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Students must be enrolled in at least one academic activity (course or practicum) in every session in which they are registered, or registration will be cancelled.  If you are a new student, and you are not enrolled in at least one activity, your admission may be withdrawn. Fees are NOT assessed on a per course basis, meaning annual fees are the same, regardless of the number of enrolled courses.

Course Codes

Course weights are measured using the term Full Course Equivalents (FCE).  Some graduate courses are worth a full credit or 1.0 FCE, while most are worth a half-credit or 0.5 FCE, where two 0.5 half-credit courses make up a full course equivalent or FCE.

Course codes consisting of the following 3 components:

  • a three-letter prefix associated with the academic unit (‘CHL’ for courses offered by PHS); followed by
  • a four-digit course number; and
  • a suffix associated with the course weight (‘Y’ for a 1.0 FCE course or ‘H’ for a 0.5 FCE course)

Examples: CHL5004H, CHL5250H, CHL6010Y

Section codes refer to when the course is being offered, and are represented by the letters ‘F’, ‘S’ or ‘Y’ where:

  • ‘F’ refers to a course offered in the Fall session (September-December) or during the First half of the Summer session (May-June);
  • ‘S’ refers to a course offered in the Winter session (January-April) or during the Second half of the Summer session (July-August);
  • ‘Y’ refers to a course that is offered for the full academic year (September-April), the full Summer Session (May – August) or may indicate a course that continues over several sessions (3 or more sessions).

Please do not confuse the section code ‘Y’ with the course code suffix ‘Y’.  A 1.0 FCE (‘Y’ course) may be offered in section ‘F’ and a 0.5 FCE (‘H’ course) may run over several sessions.

Enrolling in Courses on ACORN

ACORN allows you to use a search field to find courses by course code or title.  Click on the course in which you would like to enrol and click ‘Enrol’ or add the course to your enrolment cart. Note: You will not be enrolled automatically in the courses in your Enrolment Cart once your enrolment period begins. For each course in your enrolment cart that you would like to enrol in, you must click the ‘Enrol’ button. Visit ACORN Help for instructions on enrolling in courses.

It is the student’s responsibility to

  • adhere to deadlines for adding and dropping courses;
  • ensure that your course enrolment is accurately reflected on ACORN in every session;
  • enroll in courses well before the start of classes to allow time for approvals and updating of Quercus access to course materials.

Enrolling in ‘CHL’ Courses

GDPHS Timetables (Fall, Winter and Summer) contain the current course offerings, class dates, times and locations. The Sessional Dates and Deadlines page contains registration, enrolment and other important dates and deadlines for each academic session.  Both documents are posted on the DLSPH website at the following link:

For courses offered in PHS, students can typically enrol through ACORN. However, elective courses may be have limited enrolment capacities and/or are available only to students in the program(s) for whom they are required. In those situations, students should seek permission to enrol from the instructor and then send a completed, signed Add-Drop form to the Graduate Office (forwarding the permission email with the Add-Drop form, in lieu of the instructor’s signature on the form, is acceptable).

When you enrol in a ‘CHL’ course, it will be added to your record with Approved status.

Enrolling in Practicum

Master’s students (MPH, MSc, MScCH, MHSc) are all expected to complete at least one practicum during their degree. Eligibility to enrol in the required practicum normally depends upon first having completed other required academic activity. Each practicum has specific guidelines; please refer to your individual program website or speak to your Program Director.  If you are a student in the MPH Epidemiology or Health Promotion program, please direct your questions to the Practicum Placement Officer.

Enrolling in Directed Reading/Research Courses (CHL7001H/CHL7002H)

The purpose of a directed reading or research course is to provide students with the opportunity to pursue specific interests that cannot be explored through courses offered by the Graduate Department of Public Health Sciences or elsewhere in the university.  Students who wish to take a directed reading course should review the Guidelines for Reading and/or Research Courses. A reading course should involve as much reading and written work as a regular course, and the frequency of meetings with the instructor should be consistent with other courses. The student is responsible for finding a faculty member who is willing to instruct a Directed Reading or Research course. Together, the student and instructor will devise a learning plan and submit it, along with a ‘Request for Reading and/or Research Course’ form, which can be downloaded at the SGS Student Forms & Letters page.  All 3 sections of the form must be completed before submitting to the Graduate Office for approval.  Students may not enrol in directed reading/research courses via ACORN; the Graduate Department will add the course to your academic record once the learning plan approved.

Enrolling in U of T Courses Outside of PHS

We advise students to speak with their Program Director or supervisor about such courses to ensure suitability.

