Last update: December 3, 2021

This is a legacy page. For current information and resources for course scheduling at UBC please visit the Course Scheduling Resources wepage.

Project resources including presentations, consultation documentation, and FAQs will be updated on this page regularly. Check back often.

On this page:


The following resources for 2022W Course Scheduling can be found on the Course Scheduling Resources Page.

  • UBC Vancouver Academic Course Scheduling Operational Procedures (PDF) July 5, 2021
  • Academic Unit Course Scheduling Timeline (2022W) (PDF) July 5, 2021
  • General Teaching Space Allocation Methodology (PDF) July 6, 2021
  • 2021 Departmental Meeting Presentation Deck (PDF) July 5, 2021
  • Updated Department Zones - 2022W (XLSX) July 5, 2021

Documents prepared in reference to the scheduling simulations conducted in Phase 1

The following documents were prepared in reference to the scheduling simulations conducted in mid-2020. Please note that, in consultation with the community during Phase 2 (beginning January 2021), further analysis and refinement of Department centoids, and primary and secondary zones will be done to ensure balanced access. Thus, the contents of the following documents are not to be considered final in terms of what will be used for implementation.

Project information bulletin

Project kick-off documents



Room allocation

How will rooms be allocated with the elimination of the Tier 1/2 system?

Room allocation will be done using the Departmental Zone Room Allocation Model (see the glossary for a definition of this term) and in accordance with an identified set of course section priorities. The room allocation model will replace the two-tiered room priority model. When scheduling, the system will attempt to schedule a department's section within their defined zones. Scheduled locations will not 'roll' from one year to the next.

My department oversees more than one course code with offices located in different areas of campus. Can we have more than one departmental centroid?

Yes, the project team will be consulting with departments in Phase 2, beginning in January 2021, to ensure that the departmental centroids are correct. Where departments oversee more than one course code, they will have the opportunity to identify a centroid for each one.

Where we can find which buildings are within the centroid of a program? 

Updated Department Zones - 2022W (xlsx) shows the centroid and corresponding primary and secondary zone rooms allocated to your department using the data collected during consultation with departments in spring 2021.

Can we adjust our departmental centroid(s)? 

Yes, the project team will be consulting with departments in Phase 2, beginning in January 2021, to ensure that the departmental centroids are correct. Where departments oversee more than one course code, they will have the opportunity to identify a centroid for each one. If you need to adjust your departmental centroid please reach out to

What if Scientia isn't able to find a suitable room in my department's primary or secondary zone?

If Scientia can't find a room suitable room within the primary or secondary zone, it will allocate a room elswhere on campus outside of the primary or secondary zone.

Can I request a specific room?

Departments will provide their room requirements based on pedagogical needs via the Web Data Collector (WDC). Generally speaking, rooms will be assigned according to pedagogical needs, class size, departmental zone, etc. However, some sections may require specialized equipment or room design features, and in these cases we will work with the department to ensure the required room is assigned to the section.

How does the new Departmental Zone Allocation model improve equity in terms of access to space?

The Tier 1 and 2 system is being replaced by the Departmental Zone Room Allocation Model. We recognize that departmental centroids and/or primary and secondary zones will require some adjustments before implementation. The Project will consult with the community during Phase 2 to work on necessary adjustments and to assess and ensure balanced access. Please note: Room allocation will not roll over from year to year in the new model.

Many faculty members prefer to teach back to back sections in the same room. Will it be possible to enter this requirement in WDC?

Yes, should your department decide/need to schedule faculty members to teach back-to-back sections, you will be able to provide us these considerations when completing scheduling inputs into the Web Data Collector tool.  Back-to-back sections into the same room may be considered if all other scheduling requirements are satisfied (e.g. both sections have a similar capacity plan size and the same room can be effectively used for both sections).

If a section is not scheduled in a faculty member's preferred location, will Scheduling Services contact faculty members directly to let them know?

Departments will submit dates, times and room requirements via Web Data Collector, a Scientia tool, that captures room requirements rather than specific room preferences, so rooms can be allocated based on pedagogical requirements. Scheduling Services will create a draft timetable and then distribute it to departments for review.  During Phase 2, a room change request process with defined criteria and governance will be developed in consultation with the scheduling community.

