Course Selection Procedure

Overview of Process

[Notes for 2020-2021 Academic Year: Because of the global pandemic, the University of Toronto and the Faculty of Law are allowing students with covid-19 related reasons to avoid campus to study remotely during this academic year.  Students must elect their mode of study before enrolling in courses so they can be placed in the appropriate section of courses offered in the dual format. Some courses are offered exclusively remotely because of the instructor's needs.  Those courses are open to all students.  In order to maximize in-person teaching, some courses have larger blocks of time assigned to them to allow faculty to meet with their class in sections from time to time.]

Course selection for JD students has four stages:

  1. Pre-allocation course review and selection,  

  2. Post-submission allocation results view,

  3. Post allocation Waitlist Review and Conditional Drops,
  4. Post allocation Direct Add/Drop period.  

Please see the Deadline Dates page for the specific deadlines for each of these stages for the current year.

The early pre-allocation course selection provides students with an opportunity to review the upcoming academic year's course offerings.  Later, after the view-only period, students can list their course preferences.  Students must be mindful of the the credit minimum- and maximum limits.  This means full time students must enrol in 13-16 credits in each term and a total of 28-32 credits each academic year.   (But students enrolling in a January intensive course may take 17 credits in the Winter term, and a total of 33 credits in the academic year.). Our course selection system requires students to list courses that amount to twice as many credits as they need.  This means full time students must list at least 27 credits in each term, and a total of 55-65 credits for the year.  (Half time students should list at least 16 credits in each term.)

Please note that students may not enrol in courses for which they do not have a listed pre-requisite.

Students indicate their course preferences by listing the courses in order of preference.  The highest preference category is "favourite." Students are not required to list a favourite, but if they choose to do so, they may list only one course in this category.  Ranking a course as a "favourite" course is not a guarantee that the student will be enrolled in that course.  The next preference category is "great."  There is no limit to the number of courses students may list as "great."  The system will assume minor preferences for courses based on the sequence in which they are listed in the "great" category. 

The next preference category is "good."  There is no limit to the number of courses students may list as "good."  The system will assume minor preferences for courses based on the sequence in which they are listed in the "good" category. 

The final preference category is "acceptable."  There is no limit to the number of courses students may list as "acceptable."  The system will assume minor preferences for courses based on the sequence in which they are listed in the "acceptable" category.

If students are interested in more than one section of a course, they should list each section of the course, in order of preference.  When students have no preference between two courses, then they can link those courses together.  Clicking the link button between two or three courses tells the system the student wants one or the other, but not more than one, of the linked courses. Students can link together as many sets of classes as they wish. 

After the allocation is run, there is a 24-hour period to review course selection results.  The next day the add/drop period will begin.  

Note: JD students must have a email address in order to use this system.

If you have questions, please contact:

It is important that students continue to check their e-mail over the course of the summer for important information regarding course selection. Please DO NOT forward your utoronto e-mail address to any other domain because you may not receive Faculty of Law listserv messages.

Important Links
Deadline Dates
Preference Categories
Course Enrolment in Previous Years

Please read the following information carefully before selecting your courses.

  • Instructions for selecting courses 
  • Course selection - rules
  • Adding and dropping courses
  • Terminology and Course Numbers
  • Forms

Instructions for Selecting Courses

1) Pre-allocation Course Selection

Note - Read carefully: This program allows students to make course choices using preference categories. Students may edit their choices as often as they like during the selection period.  Whatever preferences are listed at the time of the deadline is the selection that will be submitted for each student. 

Image of Course Match page

  • Click on the Course Match button appropriate to your program (JD, LLM, or GPLLM).

Cognomos log in page

  • Enter your UTORid and UTORid password, and hit "Submit."
  • To select a course, click on the course name. To indicate preference, move the course title into either the Favourite, Great, Good, or Acceptable section of the page.  Remember that sequence within categories is also significant:  the system understands big differences in preference between categories, and minor differences in preference within categories. 
  • Students should select courses until they have chosen twice as many credits as they need for the academic year. Full time students must select around 28 credits per term.  Students need 55-65 credits for the system to work well. The system automatically saves each time a student makes a change. Students may change their courses as often as they wish up until the submission deadline.
  • Students will be shown a variety of possible schedule results from each set of preferences.  Students often toggle back and forth between their preferences and the schedules that are generated as they finalise their choices.  The system will not permit students to submit any courses which conflict or overlap on the timetable or the exam schedule; or if there is a pre-requisite/co-requisite that they have not met/are not enrolled in; or if the number of credits is too low
  • Students may sign-out of the system at any time. Their course selections will have been saved, and will be available the next time they sign-in. Students may continue to make changes until the final submission deadline.
  • Students who miss the deadline for course selection will not be able to select their courses until the system is reactivated after the allocation has been run. 

