Understanding Courses

Definition of a Course

A course is a unit of teaching that focuses on a specific discipline area (e.g. English or Mathematics), and takes place within a specific timeframe. It will be led by an instructor (or instructors), and have a fixed roster of students, who may receive a grade and academic credit upon its completion.

Credit Value

Each course is assigned a credit value:

  • Full-year courses are worth 1.0 credit (indicated by a "Y" in the course code).
  • Half-year courses are worth a 0.5 credit (indicated by an "H" in the course code).

A few courses held over a full year are valued at a 0.5 credit ("H5Y") and a few courses held over one-half a year are valued at 1.0 credit ("Y5F" or "Y5S"). Students should ensure they accurately identify the credit value of each course.

Instructional Hours

The total number of instructional hours is listed as part of the course details to understand the expected number of hours spent in lecture, tutorials, etc before you enrol. For example, "48L" = 48 lecture hours, "24T" = 24 tutorial hours.

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

In the Fall/Winter Session, the normal period of instruction is 24 weeks, with each term being 12 weeks.

Other Symbols Used in the Calendar

  • (I) - Open to first-year students (shown after 200+ course number).
  • The comma (,) the semi-colon (;) the ampersand (&) and the plus sign (+) all mean "AND."
  • The slash (/) means "OR"

How to Read a Course Code

Each course at the University of Toronto is assigned a unique course code to provide information such as: which area of study the course belongs to, the level of study, which U of T campus it is offered at, its credit value, and more.

For example, ENG101H5:

Component Example Explanation
Course Designation ENG101H5 The first three characters in a course code (i.e., ANT, AST, BIO) indicate the department offering the course. Most courses are listed under the department that is responsible for that subject. For example, ANT = Anthropology courses.
Course Number ENG101H5 The course number generally indicates the level of difficulty. For example, a 100 level course normally indicates an introductory course, a 400-level course is an intensive course at the senior level.
Course Suffixes ENG101H5

The "Y" or "H" following the Course Number in this Calendar indicates the credit value:

  • Y = a full credit course, for which 1.0 credit is given.
  • H = a half-credit course, for which 0.5 credit is given.
Campus Code ENG101H5

The eighth and last character in a course code indicates which campus a particular course is offered.

  • UTM = 5
  • St. George = 1
  • UTSC = 3

Course Sections Listed in the Timetable

On the Timetable website, students can determine the type of meeting sections that are required for each course, including lectures, practicals, and tutorials, and when the course is offered, and delivery mode. 

By searching a course code in the Timetable website, students will find additional information to help them plan their weekly course schedule. For example, searching ENG100H5 on the Timetable website may indicate that ENG100H5F is being offered with one available lecture section of LEC9101:

Component Example Explanation
Section Code ENG100H5 F
LEC9101

Section codes will appear next to the course code on the Timetable website to identify the period of instruction:

  • F = Course given in the Fall term, or the first term of the Summer session.
  • S = Course given in the Winter term, or the second term of the Summer session.
  • Y = Course extending over both the Fall and Winter Session, or over the entire Summer Session.


Not all courses listed in this Calendar will be offered in any one single session. Check the Timetable website for each session for the specific courses offered in that session.

Meeting Section LEC9101

The first 3 characters denote type of meeting section:

  • LEC = Lecture
  • PRA = Practical (Lab)
  • TUT = Tutorial
Delivery Mode LEC9101

The first digit will indicate the course delivery option:

  • 0 = in-person
  • 8 = in-person and online (rotating schedule)
  • 9 = online synchronous
  • Meeting sections that are listed as 9999 are online asynchronous

The last three digits indicates the meeting section number.