Academic Information


VSCP students can participate in academic courses and experience being in classes with Canadian and other international students. Choose from hundreds of available courses in the humanities, social sciences or sciences – the options are vast!

In order to register in an academic course, the following requirements must be met:

Checked box symbol The VSCP student has a strong enough level of English to be successful in the course.
Checked box symbol The VSCP student has the background (prerequisites) for the course.
Checked box symbol There are seats available in the class.
Checked box symbol The student has the permission from the Faculty, Department, or instructor to remain in the course.

All academic course registration is done in consultation with a VSCP advisor.

Available Academic Courses

Information about the academic courses available for registration can be found online by searching Bear Tracks (log in as a guest), or viewing the Course Listings PDF.

VSCP students can register in Open Studies courses in the following Faculties:

  • Agriculture, Life & Environmental Sciences
  • Arts
  • Education
  • Native Studies
  • Physical Education and Recreation
  • Science

When viewing the Course Listings, Open Studies courses are marked with an  O  or  L  symbol.

If the course(s) you are interested in are not available through Open Studies, you will require official permission from the teaching department in order to register. Requests are submitted by VSCP staff after you start your program. Permission is not guaranteed.

Courses that require official permission requests include, but are not limited to:

  • Courses in the Alberta School of Business (e.g. finance, marketing, management, human resources)1
  • Courses in the Faculty of Engineering1
  • All Economics (ECON) courses1 
  • Senior level courses (e.g. courses with numbers 300 and higher)

1There is an additional tuition fee for these courses. 

Students who require non-Open Studies courses to graduate may need to consider a different study abroad program.

Academic Courses for Credit

A student’s level of English will determine how many academic credits they can earn while at UAlberta.

It is recommended that students who must earn academic credit during their study abroad program start the VSCP with a minimum 70 iBT or 5.5 IELTS score. Students who do not meet these recommended test scores may be required to register for academic courses as an auditor.

Auditing Academic Courses

VSCP students may choose to audit an academic course. When auditing a course, students can attend the lectures but do not need to do the assignments or exams. Students do not receive academic credit for courses that are audited.

The tuition for an audited course is half of the for-credit course fee.

Restricted Academic Courses

VSCP students cannot take courses in the following Faculties:

  • Law
  • Medicine & Dentistry
  • Nursing
  • Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences