Understanding course enrolment terminology

The following information will allow you to be better prepared to enrol in your courses. You may also want to see an enrolment tutorial, under the Enroll application.

Academic operations


For most programs, the academic year is divided into three terms:

  • Fall (September to December)
  • Winter (January to April)
  • Spring-Summer (May to August)

Class times

The earliest classes begin at 8:30 a.m. (some labs may start earlier) and the latest end at 10 p.m. Some classes may take place on Saturdays.

Course codes

Course code example: CRM 1301

Each course is designated by a seven-character code made up of three letters and four digits.

The three letters stand for the subject. For example, CRM stands for criminology.

The first digit is for the year of study:

  • 1000-level courses — those that start with 1 — are first year courses.
  • 2000-level courses — those that start with 2 — are second year courses, and so on.

The second digit is for the language of instruction:

  • Courses taught in English are numbered 1 to 4 (e.g., CRM 1301). 
  • Courses taught in French are numbered 5 to 8 (e.g., CRM 1701).
  • Bilingual courses or courses taught in a language other than English or French are numbered 0 or 9 (e.g. ESP 1991, a Spanish course).

The last two digits are different for each course, thus creating a unique code.

Finding the code for the equivalent course in the other language:

  • To find the equivalent course in French, add 400 to the English course code (CRM 1301 + 400 = CRM 1701).
  • To find the equivalent course in English, subtract 400 from the French course code (CRM 1701 – 400 = CRM 1301).
Difference between course code and course number

The course code is made up of three letters that stand for the discipline (course subject) and four digits that stand for, in part, the course level and language of instruction.

The course number is made up of four digits assigned by the course schedule software that have no particular meaning.  If you know it, you can use it to search for courses. You can also search by subject using the course search engine in your Student Center. Searching by subject is simpler and more intuitive.


In addition to lectures (the main component of most courses), some courses include other activities that are also components.

The most common components you might see in your schedule are:

  • Lecture (LEC): A professor teaches the subject matter in person in a classroom, online or in a blended format.
  • Discussion group (DGD): A professor or a teaching assistant leads group discussions to go into the lecture subject matter in greater depth.
  • Laboratory session (LAB): You do hands-on work in a laboratory.
  • Tutorials (TUT): Time set aside for discussion, requests for information and learning the subject matter in greater depth.
Courses given in two different classrooms

Two of the same course component (for example two LECs for CRM 1301) might not be given in the same classroom. The system that generates the schedule and assigns classrooms tries to use classrooms as efficiently as possible to produce the best schedule. Check your class location closely in advance. To avoid surprises, don’t assume that two sessions of your class are taking place in the same room.

Course enrolment

You enrol in your courses through your Student Center. Under the heading Academics, click Enroll to access the Enroll module. You can add, drop or change courses.

Learn more about withdrawing from a course.

Shopping cart

Use your shopping cart to plan your course schedule. In the days before enrolment begins, check the course schedule in the Student Center and start putting courses in your shopping cart. Please note that if no places are reserved for students in your program you may not be able to enrol in these courses. Adding a course to your shopping cart doesn’t guarantee enrolment.


When a course is full, you can put yourself on the waitlist and be automatically enrolled if a place becomes available for your program of studies and if it fits in your schedule. Please note that you can put yourself on the waitlist for a course even if no seats are reserved for your program of studies.


Holds can be positive or negative. For example, they can give you permission for something or block your access to certain Student Center features. If you have holds on your file, icons will appear at the top of your Student Center home screen.

  • a no-access icon means you have a restriction
  • a red star icon means you have a permission

For more information, including what you have to do to fix a situation, click the icon. You also can see if you have holds on the right of your Student Center screen.

Course codes

Course enrolment (regular students)

If you’re admitted to a program and are enrolling in courses at the University of Ottawa for the first time, complete the undergraduate course enrolment form (PDF).

Course enrolment (special students)

If you’d like to enrol as a new special student at the University of Ottawa, in other words, without being admitted to a program, start the enrolment process by filling out the personal identification form for undergraduate special students.

If you’ve previously been enrolled at uOttawa or Saint-Paul University, you can proceed directly to online enrolment. To do so, please log into uoZone and click on the Enrol application.

  • Online enrolment is not possible for students in the Transfer of credits category. If you are in this category, please print and complete the undergraduate special student enrolment form (PDF) and bring it with you to the undergraduate studies office of the faculty offering the course during the enrolment period.

Course enrolment (international exchange students at the University of Ottawa)

If you’re taking a course at the University of Ottawa as part of a student exchange, complete the undergraduate course enrolment form for incoming exchange students (PDF) before you arrive and send it to the faculty academic advisor you’ve been assigned at the University of Ottawa. This advisor will handle your enrolment for the duration of your exchange at the University of Ottawa.

Change or cancellation of enrolment (regular and special students)

If you wish to change or cancel your enrolment, try to do it first online in uoZone (under Applications, click Enrol). If you’re not able to, complete the Modification/Cancellation of enrolment form (PDF) and bring it to the academic secretariat of your faculty or school.

Permission to take courses at another university

If you’d like to take one or more courses at a university other than the University of Ottawa or Carleton University, complete the Letter of Permission request form (PDF) and submit it to the academic secretariat of your faculty or school.


Administrative fees apply for a letter of permission request.

University of Ottawa-Carleton University exchange program

If you’re a University of Ottawa student and would like to study at Carleton University as part of an exchange agreement with Carleton, complete the Exchange Program — University of Ottawa-Carleton University form (PDF) and submit it for approval to the academic secretariat of your faculty or school.

Request for prior-learning recognition

The University of Ottawa recognizes that learning can occur not only by taking university courses (or their equivalent), but also through professional experience, self-teaching, non-credited courses, workplace training and other situations. Prior learning recognition (PLR) makes it possible for students who have acquired knowledge in a non-traditional manner to receive advanced standing for a course with a specific course code offered at the University, or in certain cases, to be granted an exemption. To request PLR, complete the Request for Prior-Learning Recognition form (PDF) and submit it with all the required documents to the academic secretariat of your faculty or school during your first term at the University of Ottawa.


Administrative fees apply for the request for prior-learning recognition.

Course components

Sample timetables

Planning your course schedule before the enrolment period begins will give you a good idea of what courses to add to your schedule when you start enrolling in uoZone.

Course timetable

The course timetable lets you search a database of all the courses offered at the University, read course descriptions and see the different course sections as well as the time and place courses are offered.

Timetable template

Build your course timetable for the Fall and Winter terms. The template is already divided into timeslots according to the University’s course schedule.

Program and course calendars

Consult the official source of information on all University of Ottawa programs. You can find your program requirements, such as which mandatory, optional and elective courses you need to take, and read course descriptions.

Evaluation of teaching and courses (S-Report)

At the end of every course of at least nine hours with the same professor, you fill out an Evaluation of Teaching and Courses form to evaluate the course. Once compiled, results are available in the S-Report. This report provides information on aspects of professors’ teaching, which can help you select your courses. You can see the S-Report via uoZone. Click the Applications tab.


To help you with course enrolment, we’ve created tutorials that provide tips and explain functions like finding and changing courses, using your shopping cart, adding your name to a waitlist, checking your progress towards completing your academic requirements and much more.

  • See the tutorials under the various uoZone applications.
Back to top