Course Planning

It is a good idea to prepare yourself for course enrolment by planning your schedule and choosing the courses that you'd like to take. Access the resources below to learn how to navigate the timetable and plan your courses.

Course Delivery Methods

Most of the Arts & Science courses in 2020-2021 will have an online option to allow you the flexibility to take courses from anywhere. There are three types of delivery methods currently being offered:

  • Online - Synchronous: Course may be completed fully online; some required real-time activities will be held online, as scheduled in the timetable.  
  • In Person: Some course activities will be held on campus at a set time as scheduled in the timetable.
  • Asynchronous: Course may be completed fully online without requirement for participation in scheduled, real-time activities. 


You can find the delivery method for each course in the Timetable and in your course syllabus. Each section of the course on the Timetable will have one delivery method only—a section will not have a mix of online and in-person activities. It is important to note that you cannot change sections or delivery methods after the final date to enrol in courses for that term. 


Steps to Plan your Courses

  1. Go through the programs and course listings in the Calendar to determine which courses you would like to take and whether there are any requirements to fulfill before you can enrol in the courses. Visit the How to Use the Calendar page to understand the terminology used in the Calendar.
  2. Check Degree Explorer for any requirements to complete your degree and program. It is also a good idea to check your degree requirements and program requirements in the Calendar.  
  3. Find your preferred courses in the 2020-21 Fall and Winter Timetable or 2021 Summer Timetable. For synchronous courses, make note of when the courses meet. Check the enrolment controls for each course (listed next to the course in the Timetable) to see if there is priority or a restriction for that course. If you need permission from the academic unit offering the course to enrol in the course, contact the academic unit directly. 
  4. Use the information from the Timetable to put together a weekly schedule. Click on "Add to Plan" in the Timetable to add courses to a draft schedule. Consider creating multiple schedules in case some of the courses are full. 
  5. Use the Enrolment Cart in ACORN to save the courses and course sections that you want to enrol in. Make sure to save your backup course choices too. For instructions on using the enrolment cart feature, check out the ACORN How-To page
  6. On your start time (or after your start time), go to ACORN and click the Enrol button to add the courses to your academic record. Remember that courses in your cart are not automatically added to your record. You have to enrol in each course individually. If the course is full, you can add yourself to the waitlist for that course. 

Things to Consider when Planning your Courses

There are three types of course delivery methods. Given that some courses combine these methods, you should carefully review the delivery instructions for all parts of a course (LEC, TUT, PRA). 

  • Online - Synchronous: Course may be completed fully online; some required real-time activities will be held online, as scheduled in the timetable. For these courses, you have to be available online at a set time in order to complete course activities like lectures and group discussions. Since these courses run on Toronto time (Eastern Standard Time), consider your time zone when you are planning your timetable. Some Online - Synchronous courses may have recordings available which you can watch at a later time. Check the delivery instructions for the course to see if recordings will be available.

  • In Person: Some course activities will be held on campus at a set time as scheduled in the Timetable. These courses require that you attend course activities like labs and lectures on-campus at the same time as your classmates. 

  • Asynchronous: Course may be completed fully online without requirement for participation in scheduled, real-time activities. These courses are flexible and allow you to complete course work such as lectures and discussions online and on your own time. In the Timetable, Asynchronous courses have "contact hours" which replace the scheduled time for instruction.

How to Find Course Delivery Methods in the Timetable 

You can find the delivery method for each course in the Timetable. It is important to note that you will not be able to change delivery methods after the final date to enrol in courses for that term.

Advanced Search 

When searching for courses, click on Advanced Search to bring up the detailed search options. In the Delivery Method(s) - Lectures Only section, you can select Online – Synchronous, In Person or Asynchronous as the delivery method. This will allow you to search courses with your preferred delivery method(s).  Although the search is based on the LEC sections, the search will return all components related to the course and these may include other delivery methods. 

Advanced Search screenshot

Delivery Methods Legend 

After searching for courses, use the Delivery Methods Legend to pull up the definitions of the three delivery methods. Note that this is where you can also see the definitions of the various enrolment controls. 


