The Economics Department

Registration FAQs

This FAQ page generally covers registration-related policies and procedures within the Economics Department. If you have questions about policies or procedures for classes offered in another department, it would be best to contact that department directly for answers.

Advising Bars, Prerequisites, Restrictions, Waitlists, Add/Drop, Pass/Fail


  • ECO Upper-Division Electives- listed by preprequisite
  • Upper Division Writing Flags - These are courses outside of Economics that carry upper-division writing flags. We typically resommend students do not try to pair their writing flags with Economics courses, as these courses tend to fill before most students (even graduating seniors) can secure a seat.
  • General Upper-Division Electives- starting place to begin searching for electives with minimal prerequisites (NOT a comprehensive list).  You are responsible for checking the course schedule to confirm flags, restrictions, and prerequisites.
  • Universal List - courses that satisfy core and Liberal Arts requirements


  • L A 101M Liberal Arts Major in the Workplace: Interested in receiving 1-hour credit for planning for your future or researching career opportunities? The Liberal Arts Major in the Workplace career course can help you develop your social media platform, identify your career interests, prepare your resume and cover letter, practice interviewing, and plan for your future! This course is recommended for juniors and seniors seeking to identify their career interests and/or ready to begin the job and internship search process. See details here.


Will I have an advising bar? If so, how do I get it removed?
Economics majors will only have an advising bar if they are new to the major (1st semester declared) OR are on scholastic probation (below a 2.0 UT GPA).

TIP: A student can check to see if they have a bar on their Registration Information Sheet (RIS). It is important to view your RIS as part of your preparation for registration. If you have an advising bar, you will need to see an advisor.

What if my bar is with another college/major but I have switched to Economics?
In most cases we cannot clear bars imposed by another college or major, even if you have
declared economics as your major. You must contact the office imposing the bar.

I didn’t realize I had a bar, and now I need to register. Can I just call and have it cleared?
No. The bar has been imposed because we need to meet with you. To clear an advising bar you must come in to the advising office in-person. We will not clear bars over the phone, except for rare circumstances. It is important to view your RIS as part of your preparation for registration.


Do I have to meet the prerequisite before registering for a class?
In most cases but not all, the registration system will prevent you from registering for an economics class if you have not met or are not currently enrolled in (at UT) the required prerequisites. All prerequisites must be COMPLETED before you can register for an economics class.

TIP: Some other departments do not enforce prerequisites at the point of registration. You may be able to register for a course for which you have not met the prerequisites, but you will need to complete them by the beginning of the semester to avoid being dropped.

The registration system says I do not meet the prerequisites but I think I do. What’s going on?
The culprits usually are unclaimed credit-by-exam; or an undocumented transfer course; or an unusual calculus combination (if calculus is a prerequisite).  Students must have all prerequisites completed before gaining access to register for any economics coursework. 

  • Pending transfer coursework: If you are currently enrolled in the prerequisite outside UT you will not be able to register for the course that requires the prerequisite until you have completed the prerequisite and transferred it back to UT. Once you finish the course, have the official transcript sent to UT Admissions ASAP. The transfer process typically takes a couple weeks, even if you send it electronically. The best way to speed up the process is to hand-deliver your official transcript to the FAC Help Desk, but even then it can take several days to process. If you have concerns about this process, please contact the Economics Advising Help Desk: 512-471-2973.
  • Pending credit-by-exam: Students who have credit-by-exam available for prerequisite coursework must claim prerequisite credits prior to registering for economics courses. You can claim credit on the Student Testing Services website here.
  • Odd calculus sequence: The registration system does not recognize certain combinations of calculus credit (M408C & M408L, M408N & M408S, etc.) even though these combinations are perfectly acceptable for fulfilling the calculus degree requirement. Contact the Economics Advising Help Desk if you believe you have an odd calculus sequence.
  • Summer sessions: The registration system does not recognize the difference between summer sessions. Therefore, if you are taking a course during summer session one and it is the prerequisite for a course you plan to take during the second summer session you will need a prerequisite waiver.

I don’t meet the prerequisite. Can I get the instructor’s permission to take the class?
No. Prerequisites are enforced across the board in all of our economics courses. This is usually true for classes in other disciplines as well but you can check with the offering department.


Can I register for an economics class if it says it is “restricted”?
Some economics classes are reserved for declared economics majors only. If you are declared, you should be able to register for a restricted ECO class; unless it is a special section reserved for a specific population (indicated in the course description). If you have recently declared, your major code may not have changed yet. If your minor is economics you will not have online access to restricted ECO classes unless you contact our office and request access. New majors and students pursuing minors can contact our office for assistance in registering. Non-majors see next question.

What if I am not an economics major and want to take a restricted eco class?
Non-majors may gain access (through our office) starting on the 1st class day, if seats are available and if the pre-requisites have been met. 

What if I want to register for a class in another department that is listed as “restricted"?
Most likely the class is restricted to majors in that department or to another specific population. Contact the advising/undergraduate office in the offering department for information.


I want to get into an economics class but it says it is “waitlisted," what do I do?

Get on the waitlist immediately! To do this, attempt to add the class via the registration system during your access time, it will say the add was unsuccessful but should give you the option of getting on the waitlist.

