Last update: December 4, 2017

The following guidelines have been developed to create a course schedule that best accommodates the needs of Faculties.  These guidelines apply only to sections scheduled in General Teaching Space (i.e. General Use) which are managed by Scheduling Services and available for use by all departments. 

Academic Course Scheduling Guidelines.pdf

On this page:

Standard Times

The following times are to be used when scheduling sections. Please note that labs are exempt from standard times as they run longer than fifty minutes and are typically scheduled in restricted space. When scheduling labs, standard start times should be observed.

Monday, Wednesday, Friday
8:00-9:00 am
9:00-10:00 am
10:00-11:00 am
11:00 am - 12:00 pm
12:00-1:00 pm
1:00-2:00 pm
2:00-3:00 pm
3:00-4:00 pm
4:00-5:00 pm
5:00-6:00 pm
Tuesday, Thursday
8:00-9:30 am
9:30-11:00 am
11:00 am - 12:30 pm
12:30-2:00 pm
2:00-3:30 pm
3:30-5:00 pm
5:00-6:30 pm
  • Sections scheduled on Monday/Wednesday/Friday should run no longer than fifty minutes to reflect the shared break period (reference item C below). All sections will start at the top of the hour per times listed above. Sections scheduled on Tuesday/Thursday should run eighty minutes to reflect the shared break period (reference item C below). All sections will start at the appropriate time listed above. 
  • The ten-minute break time between classes is to be shared between the instructors occupying the classroom space. Whether the instructor has finished their class or setting up for their class, neither party “owns” the ten-minute break. The purpose of the ten-minute break is to allow students to get to their next class in a timely manner. Instructors should finish class promptly and ask students to use designated office hours for questions. If conflicts arise with regards to the break, instructors should contact their department or faculty to assist with the resolution of the conflict. 
  • Sections scheduled outside standard times must have the approval of Scheduling Services. Scheduling Services will provide guidance as to where non-standard time courses could best be accommodated in the course schedule. Timetable Representatives will arrange classes on standard time-sequences (i.e. one hour sessions, starting at 8:00 a.m. on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and one and one half hour sessions, starting at 8:00 a.m. on Tuesday and Thursday) to meet the space utilization rate. 
  • Sections scheduled Monday/Wednesday/Friday lasting longer than one hour may not be scheduled between 11:00 am and 2:00 pm. Sections scheduled Tuesday/Thursday lasting more than one and half hours cannot be scheduled between 11:00 am and 2:00 pm. 
  • Sections starting or ending outside of standard times that are requesting assistance in finding a room may be required to change their class time to adhere with standard times. 
  • Any section that requires a room with a capacity of 100 or more must strictly adhere to standard days and times. Any section wishing to run longer than standard times must receive approval from Scheduling Services. 
  • Restricted teaching space, should be used to house off-sequence sections to free up general teaching space for on-sequence courses. 

Evening Sections

Any section scheduled after 5:00 p.m. is considered an evening section. Evening section are not required to adhere to standard days and times.

Distribution of Sections

  • Departments must make every effort to equally distribute their courses between Monday/Wednesday/Friday and Tuesday/Thursday. Equal distribution of sections is defined as 50% of a department’s sections scheduled on the Monday/Wednesday/Friday combination and the remaining 50% would occur on the Tuesday/Thursday combination. 
  • Departments must ensure they are not scheduling more than 70% of their sections during peak times in rooms with a seat capacity of 100 or more. Sections must move outside peak times in order to facilitate growth in the course schedule, as rooms are very limited during these times (e.g. 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.). Scheduling Services can provide each department the exact number of sections that would need to move outside peak times in order to achieve the necessary reduction.

Irregularly Scheduled Sections

  • A section with five meetings or less per term is considered an irregularly scheduled section. This must be booked as a “section ad-hoc” through Scheduling Services. 
  • Requests for section ad-hocs should be submitted to Scheduling Services by May 1. Requests received after May 1 will not receive priority-booking status. 
  • Irregularly scheduled sections will be booked in May prior to all academic and non-academic ad-hoc bookings.

Seat Fill Occupancy Rate

  • Departments must make every effort to achieve a 70% seat fill occupancy rate for use of classroom space. This translates to making use of 70% of the actual capacity of a space (i.e., a room with 100 seats must have at least 70 students).
  • Departments with sections that do not meet the 70% seat fill occupancy rate may be moved into alternate space.

Space Utilization Rate

  • Non-Restricted classroom space should be utilized at a minimum of 85% of the total standard teaching hours throughout the normal UBC teaching day (this extends from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.).
  • Timetable Representatives will arrange classes on standard time sequences (i.e. one-hour sessions starting at 8:00 a.m. on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and  one and a half-hour sessions starting at 8:00 a.m. on Tuesday and Thursday) to meet the space utilization rate.
  • Restricted space (i.e. space that is not centrally scheduled) should be used to house off-sequence sectiosn to free up Non-Restricted space for on-sequence courses.


