Course Enrollment Policies

May 1, 2017 | 10:01 am

This page explains enrollment policies for Design Innovation (DES INV) courses offered by the Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation. Contact Amy Dinh, Student Services Advisor, at if you have further questions about DES INV policies. For questions regarding non-DES INV courses, please contact the department administering the course. 

Courses with open enrollment (i.e., not by application)

Applies to DES INV 10, 15, 21, 22, 23, 25, 95/195, 97/197 and some DES INV 190 and DES INV 290 courses.

Process and timeline:

  1. Phase I and Phase II: Students enroll via CalCentral. Seats are reserved for different categories of students (see below for typical reservation categories); once all seats for a reservation category are full, students in that category join the waitlist instead.
  2. Last week before the adjustment period begins: Students are added from the waitlist to fill remaining open seats, prioritized by reservation category (see the section on reservation categories below for more information).
  3. Adjustment period: Reservation categories are eliminated. Students are added from the waitlist in chronological order to fill remaining open seats*.
  4. After instruction begins: Students are added from the waitlist in chronological order to fill vacated seats, until the end of the third week of the semester, after which point any remaining waitlisted students are dropped and the waitlist closed. The instructor may drop a student if the student does not attend every class meeting during the first three weeks of instruction or if the student does not meet class prerequisites, per the policy described by the Office of the Registrar.

Reservation categories:

  • In keeping with our goal of supporting interdisciplinary learning, we reserve seats in DES INV courses for different categories of students, typically based on degree program, class year, and college.
  • The exact number of seats allotted to each reservation category varies based on the course level and topic. Generally speaking, lower division students have priority in sub-100 level courses. Upper division students have priority in 100-level courses. Graduate students have priority in 200-level courses.

*Enrollment restrictions:

  • Graduate students cannot immediately enroll in sub-100 level courses. They must join the waitlist and can only enroll if seats remain open in the class after the beginning of the semester and the instructor permits it.

Courses with enrollment by application

Some DES INV courses use an application process to ensure adequate student preparation and an appropriate mix of skillsets and experience for team-based project courses. 

  • The instructor sets the course application criteria (e.g., relevant experience, interest in subject) and timeline. These details will be posted in the course listing on CalCentral, in the Class Notes section.
  • Students selected by the instructor will be notified by email so that they can enroll themselves directly via CalCentral. Waitlisted students will also be informed of their status.
  • Waitlisted students will be added if space opens in the class, in the order that they were ranked by the instructor.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are DES INV courses only open to students in certain majors?

In the spirit of supporting interdisciplinary learning, DES INV courses are open to students from all disciplines. We reserve seats for students from all colleges, though seats in some reservation categories tend to fill more quickly than others.

Why can’t I enroll in this class even though CalCentral says that there are seats still available?

Though there are still some open seats in the class, they are reserved for other groups of students. The Berkeley Academic Guide shows how many seats in a class are reserved and for which groups; this information is shown on the Reserve Seating tab for individual class listings. 

Can I audit the class, if I can’t enroll in it?

It depends on the policy set by the instructor for his/her course. Please note that auditors ordinarily do not participate in discussions, exams, or written papers. Audited classes are not recorded on your course schedule or on academic transcripts.

Can I take two courses that meet at the same time?

The campus enrollment system allows students to have time conflicts in their initial course schedule. However, this is only a temporary solution for the beginning of the semester. Students are expected to attend DES INV class meetings, so you must resolve any time conflicts to stay enrolled. Instructors are in no way obligated to accommodate issues that arise from students’ decisions to enroll in classes with time conflicts.

Can non-UC Berkeley students enroll in DES INV courses?

Visiting students and members of the general public are welcome to enroll in UC Berkeley courses, including DES INV courses, during the summer term through Berkeley Summer Sessions. Our summer courses typically have a mix of Berkeley and non-Berkeley students enrolled.

During the fall and spring semesters, visiting students and members of the general public can apply to enroll in Berkeley courses through Concurrent Enrollment. However, Concurrent Enrollment students can be admitted only if seats are still open after Berkeley students have enrolled. Applicants may need to wait until the fourth week of the semester to find out if they can be admitted into a course, and enrollment cannot be guaranteed, especially for popular courses.

Do Berkeley Certificate in Design Innovation (BCDI) candidates get enrollment priority for DES INV courses? Unfortunately, we cannot give enrollment priority to BCDI candidates. If you have questions about fulfilling BCDI course requirements, please contact Tyshon Rogers (, student services advisor for the BCDI.