2022-2023 First Year Planning Guide

To start preparing for university, check out the First Year Planning Guide. This online document has essential information on how to select and register for your courses, and it’s your best resource for planning your first year.

Summer Term Planning Guide

Summer 2023 Get Ready to Register

This session introduces you to the Summer Term Planning Guide, the primary tool you will use for course selection for the Summer Term. Get Ready to Register for Summer is designed to help students make good decisions around course selection and registration.

Summer Term is unique because most courses are offered in a condensed format. This makes it critical to be strategic with your course selection and course load. We’ll guide you through the process, so you’ll feel confident making choices that work for you.


Save the Date! 
Get Ready to Register for Summer will be held on March 21, 2023 via Zoom. 

Charge Ahead

Are you looking for ways to improve your grades? Hoping to meet new friends on campus? Searching for a way to create a study-life balance?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are invited to join Charge Ahead! As a Charge Ahead participant, you will join a cohort of other students in learning how to:

  • Increase flow in your academic work
  • Foster a growth mindset and stick to your goals
  • Experience greater satisfaction in your studies
  • Find more time for fun and relaxation
  • Create an individualized plan for success

Register today for weekly virtual sessions at 2:30 PM - 3:30 PM on Tuesdays from January 31, 2023 - April 4, 2023.

After you accept your offer of admission

Claim your UMnetID (May - September)

You need your UMnetID to use your UM e-mail, Wi-Fi and all UM online tools. To claim your UMnetID, you will need your student number, which you can find on your acceptance letter from the University.

Prepare to register for your courses (May - September)

Beginning in May, take steps to register for your courses:

Take care of other basics

Take part in orientation events

Getting used to your new university life is a big part of your first year. Get a good start by attending orientation events. You'll meet new people, find your way around campus and discover key resources that will help you throughout the year.

Course planning basics

Courses are offered in two different terms during the Regular Session (September to April).

  • Fall Term runs from September to December. 
  • Winter Term runs from January to April.

Each course has a credit hour value: usually 3 credit hours or 6 credit hours.

  • 3 credit hour courses run over one term. 
  • 6 credit hour courses run over both terms and are called spanned courses. 
  • You may take as few as 3 credit hours per term (one course) to as many as 15 credit hours per term (five courses).

You can take a maximum of five courses in each term, to give you 30 credit hours completed over two terms (one Regular Session):

  • Five courses per term = 30 credit hours (100% course load)
  • Four courses per term = 24 credit hours (80% course load)
  • Three courses per term = 18 credit hours (60% course load = minimum required to be a full-time student)

Determine your course load

Determining the number of courses you will take in your first year will depend on many things. Consider the following factors before you jump in.

What are the admission requirements or the first year courses for your target degree program?

If you are in University 1 and wish to qualify for admission to your intended degree program in the shortest amount of time possible, you need to take at least an 80 – 100% course load (24 – 30 credit hours) in your first year. 

For each of your degree programs in the First Year Planning Guide, you will see a grey admission box that indicates the credit hours you need for admission to the program.

Do you need to meet course load requirements to receive funding?

If you have received a scholarship, student loan or other type of funding, it is important that you know the course load you need to take to receive your funding.

Funding from government student loans, sponsorship agencies and university bursaries or scholarships will likely have minimum course load requirements that indicate the number of courses you must take in a term or over the entire academic year (September to April).

Check out Financial Aid and Awards to learn more about the various funding options and their requirements before you plan the number of courses you will take in your first year.

Do you need to upgrade your high school prerequisites?

Some university level courses may require that you have completed Grade 12 level biology, chemistry, mathematics, and physics.

If you did not complete these requirements in high school, you may take these courses as part of your schedule at university or at an Adult Education Centre. See the Upgrading Courses section of in the First Year Planning Guide for complete details on how to upgrade your high school courses.

Have you taken advanced placement (AP) or international baccalaureate (IB) courses?

If you completed AP or IB courses in high school, wrote the exams and attained the minimum score, you may be eligible for transfer credit to reduce your first year course load.

AP or IB credits are not transferred automatically. If you want to transfer your credit, you must claim it by submitting a request form.

See Advanced Placement & International Baccalaureate to learn which AP and IB courses are equivalent to UM courses and how to transfer them.

Contact an academic advisor in the First Year Centre if you are not sure whether you should transfer your AP or IB credit.

What other commitments do you have?