Sections should have registration reflected on the Student Information Service Centre (SISC) for accurate data capture. The practice of creating several sections but allowing students to register in only one prevents proper utilization tracking and is discouraged. 


  • Tier 1 and Tier 2 refers to the access a department has to specific General Teaching Space. Tier 1 users have priority to book into a room during a prescribed timeline.  Tier 2 access is granted to all departments to book into any remaining unscheduled General Teaching Space, once the assigned timeline for Tier 1 users has passed.
  • Tier 1 allocation for new General Teaching Space is generally assigned to the primary users of the building.
  • When a group is moved into new space, their Tier 1 access to the vacated space will be removed unless a need for continued access is identified by Facilities Planning. 

Room Asssignment

  • Holding classroom space for anything other than credit courses approved by Senate & Curriculum will result in space being dropped. Non-academic activities should not be booked through the Scientia’s Enterprise Timetabler (TT). 
  • In order to retain the room assigned, the course section must be published and must permit students to register. Sections will have their rooms reassigned if they have not been published and/or if they do not permit students to register by June 1. 
  • Scheduling Services will send a report to departments with courses that fall within this category in the first week of May. Departments will have until June 1 to review the courses and drop the assigned space, and to inform Scheduling Services that this has been done. If Scheduling Services does not hear from departments by June 1, rooms will be reassigned. 
  • Graduate courses are exempt from this guideline.

Course Moves

  • A section scheduled into a room with a capacity of 100 or more seats will have their room assignment reviewed prior to the course roll. Sections that are under utilizing the assigned space based on past enrolments may be relocated.
  • Over-enrolment is not recommended as availability of space is limited. Course sections should not permit enrolment exceeding the room capacity. Prior to releasing additional seats, an available room that can accommodate the increased enrolment must be identified.
  • Scheduling Services may not accommodate requests to change section room assignments based on the proximity of the section to the department/faculty building or the instructor’s office. 
  • Any section that is not using its assigned room to its capacity may be reassigned a smaller room.
  • Sections may need to be moved to accommodate safety and/or Access and Diversity requirements. 
  • In the case of requests for Audio Visual equipment, Scheduling Services will attempt to find an appropriate classroom. However, due to the limited number of classrooms equipped with Audio Visual equipment we are unable to guarantee an A/V equipped classroom. 
  • In cases where courses are moved to accommodate classroom upgrades or maintenance, Scheduling Services will make every effort to find a suitable classroom in the same building or vicinity, if feasible depending on the scheduling timeline, along with the equivalent room features, wherever possible.

Room Swapping

  • To get a preferred room for a section, departments may pursue a room swap with another department. 
  • Departments within the same faculty may pursue this internally. Departments may also pursue this with other departments external to their own. Discussion/negotiation will begin with the department seeking the preferred space contacting the current holder of the preferred space. 
  • If agreement is reached, the department seeking the space will notify Scheduling Services with full details of the swap including copies of correspondence showing agreement from both parties. Scheduling Services will take action to execute the request. 
  • If no agreement is reached, the department seeking the preferred space will contact Scheduling Services with the details of the request and the rationale of the proposed room swap. If Scheduling Services accepts/approves the submission, Scheduling Services will take action to execute the request.

Room Bumping

  • Bumping will occur when a section without allocated space wishes to pursue a preferred room currently held by another section. 
  • Whether bumping is pursued internally within faculties or externally between different faculties, the department who is seeking the preferred space must contact the current holder of the space. This contact must include the rationale for the desired space and the location of an alternate space for the section who is to be displaced. 
  • If agreement is achieved, each party will make the agreed upon adjustments. Notification must include Scheduling Services. 
  • If no agreement is reached, the department seeking the preferred space must contact Scheduling Services with full details of the request and the rationale for the bump. If SchedulingServices accepts/approves the submission, Scheduling Services will take action to execute the request. 

Large Sections

When significantly increasing enrolment or consolidating multiple sections into one larger section, Scheduling Services should be consulted prior to scheduling the section to determine whether a room is available. The consultation process allows faculties/departments to see various date and time options in order to schedule the section that best meet the needs of the instructor(s).

Classroom Seating and Capacity

Classroom capacities are determined by UBC's Facilities Planning (Infrastructure Development). Furniture in classrooms should not be removed from classrooms. The removal or displacement of classroom furniture affects all sections and gives the false impression that the official room capacities are incorrect and is prohibited. 

Departments and Faculties should review the capacities of  General Teaching Space when determining the appropriate number of released seats. Scheduling based on room capacities will prevent under-utilization as well as over-enrolment of classrooms.