What to Know Before Registration

Don't worry! Rest assured that everything you need to register in your first year courses is included on this website. If you experience any difficulties, we are happy to help!

Friendly reminder: if you are entering your first year of university, it is strongly recommended that you choose 1000 level courses. 

Here are some terms and information that are important to understand as you prepare to register for first-year courses at St. Thomas.


Bachelor of Arts Degree (BA) 

To earn a Bachelor of Arts degree, you must successfully complete 40 semester-long courses. This is normally done by taking five classes each semester for four years.

There are a number of requirements you need to meet in order to earn your Bachelor of Arts, but you don’t need to worry about fulfilling them all in the first year.



The academic year runs from September to April. Courses will be offered either Semester 1 (September to December), Semester 2 (January to April), or Full-year (September to April).


Courses are typically offered three times a week: Monday, Wendesday, and Friday, twice a week (Tuesday and Thursday OR Wednesday and Friday) or once a week.

  • Courses that are offered three times a week are 50 minutes long.
  • Courses that are offered twice a week are 80 minutes long.
  • Courses that are offered once a week are three hours long.

Reminder About Full Year Courses

This is a reminder to all students registering for 2024-2025 courses that you must register for both halves (24/S1 and 24/S2) of full-year courses.


Courses sections with a number at the end of the section designation (eg, A1, A2, B1, B2 etc.) indicates it is half of a full-year course and you must register for both halves.


ENGL 1016 A1 in semester 1 you must register for ENGL 1016 A2 in semester 2. 

SOCI 1006 C1 in semester 1 you must register for SOCI 1006 C2 in semester 2.

The same is true for dropping full-year courses.  Please remember to drop both halves.

When using Self-Service, the system will automatically add you to the corresponding second half (24/S2) of a full-year course if you register for the first half (24/S1).  It will not however do the same if you add the second half first. The same is true for dropping full-year courses.

If you have any questions or need assistance please contact admissions@stu.ca 

Credit Hours

Credit hours (ch) are the credit value assigned to a course. A 6-credit hour course is normally a full-year course. A 3-credit hour course is normally offered within one semester of an academic year.

Introductory Courses

As a first-year student, you will register for introductory courses (course numbers will begin with 1). These courses provide a foundation for more in-depth study in upper years.

Course Load

The normal course load for full-time students is 30 credit hours per year—five courses each semester. It does not matter what combination of 3-credit hour or 6-six credit hour courses you take, as long as you have five courses in each semester and a total of 30 credit hours for the full year.

Taking less than five courses in a semester will extend the time it takes to complete your BA degree beyond four years. 

Course Numbers

The four digits of the course number provide some information concerning the course. The most important digit to note is the fourth—if the course number ends in 6 that means the course is worth 6 credit hours and is normally offered over two semesters; if it ends in 3 that means the course is worth 3 credit hours and is normally offered within one semester of an academic year.

Course Sections

A letter designates a section of a course. Different letters typically indicate a single course that’s offered in a different timeslot, by a different professor, or in a different location (eg. JOUR- 1113 B).

If you enroll in a full-year course, you will be required to take both sections (eg. HIST 1006 A1 and HIST 1006 A2).

Course Descriptions 
Course descriptions inform you about the subject matter of the course. You can find a course description for each course you are interested in by visiting the First-Year Course Description page.