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Important HMB Course Enrolment Announcement | Two-Phase Waitlists

emailed to all  students enrolled in a HMB program on the evening of July 13, 2016

Dear HMB Students,

I wanted to talk about course enrolment, and an aspect of course enrolment that we the unit were only made aware of this morning (July 13) at 6:15 AM.  This is a long email, I know, but it is very important that all of you carefully read this email in its entirety.

In the past,  waitlists for a course only began once all spots were open to all students who met the enrolment controls. As you know, the majority of HMB coded courses are “R1 with unequal spots,” which means that there is a designated number of spots reserved for each group of students listed in the enrolment controls. We do this to ensure diverse classes and equality in enrolment.

As you may recall from last year, and in your other courses in other units this year, and in all the HMB newsletters and Facebook announcements,  you have been told that if you meet the enrolment categories and cannot enrol at your start time you have to wait until August 5 to enrol.  Because this had always been the case, until now.

By sheer happenstance, the Office of the Faculty Registrar (the wizards who dreamed up the snazzy new timetable I hope you all are using) accidentally set the HMB courses to allow two-phase waitlists, a feature in ROSI not normally used. While apparently this feature has been available, we did not know about it in the program office, so never requested it.

When the Office of the Faculty Registrar contacted us at 9 AM in response to HMB’s inquiry on why there were already waitlists for courses with only one student enrolled in a course, they explained the mistake and said they would remove the feature and HMB very firmly requested that this feature remain.


This is How the Two-Phase Waitlists Works (confirmed):

  1. The first phase is a tiered waitlist by enrolment group. That means if all the spaces reserved for your enrolment group (“X major-Year 4”) are taken, you can add yourself to a waitlist.  This waitlist will consist of you, and only any other student who also attempts to enrol in the course and meets that same enrolment group (“X major-Year 4”), ranked in timestamp order (first on waitlist, first in class).
    • This means that if “Y major- Year 4” is also allowed to enrol in this course, they will have a separate
    • What happens then, is as “X major- Year 4” students enrolled in the course either drop the course or are removed during prerequisite checks, only students on the “X major- Year 4” waitlist will be pulled and put into the course to replace the students who vacated the course.
    • On ACORN, this is the ranking you can currently see- it will say something like “20 of 10” that means your rank is 20 on the waitlist, waiting for a spot to open amongst the 10 spots reserved for your enrolment group.


  1. The second phase is a traditional timestamp waitlist.  On August 5, when all spaces become equal in “R1 with unequal spots” courses, the waitlist will convert to a traditional waitlist, of first on the waitlist, first into the course.
    • This  means that if in a course with a total cap size of 10, 5 spots were reserved for “X major- Year 4” and 5 spots reserved for “Y-major- Year 4”  and you, as an “X-major-Year 4” were the sixth person to attempt to enrol in the course,  and you are still on the waitlist on August 5, you would become first person on the timestamp waitlist.
    • So the earlier your timestamp, the higher ranking you are in a traditional waitlist
      • This is very important to understand, because your ranking may change once the timestamp waitlist comes into effect.
        • You may have been “20 of 10” on the tieredwaitlist, but become “21 of 50” once the traditional timestamp waitlist happens.


This is why the Two-Phase Waitlists are Brilliant:

  1. They allow you to add yourself immediately to a waitlist at your start time, instead of having to check every day to see if a spot has opened for your enrolment category, or waiting until August 5.
  2. This greatly increases your chances of getting into a course (without having to monitor ACORN like a hawk) before August 5.
  1. The waitlists are still equal and fair.
  1. HMB is better able to see course enrolment patterns, and where there may be problem areas much earlier in course enrolment, and we should be able to better assist all students in August, as we will have better, and more detailed information on enrolment pressures.

I hope this makes sense, and you agree that this is a way cool feature. So, for now, add yourselves to waitlists.  Prerequisite checks are already happening, and will continue to happen up until September 25.  There is a lot of movement in our courses, as ANA and PSL and other courses become available to HMB students in August.  Just hang tight.

On behalf of Human Biology, I apologize for any confusion this has caused you, and  that you did not receive prior information about this, but as I said, we only became aware of it when we logged into Degree Explorer to begin prerequisite checks at 6:15 AM today (yes, we are THAT serious about pre-requisite checks, and if you have not already emailed us about pre-requisite waivers you had better do so ASAP).

Please do not ever hesitate to email us (include your student number!) and Dana and myself will do whatever we can to assist you in your course enrolment and course selection.

All the best,

Gianna Leggio

Undergraduate Coordinator
Human Biology Program
University of Toronto
300 Huron Street, Room 105
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3J6
Tel: +1 416 946-7609
Follow us: @UofT_HMB