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For Spring 2023

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 in the first registration wave will be released before the start of the second wave.
  • Our 100-level culture courses have seats reserved for FR/SO. Any leftovers from these will be released before open enrollment starts on November 18.
  • Some advanced Chinese and Japanese language courses start out with most or all seats restricted to DAMES majors. We’ll release unused seats here before the second wave starts.

If you are hoping to maybe get in once more seats are released, the absolute best thing to do is waitlist (though you can’t do so until the second wave). 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.

Are there any DAMES courses that are being offered remotely in the fall?

Just a very few: TURK 102, TURK 204, and VIET 102. Barring some pandemic-induced change of plan, all our other classes will be in-person.

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 spring 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 saying seats were reserved and I didn’t meet the reserve requirement. What does this mean, and can I enroll?

The reserve 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 during the second wave 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)?

New features have been added to ConnectCarolina (effective for spring 2023 registration) that will help you with this.

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 Availability section, and you’ll see a breakdown of seats: how many were reserved for different groups and who those groups were, how many were open to anyone, and for each group how many of the seats have been taken and how many are left. In the Reserved Seats column, the abbreviated name of the reserve group has hover text that explains it more clearly.

Below this in the Notes section on the same page there may be a note explaining when reserved seats will be released.

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.

Alternatively, it could be too early–remember you can’t waitlist during the first wave of registration.

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.

I wanted to start learning an Asian or Middle Eastern language this term, but I don’t see the 101 level listed in ConnectCarolina.

If you are genuinely a beginner, you’re out of luck for this term; we offer the beginning (101) courses in fall, and sometimes in summer, but never in spring. To find out what elementary language classes might be offered in summer 2023, check the Summer School website; next summer’s information should be posted by winter break. Otherwise, check back next fall for 101 courses!
If you’re not a total beginner in the language you want to start, you should begin by taking the placement test. You might place into a level offered in spring!

I’m a graduate student; do I need special permission to take a language class? 

Not in the spring. You did for some languages in the 101 class, but not after that.  You do need to take a placement test if you didn’t take the previous course. And you should be sure to register on the day of your appointment, because you register first and should thus always be able to get the section of your choice. But if you want until undergrads have enrolled, the section time you prefer might not be available.

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.

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 313, 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 the weekend.

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.