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Courses & Enrolling

York is a big and diverse university. There are thousands of courses available on a broad range of topics. Although you are primarily interested in one of the majors offered by the Faculty of Science the degree requirements do leave room for a few free choice courses.

Likely you have many other interests. Perhaps early civilisations? Medieval science? There are courses that are bound to satisfy almost any scholarly interest you may have.

Before each academic session begins, you should develop a course plan to ensure that you are satisfying the requirements of your program. You should plan to fit in courses that meet the full range of your interests.

If you need assistance developing your course plan or understanding your degree requirements, get advice either from Science Academic Services (SAS) or your Home Department.  The Registrar’s Office also has a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section about enrolment issues.

Making a Plan

Before each academic session begins, you should develop a course plan to ensure that you are satisfying the requirements of your program.

It is important that you familiarize yourself with both the Faculty of Science ‘Programs of Study’ section of the Undergraduate Calendar as well as the regulations governing your degree requirements in the section on ‘Regulations Governing Undergraduate Degree Requirements’ in Faculty of Science, which is also available in the Undergraduate Calendar.

Most departments publish a Supplemental Calendar each year that provides detailed advice about the courses offered that year and the requirements of the major. Usually there is a year-by-year plan outlining how you should take courses to meet the requirements of the major.

Academic Advising:
If you need assistance developing your course plan or understanding your degree requirements, there are two service points in the Faculty of Science:
1. Science Academic Services (SAS) – visit the office or Live Chat (click below)
2. Your Home Department

Searching for Courses

How do you find courses? Easy – visit the York Courses website no matter what the course you’re looking for.

This website allows you to:

  •  Search currently active Course Timetables
  •  Print your timetable
  •  View exam schedules

You can browse the courses and search in various ways. Ultimately you want to choose courses you’ll actually take and plan a schedule. The Registrar’s Office website has a Visual Schedule Builder that you can use to plan out your schedule. The Visual Schedule Builder (VSB) is an online self-serve tool that helps plan your course schedule. You can use the template to record your course choices and options and plan a conflict-free schedule.  It is always good to have a few options ready in case when you come to actually enrol your first choices are full or not available to you.

You should note the ‘Catalogue Number’ displayed on the schedule for each course you select. The Catalogue Number is what you will enter when you actually try to enrol in courses.  Have your Passport York username and password ready to proceed.

Some Important Details

1. How to Read the Course Information

Courses have a Faculty, subject, number, credit value and course title. For example, SC/CHEM 1000 3.00  Chemical Structure where SC indicates the Faculty offering the course (Faculty of Science in this case), CHEM indicates the subject of the course (CHEM for  Chemistry), 1000 is the course number (the first digit indicates the year level) and 3.0 indicates the credit value of the course. “Chemical Structure”  is the course title. Click on the “Course Description and Schedule” link to the right of a listed course to view the description and schedule for the session.

The course description at the top of each page contains important information about the course such as how it may apply to certain requirements, whether it is open to only some students and whether there are prerequisites or course-credit exclusions to be considered.

2. How to Read the Schedule Information

The schedule shows all classes offered for a particular session. You’ll see Term F or Term W for courses in the Fall/Winter Session  or Term SU, Term S1, Term S2 (and sometimes a few others) for the Summer session.  The ‘Section’ refers to a particular lecture (given by a particular instructor) and there may be more than one section for a course. But the section may also include associated tutorials and lab sessions. To enrol in a course that has lab sessions you must choose a particular lab; doing so automatically enrols you in the associated lecture and tutorial sessions.

The type indicates how the component of a course is delivered. There are many different ways in which classes are offered at York.  For a full list of course “types” go to the FAQ page on the York Courses website.  The common types of class delivery in the Faculty of Science are Lecture (LECT), Tutorial (TUTR) and Laboratory (LAB). When planning your schedule note that you will have to plan to attend all components of the class in a week such as both the lectures and tutorial or lab times.

Pre-Requisites & Course Credit Exclusions


Most courses in science disciplines require that you know some foundational material, i.e. that you have taken some previous course(s). These are called Prerequisites. Generally the course enrolment system does not enforce prerequisites. You may be able to enrol without having taken the prerequisites; but if you do you are likely to be removed from the course by the department that offers it.

Naturally we want students to succeed and prerequisites are one way of advising students about the order in which they should take courses.

If you perform poorly in a course that you took without having previously taken the prerequisite, the lack of a prerequisite, even if it was approved by the instructor, is not viewed as valid reason for any subsequent consideration (e.g. grounds for dropping a course after the drop deadline).

Course Credit Exclusions

Some courses cover similar material. Naturally a student should not receive credit for taking both courses if they are quite similar. Such courses are identified in a list labelled Course Credit Exclusion that is part of the course description.

The course enrolment system does not prevent you from enrolling in a course that is an exclusion with one you have already taken. If you do your transcript will show that the first course is annotated with NCR meaning “no credit retained”.


Ready to enrol? You will need your Passport York to actually enrol. Passport York is the username and password you use to access online services at York.

If you’re a new student follow the link from the Enrolment and Registration Guide to get a Passport York username.  Note that you cannot create a Passport York username if you have not yet accepted your offer of admission.

Detailed enrolment instructions are outlined in the Enrolment and Registration Guide.  The last step is to Pay Your Registration Deposit if you don’t pay the deposit by the required date you’ll be de-enrolled and have to start all over again!

Note that your deposit is part of the tuition fee. It is not an additional fee over and above course fees. The deposit confirms your registration at York University and unlocks services you will need to prepare for the start of classes and continue through your courses.

Need help? Contact …

  1. Science Academic Services (SAS) – visit the office, or Live Chat (click below)
  2. your Home Department

Enrolment Verification Letters

Students regularly require verification of enrolment at York University for a variety of purposes, including for example RESP verification of enrolment. You can request such verification letters via the Registrar’s Office website.

Letters of Permission

A letter of permission is a letter provided by the University you are currently attending (your home university), which gives you permission to take a course or courses at another university. This ensures that your home university will give you credit for the course(s) you completed on a letter of permission. Often, students who spend the summer in a different town/city from where their home university is, take courses on a letter of permission at the local university with the credits being transferred back to their home university.

Detailed information about the process that York students need to follow to request a Letter of Permission (LOP) is available on the Registrar's Office website.