TIP- Be sure to read the waitlist directions provided to you and monitor My Waitlists for updates on your status. This will inform you of common pitfalls that may prevent you from being added to the class. Those who ignore repeated error warnings may be removed from the waitlist.

  • Online ECO Waitlists:  Online waitlists for all ECO classes will be 'activated' during the regular add/drop periods. After you add yourself to a waitlist, you can view you waitlist status by visiting the See My Waitlists page to check your status on the waitlist and make sure there are no errors preventing you from being added to the class.
  • ECO Paper Waitlist:  Our advising office will begin a FIRST COME, FIRST SERVED paper list for ECO courses on the 5th class day. Our paperwaitlist will run through the 6th class day.

If a class is waitlisted do I stand a chance of getting added?
Yes! If the waitlist system is turned on for a class, it will say “waitlisted” as soon as it is full, even if no one is on the waitlist yet. So you could be the first person on the list. It is common to have several people drop during the add/drop periods. If you are in the first five, or so, on the waitlist before the 1st class day, your chances are usually pretty good.

What if there isn't a waitlist or I can’t get on the waitlist?
Each department handles waitlists differently. The Department of Economics usually turns on waitlists during regular add/drop period. You can view access periods on the online course schedule under "When to Register". Advisors do not have access to put students on waitlists. We suggest you add an open section, if possible, and check with our office to see if you have any other options. (See next question, also.)

Is there any other way to add the class?…with instructor permission?
Instructors do not have the authority to override the waitlist. However, the online waitlists shut down after the 4th class day. On the 5th class day, students can come in to the advising office to join an internal waitlist. Waitlisted students will be added as seats become available through the sixth class day. Visit our office for more information.

What if the class is listed as “Closed” instead of “Waitlisted”?
This could mean that the waitlist is full or it could be that the waitlist hasn't even been turned on yet. Contact our office for assistance.

I want to add a class in another department that is listed as “closed”. What do I do?
The possibility of, and procedures for, adding a closed class varies by department. You would need to contact the advising/undergraduate office for the offering department to see what must be done. Departments' contact information can be found here.


I’m having trouble adding an economics class. Why?
The usual culprits are a restriction or a prerequisite. If the class is listed as “Open, Restricted” and you are newly declared, or economics is your minor, you may need our assistance to gain access to the class. (See “Restricted Classes” FAQs for more info). If you do not meet the pre-requisites, you cannot register for the class (See “Prerequisites” FAQs for more info).

I need to adjust my schedule but it is not my add/drop access time. Can an advisor do it for me?
No. Advisors only have access to your registration record during your assigned access times. You will need to wait until the next access time to adjust your schedule. You can view your access times on your Registration Information Sheet (RIS).

Can I still add or drop once classes start?
You can add and/or drop yourself through the 4th class day (2nd class day for Summer) via the online registration system. During the 5th-12th class days (3rd-4th class days for Summer) you can still drop yourself online, but you can only add with permission from the offering department. The policy for adding after the 4th class day varies with each department. Contact the offering department for policy information.

Where do I go to drop a class?
You can drop yourself from a class via Rthe online registration system during the first 12 class days of the semester. After that, you must go to your Dean’s Office. For Liberal Arts majors that would be the COLA Dean’s Office Student Division (GEB 2.200). See the Academic Calendar for the last date to drop a class in a given semester. It is usually mid-October for Fall semesters and mid-March for Spring semesters.

Does it look bad to Q-drop a class?
A class dropped after the 12th class day is recorded with a Q (in place of a grade) on your transcript. It is not uncommon for students to have one or two Q-drops by the time they graduate. It is not likely that one or two would impact you negatively; however, it is possible that it would be noted by those who would review your transcript, such as graduate school admissions. Multiple Q-drops, or Q-drops in key classes, could be viewed unfavorably.

I heard there is a special drop you can use after the Q-drop deadline. Is this true?
Liberal Arts majors who wish to drop a class after the Q-Drop deadline may have the option to use the One-Time-Exception Drop, but there are stipulations so see your advisor for details.


Can I take this class pass/fail?
Only electives can be taken P/F. This means any class you are taking to satisfy a specific degree requirement must be taken for-a-grade. If changed to P/F the class will become an elective. If the class is retaken, the previous hours earned (in the same class) will be lost.

TIP: You must have 30 hours completed to be eligible to take a class P/F. No more than two classes a semester can be taken on a P/F basis. No more than 16 hours total can be taken P/F.

What is “passing” in a pass/fail class?
A grade of D minus or better counts as passing for a P/F class. Passing is recorded as CR (credit) on your transcript and does not affect your GPA. Failing is recorded as an F on your transcript and it DOES affect your GPA.

How do I change a class to pass/fail?
You can change a class to P/F yourself via the online registration system during the first 12 class days of the semester. After that, you must go to your Dean’s Office. For Liberal Arts majors that would be the COLA Dean’s Office Student Division (GEB 2.200). See the Academic Calendar for the last date to change a class to (or from) P/F in a given semester. It is usually mid-October for Fall semesters and mid-March for Spring semesters. Once changed, it cannot be changed back.