Using the waitlist is an excellent strategy to improve your schedule. It might help you get the classes that you want or need. However, there is always the chance that your schedule will stay the same if students don’t drop your desired class. It’s always good to have a “Plan B” in mind.

If a class you want to take is filled, you can join a waitlist on CUNYfirst. Make sure to do your class search with the “Show Open Classes Only” box unchecked. The classes with a waitlist have a yellow triangle icon toward the right-hand side.

Getting on the Waitlist

Before you add the class to your registration shopping cart, make sure you’ve checked the “Wait List if Class is Full” checkbox. This box is very small, so watch carefully. This is all illustrated in the how-to guide.


Check CUNYfirst often to see if you have been enrolled. Once per hour, CUNYfirst will look for classes which have an open seat. It will run a process (called “auto enrollment”) which selects the next eligible student and enrolls them into the class. Don’t worry, as students drop the class, the system will not let other students “jump in” ahead of you and other waitlisted students.

You should receive an email to your Hunter email account within 24–48 hours of being auto enrolled into a waitlisted course. However, you should check your CUNYfirst account often.

Depending on where you fall on the list, you could automatically be enrolled in the course, but you are not guaranteed a seat.

Auto Enrollment

CUNYfirst looks for classes with available seats and automatically enrolls the next eligible student in the class. You will receive an email if you have been automatically enrolled in a waitlisted course.

You will not be automatically enrolled in a class if:

  • The class has a time conflict with one of your other classes
  • You would be put over the allowable credits
  • Some of the available seats are reserved for a specific group of students
  • There is a hold on your account
  • Transfer credit was already received for the equivalent course

Swap a Class

You cannot join the waitlist for more than one section of the same course. If another section fits your schedule better, you can swap out of the original section.

Waitlists and Tuition

You are not charged while waiting for class availability. If you are auto-enrolled in a course, you are responsible for paying the tuition and fees.

Check your CUNYfirst account regularly to ensure you do not miss important payment deadlines.

Waitlist Questions