Understanding course enrolment terminology

The following information will allow you to be better prepared to enrol in your courses.

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), divided into four sessions

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 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.

  • 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.
  • 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).

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.

Two of the same course components (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.

All courses are offered in one of the following two ways:

  1. Synchronous: the course is offered in real time, at a specific date and time
  2. Asynchronous: the course does not have an assigned date and time

In order to determine if a course is offered online or in person, you can refer to the course location:

  • An online course will have its location listed as VIRTUAL
  • An in-person course will have an assigned classroom for its location (ex. 125 University (MNT) 303)

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.

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.

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 wait list 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 wait list for a course even if no seats are reserved for your program of studies.

Please refer to the Wait list FAQ for more information.

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.

Your year of study is calculated for enrolment purposes based on the number of units you have successfully completed thus far, including those you are in the process of completing this term.

  • First year — fewer than 24
  • Second year — 24 to 53
  • Third year — 54 to 80
  • Fourth year — 81 or more

The above figures are based on a 120-unit program. For programs that are not 120 units, the number of units you need to enrol in third or fourth year is 90% of units recommended in your course sequence. See the second or third examples below.

If you have completed 21 units in first year (Fall and Winter terms combined), your year of study remains first year because you have not completed 24 units.

If you have completed 30 units (10 courses) in first year and 36 units (12 courses) in your second year, you have completed 66 units. You therefore enrol in third year.

Example for a 120-unit or more degree

If your course sequence recommends:

  • 30 units of courses in first year
  • 36 units of courses in second year
  • and 33 units of courses in third year

then you must have completed 90% of 99 course units by the end of third year (89.1 units) to enrol in fourth year.

Example for a 90-unit degree

If your course sequence recommends taking

  • 30 units of courses in first year
  • 30 units of courses in second year

then you must have completed 90% of 60 units by the end of second year (54 units) to enrol in third year.

The date of your appointment to enrol in fall and winter courses is determined by the number of units you have earned, or are in the process of earning, when you were assigned an appointment.

Enrolment appointments are assigned in mid-April. Once assigned, your appointment will not change. If you are assigned an appointment, and then you enrol in one or more spring-summer courses, these courses will not be accounted for in the current year.

Note: Class number

To improve performance of the Student Center, we have removed the “Class Nbr” feature from it. If you find it mentioned in videos or elsewhere, please disregard it. For all enrolment-related processes, use the course code.