Enrolling in CSE Courses

Last Updated 12.22.2023 

Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) courses are in high demand at UC San Diego. To help students navigate the enrollment process, we’ve curated a list of helpful strategies for enrolling in CSE courses. We understand that enrollment in CSE courses can be challenging, but familiarizing yourself with enrollment policies and strategies will make enrollment easier. 

Our goal is to help you get the CSE courses you need, so please be sure to carefully review the CSE Enrollment policies and tips below!


  • Each quarter, the CSE Department publishes a “Course Updates” page with important information about enrollment in CSE courses for that quarter. Bookmark the “Undergrad Course Information” homepage to access each quarter’s “Course Updates” page. ALWAYS read this page for the most up-to-date enrollment information about CSE Courses.
  • CSE uses "@ucsd" email to send important messages about changes to courses, wait lists, clearance for major-restricted courses and courses with reserved seats, etc.  It is your responsibility to check these emails DAILY and respond by any deadlines.
  • Review the CSE Prerequisites page and plan to complete all prerequisites for CSE courses prior to enrollment. Granting exceptions to prerequisites in CSE is rare and requires documentation of extenuating circumstances or sufficient coursework external to UC San Diego.
  • IMPORTANT REMINDER: students who add CSE courses during the first two weeks will not be allowed to make-up missed assignments. If you are on the waitlist for a course, you are expected to attend class for the first two weeks and complete assignments. If students choose not to attend class or to not turn in assignments on the due dates, the students will receive a "0" on all missed assignments/quizzes/etc. No exceptions are made.
  • CSE Advisors cannot predict the outcome of waitlists: updates to course capacity are reflected directly on the Schedule of Classes and the Course Updates page.
    • Non-CSE Majors who are not able to enroll in CSE courses during a quarter should plan to enroll in a subsequent quarter. Please refer to the CSE Tentative Course Offerings page for an overview of planned courses each year.
  • Review the “How to Waitlist a Class” page for important university policies regarding waitlists. Keep in mind that students cannot be simultaneously enrolled and waitlisted for two sections of the same course, and plan accordingly. 
    • If you are waitlisted for one section of a course and you enroll in another section of the same course, WebReg will not provide a warning that this action will drop you from the waitlisted course. Please adjust your enrollment carefully.


  • Strategy is key to using First and Second pass enrollment effectively.
    • ALWAYS enroll EARLY during your First and Second Pass enrollment period: set a reminder or alarm to ensure that you enroll EARLY during your enrollment windows. 
    • ALWAYS enroll in two of your most important classes during First Pass (up to 11.5 units).
      • CSE Majors - Consider using your first-pass for major-restricted CSE courses or other high priority courses without reserved seats that fulfill your major, college, or GE requirements.
      • Non-CSE Majors - Consider using your first-pass for any CSE courses that are not major-restricted (such as lower division CSE courses)
    • ALWAYS get on the WAITLIST as soon as you can if a CSE course is full. Students are only permitted to waitlist during second pass enrollment.
    • By the end of the second week of classes (or sooner!), aim to be settled into your final classes.

Before First Pass

  • Read the “How to Enroll in Classes” page to understand how the entire enrollment process works.
  • Review the Registrar's checklist on what to do before enrolling in classes and how to enroll in classes at UC San Diego.
  • Review the Long-term Plan for your CSE Degree Program and your degree audit 
    • Non-CSE Majors: Review your program’s major requirements and your degree audit, in addition to reviewing the quarterly Course Updates page for CSE to prepare for enrollment in any CSE courses.
  • Determine which courses to take in the upcoming quarter, identifying the courses that are the most important to keep you on track for graduation.  
  • Review the Tentative Course Offerings page for the most up-to-date information about upcoming CSE course offerings. Remember, all core CSE courses are offered at least twice each year and so there is flexibility in what courses to take in a given quarter.
  • Submit short questions to the appropriate academic department or your college through the VAC. Or, consider connecting with  your college advisor, major advisor, or a CSE advisor to discuss course planning.
  • Read CSE Course Placement Advice, if you are a new student deciding between CSE 8A/8B and CSE 11.
  • Remember, granting exceptions to CSE prerequisites is rare and requires documentation of extenuating circumstances or coursework external to UC San Diego.
  • Fall quarter is unique! We set enrollment limits low or at zero, to save seats for incoming 1st Years and Transfers.  The seat-saving process works differently  for Winter, Spring, and Summer registration.  Please review the quarterly Course Updates page on the Undergraduate Course information Homepage for more information about enrolling in CSE courses with reserved seats.

