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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 Tyshon Rogers, Assistant Director, Academic Affairs at if you have further questions about DES INV policies. For questions regarding non-DES INV courses, please contact the department administering the course. 

General policies

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 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 and first year transfer students have priority in sub-100 level courses; upper division students have priority in 100-level courses; and graduate students have priority in 200-level courses.

Enrollment restrictions:

  • Enrollment in the foundation-level courses DES INV 10 and 15 is restricted to lower division and first year transfer students until the beginning of the adjustment period.
  • Graduate students cannot directly enroll in sub-100 level courses during the fall and spring semesters. 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.
  • Unless otherwise specified in the course listing, 200-level courses are reserved for Master of Design (MDes) students and not open to enrollment by students outside of the program.

Courses with open enrollment

Most DES INV courses have enrollment on a first-come, first-served basis, i.e., no application is required and no enrollment codes are distributed to students. The policies in this section apply 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: College-based reservation categories are eliminated, but class year-based reservation categories remain.
  3. Adjustment period: Class year-based reservation categories are also eliminated. Students will be added from the waitlist in chronological order to fill vacated seats.
  4. After instruction begins: Students will continue to be 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.

Courses with enrollment by application

A small number of 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. To see the breakdown of reserved seats for a particular class, look up its listing in the Class Schedule and scroll down to the Reserved Seats section. The chart displayed in this section shows the breakdown of how many seats are reserved for various categories of students, as well as any changes over time.

Why can’t I enroll in this class even though CalCentral/the Class Schedule 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. Please see the answer to the previous question for more information on how you can see the breakdown of reserved seats for a particular class.

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

Enrolled students, visiting research scholars, emerita/us faculty, staff members, and post-doctoral scholars on the Berkeley campus are free to audit classes subject to the approval of the instructor. Members of the public may audit classes only through concurrent enrollment with a no-credit option that will be administered by UC Extension; please see the question and answer below for more details. The full campus policy for auditing classes at UC Berkeley can be found here.

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, which is administered by Berkeley Extension. 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.

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.

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.