How will you determine the room zone allocation when courses are interdisciplinary and include students from many departments? 

Assignment of rooms using the new Departmental Zone Room Allocation Model uses a department's centroid to determine where sections are scheduled. Scheduling Services will provide a draft timetable to departments for review. Departments will be asked to review the draft and flag concerns for Scheduling Services to consult with them on.

Multi-Block Pattern

Can departments continue scheduling on the current M/W/F and T/R patterns?

Yes, that pattern exists within the multi-block pattern, so continuing to schedule on the M/W/F and T/R pattern will be on-pattern in the multi-block pattern.

Can we schedule on Saturday and Sunday?

The recommended pattern doesn't include Saturday and Sunday but departments may continue to schedule courses on these days. Extending the teaching week to weekend days was not considered as part of the Scheduling Project scope.

Hybrid Model

What are the major differences between the current scheduling model and the hybrid model?

In the current model, departments determine when (dates/times) and where (rooms) their courses will be scheduled. Scheduling Services publishes the schedule. In the hybrid model, departments will retain agency for deciding when (dates and times) to offer their courses, while scheduling Services will leverage Scientia to allocate space (GTS).

Will the schedule roll still occur? Will rooms roll?

Section days and times from the previous Session to the new Session (e.g., 2021W to 2022W) will be rolled, but rooms will not roll. Rooms will be allocated according to the Departmental Zone Room Allocation Model. Departments will have the discretion to decide which, if any, sections to make changes to. Departments can decide to leave sections on the current pattern, or adjust dates and times of individual sections to take advantage of the increased flexibility offered by the multi-block pattern.

How are we going to avoid scheduling conflicts involving core courses, which may become more complicated if some courses adopt the multi-block pattern and others don’t?

Creating a conflict free schedule remains the domain of departments in the Hybrid Model. However, as part of Phase 2 work, Scheduling Services can explore opportunities to support departments in this process.

How would the recommended changes impact courses with registration between both campuses (in-tandem courses)? 

In-tandem courses are courses that are shared between UBC Vancouver and UBC Okanagan. Therefore, alignment on scheduling patterns and close collaboration on scheduling efforts between both campuses are required. With a potential for the number of in-tandem courses to increase, scheduling alignment and coordination between the campuses will become necessary. The necessity is punctuated by the fact that scheduling model, pattern, and processes, exam processes, and all associated timelines differ across the campuses. This future state requirement of increased in-tandem course offerings is noted, and UBCV Scheduling Services will continue to work in close partnership with the UBCO scheduling team to ensure this requirement can be effectively supported.

Have you considered less flexibility for Year 1/Year 2 courses and more for upper level courses?

Departments retain the agency to decide what courses are offered, and when they are offered. Hence, departments will be empowered to consider which courses, if any, they would like to adjust by taking advantage of the additonal teaching blocks available in the new multi-block pattern.

Scheduling Policies

When will the updated scheduling policies be released?

We understand that T-reps rely on these policies when preparing for scheduling, which can begin as early as the spring. We are aiming to have the updated policies completed by late spring, in preparation for the 2022W scheduling cycle. We will provide regular updates on the progress of the policy updates.

What if everyone decides only to schedule sections during Prime Time? Will Scheduling Services ask departments to move courses that have too many scheduled during prime times?

Scheduling policies will be defined in Phase 2 of the project, beginning in January 2021. These policies will include core scheduling elements, which support the new hybrid model and multi-block pattern. Scheduling Services will work with departments to ensure that policies, including prime time distribution are adhered to.

Proposed 8:30 am start time

What are the impacts of the recommendation to shift daytime teaching hours by 30 minutes later (i.e. From 8am-5pm to 8:30am-5:30 pm)? 

It is appreciated that the recommended shift in daytime teaching hours will have the most impact on course sections currently scheduled at the beginning and end of the daytime teaching hours (i.e. 8:00 am and 4:00 pm teaching time blocks). The project has received mixed feedback on this recommendation; thus, this recommendation is under review and may be deferred. Further consultation and analysis are required on this recommendation to understand the impacts on students, faculty, staff and transportation.

