Course Changes & Conflicts

Learn what to do when a course is full or if you experience a course conflict, how to drop or withdraw from a course, and if you should repeat a course.

Full courses

There are a few ways to deal with full courses, and which one is applicable depends on the particular course and department. Follow the options below to pursue a full course.


  • Availability may change up until the add/drop deadline
  • If a student drops a course, you can register in it
  • A course may be blocked even though there is space; contact the instructor or department

  • Register for a waitlist section on the Student Service Centre (SSC), if available
  • Waitlisted courses will take up credits
  • The department may move you to the course if space becomes available
  • Check the SSC regularly to see if you have been added to the course, as the department may not notify you of your successful registration

  • Contact the instructor and ask if they can have you added to the course (applies to auditing students as well)
  • Do not contact Creative Writing, Economics, French, Math, Italian, or Spanish instructors, as they cannot add you to full courses
  • Contact if you have questions about enrolling in the Coordinated Arts Program (CAP)
  • Contact to find out if you can be added to a WRDS 150A (Arts topics), WRDS 150B (non-Arts topics), or WRDS 350 course section or waiting list
  • Get registration assistance for a UBC Sauder commerce course

  • Check if there are cross-listed courses in a course’s description on the UBC Course Schedule
  • Check Degree Navigator to see which of your requirements you have left to complete, then look for options on the UBC Course Schedule
  • Try using the course search function on the UBC Course Schedule

No room in a tutorial, discussion, or lab?

Sometimes there’s room in a class, but the tutorials, discussions, or labs are full. Keep your seat in the class and talk to the instructor on the first day of classes if no seats open up for the tutorial, discussion, or lab.

Graduating this year?

If you are in your graduating year, you will not be excluded from taking a required course due to space. This rule does not apply to electives or preferred sections. If a course you need is full, consult your department advisor.

Dropping a course

There are many reasons you might want to drop or withdraw from a course, from scheduling conflicts and workload to personal preference. To be considered a full-time Arts student, you need to be registered in at least 9 credits per term.

Repeat a course

It is rarely advised to repeat a course, unless you need the course to meet a requirement or you’d like to deepen your knowledge on the subject. Keep in mind that you will not receive credit for the course again and the original grade cannot be replaced.


  • You may repeat a course offered in the Faculty of Arts only once
  • Other faculties may not permit students to repeat courses, or allow it only if you did not pass the course
  • You cannot receive credit for a course twice
  • The grade you received in the course will always count toward your overall average; you cannot replace the grade by repeating the course

Course conflicts

If you want to register in two courses that have a scheduling conflict on the Student Service Centre (SSC), follow these steps:

  1. Register for the course that is more important to your academic plan, so that this course does not fill up before you can register for it
  2. Contact the instructors of both courses to get their written confirmation that the courses will be entirely asynchronous; or, if the courses are a blend of synchronous and asynchronous, request their permission to miss a portion of class time (you should avoid missing any component of a class lecture or meeting). If two conflicting courses are entirely synchronous, you will not be allowed to register in both, as attendance is required.
  3. Forward your correspondence with your instructors, along with an explanation of your registration issue to Arts Advising to review. If approved, Arts Advising can override the course conflict.

Academic concession will not be provided for exam or assignment conflicts between courses.

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