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For Fall 2021

The following information is applicable only to courses based in the Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies (DAMES). It may not apply to courses based in other departments that are crosslisted with DAMES.  The policies and practices of other departments may vary.

I read that more seats might be released for the class I want, but when will this happen?

This is a little complicated because different types of seat reserve will be lifted at different times.

  • All our culture courses have seats reserved for DAMES majors. Any leftovers that our majors don’t use will be released sometime on Tuesday, June 15, after all continuing students have had a chance to register.
  • Several of our culture classes (more on this below) have Carolina Away seats reserved. Any leftovers here will be released on Monday, August 2.
  • Our 100-level culture courses (except ARAB 150, which is remote) have seats reserved for first-years. Any leftovers will be released on Monday, August 2.
  • Some of our 101 language classes (ARAB, CHIN, JAPN, KOR) have class-year restrictions.  These will be lifted sometime on Wednesday, August 4.
  • Some advanced Chinese and Japanese language courses start out restricted to DAMES majors. We’ll release unused seats here no later than Tuesday, June 15.

The 101 languages courses don’t have waitlisting enabled, but for all the other courses, if you are hoping to maybe get in once more seats are released, the absolute best thing to do is waitlist. Any seats that become available will go to the people on the waitlist first. Note that we sometimes release these seats earlier than the promised date (for instance, if it becomes clear during registration that our majors won’t need as many seats as we set aside for them, we’ll start to release those early).

I can’t add the DAMES class I want because of a time conflict, but the other class on my schedule is asynchronous, so it wouldn’t really be a problem. What can I do?
If you can forward to Lori Harris an email from the professor/department of the other class, saying that you’ll be taking their class asynchronously and don’t need to attend it at the scheduled time, we’ll override the time conflict. Be sure to include in the email your name, PID, and exactly what DAMES class section you wish to add.

I’m participating in Carolina Away, or otherwise wish to take remote courses this fall.  Are there any DAMES courses that are being offered remotely?

Yes, there are a few! ARAB 150 and KOR 237 will be 100% remote (but synchronous). ASIA 150 and CHIN 346 have some seats reserved for remote students, who can be asynchronous.

The course seats DAMES has committed to Carolina Away are being managed centrally. If you need to take remote courses this fall, there’s information and help on the Carolina Away website.

If a course is listed under two numbers (e.g. ASIA 133 and HIST 133), how do I tell which department the course is based in?

One way is to look at our fall courses page, where crosslists are listed in a separate section from the courses DAMES offers.

This course shows up as open, but when I tried to enroll I got an error message about not meeting a reserve capacity. What does this mean, and can I enroll?

The reserve capacity message means there’s a restriction on the course (like seniors only or Japanese majors only) that you don’t qualify for.  Some of our courses do have restrictions. However, in many cases (FYS courses are an exception; they are always first-years-only) there’s a point where those restrictions will be lifted, and all remaining seats will then be made available to anyone who wants them, starting with the people on the waitlist. (You can waitlist a course even if it has a restriction that won’t let you actually enroll in it.)  To find out when that might happen, see next question.

How do I know what the restrictions are on this course (and when they might be lifted)?

When you do a search in ConnectCarolina and find the class, the section number is a link.  Click through and you’ll be on the Class Detail page. Scroll down that page to the Class Notes section, and there will be a note explaining things.

The new Schedule Planner will give you even more and better information, because when a class has reserve capacities, Schedule Planner lets you see how many seats are reserved for each group, and how many of those have been taken or are still left.  Check out tip #17 on this page.

I’m on the waitlist but I’m still not getting into the course, even though it has spaces available. What’s going on?

Check your schedule to see if you have a time conflict. ConnectCarolina will let you waitlist even if you have a time conflict or don’t meet restrictions on the class, but these things get checked when you have the chance to get in off the waitlist.

If the course has recitation sections, another possible problem is that there are seats open in some recitations, but not the one you chose. If you’re willing to make a different recitation choice in order to get into the class, look at which recitations are open and try swapping to one of them. If you see another open recitation that you’d be willing to take, but can’t change your request on ConnectCarolina without losing your place on the waitlist, contact Lori Harris for help (include your PID).

I want to waitlist, but this course doesn’t have a waitlist.

We purposely don’t offer waitlisting in our language courses that have multiple sections, because we want people to be realistic and choose from the sections that are actually still available, rather than pinning their hopes on a waitlist. However, if the open sections really don’t work for you, please see our further advice about getting into full sections.

