Understanding Course Lingo

Within your Program Requirements, you may come across different terms. It is critical that you understand and follow these terms so there are no surprises down the road when it is time to graduate.  

Common Terms

The following outlines some common terms used to help you along the way:

Course means a full course equivalent or often referred to as "FCE". In order to achieve 1 FCE, you must take either 1 year long course (often spans two terms from September - April) or 2 half courses (spans only one term such as September - December).

FCEstands for full course equivalent and is valued with a credit weight of 1.0 credits. An FCE can be fulfilled with either one course, or a combination of courses, as long as the value totals 1.0 credits.

Elective - refers to a course that you can choose based on your interests. 

Prerequisite - a course or set of courses that must be successfully completed, and at times with a specific grade or average attained, before continuing on to a designated course.

Corequisite - a course that must be successfully completed in conjunction with another designated course, either prior to, or at the same time. 

Type A, B, C, or D Courses - refers to a series of "types" of courses. You must select course(s) from that specific Type only. Type A courses are Humanities courses, Type B are Social Sciences courses, Type C are Engineering/Math/Natural Science courses, and Type D are Health and Behavioural courses. You can view the different Types of courses here

Biology List A or B Courses - refers to a series of Biology courses in which you can choose from to satisfy that stipulation of your program requirements. You can view the List A or B courses here

Core Group Courses - some program requirements reference "core group courses". This is a defined list of courses you can select from. You can view the Core Group courses here

Half Course - a course that is worth 0.5 credit weight. Normally a half course is only offered during one term and doesn't span more than that term (e.g. Fall term - September to December)

Full Course - a course that is worth 1.0 credit weight. A full course normally spans the full academic year, or two terms (e.g. Fall and Winter term - September - April)

1st Year CourseA first year course number starts with the number 1. A second year course starts with the number 2, etc. Therefore, PHYS-1101 is a first year course; CHEM-2301 is a second year course. 

"One of..." - means you can choose from "one of" the courses within the list of courses in your program requirements. 

Deciphering Course Codes

It is also helpful for you to understand how to decipher a course code. Every course has a course code associated with it. For instance, PSYC 1100 is a course code for Introduction to Psychology. The digits within the course code have meaning. 

1st digit - the first number in the course code normally refers to the year level for that course. Similar to the terms above, a first year course number starts with the number 1. A second year course starts with the number 2, etc. Therefore, PHYS-1100 is a first year course and HIST 3101 is a third year course.

3rd digit - the third number in the course code indicates whether the course is a one or two term/semester course. If the number is even, it signifies the course is a full course (two terms). For example, MATH 1180, PYSC 1100 all have a third digit that is even so they are full courses. If the third number is odd, it is a half course (one term). For example, COMP 1411 or BUSI 1011. 

Each course also will have a "section" associated with it. The section identifies when the course will be offered within the academic year. For example, PSYC 1100 may have three sections such as PSYC 1100 YA, YB or YC. In another example, BUSI 1011 may have two sections such as BUSI 1011 FA and WA.

For the first letter in the section code, it means as follows:

F - indicates the course will be offered in the Fall term (September - December)
W - indicates the course will be offered in the Winter term (January - April)
Y - indicates the course will be offered Year-Long in both the Fall and Winter term (September - April)
S- indicates the course will be offered in the Spring (May - June)
A - indicates the course will be offered in the Summer (July - August)
G - For graduate programs only - combined spring and summer term (May - August)

The second letter in the section code signifies that there are multiple offerings of the course. For instance, it will be offered at different times/days of the week. You will see this in the Course Timetable or as you build your registration through the Pre-Registration Schedule Builder.