Swarthmore College Department of Computer Science

What to do if you are Lotteried out of a CS class

If you are lotteried out of a CS class and would like to be put on the waiting list, find your course listed below and follow the steps for that course (the steps are different for introductory vs upper-level courses).

In an effort to balance labs and lecture sections of CS courses, occasionally students are moved from one section to another after pre-registration. Please check your schedule after lotteries are over verify your registration. Before moving you into another section, your schedule was checked to ensure no course overlap. If you do not want to remain in the class please drop it to make room for wait list students. If you want to try to get back into your original section or another section please follow the waitlist rules below.

For Introductory Courses: CS21, CS31, and CS35

If you are lotteried out of CS21, CS31 or CS35, you can be added to the waiting list. You may also get onto the waiting list during the first week of classes if you did not preregister. We almost always are able to make all waitlist add decisions by the end of the first week of classes. Often times slots open up during the first week, particularly in the fall semester, and we add in students from the wait list that follow our waiting list rules:
  1. Prior to the start of the semester, send email to Lauri Courtenay (lauri at cs.swarthmore.edu) requesting to be added to the waiting list for the course. Include:
    1. Which course you are requesting to be added to (21, 31, or 35).
    2. Specify all class sections and lab sections you are able to attend. Indicate both the time and the number, for example:
      CS35.1 11:20-12:55  TR   
      CS35.2 11:30-12:20  MWF    * 
      CS35.A 1:15-2:30    M      
      CS35.B 3:00-4:30    M     
      CS35.D 3:00-4:30    T      * 
      
      The more section options you have, the more likely you will get some open spot. If you list more than one section, you can indicate your preferred class and lab section with a star (*).
    3. List your name and graduation class year.
    4. Give a 1 sentence reason why you want to take the course.
    5. Did you pre-register and were lotteried out this semester? If so, also include the class section and lab section you were lotteried out of.

  2. To stay on the waiting list you MUST attend all meetings of one section of the class and one section of the lab during the first week.
    • Sign in on the waiting list attendance sheet in the class and lab.
    • If you can add more than one section, you only need to attend one section of the class to stay on the waiting list for all sections of the class.

We start adding students during the first week as slots open in the course. Often times we can add students after Wednesday of classes. We try to make all add decisions by the end of the first week of classes.

We drop registered students from these courses who do not attend during the first week of class. We do this to ensure we can add as many waiting list students as possible. This means that sometimes slots open up at the end of the first week of classes.

We give preference to first and second year students in CS21, CS31, CS35, and to juniors who applied for the CS major and minor and who were deferred because they have not yet taken CS31 or CS35.

We keep a history of waiting lists and we try to avoid lotterying out students who were lotteried out and who followed our waiting list rules in previous semesters. Unfortunately, we are currently not staffed to guarantee slots in future semesters for students who are lotteried out of CS courses. We try as best we can to accommodate as many students as possible. Your best chance of getting into a CS21, 31, and 35 is to preregister during your first and second year, and to follow the waiting list rules if you are lotteried out.

We do not manage waiting lists for students who just want to change lab sections; it is up to you to find a student in another section to switch with you.


For Upper-level Courses (numbered above CS35)

Send email to the professor teaching the course and ask to be added to the waiting list. If the professor isn't yet listed, or if it is a new professor for fall who is not yet on campus, email the department chair to request being added to the waiting list for the class.

Include the following information:

  1. Which sections you are able to add (the more the better your chances). You can indicate your preference of sections if you have any.
  2. Your name and graduation year
  3. Are you a CS major or minor?
  4. A sentence explaining why you want to take the course.
  5. Do you need it to satisfy a CS major or minor requirement? If so, which one (G1, G2, G3, or elective)?

To stay on the waiting list for a class, you MUST attend class and lab during the first week and sign your name of the waiting list attendance sheet. If there is more than a single section of lecture or or lab for the class, you only need to attend one of the lecture sections and one of the lab sections during the first week to stay on the waiting list for any section of the class.

We almost always are able to make all add decisions during the first week of classes.

We give preference to junior and senior CS majors and minors and to students who need the course to satisfy a requirement for the major or minor.

Most upper-level courses are offered every other year.