Visual Schedule Builder

Visual Schedule Builder (VSB) is an online self-serve tool to assist you in planning your academic schedules. It allows you to graphically view schedule options, choose desired courses, and eventually create a timetable based on the courses and times that work best for you. The VSB arranges selected courses into conflict-free timetable options and displays them in an easy-to-read weekly schedule.


  • The VSB does NOT register you in courses, but helps you create an optimal course schedule from which you can then enrol in courses through the Registration and Enrolment Module (REM).
  • The Visual Schedule Builder is NOT meant to replace academic advising or degree audit. It does not check your course prerequisites or financial or enrolment blocks.

Use your Passport York login to access the VSB.
Step-by-step instructions as well as tips and tricks on how to use the tool are listed in the tabs below.

Using Visual Schedule Builder

How do I build a course schedule?

1. Choose a session

Once logged into Visual Schedule Builder, select the desired session located in the top right-hand corner of the Select Courses panel.

2. Select your course location

Click the Select link to open a list of campuses. This opens a new window with all locations marked by default. The fastest way to choose the desired location is by clicking the Select None link and then selecting the campus option(s) you need.

3. Select your courses

Keep in mind that selecting courses in VSB means creating an optimal schedule. VSB does NOT enrol you in courses. When you come up with the schedule you like, you go to REM and enrol in the desired courses.

  1. In the search box, type in a course:
    • code (e.g. LING1000) or
    • title (e.g. Introduction to Linguistics) or
    • instructor's name (e.g. Tom Wilson).
  2. Choose the desired course from the list that appears.
  3. Click the Select button.
  4. Repeat steps 1‐3 for all desired courses for the session. The schedules are being generated automatically while you are adding courses.

To remove a course, click the ‘x’ in the upper right-hand corner of the box for that section. To unselect a course without removing it from the list, remove the check mark left to the course code.


Building a schedule with too many schedule scenarios

If you come up with too many schedule possibilities while selecting courses, VSB will give you the following warning: There are too many schedule possibilities. You must reduce the number of enabled classes or pin down some class(es) before adding more courses. In such case, it is highly recommended you first pin courses required for your major.

Browsing through your results

To browse through your generated schedule, you can use either the arrow keys on the page, or the arrow keys on your keyboard (saves your time when you are paging through a big number of results). When you hold down the arrow key, it will speed scroll through the different options.

Campus change warning

A campus change warning icon in the form of an exclamation mark in a triangle will pop up in the timetable if two adjacent courses are offered in two different locations. In this case, you need to ensure adequate travel time between the campuses.

Choosing session and course location

  • Session - You cannot select any courses unless you choose the desired session located at the top of the Select Courses panel.
  • Location - If you do not change the settings, all course locations will be selected by default.

Resolving conflicts

If you select a course that creates a conflict with the courses you have already pinned, the number of your results will automatically get reduced to zero and the system will display the following message: No Results. There are no conflict-free schedule combinations with the selected courses. Also, in the Select Courses panel, the message All classes of this course conflict with all classes of X will show up for all conflicted courses. A small exclamation mark icon precedes this warning.

To resolve conflicts, first pin your core (major) courses and then try to add the other (e.g. general education) courses to your schedule.

A different warning message will pop up when you are trying to select two courses that have no classes with open seats that do not conflict with each other. In this instance, VSB still displays all schedule combinations with the message: Warning: Not all classes selected above have seats available.

Switching between languages

If you are a French-speaking student, you can switch to French by clicking on the link located in the top right-hand corner of the page.

Timetable layouts

VSB timetables look different for summer and fall/winter schedules. The summer timetable displays a week-like calendar block. The fall/winter session is divided into two halves: the left one shows fall course offerings and the right one displays winter offerings.

If you select courses that are offered on week days, they will get displayed in a five-day timetable grid from Monday to Friday. If any of the courses you are interested in is offered on weekends, it will be plotted in a six- or seven-day calendar - from Sunday to Saturday depending on the day your course is offered.

How can I refine the results and find my best schedule?

All of your possible conflict-free schedules are now displayed to review in the Results panel. In this panel, the courses are colour-coded and laid out in the following two formats:

  • A list showing details of the course, such as a course name and number, period, section, lecture, tutorial, availability, location, instructor and catalog number. Below that list, you find a catalog number cart that displays all the catalog numbers for the courses shown above.
  • A timetable (weekly schedule) grid that is separate for each term. A monthly timeline visualizing course start and end dates is displayed below the weekly grid.