During First Pass

  • Enroll in the two to three courses (up to 11.5 units) that are the MOST important to keep you on track for your CSE Degree Program or your assigned major.  See "Before First Pass" above. Please note that students cannot waitlist courses during first pass enrollment.
    • Non-CSE Majors: If you want to enroll in a lower-division CSE course with seats reserved for CSE majors, you should prioritize adding this course during your first-pass, before CSE majors waitlist the course during second pass.
  • Non-CSE Majors: Submit an Enrollment Authorization (EASy) Request for any upper-division CSE courses you’d like to take that are major-restricted. Review the CSE Prerequisites page for information about which CSE courses are major-restricted. All prerequisites must be met. 
    • EASy requests from non-CSE major undergraduate students to be cleared to enroll in CSE major-restricted courses will be placed on "Department Hold" until after CSE Majors have had the opportunity to enroll, generally after the second pass of enrollment has started.
    • Take note of any deadlines and policies for non-CSE majors under the section titled “Non-CSE Majors” on the quarterly Course Updates page, and plan accordingly.
    • Monitor course capacity in your planned CSE major-restricted courses and think about a backup plan for other courses, in case your desired CSE courses fill up.

During Second Pass

  • Enroll in or wait list your remaining courses for the upcoming quarter - review any “seat saving” policies on the Quarterly Course Updates page. See "Before First Pass" above.
  • ALWAYS put yourself on the waitlist if the CSE course you want is full!  
  • Non-CSE Majors: Be prepared to receive updates on your EASy requests for CSE major-restricted courses. Non-CSE Majors will receive an email in their @ucsd email account after the Priority Deadline with course clearance information.
    • Clearance to enroll/waitlist a CSE undergraduate course with a large waitlist does NOT indicate we intend to offer additional seats. The courses and sections we intend to offer are listed in the Schedule of Classes. 
  • Make adjustments to your enrollments from First Pass, if needed.

After Second Pass

  • CSE will use first-come, first-served order of the wait lists in nearly all situations. This first-come, first-served approach will also be used within groups (e.g. for lower-division courses with seats saved for CSE majors).
  • Continue to adjust your schedule, and continue to waitlist using WebReg.
  • If you are a non-CSE major who cannot secure a seat in your planned CSE courses, please reach out to your major and/or college advisors for assistance identifying alternative courses. 
  • By the end of the second week of classes, be settled into your final classes. 
  • Take note of deadlines on the Enrollment & Registration Calendar to ensure that you don’t miss deadlines for adding courses, dropping courses, or changing grading options.
  • Starting the first day of instruction, students may enroll in up to 22 units, including wait-listed courses.
    • Starting on Monday of Week 1 of the quarter, you may request to enroll in more than 22 units via Enrollment Authorization System (EASy).
    • The CSE Department can only approve “Unit Limit Exception” requests for CSE courses with open seats. Check the course capacity on WebReg, and only submit Unit Limit Exception requests for CSE sections with available seats.

Late Add Policy 

  • The CSE department does not allow students to add courses past week 2. If a student is not enrolled in enough units by the beginning of week 1, the student should contact their department advisors via the VAC.
    • No late adds - no exceptions. EASy requests for Late Adds in the CSE Department will be denied, so please plan accordingly.
  • Please note, all students are expected to attend class for the first two weeks and complete assignments if they are on the waitlist for a course. Attending class and completing course assignments does not guarantee enrollment. If students choose to miss class or not turn in assignments while on the waitlist, the student will receive a "0" on all missed assignments, if they secure a seat in the course off the waitlist.