Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Admission and program changes FAQ

01. I'm a current Science student. How will the new degrees impact me?

Your degree is not impacted and you may continue as normal. Students currently enrolled in a BSc General, BSc Specialization and BSc Honors degree and those admitted for Fall 2023 may finish their programs. 


We are no longer admitting into these degrees after September 2023.  The BSc/BEd degree remains unchanged


For more details visit the New Degree FAQ page.


02. I have been admitted for Fall 2023. Can I defer my admission to January 2024?

Yes. Students who are facing challenges and need to begin their studies in January 2024 may do so. Please ensure you check all guidelines around your study permits/visas, scholarships, awards, and tuition payments before making this decision.


  1. It is your responsibility to remove any Fall 2023 courses from your class schedule before the Fall Term Registration Deadline.  
  2. It is your responsibility to register for your Winter 2024 courses by the Winter Term Registration Deadline. (If for some reason you cannot attend in January, you must drop those classes by that date) 
  3. If you have already secured housing through Residence Services, you must contact them directly to make alternate arrangements.
  4.  If you decide to sit out for the entire year, and not register in Fall 2022 and Winter 2023, your file will be inactivated after the Winter Term Registration Deadline. You will then need to reapply if you wish to attend in the future. 

03. I have been admitted for Fall 2023. Can I defer my admission by one year to September 2024?
No.  It is not possible to defer your admission to next fall (September 2024).  Our current degrees have been discontinued and we are unable to hold seats in these programs. If you are unable to start your studies then you will need to re-apply.
Note: This cannot be appealed.  
See here for information on the new degree structure
04. With the creation of the College structure, will Faculty of Science students then be able to take science classes offered through the faculties of ALES and Engineering to fulfill those Science credits? Or will they still be restricted to Faculty of Science courses only?
Students will continue to follow the degree program requirements to which they were admitted. ALES and Engineering courses would continue to be counted as outside options unless otherwise specified by their program requirements.
05. Will the restructure make it easier for students looking to switch between faculties or will that also remain unchanged?
Applying to another program in another Faculty will remain unchanged, meaning you would need to submit an application through LaunchPad by the application deadline.

General FAQ

01. What if I have a technical issue during an online assessment or exam?

The shift to remote delivery has prompted the need to also shift the tools that the University of Alberta uses for assessment and assessment processes. Under both in-person and online circumstances, we understand that assessments can be stressful. In remote settings, though, stress can often be exacerbated by technical difficulties that may arise outside of instructor or student control. Please use this guide for recommended steps in the event of a technical issue.

02. How do I meet with an Advisor?

We offer individual 20-minute appointments through the Google Meet platform. 

Advising hours are Monday through Thursday, 9:00 am - 3:00 pm. You can book an appointment through our website.

*To assist with the high volume of in-person inquiries at the start of the term. Individual advising appointments will be paused from September 1-15.  Advisors will be available at the counter for drop-in instead.

03. How do I deny my AP/IB/GCE credit?

You can decline your transfer credit by submitting the AP or IB or GCE Decline Transfer Credit Form to your Faculty Student Services office.  Be aware of the deadline that is listed on the form.

For more information, please see the Undergraduate Admissions and Program website.

04. How do I change my Program?

Applications open October 1, 2023. The deadline is March 1, 2024, to apply for, or transfer to, a new program for Fall 2024.

If you want to accept an offer of admission to a new program, you must transfer your registration in Bear Tracks using the "change program" function by the Add/Delete deadline of the Fall term
05. How do I get a Degree Assessment?
If you are in a Specialization or Honors program, you must meet with your Department Advisor. You can find a list of Department Advisors on our website or in the Student Services Office.

