Guide to Program & Course Descriptions

In this section:


 

Definitions and Codes Used

Definition of “Course” in this Calendar

In the Calendar, the word “course” is used in reference to a single course (such as “standing in a course” etc.) “Course” refers equally to a full course or a half course. A full course is 1.0 Full Course Equivalent (FCE), and a half course is 0.5 FCE. To “pass a course” or “obtain standing in a course” normally means to obtain a mark of 50 or more in that course.

Codes used in the Program of Study Listings and Course Description

  • "Specialist Program (X FCE or their equivalent)”; “X” is the number of FCE required for that program out of the total of 20 FCE needed for an Hon. B.A. or Hon. B.Sc.
  • “Major Program (X FCE or their equivalent)”; “X” is the number of FCE required for that program out of the total of 20 FCE needed for an Hon. B.A. or Hon. B.Sc.
  • "First Year”, “Second Year”, etc.: Sequences of courses are given as guides, but need not be followed in the exact order listed, provided all pre- and co-requisites are observed.  
  • Higher Years = Second, Third and Fourth Years
  • An oblique stroke (“/”) means “or”. A comma and a semi-colon both mean “and”.
  • In describing the level of a course, the word "series" is used interchangeably with the word "level". e.g. 100-series is the same as 100-level 
  • 200-series or 200-level = courses numbered in the 200’s ONLY;
  • 200+series or 200+ level = courses in the 200’s or 300’s or 400’s
  • 300+series or 300+ level = courses numbered in the 300’s or 400’s
  • Approved = approved by the college or academic unit sponsoring the program
  • Group = a group of related courses; Groups are at the end of the relevant program listings
  • The code Y1 or H1 in a course code in this Calendar indicates the credit value:
    • Y1 = a full course (1.0 FCE), for which one credit is given (e.g. ANT100Y1)
    • H1 = a half course (0.5 FCE), for which one-half credit is given (e.g. HIS321H1)

 

Courses

Choosing Courses

NOTE: While Departmental counsellors and College Registrars are always available to give advice, THE ULTIMATE RESPONSIBILITY RESTS WITH THE STUDENT for completeness and correctness of course selection, for compliance with exclusions, prerequisite and co-requisite requirements, for completion of Program details, for proper completion of the Distribution Requirement, and for observance of regulations, deadlines, etc. Students are responsible for seeking guidance from a responsible officer if they are in any doubt; misunderstanding, misapprehension or advice received from another student will not be accepted as cause for dispensation from any regulation, deadline, Program or Degree requirement.

Please Note:

  1. The Faculty of Arts & Science Council reserves the right to change the content of, or to withdraw, any course. In such cases every effort is made to provide equivalent alternative instruction, but this cannot be guaranteed.
  2. The Faculty reserves the right to limit the number of students in any course or any section of a course if the number wishing to take the course should exceed the resources available. Notwithstanding this, every effort is made to accommodate students in 100-series courses according to admission category.

Key to Course Descriptions

Course descriptions, in alphabetical order by Academic unit/College, are listed in the Programs and Courses section. For an explanation of terms and abbreviations used in these descriptions, including prerequisites, co-requisites, exclusions, etc., see below. Students may choose from among these courses, subject to the following rules:
  1. Students must satisfy the degree and program requirements and other regulations set out in the Calendar and its supplements.
  2. Students must meet all prerequisite, co-requisite and exclusion requirements.
  3. Students may take no more than six 100-series FCE for degree credit.

 

Number of Courses Taken (“Course Load”)

Students may proceed towards the degree at a rate of their own choosing, except as provided below:
  1. The recommended course load for full-time students in each of the Fall and Winter terms is no more than 2.5 FCE; the maximum course load in the Fall/Winter Session is 3.0 FCE per term.
  2. The maximum course load during the Summer Session is 1.0 FCE per term.
  3. College Registrars may approve an exception to the above limits where circumstances warrant. The College Registrar, following Faculty guidelines, has the discretion to approve or deny such requests. Students will not receive special consideration of any kind on account of a course overload. Examination schedules may be affected by a course overload. Note: students enrolled in Commerce programs must obtain course overload approval from the Rotman Commerce Program Office.
  4. Students “On Academic Probation” may take no more than 2.5 FCE in each of the Fall and Winter terms and no more than 1.0 FCE in each of the Summer terms, except as provided under “students restricted to a reduced course load” (see 5. below). 
  5. Students restricted to a reduced course load on admission may take no more than 2.5 FCE during the Fall/Winter Session. Students may take no more than 1.5 FCE in a Fall or Winter term unless approved by their College Registrar. They may take a maximum of 1.0 FCE in the Summer Session. Students restricted to part-time studies who wish to transfer to full-time studies should consult with their College Registrar. 
  6. Students should attempt to balance their course load between the Fall and Winter Sessions. 
  7. To calculate course loads, students should consult this Calendar together with the Registration Instructions & Timetable. The codes “Y1” or “H1” in a course code in the Calendar indicate the credit value:
    Y1 = a full course (1.0 FCE), for which one credit is given (e.g. ANT100Y1)
    H1 = a half-course (0.5 FCE), for which one-half credit is given (e.g. HIS332H1)
  8. In the Timetable a section code is associated with a course code to indicate when the course is offered:
    F = “First Term”; i.e. first term of the Fall/Winter Session (September – December) or first term of the Summer Session (May-June)
    S = “Second Term”; i.e. second term of the Fall/Winter Session (January – April) or second term of the Summer Session (July – August)
    Y = full session, i.e. September – April  or May – August  
  9. Students should note that courses designated as “...Y1F” or “...Y1S” in the Timetable are particularly demanding.
  10. In the Fall/Winter session, full-time students (except those in 4. and 13.) may select an additional 0.5 FCE per term (3.0 FCE maximum) after the priority period ends during the course enrolment cycle (see the Registration Instructions and Timetable for details).
  11. Students are advised to use discretion if exceeding the recommended maximum of 2.5 FCE in each term of the Fall/Winter session. Students will not receive special consideration of any kind on account of enrolling in more than the recommended maximum. Examination schedules may be affected by this course load.
  12. Students are not allowed a course overload in any term until they have completed four (4) FCE in the Faculty. This applies to first year students and transfer students from other institutions.

