Choosing Your Courses

Use the current TESOL Calendar to decide which courses you wish to take. Ensure that you enrol only in courses that are part of your program. Non-program courses will be removed whenever they are discovered and this may have fees implications.  Select the courses you need carefully! Although you can make changes late (up to the appropriate deadlines), some courses will not have space available if you wait too long. Some courses have enrolment conditions that govern which students are permitted to enrol in that course.

Prerequisites, Exclusions

Certain courses have exclusions, and/or prerequisites, all of which are listed in the TESOL Calendar. Prerequisites are not checked by ACORN in real time, but they will be checked! They can be checked at any time during the session, even after classes start. If you do not meet course prerequisites, you may be removed from the course. If you have already taken an exclusion, you will be required to withdraw from the course if discovered during the session of enrolment and will be refused credit in the excluded course if discovered at any time in a subsequent session.

Course Load

Students should be aware that full-time study may not always be possible due to prerequisites, scheduling and course availability. Students may not exceed a course load of 4.0 full courses or equivalent in the Fall/Winter Session. Part-time study in the Fall/Winter Session is a maximum of 3.5 full course or equivalent courses. Students who register in more than 3.5 full or equivalent courses in the Fall/Winter Session will be charged full time incidental/ancillary fees. Students should attempt to have a course load balanced between the two terms of any session.

Conflicting courses

ACORN does not check for course time conflicts, so plan your schedule carefully. Once you have decided which courses you are eligible to take, make sure that none of your choices are offered at conflicting times. To help you to create a conflict-free schedule, a weekly schedule worksheet has been included at the end of this document. If you enrol in courses that conflict with one another, you do so at your own risk.

Space in courses

It is University policy that the number of students enrolled in a course cannot exceed the capacity of the room as dictated by fire regulations. Some departments, for pedagogical reasons, assign lower capacities than room size. If you are not officially enrolled you do not have a right to attend the class.

The University makes every attempt to ensure that the room assigned will accommodate the number of students expected to enrol; however, as there is not unlimited space to meet demand, some students may not obtain space in every course they want. You may add yourself to a waiting list for a course or courses, but this does not guarantee enrolment in the course(s); therefore, you are advised to select alternate courses in which to enrol in the event that you are unable to enrol in a course that is full. We recommend that you prepare as flexible a timetable as possible, with as many alternative course choices as possible.

Cancelling Courses

If you decide that you do not want a course, you must cancel it as soon as possible. Please do not occupy a space that you know you do not want. This applies to courses that you have waitlisted as well as those in which you are enrolled. Only by cancelling the course using ACORN will your space become available to another student. You will be responsible for any fees and academic penalties incurred if you do not cancel courses by the appropriate deadlines. The academic drop deadlines are listed in this timetable; the refund deadlines will be available on the Student Accounts information sheet enclosed with your fees invoice and on the Student Accounts web site at

Cancelling courses and fees implications

Information about refunds is available on the Fees website. The deadlines for receiving a refund are different from the deadlines for withdrawing from a course without academic penalty. When you cancel a course, the refund is based on the date you withdraw on ACORN. A cancellation of your registration after the start of the session is subject to a minimum charge. Refer to the Schedule of Fees available on the web

Waiting List

Waiting lists enable you to “line up” for a space that might become available in a lecture section that is full, or in an enrolment category that is full. If a space becomes available, and you are next on the waiting list, you will automatically be enrolled. After the enrolment happens, a notification email will be sent to your UofT email address (see Question 9 for details.)

There are no fees associated with being on the waiting list for a course, but if you are enrolled from the waiting list, you will automatically be charged the appropriate academic and incidental fees.

Note: Being on the waiting list does not guarantee you a space in the course.

Waiting List FAQ

Q1. How do waiting lists work?

If you try to enrol in a course that is full, or in a course in which the space for your enrolment control group is full, ACORN will give you the waiting list option (if the course has a waiting list.)

The message might be:

  • “Meeting section is full. There are currently 6 students on the waitlist for 50 total spaces.”

You will be given the choice to join the waiting list for any lecture section. If you decide to join a waiting list, you will get a message indicating the sections to which you have successfully added yourself. You will now have to view your courses to see your rank on the waiting list(s) that you joined. If a student drops out of the course or a new space is made available in the section, and you are the first person on the waiting list, you will be enrolled in the section. The rankings of all others on the waiting list will improve by one.

Q2. What does “rank” mean?

Rank is your place in line. When you list your courses on ACORN, the courses will appear in the following sections:

  • APPROVED (successfully enrolled)
  • INTERIM (for AE courses awaiting decision)
  • REFUSED (unsuccessful enrolment or removed)
  • WAIT (on a waiting list)

For courses listed under the “WAIT” category, each lecture section will include a “rank.” The message about rank that ACORN displays will contain information about the number of students already on the waiting list and the total number of spaces in the section.

  • “Currently Waitlisted. Your rank is 4 out of 20 total space(s) in the meeting section.”

In this example, you are the fourth person on the waiting list for a section that has a total capacity of 20 students. For you to be automatically enrolled through the waiting list process, 4 students out of the 20 currently enrolled have to cancel the course.

Q3. When are waiting lists in use?

Waiting lists are available beginning the first day of course enrolment and close shortly after the term begins. Please refer to the list of Important Sessional Dates to confirm the deadlines.

Q4. How many courses can I choose to “waitlist”?

You are allowed to be on waiting lists for a maximum of 2.0 full-course equivalents (i.e. 4 ‘H’ courses).

Q5. Do all TESOL courses have waiting lists?

Yes. All TSL courses have waiting lists.


Q6. Can I change or drop sections that I’m on a waiting list for?

Yes. To change sections, you must ADD yourself to the waiting list of the new section, and THEN WITHDRAW from the waiting list of the original section. Once you remove yourself from a waiting list, you lose your position—if you add yourself back, you will be at the bottom of that list.

Q7. How many students can be on each waiting list?

There is no limit to the number of students who can join a waiting list.

Q8. Will I be notified if I’m enrolled in a course through a waiting list?

Yes!  Log on to ACORN periodically, and list your courses and/or check your rank. You can also check your UofT account regularly for an email notification of enrolment. It is recommended that you check your rank on ACORN occasionally so that you can assess the situation and make an informed decision about remaining on the waiting list or choosing an alternate course that has available space.

It is important to note that ACORN does not enrol students from the waiting lists into courses in real-time; instead, the enrolments are done in batches. This means that there is no need to check ACORN many times per day to see if you’ve been enrolled from a waiting list.

You should log on to ACORN the day after the waiting lists close to see if you were enrolled in anything through the waiting list process. Please refer to the Important Dates section for specific dates.

You’ll know that you’ve been enrolled because the course will be listed in the section called “Approved.” If the course has any practical and or tutorial sections, you are responsible for enrolling in these sections as per the departmental instructions. You are also responsible for any academic and or incidental fees arising from the course enrolment.

Q8. What happens if I’m not enrolled from the waiting list?

Log on to ACORN the day after the waiting lists close to see if you were enrolled in anything through the waiting list process (please refer to the Important Dates section for specific dates). If courses still appear in the section called “Wait” in the listing, check back later in the day. If the course is NOT listed in the section called “Approved” AND you no longer have courses in the section called “Wait,” you were not enrolled through the waiting list process.

Once waiting lists close, courses become first-come, first-served until the last day to add or make changes for the corresponding session’s courses (please refer to the Important Dates section for specific dates). At this stage, you should try to enrol using ACORN.

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