Welcome to our Registration Resources

This is such an exciting time but we know how stressful it can be to navigate the course selection and registration process. Not to worry, we've got you covered! Every year we create a step-by-step guide to ensure you have all the resources to understand and successfully plan for your first year.


Science registration 101 module

Start the registration process by going through our online module for important information and tips.

Online Module

program requirements 2024/2025

Below are direct links to the U of A Calendar where you will find the requirements for your specific program. Always refer to the Calendar year corresponding to the year you were admitted.

BSc Major & BSc Honors      BSc/BEd Combined


What counts as a Science option or Outside option?

Science Option - Courses offered by the Faculty of Science.

Outside Option - Courses offered by other faculties, such as the Faculty of Arts, ALES, Native Studies, Medicine & Dentistry or Business. Some courses may be restricted to students in those programs before Faculty of Science students can register.

Use the Course Catalogue to find all of the different subjects offered by each faculty.

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.

How do I know what option courses are best for my degree program?

Option courses are up to you! Choose whatever seems interesting.

How do I meet my Communication/Writing Courses requirement?

Successful completion of a minimum of 6 units in English (ENGL) or Writing Studies (WRS). These courses can be completed at any time in your degree and do not need to be done in first year.

Note: Some courses may be restricted to certain groups of students (non-Sciences) to pay attention to any notes in Bear Tracks if you receive an error message when trying to register.

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.

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.

Help! I get an error message when trying to enroll in a course
First off, please read the message fully and any notes associated with the course itself. If you are restricted, there is usually a reason.

  • Do you have the pre/co-requisites for the course?
  • Is the course restricted to students with a specific Major/Minor?
  • 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.
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 100 level junior courses I can take?
Junior courses can be taken in any year of the program. Students in the Faculty of Science can take a maximum of *42 units of course weight at the junior level (100-level). Any junior courses in excess of *42 units 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 and all of your requirements can be found in the U of A Calendar.

  • 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 speak to an advisor who can help you submit a declaration form.
How easy is it to transfer programs?

Switching MajorsAdmission into certain Major subject areas is competitive and may require either an application or a simple internal form. Please speak to an advisor.

Switching Minors = Students can submit the SciForm AFTER they start their program in September.

Switching from Major to Honors (or vice versa) = An new program application is required.

Since transferring can only be done in the Fall term, you can mimic the course requirements for the new program in the meantime. Keep in mind that it's good to have a backup plan in the event you are not able to transfer.

Is an Honors 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).

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.

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.

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.

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. 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 program 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.

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.

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.