University Timetabling Committee Documents

Rules that apply to courses, instructors, and students in the scheduling process of a coordinated University timetable, as well as information on instructor time changes and timetable changes are collated in the menus below.

Basic Rules of Timetabling


  • November 2002
  • Amended November 2004
  • Amended January 2005
  • Amended December 2020


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 cannot 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.
  • 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:

  • 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 should exceed (3) hours.
  • Teaching should not exceed six (6) hours in any day.
  • Research time will be allotted as per Collective Agreement 37.2.10.
  • No back-to-back classes (unless specifically requested).


In accordance with the Human Rights Code, the University has a duty to afford students a right to equal treatment with respect to services, goods and facilities without discrimination; and a duty to accommodate. To the extent that it is possible, the timetable should facilitate the widest range of program selections within each Faculty. (See Collective Agreement, Appendix I)

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.

Policy on Instructor Time Changes


  • October 14, 2003
  • January 27, 2004


All timetable change requests (related to courses) are to be sent via department timetable administrators to the Timetabling Office.

Once students have registered for a course, Instructors may not change its officially scheduled time unless the following conditions are met:

  • The instructor must first confirm with the OUR that a suitable room is available at the desired time.
  • A vote must be taken by secret ballot.
  • For the class time to be changed, there must be unanimous approval on the part of the entire registered class.
  • If there is agreement on such a change, the instructor will confirm with the OUR.

Changes to the Preliminary Timetable


  • Approved June 15 2004
  • Revised December 2020


  • Changes cannot break existing rules of timetabling as set out by the UTC (unless the committee sanctions such violations).
  • A timetable change cannot violate existing instructor constraints that have been met in the first instance.
  • Changes to the draft schedule cannot disadvantage other programs by significantly increasing student conflicts.

Priorities for Processing Changes to the Preliminary Timetable:

  1. A change that creates a Tier 1 or Tier 2 instructor requirement.
  2. A change request that will create conflict free timetable that facilitates student access to program course requirements.
  3. A change request to add new courses and to delete course offerings proposed earlier.

Last Updated February 1, 2022


Academic activities that are timetabled by the University Registrar have priority use of academic space. Non-academic events and ad hoc academic activities can be booked into academic spaces after publication of the timetable so long as they do not displace, or disrupt the continuity, of timetabled academic activities. These ad hoc bookings are on a first come, first serve, basis*.

*If there is an academic activity that cannot be accommodated due to a previously booked non-academic event, prioritization will be determined by the University Timetable Committee.


Priority for academic spaces, such as classrooms, is to support academic activities. This includes providing learning environments that are consistent throughout the academic term. The latter point recognizes that changing the location of academic activities partway through the term generates a cost to both instructors and students.


The policy applies to academic spaces that are managed by the University Registrar.