Course Selection - Rules

  • Students may list one course in the Favourite preference category.  There is no limit on the number of courses students can list in the other categories.  The system assumes a significant difference in preference among categories, and a minor preference based on sequence of listing within a category.
  • Students cannot take courses that take place at the same time or overlap on the time table.  
  • Students cannot take a course for which they do not have the pre- or co-requisite.
  • Full-time JD students must take a minimum of 13 credits and a maximum of 16 credits per term; and a minimum of 28 credits and a maximum of 32 credits per academic year. But students enrolled in a January intensive may take 17 credits in the Winter term, and a total of 33 credits in the academic year.  Because they must list twice as many credits as they need, full-time students must list at least 28 credits in each semester in the course selection process.
  • Students applying for clinics that have an application process must register for that clinic after they have been accepted.  Please adhere to the individual application deadline of that clinic.  (Most applications are due the same day as the course selection submission. 
  • Half-Time JD students must take a minimum of 6 credits and a maximum of 8 credits per term; and a minimum of 14 credits and a maximum of 16 credits per academic year. Because students must list twice as many courses as they need each term, half-time JD students must select at least 16 credits for each semester in the course selection process.
  • Combined Program Students are exempt from the minimum course load requirements. Please see the guidelines that pertain to your program.  Half-year graduate courses are the equivalent of 2 law school credits, and students must adhere to the maximum credit load using that equivalency.
  • Please note the limitations on Letter of Permission and Incoming Exchange students.  They are not permitted to Moot or do Clinical Work, and are barred from some classes.
  • Students must choose courses for the entire academic year. Students must choose courses for both terms during the summer course selection process.  
  • In consideration of other students, students waitlisted in a course that they have no intention of taking should drop the course. 
  • Intensive Courses: Students should select three intensive courses during the year they are filling the Intersession requirement. 

2)  Post-allocation Schedule Viewing - 24 hours

The course selection system will be closed in order to run the allocation. Students will be placed into courses based on the global allocation that meets the highest number of student preferences.  After the allocation is completed, students may view the courses for which they have been confirmed and/or waitlisted. The view-only period is for one day. 

3)  Post-allocation- Waitlists & Conditional Drops

  • Once the course selection is re-opened, students who do not have enough credits should add courses that have open seats to bring themselves up to the credit minimum.  Students will already be placed on the waitlists of courses they requested and did not get, provided the course was ranked higher by the student than the lowest ranked course in which he or she is enrolled.  Important:  During the add/drop process, students cannot be added to courses that pose a conflict with their existing schedule.  For example, if adding a course would put a student over the credit limit, the system will not add the course to the student's schedule.  To address this, students should list a "conditional drop" to their waitlist request.   This instructs the system which course the student wishes to drop in the event a seat in the waitlisted course becomes available.  Similarly, students who are in a course that meets on Monday mornings but wish to replace the course with a different course that meets at the same time, should list the course that poses a time conflict as their "conditional drop."  The system cannot add a course that conflicts with the student's schedule, but the conditional drop instructs the system to drop the currently enrolled course in favour of the preferred course should an opening becomes available.  For the first few days of the add/drop period, students can add themselves to waitlists and enter conditional drops.  The first set of requested changes will all be processed at once after a few days, and from then on several times a day. 
  • Students should not request courses that meet at the same time as another course in which they are enrolled, unless they list that course as something they will drop if admitted.
  • Students must have a valid schedule in order to participate in the add/drop process.  Sometimes students are inadvertently placed in two courses that meet at the same time, or are over the term or academic credit limit.  When this happens *all* add/drop requests are flagged, and *none* of them can be fulfilled.
  • Students should not request courses that will put their enrollment above the credit maximum (16 credits per term for full time students, exclusive of intensive course credits) unless they list the course they wish to drop to make room for the requested course.