If you are in the BSc General program, sign into Bear Tracks and use the Academic Advisement Tool to see your remaining degree requirements
06. How to get a letter for status of degree?
Go to SCIForms and go to documents request to get letters for the progress of degree for a study permit.
07. When do Labs & Seminars start?
Most labs and seminars do not start until the second week of classes, but it may vary depending on the course. You should be told in your first lecture when the labs & seminars begin. Some courses list their lab start dates in the class notes on Bear Tracks.
08. How do I get help with BearTracks?

The Bear Tracks user guide is accessible from the bottom menu of the sign-on page. It can also be located here: 

Assistance is available at Student Services Centre

09. How do I get to my classroom?
Students can access a campus map through the U of A website.
10. How do I get a "Confirmation of enrolment"?
You can get a "Certificate of enrolment" from the Office of the Registrar (Administration Building) or through your BearTracks account.
11. How do I load money on my One Card?
You can load money from an Automatic Deposit Machine at:
  • Cameron Library
  • Coutts Education Library
  • Rutherford Library
  • Scott Health Sciences Library
  • Students' Union Building
  • Weir Law Library
  • Winspear Business Library
  • Engineering Teaching Learning Complex (ETLC)
  • You can load money from Cash, Cheque, Credit Card or Debit at:
  • OneCard office, 9104 HUB Mall (right next to A&W)
12. How do I declare or change my Major or Minor?
You can declare or change your Major and Minor by submitting a 'Statement of Major and Minor' form through SCIForms.
13. What buildings are open?
Please check here for an updated list of buildings and access hours.
14. How do I keep up to date on changes to the semester?
The Campus Life page has updated information on the Fall and Winter terms. Please check it frequently.


01. Where can I get an overview of course registration?
A list of registration resources, instructions, dates and deadlines visit here.
02. I am in another time zone, and taking online courses at the time listed will mean I will be going to school in the middle of the night?
Courses offered synchronously may have lectures recorded to review later. Some courses will be taught asynchronously to allow for various time zones, which means although you have a "time" for class, you can access it at a time best suited to your schedule and time zone. Instructors will have specific details as to how their course will be taught, and will share with students as they become available. If synchronous tests are on the syllabus, please contact your instructor.
03. Can I take two classes that are scheduled at the same time?
You are not permitted to register for courses that are taught at the same time - regardless of its synchronous or asynchronous delivery. While the courses are online, instructors may use the class time for instruction (synchronous), which means you would miss the lecture component of the class. In addition, they may schedule quizzes or exams during that time, in which you would have a conflict. Final exams are also based on the date and time of the course, which means there would be a final exam conflict.
04. What technology do I need to be successful at remote learning?
Computing recommendations can be found here.
05. I am trying to register in courses but they are full. What do I do?
Course availability will continue to change until the Add/Delete deadline, 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. This feature is set up as “first come first serve” so whomever claims the available space first will be registered. 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.
06. I can't get into a class via Bear Tracks, I get an error message?

First off, read the message that will inform you of the reason you are unable to enroll in the class. If that doesn't help then:

  • check the listed pre/co-requisites
  • check “Class Notes” to see if it's restricted to a specific Major/Minor, if you're "Undeclared", then you'll want to declare your Major/Minor with your home faculty
  • check “Subject Notes” if any Priority Restrictions (ie: date for when the enrolment is opened up to all students instead of specific groups/cohorts of students (ex: 4th years or XXX Majors) are in effect
  • 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.
  • check to see if it has a Status of a blue square (“Closed (Contact Department)”), which requires students to speak with the Teaching Department for that class to get enrolment assistance
07. I want to waive a prerequisite so I can get into a senior class, how do I do that?
Do not register for a course if you do not have the prerequisite. You risk getting a poor grade and you will not receive credit for the course if you do not have the prerequisites completed prior to registration.
08. I have questions about Lectures/Labs/Seminars for various classes?
Speak with the teaching Department that controls that lecture/lab/seminar, they will have more information for you.
09. Is there a limit to how many junior courses I can take?
Students in the Faculty of Science may not take more than *42 units of course weight at the junior level (100-level). Any junior credits in excess of *42 units of course weight will be declared extra to your BSc degree. Junior courses can be taken in any year of the program.
10. What counts as a Science option?
Any course offered by the Faculty of Science is a science option. NOTE, courses offered by ALES are not science options (ie: Plant Science, or PL SC, is NOT a Science option, it would be considered an outside option).

