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Course Enrolment

Core Course Requirements

Daniels Faculty graduate students are automatically enrolled in core courses. You must submit a ballot for option and research studios and enrol yourself in electives. Be sure you are in the right courses each semester before the deadline to add courses by reviewing your course enrolment on ACORN and reviewing your degree requirements.

Elective Enrolment

Elective enrolment is completed online through your ACORN account in real-time on a first-come, first-served basis. Visual Studies electives, independent study courses, and inter-departmental enrolment require prior approval (see relevant section below). The start time for enrolment on each designated start date is 6:00am EST (Eastern Standard Time). If you are a first-time user, log in to ACORN at least one week in advance to avoid any difficulties with accessing the system. Please be advised that the enrolment cart feature on ACORN will only be available starting in the afternoon of the day before your start date.

Students are assigned an enrolment start date based on cohort year of study. Upper year students are assigned earlier start dates to allow them to meet their degree requirements. Your cohort year of study can be determined by the degree diagrams. For example: If you are starting your first year at Daniels as a Master of Architecture student with advanced standing, your cohort year is MArch year 2. If you are not sure what cohort year of study you are, please contact

Enrolment start dates are listed as part of the annual Sessional dates.

Reminder: There is always movement in elective courses during the first two weeks of the term as students add and drop courses. Please be patient.

Selecting Elective Courses

In order to determine which elective courses you would like to take, review the elective course descriptions. Make note of a few options more than you intend to take as alternatives in case your first choice(s) become(s) full. The descriptions will include any pre-requisites the course may have.

You can find a step-by-step guide on how to add courses on the ACORN help site:

Independent Study

Independent Studies are offered as an opportunity for you if you wish to pursue an academically challenging project or topic that is currently not covered in the curriculum. Independent Studies are not required and are not automatically granted. You may pursue independent studies only if you have a well-developed proposal, high academic standing, and the approval from an advisor and the program director. Independent Studies are not a means to apply for financial aid or to ‘lighten’ your course load for an upcoming term.

Please click here for the Independent Study form.

Independent Study Proposal Submission Deadlines:

Fall Session Enrolment: August 1
Winter Session Enrolment: December 1
Summer Session Enrolment: April 1

Please note that all requests must be submitted for approval to the Office of the Registrar and Student Services and are not guaranteed.

Master of Visual Studies Elective Courses

You must obtain written approval from the program director  to enrol in MVS electives.  If you have been approved to enrol, complete the Add/Drop form and submit it to the Office of the Registrar and Student Services with proof of approval.

Inter-Departmental Elective Courses

To request enrolment in electives offered by other departments you must obtain the instructor's signature and the host department coordinator/administrator's signature before submitting the Add/Drop form to the Office of the Registrar and Student Services or for final approval. It is important that the form be completed correctly. To ensure your form can be processed, please provide us with contact information for the host department administrator so we may to confirm your approval. Please note that other department enrolment dates will differ from that of the Daniels Faculty and it is your responsibility to be aware of these dates and contact the departments as appropriate.

History and Theory RequirementMArch and MUD only

As part of the degree requirements for the Master of Architecture and Master of Urban Design programs, a certain number of your electives must be from the History & Theory category. Please see the School of Graduate Studies academic calendar to determine if a course you are hoping to take will satisfy this requirement.

Maximum Session Load

You may take a maximum session load of 5.0 full course equivalents (FCE) across the Fall/Winter academic session*. This includes your pre-loaded core courses. You therefore cannot enroll in more electives over the academic session than indicated in the diagrams of degree requirements. If you wish to overload with an additional elective, you must request an overload by email to and include the School of Graduate Studies Add/Drop Request form. Requests to overload will not be accepted classes begin each session. Please note, an approved request to overload does not guarantee placement in the course if the course is full.

*Master of Landscape Architecture students are enrolled in 5.5 FCE of core courses in their first year of study due to the Field Studies courses. These courses, each weighted 0.25 FCE, run outside the regular term and are therefore not considered an overload.

Waiting Lists

The Waiting List is a feature that lets you "line up" for a course that's currently full, in case a space becomes available in the future. If a student cancels the course and you're next on the waiting list, you'll be enrolled automatically. An email will be sent to your U of T email account to notify you of the enrolment.

What you need to know about waiting lists:

  • Waitlisted courses count towards your overall session load.
  • In the Fall/Winter, you can be on the waiting list for up to 1.0 FCE as a full-time student and 0.5 FCE as a part-time student. 
  • All Daniels Faculty ARC, LAN, and URD elective courses have waiting lists. VIS electives do not.
  • Waiting lists are not available for the entire duration of the enrolment period. Please refer to the Sessional Dates for waitlist deadlines.

We recommend that you prepare as many alternative elective course choices as possible.

If a class is full on the last day to enrol and you are not officially enrolled in the course, you do not have the right to be in the class, and will not be granted late registration.

Studio Balloting

Option Studio (ARC3020Y, LAN3016Y, & URD2013Y)

Option studios are fall session topic specific advanced design studios where a range of conceptual, technological, urban, or regional problems can be explored. As a Master of Architecture, Master of Landscape Architecture, or Master of Urban Design student, you must complete one option studio (see degree requirements).  Each instructor offers a different topic and the topics offered change annually. Descriptions are posted online (see course descriptions) and presentations are held by the instructors to provide further clarification prior to the start of classes. You are expected to attend the presentations.

To choose your option studio, you are required to submit a ballot. Balloting is an online process using your Daniels computer account. On the ballot, you must rank the studios by order of your own preference to enrol.  Balloting is not a first come, first served process. Careful consideration must be made before submitting your ballot. After the deadline to submit the ballot has passed, the ballots will be reviewed and every effort will be made to provide you with your top choice. The success rate of the balloting system has consistently been 80% first choice and 20% second choice.  

Cancelling/Dropping a Course

If you decide that you no longer want to take an elective course, cancel it as soon as possible on ACORN and prior to the drop deadline. This applies to elective courses that you've added to the waiting list, as well as those in which you are enrolled. Please do not occupy an elective space that you know you do not want. Only by cancelling the elective course will your space become available to another student.

If you are considering dropping a core course requirement such as studio, please first book an appointment to speak with an advisor in the Office of the Registrar and Student Services. As core courses are prerequisites to progress to the next session of core courses, it is important that you understand all implications of your choice.

You will be responsible for any academic penalties incurred if you do not cancel courses by the appropriate deadlines. The academic drop deadlines are listed in the Sessional Dates.

Course Conflicts

Conflicts occur when you enroll in courses that take place at the same time. Your core course schedule is set in such a way that no core courses will conflict. When adding electives to your schedule, it's important to make sure none of your elective courses overlap with each other or with your core courses in time because ACORN won't prevent you from enrolling in courses that conflict. If you choose to enroll in conflicting courses, please note that no special consideration or accommodation will be made for any problems that occur as a result (e.g. term tests scheduled at the same time, assignment due dates, attendance). Since you can't be at two places at the same time, avoid conflicts in your schedule.

Wheelchair Access

Not all classroom locations are wheelchair-accessible. If you require wheelchair access, please inform the Office of the Registrar and Student Services of your courses as soon as possible so that accommodations can be made.