Welcome to our Registration Guide

To help you with the registration process, we have developed online modules and tip sheets to guide you! Begin by selecting the category that applies to you:


High School Applicants

Applicants who have never attended a post-secondary institution and have never taken a post-secondary course.

Online Module

Transfer Applicants

Applicants who have been enrolled in a post-secondary institution or have taken post-secondary classes. This category also includes students who have completed a degree.

Online Module

program requirements

Below are direct links to the U of A Calendar where you will find the requirements for your specific program.

BSc General     BSc Specialization      BSc Honors


What counts as a Science or Arts option?

Science Option - Courses offered by the Faculty of Science.

Arts Option - Courses offered by the Faculty of Arts. These are a diverse range of courses within Humanities, Social Sciences, Fine Arts and Language courses. The ENGL requirements for junior core also count towards Arts options

NOTE: Courses offered by the Faculty of Agriculture, Life & Environmental Sciences are not Science or Arts options (ex: PL SC - Plant Science would be considered an outside option).

Do ANAT (Anatomy) courses count as Biological Sciences courses in the Faculty of Science?
No, ANAT courses are offered by the Division of Anatomy in the Faculty of Medicine and, as such, do not qualify as Science courses. ANAT courses are considered to be Outside Options. In each BSc General degree there is room for up to *12 credits of course weight for Outside Options that are Non-Arts or Non-Science. ANAT courses may be used as options in a BSc Specialization or Honors program, so long as they are approved by the appropriate Specialization or Honors advisor.
How do I know what electives are best for my degree program?
Electives in General science are up to you. Electives for Specialization
and Honors programs are usually Science or Arts courses and this will
be specified in your course plan in the calendar. If you need further
clarification, you can always contact your Departmental Advisor for
How do I meet my English Junior Core Requirement?
You can meet this by completing *6 credits from the following, of which, a max of *3 can be in WRS (Writing Studies):
  • ENGL 102, 103, 108, 125
  • WRS 100, 101, 102, 104
Note: The ENGL requirements for junior core also count towards your Arts option total.
I am trying to register in courses but they are all full. What do I do?
Course availability will continue to change over the summer months as students change their schedules. In some cases, departments may open additional sections to meet demand. You will want to add yourself to the Watch List (if available for the course) on Bear Tracks for any courses that you are interested in enrolling in. By adding yourself to the Watch List, Bear Tracks will email or text you once a space becomes available in that course. Additionally, seats will become available in many courses in mid-August after the Confirmation Deposit Deadline, as all students who did not pay this deposit will be dropped from their courses. Unfortunately we cannot guarantee that all students will get every course they want at the time they were hoping for as demand is very high. In some cases, you may need to choose another course, such as an Arts or Science option.
I can't get into a class via Bear Tracks, I get an error message?
First off, read the message fully. This will inform you of the reason you are unable to enroll in the class which may be one one of the following:

  • Do you have the pre/co-requisites for the course?
  • Is the course restricted to students with a specific Major/Minor? If you're "Undeclared", then you'll want to declare your Major/Minor with your home faculty.
  • Are there any Priority Restrictions? Some courses offer priority registration dates for certain students (ex: 4th year students or those with a specific Major). enrolment for all other students may open later.
    • If a class has a black box with the letter "L" inside of it, that means there's a delayed registration date for the majority of students. You can contact the Department to find out what the delayed registration date is.
When do I get a syllabus for my courses and who can I talk to about course content?

Students typically receive the syllabus and course outline on the first day
they attend the class.

If you have questions about course content, speak with the teaching Department that offers that lecture/lab/seminar.

I've been here three years, but I can't get into a class that says it is available to 3rd year students.
Year 1/2/3/4 are not based on actual years spent at the University of Alberta, but is determined based on successfully completed credits:

0 to 30 credits = "Year 1"

31 to 60 credits = "Year 2"

61 to 90 credits = "Year 3"

91 to 120+ credits = "Year 4
Is there a limit to how many junior courses I can take?
Junior courses can be taken in any year of the program. Students in the Faculty of Science may not take more than *42 credits of course weight at the junior level (100-level). Any junior credits in excess of *42 credits.will be declared extra to your BSc degree.
What courses should I enroll in?
REMEMBER: You need to follow the requirements from the year you were admitted. Current and previous calendars can be found here.

