Finding Courses

The University of Guelph offers courses in a wide variety of program areas including Arts, Sciences, Commerce, Agriculture, Engineering, Environmental Sciences, and Landscape Architecture, which are divided into several broad Colleges. Students attending Guelph on exchange are able to take courses from all disciplines, except certain courses listed on the Course Restrictions Page. 

Detailed information about courses is available in the Exchange Course Selection Guides.
Watch the Course Selection Tutorial Video here.

How can I find courses?


The exact course schedule for each semester is posted on WebAdvisor.  The course schedule for Fall is usually posted by late February, and the schedule for Winter is usually posted by mid-October.

  1. Visit
  2. Scroll down and click the red button on the right, “Search for Courses"
  3. Select 'Advanced Search' along the top, and specify the “Term", "Course and Sections", and "Location"
    • Note, you are not eligible to take courses at Guelph-Humber or the Ridgetown Campus. 
  4. Choose one or more subject area(s) that you are interested in
  5. If you are looking for courses from a certain level, under Course Levels you can choose:  

100 – First Year (undergraduate)
200 – Second Year (undergraduate)
300 – Third Year (undergraduate)
400 – Fourth Year (undergraduate)
600 – Graduate (Masters & PhD)
700 – Graduate (Masters & PhD)

      7. Leave everything else blank
      8. Click on the SUBMIT button

From the search results, if you click on any of the courses that are listed, it will open the short description of the course from the Academic Calendar.

Academic Calendar

If the exact course schedule is not yet available on WebAdvisor, our Academic Calendar lists all courses that are offered, their short descriptions, and the semester when they are usually offered.

  • Courses that have an "F" at the end of the course title are usually offered in the Fall
  • Courses that have a 'W' at the end of the course title are usually offered in the Winter
  • Courses that have a "U" at the end of the course title are sometimes offered in the Fall and sometimes in the Winter, and sometimes not at all

For example, ECON*2560 Theory of Finance F,W (3-0) [0.50] is offered in both the Fall and the Winter.

Course Outlines / Syllabi

If you need more detailed course outlines (syllabi) for specific courses, see the list of departmental course outline websites in the attachment below.  If you can’t find the course outline you are looking for there, try typing the course code in the search box at the top right hand corner of the University of Guelph homepage - and a link to the course outline may come up in the search results.

Course Codes and Descriptions

Here is an example of a course description from our Academic Calendar:

BOT*2100 Life Strategies of Plants F,W (3-3) [0.50]

The course deals with the biology of plant species of historical and cultural importance. It will focus on plants used as a source of drugs, herbal medicines, industrial raw materials, food products, perfumes and dyes. Examples of plant products that will be looked at include cocaine, chocolate, tea, opium, hemp and ginseng. The relevant morphology, physiology, distribution and ethnobotany of these plant species will be discussed.

Offering(s): Also offered through Distance Education format.

Prerequisite(s): 1 of BIOL*1040, BIOL*1050, BIOL*1070

Restriction(s): BOT*1200

Department(s): Department of Plant Agriculture

Course Labelling, Levels & Credits

The first part of the course code refers to the subject area, and the second to the level of the course. Thus, the course BOT*2100 is a course in the subject area of Botany (BOT*XXXX), and it is a second year level undergraduate course.  Courses in the 1000s are first-year level undergraduate courses, 2000s are second-year level, 3000s are third year-level, and 4000s are fourth year-level.  Courses in the 6000s and 7000s are graduate level (Masters and PhD).    

The number of credits for the course is listed in [ ], therefore, BOT*2100 is a [0.5] credit course.  Most courses at University of Guelph are worth 0.5 credits, but there are some courses that are 0.75, 1.0 or even 1.25 credits.  The maximum number of credits that undergraduate students can take is 2.75 per semester.  To find out how many credits equal a full-time course load, see Credits, Grading & Transcripts.


It is important that you have the required background knowledge (prerequisites) that is needed in order to be successful in the courses you choose.  For example, if you have never taken a Geography course, it would not make sense for you to choose a third or fourth year level Geography course.  It is up to you to make sure that you have completed similar prerequisite course(s) at your home institution or have the equivalent background knowledge.  For more information about prerequisites for University of Guelph courses, please see the Course Restrictions Page.

What is a DE (distance education) course?

Courses that have DE after the course code  (such as BOT*2000*DE) are Distance Education courses.  These courses are not taught in a classroom but instead involve independent study.  You must do all of the reading and work on your own and correspond with the professor by e-mail.  Most of the Distance Education courses are done online – the course instructor will post all of the information, assignments, discussions and sometimes even tests on CourseLink (the online software used for posting UofGuelph course materials).  Since you are coming to Canada to experience Canadian classes and interact with other students, we don't recommend that exchange students take more than one DE course.  Please note that there is a $75 administrative fee for each DE which exchange students also have to pay.

File attachments

PDF icon Course Outline Links.pdf113.48 KB