If the course is offered in class, there is a one-to-one correspondence between these two formats. However, if the course is offered online, it will be displayed in the course detail list, but you will not see it in the weekly schedule grid.

When you page through your schedule options using the arrows located at the top of the panel, your options in the list as well as in the grid are automatically updated.

Marking your preferences

The best feature of VSB is that it allows you to mark your personal time when you don't want to have classes. You can do it by clicking and dragging in the timetable grid. The system will first show you those results that avoid these times.

You can also prioritize your choices by using the Sort preference options listed in the drop-down menu in the top right-hand corner of the Results panel. You can sort your classes by the following criteria: most days off, morning classes, mid-day classes, evening classes, time off campus and most on-campus. For detailed explanations, go to the Tips and Tricks for Refining Results section below.

Narrowing down your results

There are three simple ways to narrow your results and find your best schedule:

  • Save your favourite class choices by clicking on the desired class in the grid. This prioritizes that specific class in your schedule and arranges your other schedule options around it. When all your courses are pinned, the number of generated results will get reduced to one and your desired timetable will be achieved. To remove the pin, just click on the course again.
  • Use the filters located in the top right corner of the Results panel to narrow your selection by full classes, online classes and/or on-campus classes (more on filters in the Tips section below).
  • Select periods and sections from the drop-down menu within each course in the Select Courses panel.

Note that in the case you do not have too many results generated, you can simply browse through them until you find the schedule you like.


Entering your personal time

If you would like to manually enter your personal time, enable the accessibility features and enter a time range in the boxes below the timetable grid.


All filters are applied to your search by default. To narrow down your choices, unselect one or two out of the following options:

  • Full classes - if you don't want to see classes that are already full (note that VSB includes full classes in your list of courses in case the course you are interested in is full today but may have space tomorrow);
  • Online classes - if you are not interested in taking online courses;
  • On-campus classes - if you would like to take only online courses.

Sorting preferences

You can sort your preferences by choosing one of the six options:

  • Most days off - picks the schedule that has the most days without a course;
  • Morning classes - choose if you prefer to see schedules with morning classes first;
  • Mid-day classes - select if you prefer classes that take place in the middle of the day;
  • Evening classes - select if you prefer to see schedules with evening classes first;
  • Time off campus - picks the schedule with the fewest number of on-campus hours;
  • Most on-campus - choose if you want spend most of your time on campus.

Keep in mind that sorting preferences does not narrow down your results, it just sorts them by putting your choices first. The tool does not save the settings of your preferences, so each time you create a schedule, you need to apply them.

Showing similar options

Some courses form sets of similar options consisting of a lecture and tutorial/lab. In such sets, tutorials/labs are offered at the same time but in different locations.


The button ‘Generate Schedules’ might pop up if you zoom in the view to 110% or more. It will automatically show only one panel - either Select Courses or Results - and you will need to switch between them by selecting between the items in the top menu. In this instance, once all desired courses get listed, click the Generate Schedules button at the bottom of the list of courses in the Select Courses panel.

If you are using Chrome, zooming in might change the time display in the grid by moving the colour-coded "square" a bit down (e.g. a class that normally starts at 11:30am looks as if it begins at 11:45am).

I have my schedule. Now what?

Enrol early

Go to Registration and Enrolment Module (REM) to enrol in your chosen courses. In order to do it quickly, copy the catalog numbers (one at a time) listed in the cart located below the list of courses in the Result panel. Enrol as soon as you can after choosing your timetable because the full/not full information updates all the time. It is possible that a course which was not full when you were creating your VSB timetable might be fully enrolled by the time you go to REM.

Enrol later

If you choose not to enrol immediately (e.g. your enrolment window is not open yet), you can copy the URL at the top of your screen to e-mail your schedule to your adviser or to save it for later use. Pasting the URL into a web browser will display that schedule again. (You may have to log into Passport York again to see it.)

Technical Tips

  • For better navigation through the tool, it is recommended you use a desktop computer or laptop.
  • Passport York (PPY) times out after 90 minutes.
  • Mobile and tablet versions of the VSB are coming soon.

Note: The French version of the Visual Schedule Builder is coming soon.