4) Direct Add/Drop-First Come/First Served

  • After the first round of add/drop requests are processed, students will be able to add and drop courses on a first-come-first-served basis.  Requests will be processed several times a day.
  • Students will receive an email when they are placed into a course.
  • Students will receive an email when they are first on the waitlist, but were unable to enrol in a course because of a conflict.  If this happens student will stay at the top of the waitlist.   The student should identify the conflict (e.g. adding the course would have put them over the credit limit, or a time conflict) and add a "conditional drop" to their request.
  • When adjusting courses, student must be careful not to drop a course with a waitlist by mistake.  Another student will be admitted to that course.  A student who deletes a course with a wait list, even accidentally, can only be added to the bottom of the waiting list.
  • Waitlist Courtesy to others: Students may keep their names on any course waitlist until the end of the add/drop period. However, in fairness to others lower down on the waitlist, please delete the course from your schedule as soon as you are sure that you no longer want the course.
  • Waitlist Courtesy to oneself:  Students sometimes list a course as a conditional drop and then lose track of them.  Weeks or months later they rise to the top of that waitlist, and the conditional drop is triggered.  When that happens there is nothing the Records Office can do.  Students' seats have been given to someone else, and the only recourse will be to put their names back on the waitlist.  Please do not let this happen--review your waitlist requests regularly, and eliminate conditional drops if you've decided you do not wish to make that swap!!

Students are given an opportunity to make changes to their programs of study over the summer and for the first few days of the semester.  See Deadline Dates for details.  At the beginning of the term, we will upload students' courses into Acorn.  This will provide a snapshot of enrolment shortly before Labour Day (in the Fall term) and shortly before the start of classes in January (in the Winter term).  Students will not be able to use the add/drop functions in Acorn, however.  They will continue to use Course Match for the duration of the add/drop period.  When add/drop is over and the course lists are final, there will be a final upload into Acorn.  

There are different deadlines for submitting requests for Supervised Upper Year Research Paper, Directed Research, and fully graded mooting petitions.  These tend to be around one week earlier than the final add/drop deadline.

During the add/drop period, many students attend a number of classes in order to get a sense of the courses. Students who are wait-listed for a course often attend these classes in order to keep up with the material.

Permission to add or drop courses from your program after the dates listed on the Sessional Dates is granted only as an accommodation.  Students should submit a petition to the Accommodations Committee to make such a request.  

Intensive Courses: Students should select three intensive courses during the year they are filling the Intersession requirement. 

 Terminology and Course Numbers

Faculty of Law Courses

Every course and seminar at the Faculty of Law has a 3-digit number followed by a term designation.

e.g. Administrative Law (LAW202H1F)

The last character designates the term, ie. "F"=first term; "S"=second term; "Y"=full year.

Centre of CriminologyCourses offered at the Centre of Criminology have a 4-digit number with the prefix "CRI".
Other Faculties

Courses in other Faculties which are cross-listed retain the number used in that Faculty or have a joint number.

e.g. Roman Law (CLA 336Y) or Constitutional Theory (JPJ 2028).

Osgoode Hall Law SchoolCourses offered at Osgoode Hall Law School have a 3-digit number with the prefix "OSG" followed by a term designation.
Courses with multiple sectionsCourses offered in more than one section are differentiated by the name of the instructor
Class hoursThe actual instruction time per week.  Note that during the 2020-2021 academic year there are some anomalous class hours listed.  This is due to scheduling difficulties posed by the pandemic, and those courses will meet during a more flexible window of time, but not for additional hours.
Enrollment numbersThe maximum enrollment for each course or seminar.
WaitlistedOnce a course reaches the maximum enrolment, students are placed on a waitlist. As students adjust their courses (adding and dropping) this opens a spot in the full course. Students should list a conditional drop if they are not able to add the course due to a conflict.  The first student on the waitlist is placed in the spot. Note:  Please be careful!  Students who inadvertently delete a waitlisted course who wish to reverse their decision must re-add the course and will be added to the bottom of the waitlist.
Conditional enrolmentSome clinics, externships, journals and moots are conditional enroll courses. These courses require an application or approval prior to confirmation. Students who select conditional enroll courses will be waitlisted until participation is confirmed for ALL students planning to do this course. It is necessary for students to select the required number of credits for the year or term until all courses are confirmed on their course selection.
Students going away for a term (Letter of Permission, Leave of Absence and  Exchange)Students should select courses only for the term that they will be in residence at the U of T Faculty of Law


Forms are available on the Forms page. Forms must be completed for the following activities:

  • Capstone Course Form
  • Combined Course Credit Application Form
  • Directed Research Change of Credit Form
  • Directed Research Proposal Form
  • Request for One Additional Credit
  • Supervised Upper Year Research Form