Also, our First-Year Seminar classes don’t have waitlists; this is a universal First-Year Seminar policy.

I want to waitlist, but the waitlist is full.

We’re sorry. We offer as much waitlist capacity as we are permitted to, but University policy limits the size of waitlists. If the waitlist is full, all you can do is check back for a chance to join it if a spot opens up.

The course seems to have a waitlist, but I can’t join it.

It may be too late.  Waitlisting is only allowed up to a certain date before each semester.  To know what that date is, look at the academic calendar on the Registrar’s website for that semester, and you’ll find a date that says it’s the last date students can add themselves to waitlists.  Once that deadline has passed, existing waitlists will continue to function, but nobody new can join a waitlist.

I tried to enroll in an open course and got an error message about permission. Where can I get a permission number?

We don’t actually use permission numbers, so you don’t need one.  Here’s what is really going on. Starting on the first day of class, we may use the department-permission requirement to block enrollment in some classes that are full. That’s because we anticipate having extra people show up wanting to add, but people already in the class may drop; if someone drops and there’s an open seat, we want that seat to go to the person who’s been attending the class for a couple of days already, not to the person who happened to see it first on ConnectCarolina.

For classes where we do this, the only way to try to get in is to come to the class itself, which you are welcome to do.

I want to get into a course that’s full. What can I do?

That depends.  Is it a culture course (taught in English) or a language course?

Getting into culture courses

First, watch ConnectCarolina for an opening. Everyone else is also dropping, adding, and generally tinkering with their schedules, so at any moment of the day or night, someone might give up a spot that you can then have.  Check back often (or better yet, use the UNC Class Checker app that notifies you when a vacancy appears) if you really want to get in.

All of our non-FYS culture courses have seats reserved for DAMES majors.  If our majors don’t use all those seats, we’ll release them for others, and they’ll go first to the people (if any) on the waitlist. So waitlisting is a great plan. There should be a note on the class telling you when we plan to release any extra seats.

Secondly, come to the first day of the class (if the class is remote, see below).  The instructor may or may not have room or be willing to take extra people, but you are welcome to show up and ask.

Will it help to email the instructor?

Maybe, maybe not. The instructor may be delighted with your enthusiasm and eager to let you add their class.  Or they may be too busy and overwhelmed with a deluge of emails to even get back to you. Or they may be open to possibly taking a few extra people, but feel that they want to see who actually shows up to the first class meeting before deciding.  In almost all cases, instructors would rather have someone who has taken the trouble to show up to the first day (and also thereby not missed a session) than someone who keeps sending them pleading emails but doesn’t actually show up.

Getting into language courses

If there are open sections of the class you want, try to enroll in an available section if you are willing to take that section. Please don’t enroll in a section you won’t really take; that doesn’t improve your chances of getting into the section you want, and it shuts out other people who might be trying to get into the section you don’t want.

If you are asking to get into a full section while there are still open sections, we’ll only consider granting such a request if you genuinely have a demonstrable conflict with another class. Also, such requests will not be considered at all until the term actually starts.

What if all sections are full, or the available ones conflict with other classes I’m taking that are more important to me?

Check ConnectCarolina often. Everyone else is also dropping, adding, and generally tinkering with their schedules, so at any moment of the day or night, someone might give up a spot that you can then have.  Check back often if you really want to get in.

What if I still haven’t managed to get into the class by the day classes start?

Definitely come to the first day (if the class is remote, see below).  It’s fine to come to any section you want, even if it seems to be full. The instructor will pass around a sheet to collect the information of anyone who’s there hoping to add. Signing up on this sheet does NOT mean that you’ll definitely get to add, but you may keep attending the class during the first week until you hear from the department either way about your request.

Should I also keep watching for a chance to add the class on ConnectCarolina?  Or, I saw an opening on ConnectCarolina after the start of the semester, but when I tried to enroll, I got an error message about department consent being required.

Here’s what is really going on.  Starting from the first day of class, if we know there will be extra people seeking to add, we use the “department-consent” thing in ConnectCarolina to shut down enrollment and ensure that people can only add through the department. The reason for this is that if someone does drop the class and a seat is open, we want that seat to go to someone who’s been attending the class, not to whoever randomly sees it first.  Once classes have started, the best way to get into a class is to go to it. (Don’t email us to ask for permission numbers; we don’t really use those.)

Will emailing the instructor help?

Definitely not. Decisions about enrollment in language classes are made centrally by the department; the individual instructor does not have the authority to decide if you can add.

