Programs and Courses

When you apply

You will need to include a list of courses that you wish to take when you complete your exchange application.  Use Bear Tracks guest sign in to explore and choose courses.

After you are admitted

After you have been officially admitted to UAlberta as an exchange student, it is your responsibility to register in courses and build your course schedule using the My Schedule Builder tile in Bear Tracks.  Please contact us if you require assistance and advice.


Please note:

  • You can view an explanation of UAlberta's course numbering system here.
  • Undergraduate course listings and schedules for the upcoming school year are typically updated in March or April of the previous school year.  This is true for some graduate course listings and schedules as well.
  • PLEASE NOTE that some UAlberta departments won't make graduate course determinations (and release the related course listings and schedules) for the time you may wish to be at UAlberta on exchange AND/OR permit you to register in courses until after you may have to make some financial and other commitments related to the exchange.  Unfortunately, you might eventually discover that you have no desire to register in any of the courses offered AND/OR all of the spaces available in one or more of your desired courses are gone.  If you are a graduate student admitted for the exchange before knowing the course options open to you (i.e., before course options in your destination department at UAlberta are advertised on Bear Tracks AND before you know that you can register in courses that interest you), then you should pause and seriously consider if it's a good idea to proceed with the application knowing the financial risks you might encounter.

  • Generally, a 3-credit course provides 39 hours total lecture time and is offered at 3 hours per week over a 13-week term.
    • Credits from courses offered by the Faculty of Engineering, however, also take into consideration lab and seminar time spent, not just instructional time.  For every 1 hour spent in the lab or in a seminar per week, an additional 0.5 is added toward total credits - so, for example, a course that is advertised as 3-0-1 (3 hours of lecture/week, 0 hours of seminar/week, 1 hour of lab/week) - works out to be 3.5 Engineering credits.  A class with fractional hours displayed for the lab and/or seminar component - for example, 3-0-3/2 - indicates the number of hours spent over a period greater than a week.  So, in the example just provided, 3/2 means that 3 hours would be spent in the lab every other week and the credits would be determined as follows:  3+(3/2)(0.5) = 3 + 0.75 = 3.75 = 3.8 (since UAlberta rounds credit up to the nearest tenth).

  • Most undergraduate students can't take more than 15 credits worth of courses (typically 5 courses) per term while most graduate students can't take more than 9 credits worth of courses (typically 3 courses) per term.
    • Undergraduate students in the Faculty of Engineering, however, usually can't take more than 18 credits worth of courses (typically 5 courses) per term. Undergraduate students unable to register in 5 courses with that total number of credits can sometimes be permitted to register in a greater number of courses, on a case-by-case basis.
    • It is rare for graduate students in the Faculty of Engineering to register in more than 3 courses per term; however, it *might* be possible but the decision to allow registration in a greater number of courses would need to be made on a case-by-case basis by the host department.
  • You can only register for courses after you have been officially admitted to the University of Alberta. It is strongly recommended that you use the My Schedule Builder tile to create, save and validate your preferred schedule, and to register as soon as you can on your enrollment date to ensure you can participate in the courses you want before they fill up.
  • Enrollment dates, the dates on which exchange students can begin to register in UAlberta courses, change from term to term and from year to year.  To find out when your enrollment date is, please contact UAlberta's Student Service Centre
  • Bring a hard copy of your latest official transcript from your home institution with you to UAlberta. You may need it if you have to change your course selections at the start of your exchange.
  • If, after you start attending your courses, you discover that you no longer wish to participate in one or more of them, you will have a limited time to drop them without negative academic consequences: 
    • If you drop any undesired courses after the registration deadline (typically sometime 1 - 2 weeks after the start of classes) then they will still be shown on your UAlberta transcript and you will end up with grades of "W" ("withdrew with permission") for them. 
    • If you drop any undesired courses after the withdrawal deadline (typically sometime about 3 months after the start of classes) then they will still be shown on your UAlberta transcript and you will end up with grades of "F" ("failure") for them.
    • The exact dates for the registration and withdrawal deadlines change from year to year and can be found in the Academic Schedule of the UAlberta Calendar as well as in your My Schedule Builder tile va Bear Tracks.  When viewing the Academic Schedule make sure that you are looking at the schedule for the correct school year!


  • Official grades are typically available by early February for Fall Term courses and in the middle of June for Winter Term and Full Year courses.

  • UAlberta transcripts are not automatically mailed after the completion of a student's exchange. You will need to order transcripts before you return home.

  • You will be able to order free hard copies of your transcript for only approximately 8 months after the end of your last term date.  You can order electronic copies of your transcript at any time but you will be charged a fee for doing so.

UAlberta Grading System

UAlberta uses a four-point letter-grading system for calculating Grade Point Averages (GPA). Learn more about the UAlberta grading system


Click here to return to the sitemap of the Incoming Exchange Student Application Guide.

Updated for 2024/25 applications