How to Merge Course Sections in Canvas


When you merge sections in Canvas, you are simply taking the students in one section and moving them into the main section. Within Canvas, the process is called “cross-listing”.



If you have multiple sections of the same course that you would like to control via one Canvas course shell, please follow the directions below about how to cross-list a section. 

Important Points

Keep in mind these important points before merging:

  • Determine which course section will be the main course or "parent" course, and which course(s) will be merged into that main course. Typically, if an instructor teaches G01, G02, and G03; they will use G01 as the main course, and G02 and G03 will be merged into G01. 
  • We recommend you merge your courses right after courses are created in Canvas before you add content.
  • Do NOT merge sections after the semester has begun AND students have completed work in the course. All student work in the merged (child) course will be lost. 
  • If you do not want students to be able to see which sections their classmates are enrolled in from the People page, you can hide the sections on that page. To do this, go to Settings > Course Details, click "more options," check the box that says "Hide sections on the People page from students," then click Update Course Details at the bottom.
  • We strongly recommend you rename your merged course to encompass all sections.

Video Instructions - Merging Two Sections or Courses

Screenshot of a Canvas training video

Written Instructions - Merging Two Sections or Courses

From your Dashboard, open the course that you want to move into the main section.


Go to Settings in your course menu.


Go to the Sections tab along the top navigation.

Sections tab

You will see your section linked. Click on the name of the Course section. Do NOT add a new section.

Course Section

Click on the Cross-List this Section button.

Cross-List this Section

In the Search for Course box, start to type the Course Name or Course ID of the main course. It will auto-fill. Select the desired course.

Search for Course

Click on the Cross-List this Section button.

Cross-List this Section Red Button

If you want to see all the students in the class, you can click on People in the course menu. You will notice there are students from both sections. You, as the instructor, are enrolled in both sections.


Change the name of the merged course to reflect all sections of the course. Go to Settings in the course menu, under Course Details, and type the new course name and course code.

Course Name and Course Code

Scroll down to the bottom, and click Update Course Details.

Update Course Details button

To see the newly re-named merged course, go to the Dashboard.

Dashboard merged course

Merging More than Two Sections or Courses

  1. Complete the same steps above to merge the first merged section into the main course.
  2. Repeat the same steps again to merge additional sections into the main course.

Additional Reading



Article ID: 145907
Fri 5/26/23 4:04 PM
Tue 6/13/23 8:58 AM

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