Program Details for the Transition Year Program

The Transition Year Program has been in existence for several decades at the University of Alberta as the starting point for a wide range of successful students in a diverse array of programs. Our goal is to provide you with the best first-year experience possible, offering you support, encouragement, community, and opportunity. When you are ready to begin your post-secondary journey, we look forward to welcoming you to campus and having you join our vibrant community of First Nations, Métis and Inuit students!

Combining Academia and Culture

The program has both academic and cultural components and will provide opportunities for community involvement, access to Elders, cultural teachers in the classroom, and more. Students will create a strong network of support by getting to know other students in a small, intimate learning environment. The overwhelming university experience and challenges of being away from home is mitigated by the strong community of TYP students.

Program Dates

TYP runs from September to the end of April. Students have the option to enrol in spring term (May - June) after completing TYP, but in some cases faculties will not consider those results when assessed for transfer. TYP students do not have access to enrol in Summer term courses.

The Faculty of Native Studies and Faculty of Arts have partnered with TYP to offer a Winter Term (January - June) admission for those interested in the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Arts in Native Studies degree routes.

Application Deadlines

  • September start: Applications accepted November 1 - May 1
  • January start (Arts and Native Studies routes only): Applications accepted August 1 - October 1

Course Load

Students will be enrolled in four courses each Fall and Winter semester including UNIV 10 & 102. Upon successful completion of TYP, each student should have between 18 - 24 credits completed that will be transferable to their degree program.


Students are also strongly encouraged to take advantage of tutorial sessions set up for most of the first year classes. These tutorial sessions are designed to encourage students to work in study groups, learn how to ask questions and acquire positive study habits.


TYP students are assessed an additional $1000 program fee in their starting term. This fee assists in the cost of program resources as well as social and cultural events organized by First Peoples' House. Making the campus feel more like a community and creating a home away from home helps TYP students to get the most out of their time at university.

Performance Requirements

  • A GPA of 2.0 is required to gain entry into most faculties.
  • A GPA of 2.3 or higher is required for entrance into the Faculty of Business.
  • A GPA of 2.5 or higher is required for entrance into the Faculty of Nursing.

Admission into a degree program via this particular route is a two-step process. Applicants must first be admitted into a Transition Year Program, perform satisfactorily on all courses during the program, and then apply the following year for admission to the degree program.


University 101/102

All TYP students are required to complete University 101/102.

  • University 101/102 are designed to provide students with the academic skills they require to be successful students. Topics such as time management, dealing with stress, budgeting, as well as navigating the campus and learning how to use the University Bear Tracks system are covered.
  • University 101/102 and is worth 1.5 credits (while most courses are 3 credits). The course may not fulfill any academic requirements for acquiring a degree. TYP students will receive grades in this course based on research, essays, quizzes, and participation; this grade will affect their overall GPA.
TYP English/Writing Studies
TYP English and Writing Studies classes are unique; they focus on First Nations, Métis, and Inuit literature and, in addition to the regularly scheduled class, students are also registered for a tutorial hour immediately following the class where they work with a dedicated Instructional Assistant to improve their writing skills.

Course Plan by Program Route

Student Testimonials


Marissa Nakoochee, Cree, Faculty of Native Studies and Faculty of Education

"My favourite part of university life is the community that thrives from programs like TYP, First Peoples' House, and the Faculty of Native Studies. Life as a post-secondary student can get so hectic and it's great to be able to connect with our peers and staff who are always there to support us, sometimes in passing like at the community meals or just by hanging out in those spaces."


Monique Desjarlais, First Nation, Faculty of Science in Nursing

"The Transition Year Program not only prepared me for my upcoming years in university, but also provided me with the resources and knowledge I needed in order to become successful and strive in the university setting. I was taught how to deal with stress, testing strategies, fundamental skills, and was introduced to important people who are there to support me."


Dierdra Cutarm, First Nation, Ermineskin Cree Nation, Faculty of Arts

"TYP allowed me to adjust to the loneliness at university and build friendships that I still maintain, as well as connect with family members I normally would not have met."