  • Review the degree requirements for your program.
  • Evaluate where you are. Look at the requirements for your major/minor.
  • By your second or third year you should be making good progress in fulfilling those courses, particularly at the 200 or 300 level.
  • If you have not declared your major or minor, simply fill out the form found online.
  • If there is one area you particularly like, find out more about what programs are available in specialization/honors.
How easy is it to transfer programs?
Transferring programs in Science requires you to submit a new application
before March 1 of the year you are seeking admission. If you are looking
to transfer to a Specialization or Honors program, you must meet the
requirements outlined in Admission Chart 7 in the calendar. You can also
mimic the course plans for these programs in the calendar.
Is an Honors or Specialization degree required for graduate school?
You should look at the graduate program you are interested in as this
varies. Some programs will state honors degrees are preferred, others will
not list a preference. Typically research involvement is a key factor in
graduate studies, and our Honors programs incorporate research in the
course plan. If you are in one of our other degrees, research will not be
part of your course plan so just make sure to involve yourself in research
in preparation for graduate school.

department tips

REGISTERING FOR BIOL 107. This course tends to fill up very quickly in the Fall term. Keep in mind that if it does, you can schedule it in the Winter term and take BIOL 108 in the Fall term instead. BIOL 107 is not a pre- requisite for BIOL 108.

LABS. Labs will begin later in the semester, usually 1-2 weeks after classes begin. Check your course syllabus or speak with your Professor to know when your labs begin. Use this time wisely to solidify your study habits and keep up with your assignments. Things will get much busier once your labs begin. Go to a Studying and Reading Workshop hosted by the Academic Success Centre for strategies on time management.

SEMINARS. Seminars will be scheduled at a later date, but don’t worry; they won’t conflict with your schedule. More information will follow once you start attending your lecture.

LABS. The lab component of your chemistry classes begins later in the semester, generally after the first week of classes. Check your course notes on Bear Tracks or your course syllabus to know when your labs begin. Things will get much busier once your labs begin. Go to a Studying and Reading Workshop hosted by the Academic Success Centre for strategies on time management before labs begin to solidify your study habits.

SEMINARS. Chemistry Seminars provide access to the help room, available for all introductory chemistry classes. Help room location and hours of operation are listed in your lab manual.


  • CHEM 299 - Research Opportunity Program in Chemistry (mentored introduction to research in the lab, regular meetings on various topics).
  • CHEM 300 – Introduction to Industrial Chemistry (weekly meetings, industrial talks and tours, resume and interview preparation).
  • CHEM 399: Research Experience in Chemistry (participation in a research project).
DEPARTMENT AWARDS & SCHOLARSHIPS. The majority of awards are administered by Student Financial Supports. Please see Undergraduate Awards for more information about available scholarships and awards for continuing and convocating
undergraduate students. Chemistry specific awards can be found under the Science link and search on the keyword “Chemistry.” The application portal can be accessed through BearTracks and is available January 15 - April 1. Students do not have to apply for prizes, which go to students in a specific course(s). A smaller number of awards and prizes are administered by the Department of Chemistry, and further information is available here.

LAPTOP RECOMMENDATIONS. Any laptop capable of running a recent version of Mac OS, Windows or Linux will be good for Computing Science undergraduate work.

STRONG MATH BACKGROUND. Math plays a significant role in Computing Science therefore it is recommended that students with a major/minor in Computing Science have a background in Math 31 (Calculus).

PLAN AHEAD. Take courses that meet requirements for several CMPUT 300- and 400-level courses in case you do not always get
your first choice of courses.

ADVANTAGES FOR SPECIALIZATION/HONORS STUDENTS. The Department offers many unique special topics courses in later years as well as the opportunity to earn a Computer Game Development Certificate. Students in the Specialization or Honors streams are given priority for registration in these courses.

ADA’S TEAM. Offers answers to general questions about computing and tutoring.

COMPUTING SCIENCE ASSOCIATION. Striving to make life a better place for all Computing Science students at the U of A.

KNOW PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS. Be familiar with Specialization and Honors requirements; Environmental Earth Sciences, Geology and Paleontology streams require a year of pre-requisite courses if you wish to transfer to these in future years. Refer to Admission Chart 7 in the Calendar for details. Admission is competitive; meeting the minimum GPA requirements does not guarantee admission.

