Academic Information

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The credit weight of courses at the U of A will depend on the number of lecture or contact hours the course has in one week. Most courses at the U of A are worth 3 credits each. Determination of ECTS or other credit equivalents is solely at the discretion of the home institution.

Class Format

Most courses have 3 hours lecture/contact time per week (either 3 classes at 1 hour each, or 2 classes at 1.5 hours each). At 13 weeks (excluding the exam period), most courses have a total contact time of 39 hours per semester. The contact hours do not include or factor in estimates for individual study, readings, projects, exams or other work expectations outside the classroom and are not calculated.

Course Load

The maximum course load at the University of Alberta is 5 courses per term (15 credits). Exchange students must take a minimum of 3 courses (9 credits) per term to maintain full-time status. In order to take advantage of non-academic student activities and extra-curricular learning opportunities at the University of Alberta, exchange students are advised to take 4 courses (12 credits) per term.


Class participation often contributes to final grade.

Class Size

Varies - undergraduate classes often average 50 students; MBA classes are generally smaller.


Exam formats vary. Not all courses have final exams.


The University of Alberta uses a letter grading system (A-F) with a four-point scale of numerical equivalents. For a full explanation, please see the information from the Office of the Registrar.

Course Numbering System

Course numbering system
Undergrad 100-199 : Entry level undergraduate courses: assume no prior knowledge of subject.
200-399 : Introductory undergraduate courses to a particular area of study. Also assume little or no prior knowledge of the subject.
400-499 : Senior level undergraduate courses that assume the student has prior background in the area.
Masters 500-699 : Open only to students officially admitted to the Graduate Program - 500s generally indicate first-year in Graduate Program.
PhD 700-799 : Open only to students enrolled in the doctorate program.
800-899 : Special Registrations (not available to exchange students)
900-999 : Graduate Thesis and Project Numbers (not available to exchange students)

Course Listings

For Undergraduate Exchange Students
The most current information on all courses available at the University of Alberta is available on Bear Tracks. Prospective students and those not yet eligible to register can view the Course Listings and Class Schedule as a guest. Use the "Guest Sign In" feature on the Bear Tracks login page.

NOTE: Exchange students will have access to a wide variety of courses in International Business, Marketing, Accounting, Finance, Organizational Analysis, Management and Small Business within the Alberta School of Business, in addition to access to subjects from other UofA departments as well. A list of regularly offered business courses may be found in the University of Alberta Catalogue. However, please be aware that certain restrictions may apply and other courses can be quite difficult to get in to, so it is therefore important to have some flexibility in your study plan. In particular, the following courses are not open to undergraduate exchange students:

  • All courses with the prefix of AU (e.g., AUPHI, AUBIO). These courses are offered at the Augustana Campus, which is approximately 1.5 hours away from the main campus in Edmonton.
  • BUS 201, BUS 202, BUS 301, BUS 480
  • FIN 436
  • MGTSC 312
  • MIS 441
  • SMO 310, SMO 441, SMO 470 and SMO 471
  • Courses that relate to: Independent Research, Internship, Study Tour, Competitions, Work Experience
  • Special Topic courses (numbered 488)
  • Honors courses (numbered 480)
  • Graduate level courses (numbered 500 and higher)

Please also note that Economics courses are part of a different faculty at the University of Alberta and therefore the Alberta School of Business has no control over those courses. Access to Econ courses is at the discretion of the U of A Department of Economics. Questions can be directed by email to their office.

Students incoming into the Business School are also permitted to take other regularly offered open courses from other faculties at the University of Alberta assuming the course is not restricted and students have the prerequisites, but as business exchange students, you should take the majority of your courses from within business. Registration in courses offered by other faculties is always at that faculty's discretion.

For MBA Exchange Students
For a tentative list of courses expected to be available to incoming exchange students in the MBA Program, please refer to the Fall 2020 or Winter 2021 Visiting Student Timetables. These lists are initial drafts and subject to change.

Course Registration

For Undergraduate Exchange Students
Students may access course information and descriptions but are not permitted to register until an official Admission Letter has been issued to them. Once application documents have been received and processed, an admission letter is issued by the central University of Alberta admissions office and emailed to the exchange student. Please be aware that the University of Alberta no longer issues hard copy letters, so the electronic document sent via emailed is the only one used and is considered official. This admission letter enables the incoming student to apply for a student visa to enter Canada. Shortly after issuance of the admission letter, students will receive information describing the course registration process in detail and containing the student's ID and other necessary information for accessing their U of A email account and registration. Once a student has been assigned an ID Number and been given registration access, it is possible to register in courses. The student may register online through the Bear Tracks system using the ID and password provided by the University of Alberta.

Registration in courses must be done by the individual student and should be completed as early as possible after admission. Early registration is strongly recommended as courses fill up rapidly. Once courses are full it can be very difficult to get any specific courses needed. Please note that the Alberta cannot guarantee registration in any specific course, so a degree of flexibility is also very important. Due to the high demand for many business courses and because course registration cannot be done until after official admission, early application is highly encouraged. Changes to course registration can be made after arrival and through the first week of classes.

If you are not able to register in a course in Bear Tracks, you will receive a message stating why. The most common reason is that the course is full. Once a course is full, you may place yourself on the watch list to receive an email notification should space become available.

Please reference the Office of the Registrar's information for detailed step by step instructions on the registration process.

For MBA Exchange & Dual Degree Participants:
MBA applicants cannot register online, but must choose from a pre-approved list of courses and submit preferences with their application packages. Registration is based on availability and course offerings are subject to change. Dual degree applicants will be contacted directly by the MBA office to work out course registrations. Please see University of Alberta Dual Degree Program Course Requirements for more information.


Students must ensure they have the required prerequisites/corequisites for all courses in which they want to register. An evaluation of these requirements will be made once the student has arrived to the U of A and the student will be REMOVED from all classes where the requirements have NOT been met.


The University of Alberta does not currently issue any digital copies that are considered official. All official transcripts will be in hard copy only.

Students are responsible for requesting their official University of Alberta transcripts themselves. Because of the system used at the University of Alberta, transcripts for your exchange term will not automatically be sent to your home institution. The Registrar's Office at the University of Alberta requires all official transcripts to be requested directly by the students themselves. Therefore, in order for you or your home institution to obtain an official record, you must submit a request. Information and instructions on how to request your U of A transcript are available at the Office of the Registrar.

The easiest way to do this is by using your online "Bear Tracks" account. Under the 'Academics' menu, select 'My Academics,' and 'Transcript/Request Official Transcript'. This can be done before OR after you leave Edmonton. Simply make sure that you select the processing option "Grade Approval", which will hold your transcript request until your grades for the selected term have been approved. Otherwise, your marks will not show up on your transcript.

Please also ensure that you do NOT select the "Send to an Educational Institution" option, which is for sending transcripts to institutions within Canada only. You should select "Send to Other Recipient" option and then manually input your home institution's name and complete mailing address. That should allow you to send your transcripts to a destination outside of Canada.

Please also note that there is no charge for sending out the transcript by regular mail, but unless you request shipment by expedited courier, no tracking is included. If you require the shipment of your transcript by priority post, special delivery or courier service, you will need to submit a request in person or by mail, fax or via the online contact form. This option is not available on Bear Tracks. Please see the Office of the Registrar's instructions on ordering an official transcript for more information.

PLEASE NOTE: all grades must be approved by the Dean in order to be considered official and shipment of the official transcripts to overseas destinations may take several weeks. Exchange students should therefore allow a minimum of 8 weeks after the end of their exchange term before they expect to receive the official document.