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 or 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 Upgrading Courses for complete details on how to upgrade your high school courses.

Please note that these upgrading courses do not qualify for university credit and will not count in your overall course load total.

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
  • Sections – lecture (A), lab (B), or online (distance) courses (D)
  • CRN (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.

Check your assigned Initial Registration Time in Aurora Student from July 10 onward. 

In Aurora Student: 

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

New students are assigned an Initial Registration Time between July 14 and 20. 
Returning students are assigned an Initial Registration Time between July 23 and August 11.
 

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

Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Advising hours: Monday to Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.