Canvas How-To: Merge Course & Section Enrollments

This page explains how instructors can merge enrollments from multiple Canvas course shells into a single shell.  This is useful in the case of courses that are offered in more than one department as well as cases where the same instructor is teaching multiple sections of the same numbered course.

Note: Merge with care! This page is only for instructors whose courses are not already crosslisted in PeopleSoft's course schedule.  If your courses have been crosslisted in PeopleSoft, you do not need to merge them in Canvas - it will be handled automatically for you.
Privacy: Federal privacy laws protect student names in course rosters. After merging courses, Canvas allows instructors to prevent students in one section from interacting with students in other sections. More info.

By default, every course in PeopleSoft receives a unique Canvas shell.  This is why multiple shells can appear on the Dashboard.

Figure 1: Multiple sections of the same course each have a unique Canvas shell.
Canvas dashboard showing two sections of the same course

Step 1: Determine Child-Parent Course Relationship

Decide which course will be the "child" course - meaning its enrollments and shell will become part of a "parent" course.  It is the child course that you are going to merge in Canvas.  Likewise, determine which course will be the parent course. It is the parent course that you will do all of your course development and student management in.

Tip: Consider the course with the highest section number to be the child course.  For example, section 002 is best thought of as the child to section 001.

After merging, students who are enrolled in the child course in PeopleSoft will have access to the parent course in Canvas.  Those students will not be officially enrolled in the parent course in PeopleSoft; they merely have access and can participate in the parent course in Canvas.

Step 2: Merge the Child Course to the Parent Course

From your Dashboard, click the CHILD course to enter it.

  1. Click Settings in the course menu
  2. Click the Sections tab
  3. Click on the link for the child course
    Crosslisting sections

On the next screen, click the button to "Cross-List this Section".
Cross-List this Section button

In the pop-up dialog screen, search for the Parent course to cross-list into and complete the cross-listing process.

  1. Type in the "Search for course:" field to find the parent course. Click on its name to select it.
  2. Confirm that the correct course has been selected as the parent course.
  3. Click Cross-List this Section to complete the process.
    Cross list settings

Step 3: Confirm the Merge

Return to your Dashboard - the child course is no longer present.  Go into the parent course and click the People link to view the combined enrollments.

confirm crosslisting

Unmerging Courses

Instructors cannot unmerge a Canvas course once it has been cross-listed. Only a Canvas administrator can do this. Contact for assistance.

Need Help?

For questions and assistance cross-listing courses/sections, contact