall. Questions and answers were compiled by members of the Academic Senate’s Committee on Courses of Instruction and the Office of the Registrar. An excellent resource for this fall!

Refer to classes.berkeley.edu to check for the latest update of our fall courses.

Phase I Enrollment Restrictions

All upper division economics courses are restricted to declared majors only during Phase I (except ECON 100A and ECON 100B). Undeclared 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.

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- 1, Econ- 2, Econ-100A, Econ- 100B, 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 assessed after Berkeley students requests.

Frequently Asked Enrollment Questions

Waitlists

Enrollment changes

Miscellaneous enrollment questions

 

WAITLISTS

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?
Waitlists are unpredictable as they depend entirely on student enrollment behavior, which is determined by many factors. Therefore, we cannot predict your chance of getting off the waitlist. Our advice is to plan for an alternate course, as we cannot guarantee that you will get a spot in a course off the waitlist.
 
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 get you into the section faster. We cannot tell you if it will be faster in any particular situation (see "What are my chances of getting off of the waitlist?").
 
I'm interested in taking [class], but the class is full and there is a waitlist. Is there any way I can take the course?
You will need to go through the waitlist procedure. We do not move students on 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 a spot in the course, apply for a Permission Number (see above).
 
Will the course enrollment or the waitlist be expanded?
This is unlikely, as course enrollment and waitlist numbers are tied to available department resources. The waitlist is set to a manageable limit so that we do not have large amounts of people on a waitlist trying to find replacement courses when they do not get off the waitlist last-minute. It is to your benefit to plan for alternate courses, instead of hoping for a space to open up on a waitlist.
 
My waitlist number actually increased!
This is normal. If someone is enrolled in the class and attempts to switch to a full section, the system 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.
 
It is Phase I and I am on the waitlist for an upper division Economics course because I am undeclared. I have submitted my application to the major and anticipate being declared into the major. Once I'm declared in the major, will I automatically be moved off the waitlist 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 is 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 admission notification email. 
 
Someone with a higher waitlist number than me got into the class, what happened?
See the section above about how the waitlist works with sections.
 
I am a senior / declared major / etc. and I am waitlisted for a course. Is there any priority for me?
We do not prioritize students on the waitlist as all students have important reasons for needing to take a course. For your best chances of getting into a course, we encourage you to add it during Phase I of the registration process. If for some reason you are not able to get a spot in the course, you can add yourself to the waitlist and consider applying for a permission number (see "Applying for a Permission Number" above).

 

ENROLLMENT CHANGES

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 course for another course, use the swap function. NOTE: The swap function can only be used at the course level of enrollment. It cannot be used for sections.
 
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 would like to take more than 20.5 units in a semester. How can I get approval?
During the first two weeks of instruction, you should attend all courses you are planning to enroll in and ensure that there are no overlaps between lecture, labs, and discussion sections. (NOTE: For Fall 2020, time conflicts are allowed in all Economics courses.)
If you have met this criteria, then you may request permission to enroll in more than 20.5 units (the unit maximum) starting the the week of August 31, 2020 for the Fall 2020 semester. For declared Economics majors, please contact the Economics Undergraduate Advisors at ugrad@econ.berkeley.edu and provide the details of your request: total number of units you are planning to take, the full list of courses, and the reasons why you would like to take more than 20.5 units.
For undeclared students, please send this request to L&S Advising. More information found here.

 

MISCELLANEOUS ENROLLMENT QUESTIONS

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" above. NOTE: For Fall 2020, time conflict enrollment is allowed in all Economics courses. 
 
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.
 
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.