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September 2, 2020

Dear Faculty,

We are writing with additional information about guidance for managing waitlists this semester.



Class Attendance for Waitlisted Students

As you know, we have carefully assessed classroom capacities in accordance with Covid-19 social distancing guidelines, and in many cases, there is not space in assigned classrooms to safely accommodate waitlisted students. As a result, all AS&E students who are waitlisted are being asked to not to attend class until they have a confirmed seat in the class. 

Students on a waitlist are encouraged to ask email faculty to ask if they can attend class virtually while on the waitlist; instructors have the discretion to day no. If instructors are making class materials available to waitlisted students through the end of the add period, they will need to manually add wait-listed students to Canvas (see instructions below). There is the potential for a student to mistakenly believe they are enrolled in the class if they are added to Canvas and virtually sitting in while the wait list is being sorted out — that is not the case, and, as is normal, students must move off the waitlist and be registered through SIS in order to be officially enrolled. 

This year especially, we encourage instructors to be transparent with students about their likelihood of getting off the waitlist so they can finalize their schedules and avoid falling behind.

Students who may want to “shop” your class but are not formally enrolled on the waitlist have been encouraged to reach out to faculty for access to remote materials if available and will also be instructed not to attend classes unless formally enrolled.

Providing Canvas Access to Waitlisted Students

To give waitlisted or other unenrolled students access to your class Canvas site, you, or a department administrator with access to your Canvas site, will need to add students manually.

This semester, new SIS enrollments will populate in Canvas three times a day (approximately 4 a.m., 12 p.m., and 8 p.m.), so students who need urgent access to Canvas will need to be added manually.

Providing Canvas Access to Department Administrators

You can give a department administrator administrative privileges to your class Canvas sites and giving them “Designer” access to your course.

Enrolling Students from the Waitlist

Students are added to classes as seats become available, in the order they added themselves to the waitlist, unless other enrollment errors like time conflicts prevent them from being enrolled in the class.

If you would like to grant permission to select students to enroll in your class, you may do so using the Permissions feature.  Please use caution when granting students permission to enroll in full/closed classes, as this may cause rooms to exceed occupancy limits.  Email if you need guidance on Covid-adjusted room capacities.

If you would like to enroll your entire waitlist and increase the size of your class, you can follow these instructions. These enrollments are manual, not instantaneous, though they will be processed as quickly as possible. 

A reminder that we may not be able to enroll all waitlisted students if we do not have a classroom that can accommodate the larger enrollment.  This semester especially, we encourage you not to promise students a spot in your class until you have received confirmation from the Registrar’s office that this is possible.  If you plan to enroll waitlisted students and close your waitlist, we suggest you do so as early in the semester as possible.


We thank you for your flexibility as we work to reopen campus this semester and encourage you to reach out with any questions at


Warm Regards,
JoAnn Jack
Tufts University
Associate Dean of Student Services
Registrar, Arts, Sciences & Engineering