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Queen's University

Basic Rules of Timetabling


  • November 2002
  • Amended November 2004
  • Amended January 2005


Rules to apply in the scheduling process of an annual coordinated University timetable.


The following general parameters will be used to schedule courses:

  • Courses will be booked in the normal teaching week, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday to Friday. Regular academic activities will not normally be scheduled or held between 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. to create open time in the week for student activities.
  • Evening courses should be (effective September 2005):
    • Scheduled in a slot between 6:30 and 9:30 p.m. (Where special circumstances exist, the University Timetable Committee may approve requests from Unit Heads for an earlier or later start time.)
    • Excluded from the definition of the "normal teaching week"
  • Courses offered outside the regular or evening slot system can not be scheduled using scheduling software and, therefore, require specific times to be entered into the scheduling software. (This process is referred to as forced scheduling.) Requests for forced scheduling will be considered on a limited basis and must be requested by the Unit Head, giving clearly articulated reasons for the request, to the University Timetable Committee for review. Only approved requests will be processed by the University Registrar's Office.
  • The scheduling process will attempt to optimize the use of academic teaching space using the course size and requirements, the room capacity and features, and instructor preferences.
  • Priority will be given to avoiding timetable conflicts between required, supporting or elective courses as identified by units from among their own offerings, as well as those identified by cross-unit consultations.
  • The timetable should provide a minimum designated amount of time for movement of students between classes. Additional time will be scheduled for movement of students between campuses.


The following general parameters will be used to schedule instructors. These parameters may be changed at the request of the instructor and with approval of the unit head:

  • Persons with disabilities shall be accommodated in any timetable matters up to the point of undue hardship for the University.
  • A minimum of twelve (12) hours shall elapse between the completion of teaching one day and the commencement of teaching the next day.
  • No block of teaching shall exceed (3) hours.
  • Teaching should not exceed six (6) hours in any day.
  • Where applicable, continuous blocks of time should be available for research per week (e.g. one full day or two four (4) hour blocks).
  • No back-to-back classes (unless specifically requested).
  • All reasonable efforts will be made to accommodate the requests of instructors, as approved by unit head, concerning the scheduling of teaching based on:
    • A medical condition.
    • Family circumstances.
    • Research requirements.
    • Other academic responsibilities.
  • Where possible, an instructor's preference concerning the scheduling of teaching will be accommodated. Unit heads must approve and communicate this information to the OUR where required and appropriate.


  • Persons with disabilities shall be accommodated in any timetable matters up to the point of undue hardship for the University.
  • Where possible, a minimum of 30 minutes will be scheduled for lunch between 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.
  • Where possible, a maximum of 8 hours will be scheduled in a day.
  • The timetable should facilitate the widest range of program selections within each Faculty. For a conflict-free schedule, students are expected to request courses that are consistent with their degree program requirements.


Administrative and Academic Meeting Times.

Units will request a period of time, on slot and preferably outside the middle time band, in which no courses from that unit may be scheduled to allow for administrative and academic meetings, or special activities. (In the case of administrative meetings, the time may be moved to enable the scheduling of courses and departments will be informed accordingly.)

Fire Regulations, Enrolment and Room Capacity

If a room is requested for a course that has a higher maximum enrolment than the seating capacity of the requested room, after consultation with the unit, the maximum enrolment will be changed to match the room capacity.

Enrolment Change Requests

Once the final timetable has been published, should a unit wish to allow more students to register in a course section over and above the existing enrolment maximum and assigned room capacity, units must first request and receive from the University Registrar's Office a new room assignment. This process must occur before the maximum enrolment of the course is increased and before additional students are allowed to register.

The undergraduate timetable should have scheduling priority over the graduate timetable.

Kingston, Ontario, Canada. K7L 3N6. 613.533.2000