 

Year of Study

The University of Toronto uses the following to define the year equivalency and therefore the academic status of a student:

  •     4th year Arts & Science student: has completed 14.0 full course equivalents or more;
  •     3rd year Arts & Science student: has completed 9.0 to 13.5 full course equivalents;
  •     2nd year Arts & Science student: has completed 4 to 8.5 full course equivalents;
  •     1st year Arts & Science student: has completed less than 4 full course equivalents.

 

Full/Part-Time Status

Full-time status
  • A student enrolled in 3.0 FCE or more in the Fall/Winter Session is full-time.
  • A student enrolled in 1.5 FCE or more in the Summer Session is full-time.
Part-time status
  • A student enrolled in 2.5 FCE or fewer in the Fall/Winter Session is part-time.
  • A student enrolled in 1.0 FCE or fewer in the Summer Session is part-time.

 

Cancelling Courses, Repeating Courses, Courses Outside the Faculty and University

For further information on these matters see the Rules and Regulations section.

 

Elements of a Course Description

Course Designators

Course designators are the three-letter codes which appear at the beginning of each course code (e.g., CHM is the designator for chemistry courses; PHL for philosophy courses).

All courses are listed in the sponsoring department's section in the Calendar. See the home page (under Programs & Courses) for sponsoring departments.

Course Number

The course number generally indicates the level of difficulty, e.g., a 100-series course normally indicates an introductory course, a 400-series course is an intensive course at the senior level. 

“Y1” and “H1” Course Suffixes

The codes “Y1” or “H1” in a course code in the Calendar indicate the credit value:

  • Y1 = a full course (1.0 FCE), for which one credit is given, e.g., ANT 100Y1
  • H1 = a half-course (0.5 FCE), for which one-half credit is given, e.g., HIS 322 H1.

Types and Duration of Instruction

  • L= Lectures
  • S= Seminars
  • P= Practical work in laboratories or studios
  • T= Tutorials

In the Fall-Winter Sessions the normal period of instruction is 24 weeks; the Fall Term lasts 12 weeks, and the Winter Term lasts 12 weeks. The number preceding the instruction codes opposite the course number and title indicates the total number of hours of instruction given in the course. The number of hours listed is approximate only; the actual contact hours of a course, or of different sections of a course, may vary from the number indicated in the Calendar, due to the size of the class or section, and the use being made of the tutorial or practical components of the class. This variation is at the discretion of the “course sponsor” (the college or academic unit sponsoring the course); any questions concerning the allotment of hours in a course should be addressed to the course sponsor.

Calendar Description

The description is a short summary of topics and themes covered in the course. The description may include information about special aspects of a course, for example field work. 

Prerequisites, Co-requisites, etc.

Students are responsible for fulfilling prerequisites and co-requisites; students enroled in courses for which they do not have the published prerequisites may have their registration in those courses cancelled at any time without warning. Students must also observe exclusions. Failure to meet these requirements may result in academic difficulties. If students withdraw from a course they must also withdraw from any course for which it is a co-requisite unless the Department giving the latter course agrees to waive the co-requisite.

Exclusions

Students may not enrol in a course if that course lists as an exclusion a course they are currently taking or a course they have already passed. If allowed by special permission to enrol in an excluded course, the second course taken will be listed as an “Extra” course. Students will be required to withdraw from the course if discovered during the session of enrolment and will be refused degree credit in the excluded course if discovered at any time in a subsequent session.

Prerequisite

A course (or other qualification) required as preparation for entry to another course. If students consider that they have equivalent preparation, they may ask the Department concerned to waive the stated prerequisite.

Co-requisite

A requirement to be undertaken concurrently with another course. The co-requisite will be waived if a student has previously obtained standing in it, or if the Department consents.

Recommended Preparation

Background material or courses that may enhance a student’s understanding of a course.

This image shows a course description in diagram form, with explanations of all the various symbols.

Section Code

Section codes do not appear in the Calendar. In the Timetable, a section code is associated with a course code to indicate when the course is offered:

  • F = “First Term”; i.e. first term of the Fall/Winter Session (September – December) or first term of the Summer Session (May-June)
  • S = “Second Term”; i.e. second term of the Fall/Winter Session (January – April) or second term of the Summer Session (July – August)
  • Y = full session, i.e. September – April  or May – August