Enrollment Guidelines



Dear students, 


Welcome to the Math department - we are the only department in the university where you can take a mathematics class. Up to 80% of Berkeley undergraduate students take a class in our department at some point in their studies. As such, the department is committed to serving the academic needs of all students from all majors. With the high demand for our courses it is an ongoing challenge to provide a seat to every student that needs to take a class, so we appreciate your patience and consideration as we assist you!


Please read the following carefully, as it will help you navigate through the process of getting into a Math class. You will most likely be able to find the answer to your enrollment questions on this page. If you still have questions after reading through everything, please write to enrollment [at] math [dot] berkeley [dot] edu.



Math Department Student Affairs Team


If you are an undergraduate student interested in Math 1A, 1B, 10A, 10B, 16A, 16B, 53, 54, 55 and 110:

  • These courses have two components: a Lecture (LEC) and a Discussion (DIS) section, and you must sign up for both the lecture and one of the corresponding discussion sections.

  • There is a high demand for these lower-division courses. Here are some tips to maximize your chances of getting in

    • Sign up early, preferably during Phase 1.

    • Pick a discussion section with the most available seats.

    • Consider less popular sections, such as classes at 8am or Friday discussions.

    • If the discussion section you’re interested in is already full, you have to join the waitlist. When a spot opens up in the section, the system will auto-enroll you off the waitlist but with the following exceptions:

        If you have a time conflict (time conflicts involve not only the timing of lectures and discussion sections but also final exams). Make sure to avoid time conflicts. The Math department will not override time conflicts for students.

        If you have any outstanding registration holds; take care of these before your assigned Phase I appointment.

      • MAXIMUM UNIT LOAD (20.5)
        Unit load max’s also will restrict auto-enrollment (unit max = 20.5).

  • How do the waitlists work?

    • Waitlists are processed automatically by CalCentral, not by the department. 

    • Waitlists are processed 4 times a day, and will enroll students automatically based on their position as long as there is also space in the discussion. 

    • Waitlists will stop processing by Friday of the third week of instruction. If you are still on the waitlist by that time, check and see if there is an opening in another discussion section and switch there. The waitlists will be purged by the Add/Drop/Swap/Unit Change Deadline by the following mid-week. For impacted courses, due to equity concerns, we advise faculty against approving late add petitions for students who continue to take the course after not making it in off the waitlist. 

  • Avoid adding a section you know ahead of time that you will not be able to attend. But if you have to, here are tips for switching the discussion sections on CalCentral: 

    • If you are enrolled in a course and there is another discussion section with open space, you should have no trouble with the switch (as long as you don’t have a time conflict with that section). 

    • If you try to switch to a full discussion section with a waiting list, Cal Central will move you from enrolled to waitlisted for the course. You will be waitlisted for both the lecture and the discussion section. Your enrollment in the lecture and one discussion section does not guarantee you a spot in a different discussion section that is already full.

    • Your enrollment in the discussion dictates your enrollment in the lecture. You must be enrolled into the discussion section in order to be enrolled into the lecture. 

    • If you are waitlisted for the course, and you want to change the discussion section, you will need to drop the class and re-add it. Although this will cause you to lose your previous waitlist position number in the lecture, it is important to note that it is the  discussion section that primarily drives the enrollment. If you are switching into a discussion section with more availability, you have a stronger chance of becoming enrolled.   

    • Be aware that the "Swap Courses" feature in CalCentral cannot be used to switch discussion/lab sections. "Swap Courses" is only used to switch between courses/lectures.

    • If you switched discussion sections, and the semester has already begun, it is best practice to check-in with your old and new Graduate Student Instructors (GSIs) to make sure that any scores you have already received are appropriately transferred.

    • The Math Department is unable to manually switch you to another discussion section. If you have an extenuating circumstance and are unable to complete the section switch on your own, we will consider a limited set of exception requests for departmental assistance. Documentation may be requested by the department to support the exception. 



 If you are interested in taking upper-division Math courses (E.g. Math 104, 110, 113, 128A, and 185):

  • During "Phase 1" of registration, seats in the above core courses will be reserved for students who have a declared major in Mathematics or Applied Mathematics, undeclared students in the College of Letters & Science ( A few seats will be reserved for students in Engineering Science (Energy Engineering, Engineering Math & Stats, Environmental Engineering, and Engineering Physics).

  • All other students can add themselves to the waitlist during Phase 1, or wait until Phase 2 to enroll. At the end of Phase 1 students on waitlists will be added to any remaining seats before Phase 2 enrollment begins.


If you are an undergraduate student interested in taking a graduate course in the Math Department:

  • CalCentral does not allow undergraduate students to enroll or waitlist in graduate classes.

  • This course list provides information on requirements for specific classes. Please submit an enrollment request using this form

  • When you are requesting permission from an instructor, always provide your full name and student ID number, as well as the information that your instructor requires (e.g. unofficial transcript, etc). 

  • Please note that graduate students have the first priority in these courses. Undergraduate students will be added only if there is extra space. 


If you are non-Berkeley student interested in taking a Math class:

  • Students at local high schools and colleges, UC employees, and others, can take UC Berkeley courses through UC Berkeley Extension's Concurrent Enrollment program. This program allows you, for a fee, to participate fully in the Berkeley class, have homework and exams graded, and receive an official course grade.

  • Select the class(es) you wish to take on your UC Extension Concurrent Enrollment application. Keep in mind that admission to a course as a Concurrent Enrollment student is only possible if all regular Berkeley students have enrolled. Thus, if a course has a high enrollment, it may not be possible to accommodate you, or you may have to choose one of the less-full sections, or wait until it is known whether there will be room.


If you are looking to enroll in Math 49, 196, 197, or 199:


Please note that although we try to process these petitions as soon as we can, during busy periods, our response time gets delayed. To know what to expect, keep the following time-frame in mind:

  • Petitions submitted during Enrollment Phase 1 will be processed by the end of Phase 1 (at the latest)

  • Petitions submitted during Enrollment Phase 2 will be processed by the end of Phase 2 (at the latest)

  • Petitions submitted during the Adjustment Period will be processed by the Add/Drop deadline during Week 3.