Step 4: Understanding your Degree

What makes the Augustana Calendar unique

The traditional university academic year typically consists of two terms (or semesters): a Fall Term and a Winter Term. Augustana's terms are comprised of a 3-week block followed by an 11-week session. Students enrolling in a full course load will only take 1 course during the 3-week block 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 Augustana Calendar

A diagram displaying how the 3 and 11 week sessions fit within traditional semesters.

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 per year (★15 per term). Students who take fewer than ★30 per year should expect to take longer than 4 years to graduate.

Note: The Bachelor of Music (BMus) program consists of ★122; the Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Education (BSc/BEd) combined program is ★150 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 block at Augustana. Your FYS will be a small, intensive, and discussion-based course with the goal of introducing you to skills that will help you succeed throughout university. 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 ★69 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.
    • Some majors are available as both Bachelor of Arts (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 for most programs. Minors require at least ★18 with a minimum of ★12 at the senior-level (200, 300, or 400-level) in a subject area that is different from your major.

    If you are looking for ways to stand out after graduation to employers or grad schools, a minor might not be one of them! In fact, minors are not printed on degree parchments and do not appear on transcripts. Additionally, declaring a minor will not get you 'front of the line' access to courses you may want to take and could provide less flexibility and space to take option courses. Augustana has a number of experiential learning courses that will allow you to Travel Internationally, explore with Outdoor Education, and get hands on experience with Community Service Learning.

    If you decide to declare a minor as an Interdisciplinary Studies major, the topic(s) cannot be one of the focus disciplines (e.g. IDS: Creativity and Culture major and English minor). Also, certain major and minor combinations may take longer than 4 years to complete. As such, contact your Admissions Advisor with any questions you have about declaring a minor.

    Note: BSc/BEd Combined Degree students are required to complete a minor.


  4. The Augustana Core: Foundation and Knowledge requirements - Augustana's commitment to the liberal arts and sciences orients our programs toward a broad education realized through foundation, knowledge, and skills. Augustana's common liberal arts and sciences requirements consist of a total of ★39, to be taken throughout your degree, that make up the Augustana Core.
    • The Foundation requirement, also known as the Project-based core, is designed to help you gain the skills needed to be successful in your future career(s).
    • The Knowledge portion of the core is designed to help you achieve a breadth of knowledge which will help you use a range of approaches to solve problems.
    • The Augustana Core is designed to give you a competitive advantage after you graduate and enter the workforce.

    Note: The BSc/BEd program and the BMus program have slightly different Augustana Core requirements. Refer to the UAlberta Calendar for information on the Augustana Core requirements for your program.

  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