FIELD SCHOOL. Is a huge part of the hands-on training in an EAS degree. The Department of Earth & Atmospherics Sciences offers 7 field school courses. You can start taking them as early as second year, take enough and you can become certified with APEGA. Students in the Specialization and Honors streams of Environmental Earth Science and Geology are given priority. (*Note: Field Schools are mostly cancelled at this time due to the current health advisories, but this may change in the future. Contact the department for the most up-to-date information.)

COURSE RESTRICTIONS. Pay attention to course restrictions during registration. Many EAS courses have restrictions, pay attention to pre-requisites and go to the department if you experience issues.

ENROLL IN THE APPROPRIATE CALCULUS COURSE. MATH 114 has been replaced with the following three streams of calculus to satisfy the junior core requirement:

  • MATH 134 – Calculus for the Life Sciences I (biological focus)
  • MATH 144 – Calculus for the Physical Sciences I (physics focus)
  • MATH 154 - Calculus for Business and Economics I (social sciences focus)
  • MATH 117 - Honors Calculus I (honors version of first year calculus, must have Math 30-1 & Math 31, for those who want a challenge and excel in Math)

Notes: These courses are considered equivalent so register in the math course that interests you most. Some programs may require a specific stream. You are also able to mix and match. See the Department of Math here for a full explanation.

MATH & STATS Tip Sheet

AVAILABLE RESOURCES. The Decima Robinson Support Centre offers drop-in help, exam study sessions, review seminars throughout the year to any student taking MATH or STATS courses.

COMPUTER PROGRAMMING. Is part of our physics degrees and will be incorporated in your first year Honors/Specialization programs. Brush up on these programs before September to reduce your learning curve and get a head start:

  • Anaconda Python (a widely used high-level, general-purpose, interpreted, dynamic programming language, available for free download on the web).
  • Matlab is available through OnTheHub with your CCID.

STRONG MATH BACKGROUND. Math plays a significant role in a physics degree, review past material to make sure it’s still fresh in your mind. Students majoring/minoring in Physics or in the Honors/Specialization streams must have Physics 30. Although high school calculus (Math 31) is not required for entry into physics, it is highly recommended. Students without Math 31 are at an explicit disadvantage relative to those who have taken it. A Physics student can take either MATH 144 or 117.


USE RESOURCES AVAILABLE. The Physics Learning and Teaching Centre (CCIS L2-181) offers drop-in help for all first year Physics courses. The Centre normally opens 2 weeks after class starts.

*Note: The Physics Teaching and Learning Centre is closed during the pandemic but will resume in person when safe to do so.

HIGH SCHOOL COURSES. Math 30-1 is a prerequisite for enrolment in STAT 151, which is a required course for all Psychology programs. It is highly recommended that STAT 151 be completed early in the degree (i.e., first or second year), as it is a prerequisite for many senior level courses. Though not required, Biology 30 is helpful to have, as some Psychology courses review biological bases of behaviour, starting with the first courses students can take, PSYCH 104 or PSYCH 105. Previously, PSYCH 104 was a prerequisite for PSYCH 105, but now these courses can be taken in any order.

PSYCH 104/105 LABS. These will not be scheduled in your timetable. This component involves Research Participation, where students volunteer as participants in various research projects within the department. In the first 2 weeks of your 104/105 lecture sections, you will be given all necessary information about Research Participation and how to sign up. For full participation marks, you will need to participate in 5 research projects.

SPECIAL TOPICS COURSES. Psychology offers many unique special topics courses (limited enrolment) in later years, as well as a list differentiating between the offered Arts and Science Psychology courses. Be sure to take a look at the special topics course offerings early in your program, so that you can ensure completion of the required prerequisite courses.

RESEARCH IS IMPORTANT. There are different ways students can gain research experience during their degree. Senior level independent research courses allow students to earn course credit for engaging in real research with a faculty supervisor. In addition, students can always inquire about volunteer lab work, but for those who wish to gain experience with a research project from beginning to end, the Honors program would be a good choice. Students can begin their degree, explore some of what Psychology has to offer, and then apply to the Honors program during their second year. Research and thesis work occurs during the third and fourth year.

Registration Video Tutorials