Combine or cross list courses

Last updated: August 15, 2022

To understand how to combine (or crosslist courses) it helps to understand how Canvas views courses and sections. Canvas treats courses as a virtual classroom where content resides, and the place where students can interact with assignments, the instructor, and each other. Although the content resides in the course, students are enrolled in sections of a course (such as FISH 453 A or POL S 201 AD).  These sections contain only enrollments, and are attached to a course, but can be moved or crosslisted to a different Canvas course.

Sometimes two course offerings are not officially joint in the time schedule, but students receive the same instruction and complete the same assignments. As long as the courses do not have separate physical meeting times and spaces, an instructor can have a single course site in Canvas. When cross-listed in Canvas, some sections from one course are attached to the course that contains the content, the “target” course. Student enrollments continue to update automatically in all sections, but the instructor only maintains the content in the target course site.

For Panopto users: If you plan to crosslist your classes and will be scheduling automated Panopto recordings for Seattle campus classrooms, the order in which you do this is important. Schedule the recordings first and then move them to the parent course folder in Panopto, BEFORE you crosslist the course in Canvas. If you crosslist your course first, you will not be able to schedule recordings for both sections. For more information, contact

Note: Course offerings that are officially joined in the UW quarterly time schedule will be automatically cross-listed in Canvas, with all sections attached to the parent course, where the parent is selected by being first alphabetically.

To manually cross-list sections in Canvas, and use only one course for content and instruction, follow these steps:

  1. Before you begin, note the name or ID of the target course, which is the six digits that appear at the end of the URL of your course home page.
  2. From within the Canvas course that you want to cross-list, in the course navigation, click Settings, and then click the Sections tab. You will see a list of sections attached to this course.
  3. In the Course Sections list, click the title of the section that you want to cross-list.
  4. On the right side of the section page, in the sidebar, click Cross-List this Section.
  5. Enter the course ID (the six digits at the end of the URL of your course home page) in the second field, or type the name of the target course.
  6. Click Cross-List This Section. You will move to the section page attached to the target course.

When complete, in the target course, verify that the section now appears in the list of sections. If you change your mind and want to teach courses separately, cross-listing can be reversed. You may need to contact to restore your original course configuration if you do not see the option in the interface.