Understanding course schedules

Knowing how terms and courses are scheduled in an academic year will prepare you to succeed in your studies. Furthermore, knowing how to read course codes and understanding the difference between course component types will help you choose your courses and create your timetable.

Academic operations

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

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

Courses start at 8:30 a.m. at the earliest (except for some laboratory sessions, which can start earlier) and end at 10 p.m. at the latest. Some courses take place on Saturdays.

Course codes

Example of course code: CRM 1701

  • Each course is identified by a seven-character code made up of three letters and four numbers.
  • The three letters tell you what discipline the course is in. For example, CRM means criminology.
  • The first number tells you the year of study:
    • 1000-level: first-year courses
    • 2000-level: second-year courses (and so on).
  • The second number tells you the language of instruction:
    • Courses taught in English are numbered 1 through 4 (for example, CRM 1301).
    • Courses taught in French are numbered 5 through 8 (for example, CRM 1701).
    • Bilingual courses or courses taught in a language other than English or French are numbered with 0 or 9 (for example ESP 1991 — course offered in Spanish).
  • The last two numbers are assigned by the University to create a unique code for each course offered.

To find an equivalent course in another language:

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

Course components

In addition to a lecture, which is the main component for most courses, some courses can include other activities that are also considered course components. You must take part in all components.

The most common components in your course timetable are:

  • Lectures (LEC): The professor teaches you the course material in person in a classroom, online or in hybrid format.
  • Discussion groups (DGD): A professor or teaching assistant guides a group discussion to further explore the subject matter taught during the lecture.
  • Laboratory sessions (LAB): You conduct practical work related to your course material in an actual laboratory.
  • Tutorials (TUT): Time is reserved for discussion, asking questions and further exploring subject matter.
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