Science options: Courses offered by the Faculty of Science - includes additional courses in your Major and Science Minor.
Arts options: 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 JR core also count towards Arts options.
Outside options: Courses not offered by the Faculty of Science or Arts
11. What courses should I enroll in?

Check your degree requirements on the left hand side of the page or review the Academic Requirements tool in BearTracks.

REMEMBER: You need to follow the requirements from the year you were admitted. Current and previous calendars can be found here, Also, please pay special attention to when you entered the General program as the requirements are different for those admitted prior to 2014.


  • 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 levels.
  • If you have not declared your major or minor, simply go to SCIForms
  • If there is one area you particularly like, find out more about what programs are available in specialization/honors/specific area.
12. 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 physical years spent at the University of Alberta, it's 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"

13. Does 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 a Science or Biological Sciences courses in the Faculty of Science. ANAT courses are considered to be Outside Options in the BSc General program. In each BSc General degree there is room for up to 18 units of course weight of Non-Arts, Non-Science (Outside) Options. 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.
14. How many classes should I take each term?
That depends on the program to which you have been admitted. Each program has its own course load requirement that you must follow. Refer to the calendar first, to find the minimum course load you are required to take. For example, most Specialization and Honors programs require students to successfully complete a minimum of *24 credits each Fall/Winter. However, some programs require only *18 credits or *30 credits each Fall/Winter. When in doubt refer to the calendar or speak with an advisor.
General Science students do not have course load requirements and can take up to 5 courses per term.

NOTE: Some scholarships, awards or loans require you to carry a specific course load. Keep this in mind when registering for courses.
15. How many courses should I take to be a full-time student?
A course load less than *9 (less than 3 courses) is classified as part time. A course load of *9 or more (3 courses or more) is classified as full time.
16. Do I have to take English in my first year?
The requirement is to complete 6 credits in English (ENGL or WRS courses) by the time you graduate. You do not have to take both of your English courses in the first year, some students choose to get them out of the way in first year, but other options are to take them in Spring/Summer or in future years. As long as they are completed by the time you graduate.
17. How do I meet my English Jr Core Requirement?
You can meet this by completing *6 from the following
ENGL 102, ENGL 103, ENGL 108 or ENGL 125.
WRS 100, WRS 101, WRS 102, or WRS 104 (max *3 in WRS)
Note: The ENGL requirements for JR core also count towards the Arts option total.
18. Do Spring and Summer courses count towards my degree?
Yes they do. They will count towards your degree. Major GPA and fulfill prerequisites when applicable, and can be used in graduation requirements. Academic Standing (which determines if a student can move forward in their degree one year to the next) is determined on Fall and Winter term courses only

Academic Advisement Report

01. When will I have access to my Academic Advisement Report?
New students to the University of Alberta will need to accept their Faculty of Science admission offer and have paid the tuition deposit.
02. How can I access my Academic Advisement Report in Bear Tracks?
  1. Sign on to Bear Tracks
  2. Under Academics>Plan, click on Academic Requirements
03. What is my report showing me?
It is important that you review your report carefully to understand:
  • What requirements have been met with courses you have successfully completed and/or with your courses in progress AND
  • What requirements are still outstanding and require completion.

