Getting Canvas Courses

What courses will I find in Canvas?

You will find courses you are teaching in the current semester; courses you taught in previous semesters (starting Fall 2014); migrated courses you taught in Blackboard (from Summer 2014 through Fall 2019); and a “sandbox” course.

If you don’t see a sandbox course when you log in to Canvas try searching the All Courses list in Canvas. If you cannot find a sandbox course you can request one.

All courses (except for migrated courses from Blackboard) automatically include student enrollments.


When will my Canvas course be created?

Canvas courses are created after the release of the schedule of classes for the upcoming semester in accordance with the Registrar’s Academic Calendar. There will be some variation on the exact release date but for planning purposes course creation will occur prior to the beginning of each semester on or close to the following dates:

  • October 15:  Spring courses are created
  • January 13:  Summer courses are created
  • March 18:  Fall courses are created

Courses added to the registrar’s system after the dates above will appear in Canvas by the following business day. Once students begin to register for courses using the registrar’s system (MyAccess), their enrollments are reflected in Canvas within 6-9 hours (but no later than the next business day).


I’m missing a course in Canvas, what can I do?

Canvas relies on course listing and enrollment data from the registrar. Courses and enrollments must first be added through the registrar’s system (MyAccess) before they automatically appear in Canvas. Make sure your enrollment is listed in MyAccess. If you see your enrollment listed in MyAccess, then it should also appear in Canvas. Try searching the All Courses list in Canvas.

Please note that changes and updates in MyAccess are not immediately reflected in Canvas and will be present in Canvas within 6-9 hours (but no later than the next business day).

If you cannot login to MyAccess, or do not see the course or your enrollment in MyAccess, please contact your department (or program) course scheduler. Verify that they’ve added you to the course, and have used the correct NetID associated with your account.

For additional help please see:

Note: Instructors in Canvas can manually enroll people into their course. This is handy for “unofficial” course enrollments. For example, when a co-instructor does not need to appear in the course catalogue nor report final grades in MyAccess, but needs instructor access to the Canvas course.


Is there a course I can use to stage content and test features?

All faculty should see a “sandbox” course in their list of Canvas courses, which they can use to try out and explore features. 

If you don’t see a sandbox course when you log in to Canvas try searching the All Courses list in Canvas. If you cannot find a sandbox course you can request one.

Note: Students are not given Sandbox courses.


How do I request a Canvas course?

All courses listed in the University registrar’s system (MyAccess) will automatically appear in Canvas for faculty with student enrollments. Courses in Canvas that are excluded from the registrar’s system can be requested through the link below for the following purposes:

  • Courses that serve an academic purpose, but are not tied to the registrar or semester; an organization, event, or a program course designed for administrative purposes.
    Examples: An eight-week-long course for incoming freshmen; Development course; Department meetings and documents; MASTER course sites; organization sites, etc.
  • A Sandbox course for testing and learning Canvas.
    Example: Staff members wanting to learn and experiment with Canvas. 

Once your request has been submitted it typically takes approximately one week before the course is created.


Don’t see what you are looking for?

Check out the Get Help and Training & Support pages for more resources.