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Permission Numbers

A permission number is a 6-digit code issued by a faculty member that allows a student to register for a class.  There are two types:

  • permission numbers that override the lack of having completed all of the prerequisites required for a course
  • permission numbers that override the lack of having completed all of the prerequisites required for a course and override a closed (completely full) class.
How to navigate the permission number landscape

Information About Permission Numbers:

In the Department of Psychological Science, permission numbers are not distributed by the department chair; permission numbers are distributed at the discretion of the instructor. Many factors influence whether an instructor is willing and able to distribute a permission number including (but not limited to):

  • Enrollment capacity of the course
  • Date of the request
  • Space limitations of classrooms in face-to-face courses
  • Whether the student has successfully completed prerequisites courses
  • Student’s academic standing
  • Student’s major
  • Structure and/or sequence of the course

In many cases, students may not technically meet the prerequisites for the course (e.g., upper-division standing or successfully completing PSYC 101 Introduction to Psychology), but for some reason the student still wishes to enroll. If an instructor is willing to consider distributing a permission number to a student, the instructor might request and/or consider the following (these are examples and not a comprehensive list):

  • Your transcript (to examine standing and previous courses)
  • Attendance and participation during the first week of the semester
  • An in-person or Zoom/online meeting
  • An explanation as to why you wish to take that particular course

Please note that asking for a permission number does not guarantee that a permission number will be issued. Reach out to the instructor and provide as much information as possible so the instructor can determine the feasibility of such a request. Please be patient; making a request just before a semester starts is a busy time for both instructors and students; it may take a while to receive a response. Permission numbers are distributed with care, with a high consideration toward fairness. Using the waitlist system is generally a better way to gain access to a closed class than gaining access via requesting a permission number.

If it has been more than one week since you contacted an instructor and you have not received a response, contact PSYC Advising (

Thank you, students!