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Community Member

What is the limit to the number of students enrolled in a course?

What is the upper limit to the number of students that can enroll in a course?

6 Replies
Coach Emeritus


I don't think there is a technical limit; and if there is, it is rather high. I regularly see posts in this Community discussing courses with 1000, 2000 and more enrollees.

From a more practical perspective, I also see some of the same posters challenged by how hard certain tasks can be in a Canvas class that large.


Coach Emeritus

Hi  @kelly1 ,

I am with  @kmeeusen  on this one, I have seen some incredibly large classes (in some cases a course where the entire institution is enrolled).

I would equally echo the biggest conundrum being the practical challenges that come with a course this large. Sections certainly helps, but the sheer management of a course with so many students can be cumbersome and could test the limits. I know the new gradebook has been specifically written to address some of the challenges faced previously with very large classes and difficulties that institutions faced.

Here in Australia we have courses that can have upwards of 2500 students, the largest we have so far in Canvas is 3000, however as our larger undergraduate courses are not on Canvas at this time we don't do any marking, grading or assignment submissions (as it is a Student Community).

I would be curious to hear more about your particular use case, how many students are you looking to enrol, and will it be for a graded course or more a community?



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OOh also, I would highly recommend a peek at this post by  @jayde_colquhoun , it covers some of the challenges that are being faced and has drummed up some really great discussion. I highly recommend a read!

Coach Emeritus

 @kelly1 ,

Were you able to find an answer to your question? I am going to go ahead and mark this question as answered because there hasn't been any more activity in a while so I assume that you have the information that you need. If you still have a question about this or if you have information that you would like to share with the community, by all means, please do come back and leave a comment.  Also, if this question has been answered by one of the previous replies, please feel free to mark that answer as correct.



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New Member

Has there been any movement on this question as to an upper limit?  Stuart said entire institution.  I have a few courses with 8600+ enrolled and haven't seen issues.  However, they are just enrolled and not doing self paced coursework yet as we haven't started school.

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Community Member

Hi - I have been running a large canvas course for the past 3 years. Each iteration of the course has increased enrolment such that we enrolled 3800 students in 2019 (in 16 sections), 7200 in 2020 (in 43 sections) and this year 8500 students are enrolled (in 47 sections). Students have to submit 5 canvas quizzes to complete the course, and while the gradebook takes a long time to load, it hasn't stopped working yet. However applying a default grade can only be done section by section as there are too many requests to process when there are more than 3835 students enrolled. I feel we have reached the limit now of what is viable in terms of the administrative load that comes with maintaining the gradebook. 

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