Course Registration Information

Students studying in computer lab.

How Do I Register for Courses?

All U of A students use Bear Tracks to register for classes. You can also search for classes using the Course CatalogueSome courses have restrictions and prerequisites which can prevent you from successfully registering for them, you can find these in each class' course notes when searching for them on Bear Tracks.

When Can I Register for Courses?

You can begin registering in courses on or after your enrolment appointment date arrives This can be found in Bear Tracks under Manage Classes -> My Enrollment Date. You can build a schedule before this time, but you can only register for courses once your enrollment date arrives.

  • Registration for Spring and Summer courses usually begins mid-February.
  • For students continuing their degrees, Fall/Winter Term registrations usually begin in mid-March, with students in upper-years typically getting their Enrollment Dates first.
  • For students beginning their UAlberta studies for the first time, Fall/Winter Term registrations usually begin in April.

Course registration faq

How many courses can I register for in a single Term?

You can register for up to 15 credits (5 courses) in each Fall and Winter Term and 6 credits (2 courses) in each Spring and Summer Term. To register for more courses, you must request a course overload.

Can I register for non-Arts courses?

Yes! As a matter of fact, most degrees offered by the Faculty of Arts require you to complete 2 non-Arts courses. Some programs have very specific course requirements that may determine which courses you need to take during your studies (i.e. BFA Art & Design) though, so make sure you have room in your total degree credits to branch out before enrolling in non-Arts options.

Although we always recommend this no matter which Faculty is offering a course, checking course restrictions is especially important when registering for non-Arts courses as an Arts student.

How can I tell what classes I need to take for my degree?

Your Bear Tracks page has a super useful Academic Requirements tool that you can use to figure out what you need as part of your degree program. Make sure to check back on this tool each year/Term to keep track of the kind of courses you need.

All of your academic requirements listed need to be completed before you can apply for convocation (graduation), so this is pretty important!

What should I do if a course that I want/need to take is full?

Make sure to add the course to your watchlist! If any other student drops that course prior to the Add/Delete deadline for the term you'll be notified and have the chance to register for the course.

If you're nearing the end of your program and absolutely need a course to meet a specific degree requirement, you can reach out to your Department Advisors in extreme circumstances.

If not getting into a course that is required for your degree would delay your graduation please come and speak to a Faculty of Arts advisor as soon as possible to discuss your options!

How can I get help if I'm having trouble with Bear Tracks?

You can find text and video guides, as well as tech support contact information, using the Bear Tracks Help website!

If you're looking for additional support, please contact the Student Service Centre.

How does having an outstanding financial hold on my account affect my course registrations?

If you have any outstanding financial holds on your account you will be unable to register for any more classes until they are paid in full. You can find more details here.

Please note that depending on a department's resources, the hold may not clear off your record for one to two business days. Keep this in mind when Add/Delete deadlines are approaching; you may wish to inform the department that you need to register, so that department staff can clear the fine off your record as soon as possible.

When is the best time for me to declare a major, minor, or certificate?
We always recommend that you make any degree declarations before you start registering for more classes to make sure that your student record best aligns with the types of courses you're planning on taking. Your academic requirements checks and other validations on Bear Tracks will work best if this is done, giving you a better idea of how you're progressing through your degree.
How many courses do I need to take in a Term to be a "full-time" student?
In order to be considered "full-time", you need to be taking at least 3 courses in an academic term. This is important when applying for things like government student loans, UAlberta awards/scholarships, and some other specific applications.
When is the best time to register for courses?
We recommend that you always try to register for your courses on or as close to your Enrollment Date as possible. This ensures that you have the greatest range of options available to you when it comes to course variety and making a schedule that works for you.
When is the latest that I can add or remove registered courses from my course schedule?
Each academic Term has an official course Add/Delete Deadline. This usually arrives around 2 weeks into Fall and Winter Terms (e.g. January 18th, 2023), and signifies the last day that you can add courses to that Term's schedule and get a full refund for courses you're dropping. After this date courses can no longer be added and only partial fees will be refunded at most.
What do I do if a course is closed to web registration?

In some cases, there will be a contact email address listed in the class notes (clipboard symbol) in Bear Tracks. If not, you must contact the department or teaching area that teaches the course for assistance. This is especially common with Art & Design courses, or those from other specialized programs.

You can find our list of department advisors, and their contact information, here.

How do I know what "year" of study I'm in?
When the University of Alberta refers to "year of study", or "1st year" for example, the classification of year is determined by the number of credits you've earned from classes. Most regular courses award 3 credits upon completion, and if you were to take 5 courses per term from the start of your degree for 4 years you would have enough credits to graduate.

In practice, many of people take longer than 4 years to complete their degree but the university still needs a way to standardize their progress, so we break years into your credits taken. 0-29 credits is "first year", 30 - 59 credits is "second year", 60 -89 credits is "third year" and 90 - 120 credits is "fourth (final)" year for students in undergraduate programs.
Why are some course registrations restricted to some students or by some dates?

Some courses have special registration dates for groups of students based on program and/or Faculty. Registration is set up this way so that students in a specific program/Faculty have priority when it comes to registering in these courses.

To be totally sure that you're registering for courses that you can get credit for, make sure to check the class notes (clipboard symbol) in Bear Tracks to see if the course has special registration dates.

Where can I find someone who can look over my draft course schedule?

If you have questions about a specific course, or are having trouble registering for a course using Bear Tracks, please contact the specific Arts department which offers the course.

If you're having difficulty putting together your Term schedule and want some help before officially registering for any courses, we invite you to speak to a Faculty of Arts Undergraduate Student Services (USS) advisor in a way that works for you. You can send an email (please include your 7-digit student number and use your @ualberta email to contact us), make a phone call, book a 1-on-1 appointment, or come to our HC 1-17 office for a walk-in appointment during regular business hours.

Registration in 100-Level (Junior) English Courses

As a requirement of most Arts degrees students will need to complete a 100-level (junior) English or Writing Studies course (e.g. ENGL 102/WRS 101) as part of their degree requirements, although often slots in these courses can be extremely limited as many students are competing for them at the same time.

Please note that you can complete your junior English requirement at any point during your degree, so it is perfectly normal for students to put 100-level ENGL/WRS courses on their Bear Tracks watch list or wait until a later academic Term to take these courses if no options are available. You do not need to complete this course credit requirement right away, and as you progress into further years of study you will receive increasingly earlier enrollment dates to ensure that you are able to register for the courses you need to complete your degree.

Remember that some 100-level ENGL courses are restricted to certain students! ENGL 199 - English for Engineering Students is a course specifically offered to those currently enrolled in Engineering programs, you can find course restrictions like this in the course description or by hovering over the clipboard icon within the course's Bear Tracks page.

Registration in 300/400-Level Psychology Courses

Are you having problems registering for 300 or 400-level Psychology courses (e.g. PSYCH 323)? Registration in these courses is restricted to students in specific programs (Psychology Majors/Minors and Neuroscience Honors) who have completed 60-90 credits toward their degree program. If you cannot register, it’s likely that you don’t meet the restrictions outlined below. Please make a note of the three dates and registration restrictions below to see which category applies to you.

  1. April 5: Psychology Majors/Minors and Neuroscience Honors students who have completed at least 90 credits have priority registration in these courses until Apr. 5th.
  2. April 6: Psychology Majors/Minors and Neuroscience Honors students who have completed at least 60 credits are able to register for these courses starting on Apr. 6th (around 10:00 AM MT).
  3. April 21: All other students may begin registering for these courses on Apr. 21st (around 10:00 AM MT).