Balancing your university courses with your co-curricular involvement, volunteering, sports, employment and family or social commitments will also be a factor in determining how many courses you should take.

What courses do I take in first year?

On the program planning page found within the First Year Planning Guide, carefully review all of the information to learn which courses you should choose in Year 1, admission requirements, written English and math requirements and high school prerequisites.

Select your faculty or program from the index page in the guide. It will take you directly to the related program planning page – in a new browser tab, so you can easily come back to this page and create your timetable. 


Create your timetable

Create your timetable after you decide which courses you want to take. There are morning, afternoon and evening classes. Create a timetable that best suits your lifestyle and commitments.

1. Download or print a timetable planning form

The timetable planning form (PDF) is designed to accommodate courses during the Fall and Winter terms. Classes are offered at various times throughout the week.

Total lecture time per week is usually three hours:

Mondays/Wednesdays/Fridays (MWF) 50 minutes (10-minute break between classes)
Tuesdays/Thursdays (TR) 75 minutes (15-minute break between classes)
Evening classes Three hours, once a week

Some classes also have a lab component:

Labs for science courses Generally three hours, once a week
(e.g., biology, chemistry, physics)
Labs for mathematics or arts courses Generally one hour, once a week
(e.g., mathematics, languages)

2. Identify when courses are offered

You plan your timetable using information found in Aurora, the University of Manitoba’s online registration and student information system.

Search for the course you wish to register for using the “Look up Classes” function in Aurora. This function allows you to determine:

  • Days and times the course is offered
  • Course sections
    • Lecture sections start wtih 'A' (ex. A01, A02)
    • Labs/tutorials start with 'B' (ex. B01, B02)
    • Distance and Online Education sections start with 'D' (ex. D01, D02)
  • CRN (4 or 5 digit Course Reference Number)
  • Other important information (often in bold)

You’re almost there! Once you’ve created a timetable, log in to Aurora to take the last step and register for courses.

3. Fill in your timetable

Plan your timetable by adding each course to the Timetable Planning Form. When building a timetable, it is important to prioritize your courses.

Choose these courses first:

  • Courses that are offered with the least number of sections, as these offer less flexibility and may fill up more quickly 
  • Courses that require both a lecture and a lab section, as these can be challenging to fit into a full timetable 
  • Spanned courses, as these will take up the same day and time in both Fall and Winter terms
  • Required courses, as these are higher priority than those you are choosing as electives

Need some additional guidance?

Attend or watch one or more Get Ready to Register sessions.

Get help from an academic advisor in the First Year Centre

Academic advisors in the First Year Centre are available to assist all first year students throughout the planning process. Before contacting the First Year Centre:

  • Read through the relevant sections of the First Year Planning Guide
  • Watch How to Register Using Aurora
  • Think about your course choices
  • Bring a list of questions and any course or timetable planning that you have done so far

Academic advisors can offer help and advice, but each student is responsible for planning their own timetable and registering for courses. If someone is contacting an advisor on your behalf, only general information can be provided to them.

Register for classes

Follow these steps to register for classes after you have created your timetable.

1) Determine your initial registration time

All students are given a specific date and time to begin registering for Fall and Winter term courses. This is your Initial Registration Time and is the earliest date that you can register. Registering on that date gives you the best chance of getting into the courses you have chosen.

To check your assigned Initial Registration Time in Aurora Student:

  • Select the “Enrolment & Academic Records” tab, then 
  • Click on “Registration and Exams,” then 
  • Click on “Registration Time and Status”


2) Register for courses using Aurora

There are two ways you can use Aurora to register for your courses. 

If the course you want to register for is full, you may be able to add yourself to a waitlist.

How to register using Aurora including waitlists

Make adjustments to your registration before the end of the Registration Revision Period.

3) Confirm your registration

Confirm your registration by checking your “Student Detail Schedule” in Aurora. It will show which courses you are registered in and what waitlists you are on.

4) Check your fees

Check Aurora Student for a tuition fee balance, also called your account summary. This will be available in August, under “Enrolment & Academic Records” > “Student Records.” 

Be sure to confirm your account summary whenever you make changes to your registration.

5) Get your book list

A book list for the courses you are registered in will be available through Aurora Student in August. Be sure to plan and register for both Fall and Winter terms during your Initial Registration Time.

Contact us

First Year Centre
205 Tier Building
University of Manitoba (Fort Garry Campus)
Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2 Canada

Contact us

Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (CDT/CST)