Experiential Learning in Arts

Glossary

This page explains the key terms we’ve used to describe Experiential Learning, as well as some of the functional words that apply to your progression through the University and your academic career.


  • Academic
    This word can have a few different meanings in the context of the University of Alberta. The first refers to the “Academic Schedule,” which is a list of all the important dates and deadlines during the university year. But the way in which we are using the term “academic” refers to people — specifically professors, graduate/undergraduate students or even individuals from the private sector or industry, as long as they are engaging in research. That's right! Your enrolment as a student in the Faculty of Arts qualifies you as an academic too. 
  • Arts Co-op Program
    This program is open to all undergraduate students in the Faculty of Arts and alternates periods of paid employment with academic semesters. To earn a Co-­operative Education parchment notation, students must complete a cumulative total of 12 months of work experience with one or more employers, and satisfy all degree requirements.
  • Arts Work Experience (AWE)
    The umbrella term used to describe program options that allow Arts undergraduate students to gain paid, career-related work experience before graduation.
  • Certificate
    Completing a certificate program adds extra credentials to your undergraduate degree by allowing you to study a particular topic in more detail. The Faculty of Arts has more than 10 certificate programs available, from Computer Game Development to World Sound Arts.
  • Collaborate
    Collaboration means working together. According to the Office of Student Conduct and Accountability, collaborations "can produce creative and innovative ideas and research". Collaboration at the university can take many forms: between peers; between graduate and undergraduate students; between professors and students; between professors; and between students, professors and community partners.
  • Credit
    A credit is a representation of coursework completed at the university. Typically, each semester-long course at the University of Alberta is worth three credits, while courses that span two semesters are worth six credits. Credits are important when it comes to earning an undergraduate degree, as a specific number of credits are required in order to complete both your major and minor area of study.
  • Degree
    The University of Alberta awards undergraduate and graduate degrees. Undergraduate degrees are commonly called bachelor’s degrees, and graduating as an undergraduate student in the Faculty of Arts will earn you a B.A., or Bachelor of Arts degree. After you complete an undergraduate program, you can apply for a graduate program.
  • Department
    A department is a subdivision of subject areas at the level of the faculty. The Faculty of Arts has more than 20 departments and programs, ranging from Anthropology to Women's & Gender Studies.
  • Discipline-specific Internships
    Our Department of Psychology and our Urban and Regional Planning Program offer internship programs unique to their fields of study. Internship students must complete eight months of work experience and an associated capstone course.
  • Faculty
    The University of Alberta has 14 faculties that admit undergraduate students. A university faculty is a subdivision within the greater organization that delivers programs of study in related academic subjects. That is why students who study chemistry are enrolled in the Faculty of Science, while students who study languages are enrolled in the Faculty of Arts. Not all universities organize their faculties in the same way. 
  • Individual Work Terms
    Students have the option to participate in four or eight months of professional work experience, outside of the full Co-­op Program.
  • Major
    A major is your primary area of interest (and comprises the bulk of your coursework) at the university. As an Arts student, you must choose your major from one of the 20 departments and programs within the faculty. To graduate, students must complete a set number of credits that comprise a major and a minor, or alternatively, a double major with no minor. 
  • Minor
    A minor is your secondary area of interest. Minors can be chosen from departments outside the Faculty of Arts.
  • Research
    Research is the backbone of our university, but what does the word “research” actually mean? According to the Undergraduate Research Initiative at the University of Alberta, "research is a process that involves asking questions and using the methods of our discipline to advance our knowledge and understanding of the subject”.  Research happens in every single faculty and department at the U of A; in Arts this involves asking questions about the dynamics of human existence through the lenses of history, politics, literature, language, economics, culture and much more.
  • Travel Abroad
    Your Arts degree is your passport to the world. Study abroad for an academic term at one of our partner universities, participate in an international field school led by a professor or gain work experience in another country! Travel + Study = Growth + Experience.