If the shift to the 8:30am start time is implemented, will professional programs be required to adhere to the 8:30am start time? 

The proposal for shifting the day time teaching hours from 8:00 to 8:30am is currently under analysis due to mixed feedback; and may be deferred. However, if this change is implemented, where a program has rationale (e.g. pedagogical requirements) for their classes to start at 8:00 am, they can schedule them at that time.

Business Processes

How will the scheduling timeline change if we no longer schedule using Tiers? 

In Phase 2, beginning in January, the Scheduling Project will consult and engage with different committees (TRAC, Steering, LSAC, etc.) to establish timelines for the new Scheduling Model. We will post timelines on the Scheduling Project website, and share them with the Scheduling Community through email and regular meetings, such as the T-Rep Advisory Committee (TRAC).

Will we continue to be able to make efficient and timely updates to the schedule due to changing enrolments, instructor changes, etc.?

T-Reps will be able to utilize Scientia Timetabler to support efficient and timely updates after the release of the draft schedule. T-Reps will also be able to submit changes to the schedule after they submit requirements via Web Data Collector (WDC), when the schedule is in draft format, and after the schedule is published. More information about business processes will be developed and shared with the community in Phase 2.


What is the implementation timeline for the new model and pattern, and what are the key dates that will impact departments?

We look to have the community start scheduling within the new hybrid model and pattern in November/December 2021, for the 2022W Schedule. The Project Team will work with departments in Phase 2, which begins in January 2021, in the development of scheduling timelines. Stay tuned.  

Will training be provided for new Scheduling tools (e.g. WDC)?

Yes, we will provide training options for Web Data Collector (WDC) and any other new scheduling tools that may be implemented.

How does the new pattern and model account for future changes in course formats that may emerge after the pandemic?

The multi-block pattern supports more flexibility in how courses are scheduled, including blended learning and other modes of instruction. The new model will be effective in response to pedagogical changes that may occur as a result of the pandemic. For example, if Section A uses a blended learning approach and only meets in-person on Mondays, resulting in the allocated space being vacant during the Wednesday and Friday blocks, Scheduling Services may be able to coordinate with Section B to use the space on Wednesday and Friday, as that section meets online on Mondays.

Have you considered potential future changes in demand for certain rooms and equipment, as a result of the pandemic?

The new scheduling model will allow us to collect more data about room requirements and usage, which we can share with Facilities Planning to inform their work, including planning for future room and equipment needs.

How do I find out what information my department submitted in the Qualtrics survey that was used for the simulations?

Please contact us at and we will share that information with you.

How will you address unique needs and requirements of various groups (departments, programs, etc.)?

The project will continue to consult with departments to understand scheduling practices and considerations, parameters and constraints. Informed by the scheduling community, the steering committee serves as the primary governing body and decision making group. The steering committee is tasked with making decisions that serve the community and institution as a whole.

The scheduling community has diverse needs and may not agree on requirements for a future model. How can we achieve satisfaction for all stakeholders?

It is important that we take a holistic and innovative approach when reviewing the scheduling model and determining solutions. The project goals and objectives help to unify and guide us in our collective effort to co-create our new scheduling model and pattern. There is likely no “perfect” model that will meet everyone’s expectations, rather we will need to make tradeoffs that enable us to achieve our project goals and gain improvement overall.



Core Course

The Vancouver Scheduling Project defines core courses as degree requirements which are listed in the Academic Calendar.

Core Scheduling Elements

These elements facilitate the scheduling of course sections, and have a direct impact on the effectiveness of the schedule (e.g. distribution and utilization rates). Upon endorsement, these elements will essentially serve as a foundation for an overarching set of scheduling policies that will help standardize and govern our scheduling outcomes.

Daytime hours

UBC daytime hours are considered to be 8am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, as described in the November 2000 Senate meeting minutes. During the daytime, sections should be scheduled according to the standard day and time patterns set out in UBC's course scheduling guidelines.

Day of the week notation

In timetable notation, days of the week are represented by the following letters: M = Monday, T=Tuesday, W=Wednesday, R=Thursday, F=Friday, S=Saturday, U=Sunday

Department Centroid

A centre point that is used to create a department zone for each course code in the Departmental Zone Room Allocation Model.