Course Delivery Instructions 

Each course lists its delivery method in the Status/Notes column. If there is additional information you need to know about the course, it will be noted in the Delivery Instructions drop-down menu.

Earth Materials Course Screenshot


There is a limit on how many courses you can take. It is important to note that if you are on the waitlist for any courses, those will be counted in your maximum course load.

Fall and Winter maximum course load limit

Note: If your academic standing is On Academic Probation, you can take up to 5.0 credits for the Fall and Winter session.


Fall and Winter maximum term load limit

Note: If your academic standing is On Academic Probation, you can take a maximum of 2.5 credits per term.


Summer maximum course load limit

  • For the entire summer session: 2.0 credits
  • Per term: 1.0 credit

Before enrolling in a course, make sure you understand any prerequisites, corequisites and exclusions that may apply. Prerequisites, corequisites and exclusions are listed as part of the course descriptions in the Calendar Course Enrolment, Degree Explorer and ACORN

Keep in mind that ACORN doesn't check prerequisites, corequisites and exclusions and will let you enrol in a course even if you don't have the prerequisites or have previously completed an exclusion. The academic unit offering the course can remove you at any time if you don't meet the requirements, and you can contact them if you have questions. 

Note: If you took a course at another university and want it to count as a prerequisite, contact the academic unit offering the course either before or as soon as possible after enrolling in the course to check if that course is sufficient.  

Enrolment indicators are codes used for some courses which tell you if there are any special restrictions for enrolling in a course (known as enrolment controls). Not all courses have enrolment controls and some courses have multiple controls.

The following enrolment indicators can be associated with any given course. You can find the enrolment controls associated with your courses in the Timetable.

  • Priority (P): Some students are given priority access until a specific date.
  • Enrol at Department (E): Students must contact the academic unit that offers the course to request permission to enrol. 
  • Department Approval Required (AE): On ACORN, students can request to enrol in the course until a specific date. After this date, students can only request permission to enrol by contacting the academic unit that offers the course. 
  • Priority, then Enrol at Department (PE): Some students are given priority access until a specific date, after which time you can only request permission to enrol by contacting the academic unit that offers the course. 
  • Restricted (R1): Course/section is restricted at all times for specific students.
  • Restricted (R2): Course/section is restricted to a group of students until a specific date, after which time another group of students is also able to enrol.

You may add yourself to a waitlist for a course(s), but this does not guarantee enrolment in the course(s). It is a good idea to enrol in alternative courses in case the one you want is full. Try to be flexible and have as many alternative course choices as possible. Note that when you waitlist for a course, it will be added to your course load. 

If you enrol in two courses that take place at the same time, you will have a conflict. When planning your schedule, it's important to make sure none of your courses overlap in time. Since you can't be in two classes at the same time, avoid conflicts in your schedule. 

Note: ACORN will not prevent you from enrolling in courses that conflict.

Courses in Other Divisions

If you want to enrol in courses offered in other Divisions, check the enrolment instructions for the University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM) , University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC), and the Daniels Faculty.

Enrolment in some courses is restricted to students enrolled in those divisions and these courses may have limited space for students in the Faculty of Arts & Science. In addition, Arts & Science students normally have to wait until a later date to start enrolling in UTM, UTSC, and Daniels Faculty courses. 

It is your responsibility to:

  • Ensure that these courses are not duplicates of or exclusions for courses you have already taken 
  • Check with your academic unit regarding the acceptability of courses for program requirements
  • Check with your College Registrar’s Office regarding the acceptability of courses for degree requirements


Arts & Science Graduate Courses

In exceptional circumstances, undergraduate students in the Faculty of Arts & Science may be granted permission to take a graduate course sponsored by an Arts & Science graduate unit as part of the student’s undergraduate degree. Permission of the sponsoring department is required by filling out the PDF iconRequest to take an Arts & Science Graduate Course form. The graduate unit may also require the instructor’s written permission. Use of such a course toward a student’s program requirements is at the discretion of the undergraduate program sponsor. For degree requirement purposes, a graduate course will count as the equivalent of a 400-level course.


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