When you enrol in a course offered by another Graduate Unit, you are making an enrolment request.  A course enrolment status of Requested means you have secured a spot in the course. All enrolment requests will be approved by the Graduate Office before the enrolment deadline. This process is completed manually and may take several business days – PLEASE BE PATIENT.

If your ACORN enrolment request is unsuccessful, you will need to contact the host graduate department for their enrolment procedures.  Most often you will need to obtain permission from the course instructor and then complete the SGS Add/Drop Course(s) form which can be found at the (SGS) Student Forms & Letters page.  This form needs to be signed by the GDPHS Graduate Coordinator before being submitted to the host department.  If approved, the host department may enrol you directly, or they may open a space to permit you to be enrolled.  In this case, the student may then request the course via ACORN.  Be sure to check your ACORN record before the enrolment deadline to make sure you are enrolled.

Enrolling in Courses Outside
U of T

Occasionally, students may wish to take courses outside the University of Toronto.  Three separate agreements exist to facilitate this opportunity:

Generally, a maximum of two 0.5 credit courses (1.0 FCE) can be taken outside of U of T.  At the request of SGS, students may be asked to verify that similar course(s) do not exist at UofT or outline why they cannot enrol in the U of T course(s).  This process takes several weeks. Ideally, you should arrange approvals from the instructor at the host university and your Program Director well in advance of starting the course (i.e. 3 months).  To pre-arrange enrolment in courses outside of UofT, it is the student’s responsibility to

  • speak with their Program Director or thesis supervisor to obtain their permission
  • obtain permission from the instructor at the host institution
  • complete the appropriate form, found under the Exchanges & Agreements heading of the SGS Student Forms & Letters page, depending on the location of the host university:
    • Ontario Visiting Graduate Student (OVGS) – to attend a university within Ontario
    • Graduate Exchange Agreement – to attend McGill University, Université de Montreal, and UBC
    • Canadian University Graduate Transfer Agreement (CUGTA) – to attend a university outside of Ontario but within Canada (with the exception of McGill, Université de Montreal, and UBC)
  • obtain the approval from the Graduate Coordinator

Once the form is completed and approved, the Graduate Office will forward the form to the School of Graduate Studies.  We advise students to check their ACORN profile to ensure the courses appear on their transcript; if not, contact the Graduate Office. When the course has been completed, students should arrange to have an official record of their final mark sent to the Student Academic Services Office, School of Graduate Studies, U of T as soon as the final results of the course(s) are available.

If you are interested in taking a course outside of Canada, please consult the Graduate Department of Public Health Sciences.

Auditing Courses

Students interested in auditing a course in PHS, or at another department, should approach the instructor. In PHS, it is at the discretion of the instructor to approve such requests, but other units may have a different policy.  For detailed information about auditing courses, please refer to SGS Calendar, General Regulations, Registration and Enrolment.

Dropping Courses

Students may only drop courses prior to the SGS deadline to drop courses.  Logon to ACORN and click on Enrol & Manage of the left-hand menu, then click on Courses.

Students may not drop courses after the SGS deadline, except in exceptional circumstances that are beyond the student’s control.  Students must continue to attend the course(s), and complete assignments/evaluations, until the request for late withdrawal has been approved by SGS.

NOTE: Course Availability in Quercus
When the instructor(s) are using Quercus to manage course materials, you will be able to view the course in your Portal when the status of your course enrolment(s) is Approved and the instructor has made the course available in Quercus.  Your access to course materials will expire at some point after the course ends, and you will no longer be able to retrieve materials.  Please download the information you require before the end of the course.

Course Grading

Most courses in Public Health Sciences are graded using the standard letter grade scale for graduate programs as detailed in the University  Assessment and Grading Practices Policy. According to the policy, to pass a course, graduate students must achieve a grade of at least B-minus as the final course grade.

PHS has identified specific graduate programs in which students may elect to be assessed on a Credit/No Credit (CR/NCR) basis in specific courses. Students may elect to take up to 0.5 FCE on a (CR/NCR) basis. This information appears under the SGS Calendar entry for PHS.  The ability to elect CR/NCR does not change the threshold for a passing grade in a graduate course, i.e., students with a final mark of B-minus or better would receive a grade of CR. Students with a final mark below B-minus receive a grade of NCR. For degree programs and courses for which this option is enabled, students can choose or remove this mode of assessment on ACORN; the deadline to do so is the last date to drop the relevant course without academic penalty. Once the deadline has passed, students may not reverse this decision.