I’m a junior and I see junior seats available in this 101 class, but I’m still getting the reserve-capacity error message when I try to enroll.

The most likely cause of this problem is that ConnectCarolina thinks of you as a senior. The mechanics of the class-year restrictions that we use on some 101 classes are based on class standing.  If you have senior standing based on credit hours, ConnectCarolina will treat you as a senior, even if it’s really going to be your junior year (in terms of how long you’ve been in college and how much longer you plan to be). Unfortunately this is an issue that can only be addressed manually.  If you think you have this problem, contact Lori Harris; include your PID and the section you wish to get into.  If there’s a junior seat left and you’re really a junior, we’ll give it to you.

I’m a rising senior, but I really want to take a 101 language class.  

Because first-years are our priority for 101 classes, some languages have class-year restrictions.  Currently Hebrew, Hindi-Urdu, Persian, Turkish, and Vietnamese 101 are unrestricted and anybody should be able to enroll right away. But for Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean 101, seniors won’t be allowed until after the whole incoming class has had a chance to enroll.  If there are seats left at that point, seniors are welcome!

But I really, really want to take this 101 class even though I’ll be a senior, because [compelling personal reasons]!  Isn’t there anything I can do to get into it??

There is nothing you can do to get a seat in this 101 class before the date when we open unused seats to seniors. However, there are some things you can do to increase your chance of eventual success. There are usually a few seniors every year who get into our 101 classes in even the most in-demand languages, and the factors that distinguish those successful seniors are persistence, flexibility, and tolerance for uncertainty.

  • Persistence in this case doesn’t mean sending lots of emails. It means checking back on whatever dates we said unused seats might be released, or coming to the first day of class–generally, taking advantage of any possible opportunity.
  • Flexibility is about scheduling, because all these classes have multiple section times.  If you really want to take this 101 class but there’s only one section that fits your schedule, there may or may not be openings in that section. But if you can take any of the times, you’ve got that many more chances. If you can’t make all the times work, probably the best ones to be available for are the times generally least popular with everyone else, like 8 am.
  • Tolerance for uncertainty is about your ability to wait, possibly until the last minute, for a final decision. If you need to resolve your schedule planning and need a definite yes or no answer in April, the answer will always be No.  But if you’re willing to wait, the answer is Maybe, and if you’re able to take advantage of a last-minute opportunity, it might eventually be Yes.

If you’re thinking “this all sounds like a lot of trouble; I’d like to take this 101 class, but it’s not worth that much effort and inconvenience,” that is a completely valid choice that only you can make.  But if it is really important to you and you want to maximize your chances, this is our best advice for that.

I’m a graduate student. Do I need any special permission to enroll?

Yes, you will need departmental permission to get into ARAB, CHIN, JAPN, or KOR 101. Please refer to this policy and submit this request form.

(FLAS recipients may bypass this process.  If you have a FLAS, just email Lori Harris with your PID, enrollment request, and which center your FLAS is from. Act early for maximum choice of sections.)

After 101, you can continue freely through the higher levels. And grad students register first, so you should never have a problem getting whichever section you want. However, it’s your responsibility to make sure you register promptly; don’t wait until undergraduates have filled up the section you want.

Will the department allow extra people into the class?

For courses above 101: If all sections are full, we’ll do whatever it takes to make more room. We are committed to offering enough seats for everyone from the previous level who wants to continue, but can’t guarantee everyone the section time they prefer.

Exceptions to that rule: Chinese above 408 or 414, and Japanese above 306.  At these levels, we’ll accommodate everyone we possibly can, and there’s usually room for all, but if demand exceeds supply, our majors will have priority.

I showed up to the first day of class and signed the add request sheet.  How soon will the department make a decision and when will I find out?

We’ll make a decision as soon as possible. We’re eager to see the situation stabilize, and we also realize that anyone we say no to needs time to make other plans. We’ll notify you by email, as soon as possible and definitely by Monday.

This FAQ says I can show up to the first day of a full class and request to add, but the class I want meets remotely. 

You can show up remotely!  Look at the Class Notes in ConnectCarolina (if you don’t know how, it’s explained in one of the first items in this FAQ).  We’ll be putting the zoom link for the first week in the notes so that people who wish to add can show up.  If you don’t see it, check back; we probably won’t be adding these links till shortly before the term starts.

I still have a question about registration/enrollment in a DAMES course that this FAQ did not answer.

Email Lori Harris for help. Include your PID.