Departmental Zone Room Allocation Model

Departments will identify a centroid for each of their course codes and each centroid will serve as centre point for a unique room allocation zone. When assigning teaching space Scheduling Services will leverage Scientia to assign classrooms, first in the Primary Zone (within ~200 m of the centroid), then the Secondary Zone (within ~400 m of the centroid). If no room can be found within the zone that meets the pedagogical needs then Scientia will move outside the zone to find an appropriate space. This model would replace the Tier System.

General Teaching Space (GTS)

GTS is space used for the teaching needs of faculties, departments and schools. GTSs are managed by the Learning Spaces Team and room bookings are administered by Scheduling Services. UP9 further defines General Teaching Spaces.

Learning Spaces Advisory Committee (LSAC)

The Learning Spaces Advisory Committee (LSAC) is composed of the Associate Deans of each of the faculties and senior staff from administrative units. It provides a framework for optimizing UBC’s learning spaces to support flexible learning practices and deliver the best possible student learning experience.

Multi-block pattern

 A pattern that has a number of allowable day and start time combinations which provide moderate flexibility.

  • 1 hour blocks on M/T/R, M/W/F, T/R/F
  • 1.5 hour blocks on M/W, T/R, W/F
  • 2 hour blocks on M, T, W, R, F
  • 3 hour blocks on M, T, W, R, F
On pattern, off pattern

Courses are normally scheduled in accordance with a standard scheduing pattern times. Courses scheduled outside of the standard pattern are referred to as off pattern. Those scheduled within the standard pattern are referred to as on pattern.


The period of time between 10am and 2pm is referred to as prime-time for courses as the highest volume of activities are scheduled during this period.

Restricted Teaching Space (RTS)

Restricted Teaching Space (RTS) are designated to particular faculties and departments, and only the designated faculty or department can book an RTS. RTSs are not available for booking by other departments and faculties. UP9 further defines Restricted Teaching Spaces.

Room group

Rooms are grouped according to seat capacity.

Room group Capacity
1 1-20
2 21-50
3 51-70
4 71-100
5 101-150
6 151-200
7 201-300
8 >300
Room utilization

The number of hours per week that a classroom is expected to be used for scheduled instruction.

Scheduling model

Encompasses the dates, times and locations courses are scheduled and who has the responsibility for determining each of those items. See Hybrid Model.

Scheduling pattern

During the winter session, courses are scheduled with the standard day and time pattern. The standard day pattern is for sections to be scheduled during the daytime either on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, or on Tuesday and Thursday. Sections not scheduled according to the standard day or time pattern are considered to be off pattern (see above). Note: To account for the accelerated pace of the summer session, the standard scheduling pattern does not apply.


Scientia is the software used by timetable representatives to schedule courses and assign resources (instructors and rooms).

Seat utilization

The percentage of seats that are occupied when the room is in use.

Senate Academic Building Needs Committee (SABNC)

Details about the Senate Academic Building Needs Committee (SABNC) is on the Senate website.

Tier 1 and Tier 2

Tier 1 is the first scheduling phase. During Tier 1, access to some GTS buildings or spaces is restricted to particular departments. Only designated departments can schedule in their designated Tier 1 spaces.

During the Tier 2 phase, all departments can schedule into all remaining General Teaching Spaces.

Timetable Representative (TREP)

Timetable representatives schedule courses on behalf of their faculty and/or department.

Timetable Representative Advisory Committee (TRAC)

TRAC is composed of timetable representatives who have volunteered to take part in a cross-functional committee in collaboration with Scheduling Services. This year, TRAC will have two streams: operational and scheduling project. All TRAC members are invited to attend either or both streams.

Web Data Collector (WDC)

Web Data Collector (WDC) is a Scientia module that allows users to input scheduling requirements and constraints.

Contact information

Project Lead
Robbie Morrison, Associate Registrar, Scheduling, Records & Systems Management, Enrolment Services
PHONE  (604) 822-0896
Project Business Lead
Oana Toma, Associate Director, Scheduling Services
PHONE   (604) 827-1981