Enrolment issues:

Last updated: 30 November 2022

Common error messages


How do I add/drop/swap a class?

Step-by-step instructions are available to help you add, swap or drop courses. It's also helpful to use the Schedule of Classes to see more details about the course you're trying to add as it may help explain errors you might be getting. Please note that ECE students cannot drop core courses.

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I didn't get a course I chose during course selection

Course selection is a wish list and there are a number of reasons you might not have gotten enrolled: more demand than space in the course, not meeting the reserve or time conflicts, priority to students in that program/major etc. We've included some tips regarding common errors.

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Adding courses as a Computer, Electrical or Software Engineering student

ECE 406, ECE 451, ECE 452, ECE 457B and ECE 459 have waiting lists. You can add yourself to the waiting list here. We will contact you if/when space becomes available for you. Please note that the waiting lists are long so please consider other options.

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Adding courses as a non-ECE Engineering student

For courses where you don't meet the prerequisites and therefore cannot add it in Quest, we will consider enrolment for students from other Engineering programs beginning November 30. You can request enrolment by contacting our advising team on/after November 30. We will not override class size so please don't contact us if the class is full in the Schedule of Classes.

ECE 405 - We will override any third- or fourth-year Engineering student provided you provide a reason for why you want to take the course and what you will do to be successful in the course given that you don't have the prerequisites as per the calendar. 

ECE 406 - Add yourself to the wait list here. We'll be in contact if/when space becomes available.  

ECE 409 - Contact the instructor, Guang Gong, to request a prerequisite override.

ECE 416 - You must have ECE 358 but we will override 4B Engineering students into the course.

ECE 417 - We will override any fourth-year Engineering student into the course provided there is space. 

ECE 423 - We will use these prerequisites for Winter 2023: (One of CS 350 or ECE 252 or MTE241 or SE 350), (ECE 224 or MTE 325); Level at least 4A Engineering or Computer Science/Digital Hardware Specialization.

ECE 444 - We will permit Mechatronics students to enrol if there is space but you should be aware that you will need to do advanced preparation and extra study. If you are not a Mechatronics student, contact the instructor, John Long, to request a prerequisite override.

ECE 451 - Add yourself to the wait list here. We'll be in contact if/when space becomes available.  

ECE 452 - Add yourself to the wait list here. We'll be in contact if/when space becomes available. 

ECE 453 - Students should be prepared to encounter formal logic and to reason mathematically about programs. Here is an outline for the graduate course that the instructor taught in Spring 2022 to give you an idea of what ECE 453 will be like. We will override any fourth-year Engineering student provided there is space. 

ECE 457B - Add yourself to the wait list here. We'll be in contact if/when space becomes available.  

ECE 459 - Add yourself to the wait list here. We'll be in contact if/when space becomes available.  

ECE 464 - Contact the instructor, Ibrahim Marwan Jarrar, to request a prerequisite override.

ECE 467 - Contact the instructor, Behnam Tamimi, to request a prerequisite override.

ECE 474 - Contact the instructor, Slim Boumaiza, to request a prerequisite override.

ECE 488 - Contact the instructor, Dan Davison, to request a prerequisite override.

ECE 493 LEC 001 (Social Robotics) - You should be able to add the course yourself in Quest. If not, we can override fourth-year Engineering students into the course provided there is space. 

ECE 493 LEC 002 (Foundations of Multiagent Systems) - You should be able to add the course yourself in Quest. If not, we can override any third- or fourth-year Engineering students and any third- or fourth-year Computer Science students.

ECE 495 - We will override any fourth-year Engineering student into the course provided there is space. 

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Adding courses as a student from another faculty

ECE Undergraduate Office will consider enrolment from students from other faculties beginning on December 7. To request access to an ECE course on/after December 7, please contact our advising team. 

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Adding courses as an exchange student

Please contact your faculty exchange representative as all requests go through them:

Please note that ECE 451 and ECE 452 will not be available to exchange students for Winter 2023.

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What do I do if I get prerequisites not met error?

The undergraduate calendar lists the prerequisites that you must meet to be able to enrol in a course. Some examples include:

  • Having passed a course, sometimes with a particular grade,
  • Being in a minimum academic term (eg 3A),
  • Being in a specific program.

Prerequisites exist to ensure you have appropriate background to be able to be successful in the course, or because the course is only open to students in that specific program. If you think you have the background to be successful in a course and want an override, you should contact the instructor as listed in the Schedule of Classes. You can find email addresses in the campus directory.

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What do I do if I get a class full error?

A class full error means there are no available spots in the course. You will need to wait for someone to drop the course as we will not override class capacity. You should consider taking another course. You can watch the Schedule of Classes to help you see changes (note that it is updated hourly).

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What do I do if I get an 'available seats are reserved' error?

A reserved seats error means that the academic unit has set aside a certain amount of seats for students who meet certain characteristics (in a certain program or a certain level). You can see specifics about the reserve in the Schedule of Classes. Many (but not all) reserves will be removed on January 16, 2023.

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What do I do if I get a 'department consent required' error?

A department consent error means that permission needs to be obtained from the academic unit that is running the course. Web pages exist to help you with access to courses in the Faculty of Arts, Mathematics, Science.

For SYDE 522, SYDE 542, SYDE 543 and SYDE 548, you can add yourself to the wait lists here

For all other Engineering courses, contact the advisor in the appropriate area:

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What do I do if I get a time conflict error?

A time conflict error means you are trying to add a course that conflicts with the component(s) of another course you are already enrolled in. You can contact the instructor to see if they would be willing to provide a time conflict override. Please CC the advising team to coordinate this process more effectively. Please make sure to include your Waterloo student ID number

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What do I do if I get a maximum unit load error?

If you are on a work term and you want to add a second academic course, you will need to ask your work term supervisor to email the advising team with their permission for you to take two courses on a work term. Please make sure to give your supervisor your Waterloo student ID number so we can find your record.

If you're trying to add a course and you're getting this error and the above doesn't apply then please email the advising team. Please make sure to include your Waterloo student ID number

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What do I do if I want to add a CS course?

Computer Science (CS) has special rules for Engineering students wanting to add CS courses. Please review the information and note that you won't be able to add the course until January 16, 2023, at the earliest. If you have further questions after reviewing the information at the previous link, please contact the CS advising team

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