Step 4: Understanding your Degree

How the Augustana Calendar is different

The traditional university academic year typically consists of two terms (or semesters): a Fall Term and a Winter Term. Augustana’s terms are are comprised of a 3-week session followed by an 11-week session. Students enrolling in a full course load will only take 1 course during the 3-week session and 4 courses during the subsequent 11-week session, for a total of 5 courses per term. With how the term is organized, you will still complete the same amount of course and credit work per term as you would at other post–secondary institutions, so your academic record will not be affected should you decide to transfer or apply to professional programs.

More information on the new Augustana Calendar

Your Augustana Degree

Most of Augustana’s bachelor’s degree programs consist of 120 credits over 4 years. A typical Augustana course is weighted as 3 credits (★3). There are a few classes that have different credit values (i.e. music lessons, choir, and physical activity classes), so check the University Academic Calendar and/or Bear Tracks for the credit value of each of your classes.

To complete your degree in 4 years, you should take 30 credits per year (15 credits per term). Students who take fewer than 30 credits per year should expect to take longer than 4 years to graduate. Note: The Bachelor of Music (BMus) program consists of 122 credits; the Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Education (BSc/BEd) combined program is 150 credits over 5 years.

Components of your Degree

Augustana is the University of Alberta’s liberal arts and sciences campus. As such, our degree programs are broad-based and require that students take courses in a variety of different areas. All programs are made up of the following components:

  1. First Year Seminar - All students new to the Augustana Campus are required to take a First Year Seminar (FYS) course during their first 3-week session at Augustana. This seminar will be small, intensive, and discussion-based, and is designed to introduce you to the high-impact learning that you should anticipate, and need to be familiar with during your university studies. More information on this seminar can be found in the Registration section of this guide.

  2. Major Course requirements - A major is the primary subject of study. Majors consist of 42 to 66 credits (★) of your overall degree.

    • If you are a Bachelor of Science student, you will want to ensure that at least 50% of the courses you are taking are in the sciences.
    • If you decide to complete a double major, you would select two areas of study (available within a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or a Bachelor of Science (BSc) program only). Since you need to meet the major requirements for both of these areas, you would have less flexibility in your class selection over the course of your four-year degree. Please consult your Admissions Advisor if this is your plan.
    • Some majors are available as both BA and BSc degrees.  The majority of the courses required for your major will be the same for both the BA and BSc programs. The main differences are found in the supporting and elective courses taken alongside the courses required for your major. With a BA, the supporting and elective courses will be Arts-based (English, History, Politics, Sociology, Art, etc.). With a BSc, the electives and supporting courses that you take will be Science-based (Math, Chemistry, Biology, etc.).

  3. Minor Course requirements (optional) - A minor is a secondary area of study and is optional. Minors require at least 18 credits with a minimum of 12 credits at the senior-level (200, 300, or 400-level) in a subject area that is different from your major.

  4. The Augustana Core: Liberal arts and sciences requirements - Augustana’s commitment to the liberal arts and sciences orients our programs toward a broad education realized through engagement, knowledge, and skills. Augustana’s common liberal arts and sciences requirements consist of a total of 36 credits, to be taken throughout your degree, that make up the Augustana Core.

  5. Elective (Option) courses

For more information on Augustana’s Degree Program requirements, please visit the University of Alberta’s Academic Calendar.


In the registration section, you will learn what the course requirements are for your program and how you can start building your class schedule.

Registration Information