Enrollment Guide

Section change requests are not permitted. If you would prefer a different section, watch Student Center for any openings that may become available, and use the directions at www.physics.cornell.edu/swap to swap to the open section.

Student Center Enrollment

For the most current information on course availability and your enrollment, check Student Center.  If you are using Scheduler or another scheduling tool for planning purposes, do not use your plan as a personal calendar until you verify the information matches your actual enrollment in Student Center. You may only attend the section that matches your enrollment in Student Center. TAs cannot give you permission to stay in a class in which you are not enrolled.

Swapping Sections

If you are enrolled in a Physics course and a preferable section becomes open during the pre-enroll or add/drop period, you may SWAP classes in Student Center without risk of dropping your current section. You cannot accidentally drop the class using the SWAP function. If you fail to follow the SWAP instructions and accidentally drop the class, you cannot be added back to the class unless you are able to re-enroll through Student Center. You cannot be re-added to a full class/section. You cannot swap into a full class/section.


Physics maintains enrollment waitlists for non-elective courses; these are for enrollment only, and cannot be used to request specific sections. Students who join the waitlist will be placed (when possible) in a lecture/discussion/lab section that fits their schedule - where there is the most room for their placement. Specific section or time requests are not accepted. Requests to join a class from students already enrolled in the class will be disregarded. Do not enroll in open sections that conflict with your other required classes and expect Physics to change your section to accommodate the conflict.

If you add backup classes to your schedule, ensure that these classes do not occur during the time of the course you request. You must have room in your schedule/max credits to add the course you are requesting.

The Physics Department will assist you if you are unable to resolve a conflict between your Physics course and another required course for your degree; however, if changing your FWS, PE class, or another elective is possible and will resolve the conflict, then you should resolve the conflict on your own rather than seeking an accommodation from Physics. 

Waitlists will open immediately prior to the pre-enroll window, and will remain open until the Wednesday prior to the beginning of the add/drop period. Students may not join the waitlist until their pre-enroll window is open. There are no waitlists during the add/drop period or once instruction begins.


Course-Specific Enrollment Information

  • PHYS 120X courses do not have waitlists. Enrollment is on a first-come, first-served basis via self-enrollment through Student Center unless otherwise indicated in the course roster notes. There are no exceptions.
  • PHYS 1110/1112/1116/2210/2213/2214/2217/2218 Physics and Engineering students are guaranteed enrollment in these classes if they join the waitlist during their pre-enroll period. We cannot guarantee enrollment for students who do not join the waitlist until after pre-enroll, or whose first attempt to enroll is during the add/drop period.
  • PHYS 2207/2208 You must enroll in a non-conflicting lecture, discussion, and lab section to enroll in the class; you cannot enroll unless all of these components are available for enrollment in Student Center. These classes will fill during pre-enroll; prioritize your enrollment in these classes prior to enrolling in elective courses. Pre-health majors who are unable to enroll may take PHYS 1101/1102. Students who must take calculus-based Physics during their sophomore year to stay on track with their programs will be verified prior to placement from the waitlist. First year students may self-enroll if non-conflicting lecture, discussion, and lab times are available in Student Center, but will not be placed from the waitlist.
  • PHYS 4400/4410/6500/6510 Physics & A&EP seniors and grad students will receive an email from physicsenrolllment@cornell.edu during spring semester - prior to pre-enroll for fall. This will include a link to indicate your intention to enroll in fall or spring of the following academic year, and will determine enrollment for the following fall and spring semesters.
  • PHYS 4481/7681 AEP 4812/AEP 7681) When this class is offered, Paul Ginsparg verifies pre-prequisites before assigning permission numbers. The interest link will be with the lecture/s on the course roster. Note that CS 4812 has been removed as a crosslist.
  • Graduate Level Courses (5000-7000 level) If permission is required, it is instructor permission; refer to the course notes on the course roster for which instructor to contact for permission. Undergrads taking graduate-level classes with variable grading must take the course for a letter grade.
  • Physics Waitlist Link


For enrollment questions not addressed above, contact physicsenrollment@cornell.edu.