Creating Your Timetable
Once you determine what courses you’d like to take, you can create a mock timetable of your first year schedule. During SAO, a student-leader helps you create a timetable after you meet with your academic counsellor to ensure that you have selected all the necessary courses for your program, but you can also get a head start here!
- Registrar’s Office Timetable
- Bring a list of required courses for your intended program and what electives you want to explore
- Mock Timetable: use this editable PDF to follow along while you build your schedule!
- New this year - Use Draft my Schedule
- Have the Mock Timetable PDF provided above ready, or create your own timetable grid or use Draft my Schedule.
- Bring your course selection notes with you. If you have not already completed this page, return to the Course Selection section.
- Open your web browser to the Registrar’s Undergraduate Fall/Winter Academic Timetable
- Notice that the Registrar’s Timetable has many search options, such as Components, Campus, and Subject. Select each of the drop-down menus to see what search options you have. As registration progresses, adding search criteria will help limit your search – for example, you may only want to see classes that are “not full”.
- Think about what kind of schedule you want to create. Start by considering what kind of student you are, and what your ideal work schedule would be like. Consider the questions below before going any further:
- Are you a morning person that enjoys an early class?
- Do you do your best work in the afternoon?
- Do you work best at night, or think you’d want to try a night class?
- Would you prefer to get all of your classes done at once (for example, 11:30am-4:30pm), or break them down into smaller chunks (for example 10:30am-12:30pm, 1:30pm-2:30pm, and 7-9pm)?
- What kind of schedule will you be able to follow easily?
This will help you decide between class times if you are presented with more than one option. Keep in mind that most courses don’t have many options in terms of days/times offered, but your ideal schedule is something that can guide your choices if a course does have more than one option.
How to: Create a Conflict-Free Timetable
Our aim is to help you create a timetable that is conflict-free and includes all your required courses. See the steps below, and we will use a hypothetical philosophy student (let’s call her Leslie) as an example beneath each step. Note that all class numbers and scheduling used in the example are fabricated and do not reflect actual course offerings.
What does a conflict-free timetable look like?
- All courses are added in the timetable, including lab and tutorial sections
- There are no classes, tutorials, or labs overlapping with other courses
NOTE: All classes, labs, and tutorials end 10 minutes early. This means that a class scheduled for 1:30-2:30PM will actually end at 2:20PM, and students will have the chance to travel to different buildings and/or rooms for their next class at 2:30PM. Most buildings on main-campus are less than a 5-minute walk from each other. There is no need to schedule classes with one-hour breaks between them simply for transit time. The only reason you may want to give yourself more than 10 minutes to get from one class to another is if you have a class at an affiliate college that is not within 10-minute walking distance of your previous class.
Creating Your Timetable: A Step-by-Step Guide
- Always start with your required courses. Pick the first requisite course on your SAO Course Selection list, and go to the Registrar’s timetable with the course title.
LESLIE: The first requisite course for Leslie’s Philosophy Major is one full Philosophy credit from a specific listing provided by the department of Philosophy. Leslie chose Philosophy 1200, “Reason and Critical Thinking”.
- On the Registrar’s timetable webpage, select the Subject from the drop-down menu, and then input the 4-digit course number into the Course Number section. Click the Submit button.
LESLIE: The subject will be “Philosophy” and the course number is 1200.
- A list of available times for the course will appear below the search section. The subject and course code will be listed at the top left of the new section, and then the list of lecture times will appear below.
- Choose a lecture section, and check its status and notes. Some courses will only have one lecture section listed, and this means that this is the only lecture offered (if you want to take the course you have to enrol in this section). If the course is not full and you meet any requirements/restrictions listed in the notes section, you can add this section to your timetable.
- LESLIE: There are two lecture sections listed: one at 9:30AM and one at 2:30PM. Neither section has restrictions, and both are listed as “Not Full”. Leslie likes morning class better, so she chooses the section that takes place at 9:30AM.
- Go to your timetable grid. Shade in or outline the timeslot(s) that the lecture is offered in, and label it with the course code. Make a separate list (on the other side of the page) and list important section information such as course name and code, class number, component and section number, and the days/times that classes take place.
- LESLIE: Leslie will outline Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:30-10:30AM, and label those two boxes with “PHIL 1200”. On the back of the page, she lists “Philosophy 1200, 12345, LEC-001, Tuesday and Thursday 9:30-10:30AM.”
- Select a lab or tutorial section if needed. If there are lab/tutorial sections listed, then the lab/tutorial is mandatory and you need to choose one. Similar to lectures, chose a time and day that you think will work well with your schedule. See the notes section for limitations to your lab or tutorial selection, as some classes require you take have the same lab/tutorial in both first and second semester (especially science courses!).
- LESLIE: There are 10 tutorials listed under the lecture section, but Leslie wants a tutorial near her lecture time so that the material is fresh in her mind. She chooses a tutorial that is offered right after her lecture time on Tuesday.
- Shade in or outline the timeslot for your lab/tutorial on your schedule. Indicate the course name and number, as well as a code for lab or tutorial, and then list all necessary information on the back of the page, just like you did with the lecture section.
- LESLIE: Leslie outlines Tuesday 10:30-11:30AM and writes “PHIL 1200 – TUT” in the outline. She then flips the page and writes “Philosophy 1200, 23456, TUT-005, Tuesday 10:30-11:30AM” underneath the lecture time she previously listed.
- Congratulations - you’ve successfully timetabled your first course!
- Go to the next course in your required courses list, and repeat the steps above for each course. Always be sure to add labs/tutorials, and to include all pertinent course information somewhere so that you can refer to it when completing online registration. After you have added all required courses, begin to add in your electives until you have 5.0 courses in your schedule.
- When adding labs/tutorials to your schedule, list a back-up lab/tutorial that also works for your schedule – just in case!
- Create more than one timetable to see if different combinations or courses (or course times) work. You may find you like your second or third schedule better than the first!
- Add your back-up courses to your timetable, or create a different timetable that includes your back-up courses in the place of one of your electives (just in case!).