Reserved Seats (Reserve Capacity) FAQs

Reserved seats — also known as reserve capacity — is a functionality that can save a certain number of seats for a specific group of students. This registration feature helps students enroll in the classes they need for their program and stay on track with their academic goals.

During registration, students selecting a class with reserved seats will need to meet additional criteria when all the remaining seats are reserved. If the student meets the criteria, they can register for the reserved seats. If they do not meet the criteria, they can join the waitlist for the class. Once the reserved seat period expires, the system will allow any students from the waitlist into the class if there are still seats available.

For example:
If you are a senior Communications major needing a required course in your major, the University can set a number of seats aside specifically for Communications students. Students who do not meet the reserve seat requirement can add themselves to the waitlist. Once the reserve capacity period is over, students on the waitlist will be moved into any available remaining seats.

Please be aware that the College or Department cannot override this reservation. If you find yourself in this situation, please choose another section of the course, refer to your Degree Planner to identify an alternative course, or consult with your advisor. If you have any other questions, you can contact Enrollment Services.

The FAQ below should answer any questions or concerns you have regarding reserve capacity seating at CSULB.


Reserve capacity seats benefit students at all class levels by providing seats in critical courses. For example, students in a pre-major may find that seats have been set aside in certain courses that complete their Major-Specific Requirements so they can declare their major on time. Seats can also be held in critical courses for new first-year or transfer students to provide course availability during SOAR.

The system will display the following message when you attempt to enroll:

“You are unable to enroll in this class at this time. Available seats are reserved and you do not meet the specific requirements placed on this class. The Department offering the class will not be able to override this functionality to allow enrollment.” 

Reserve Capacity does not affect the ability to waitlist for a class; however, when a seat becomes available, if it is also a reserved seat, the system will identify the students on the Waitlist who meet the requirements for the reserved seats and those students will have priority.

In the Schedule of Classes, you will notice this icon - 

Reserve Capacity Chair Icon

 - which indicates the course has seats reserved for specific students. Additionally, in the open seats column, if the circle icon is yellow -

Available Reserve Capacity Seats

 -  this also indicates a reserved seat course and may have available seats.