Starting at the top, you will see:

  1. Date and time your report was last generated: Reports regenerate periodically when triggered by processes such as changes in course enrolment .
  2. Links: collapse all, expand all and view report as pdf: You can collapse or expand all sections of your report
  3. Legend symbols: Your courses will be either "Taken" (green circle with a check on it) or "In Progress" (yellow diamond). The symbols will display in the column next to grades:
  4. Requirements will be Satisfied or Not Satisfied: The report will have requirements collapsed, expanded or a combination of the two when it first appears on your screen.
    a. Collapse (arrow pointing sideways to the right) means the requirement is satisfied (you can click on the collapsed arrow to see courses, their descriptions, units, terms, grades and legend for the courses used). Note the report will collapse requirements when you meet them with either courses in progress as well as with courses you have already completed.

    b. Expand (arrow pointing down) means the requirement is not satisfied.

5. Units required, taken and needed to complete requirements:

(12.00 same as credits *12)

  • "required" number of units required to satisfy the requirement
  • "taken" number of units in progress and/or completed used by the requirement
  • "needed" number of units not in progress and/or completed but still needed to satisfy the requirement
04. What are the different sections in my report?

Student Responsibility: Refers to your responsibilities as a student completing your BSc General program and it contains the link to form Report an Issue.

Faculty of Science Program Information: Contains the Calendar year of when you were admitted to your program, specifics about your program, major(s) and/or minor and information about your academic standing in the Faculty of Science.

Registration: Shows your recent term(s) registration, including courses completed and/or in progress.

Junior Core Requirement: Reports how your courses fit into the junior requirements including: English, Physical Sciences, Mathematical Sciences and Laboratory Sciences.

Major Requirement: Shows specific requirements in your chosen major(s) according to the UofA Calendar.

Minor Requirement: If you have a minor, shows specific requirements in your chosen minor according to the UofA Calendar.

Options: Lists all courses applicable to your degree but not applied to the junior core, major(s) and minor requirements.

Program Summary: Displays where credits fit in the different areas of your degree.

Courses Not Used: Lists credits not used toward your degree.

05. How do I report inaccuracies or discrepancies in my report?
Review your report and read throughout before submitting your enquiry by completing form Report an Issue. A link to this form also appears in your report under Student Responsibility (RG 10170). The Faculty of Science will review your submission and make adjustments which you will be able to review once you have been contacted by email.
06. Why does my report show many or double requirements?

This may be happening because you are active in more than one program. This will be sorted out after the Fall delete deadline when you will be active in only one program. You may still be able to view how your courses fit into one program by running a What-if Report (Academics>Plan, click on What-if Report) for that program.

Calculators for Faculty of Science courses

1. Buying a new calculator?

The Faculty of Science has a policy in place to determine which calculators are able to be used in midterm and final exams for all undergraduate courses. The policy is in place to ensure fairness on exams and ensure students are not using calculators that have communication abilities.

The policy considers calculators to be either programmable or non-programmable. Individual instructors then determine which of the following three options they will allow students to use during exams:

  1. Approved programmable or non-programmable calculators
  2. Approved non-programmable calculators only
  3. No calculators during examinations.

This information will be indicated on the course syllabus that is provided by each instructor at the beginning of every course.

2. Only the following calculators will be approved
Approved Non-Programmable Calculators:
  • Hewlett Packard Model HP 10S, HP 10S+
  • CASIO FX-115MS Plus or CASIO FX-115ES Plus
  • Texas Instruments Model TI-30X IIB, TI-30X IIS or TI-30XS MultiView
  • Texas Instruments Model TI-36X Pro
  • CASIO FX-991ES PLUS (Natural Express)
  • CASIO FX-991MS

Approved Programmable Calculators:

  • Texas Instrument Models TI-83 Plus & Higher
  • TI-83 Plus
  • TI-83 Plus Silver Edition
  • TI-84 Plus
  • TI-84 Plus Silver Edition
  • TI-Nspire CAS
  • TI-Nspire CAS (with touchpad)
  • TI-Nspire CX
  • TI-89 Titanium
  • Voyage 200
3. Where can I get a calculator sticker?

Calculator stickers will not be required for the 2023-2024 Academic year.