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 the Student Enrolment Guide tutorial, under the Enrol application in uoZone.

Enrolment terminology


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 the Enrol application in uoZone. 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.

Reserve capacity

One University of Ottawa course can be required for many programs. This is why spaces in courses are reserved for certain student groups. For example, there might be reserved spaces in a chemistry course divided among programs in chemistry, biomedical science, health sciences and more. Even if course enrolment is still open, the spaces reserved for your program might all be taken. Be sure to check the My Available Seats column in your course search results in uoCampus.


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 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.

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