Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Academic Advisement Report

  • 01. When will I have access to my Academic Advisement Report?
    Once you have accepted your Faculty of Science admission offer and you have paid your tuition fees.

  • 02. How can I access my Academic Advisement Report in Bear Tracks?
    1. Sign on to Bear Tracks

           b. Under Academics>Plan, click on Academic Requirements

  • 03. What is my report showing me?
    1. 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 enrollment.
    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.


  • 01. I am trying to register in courses but they are 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 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.
  • 02. 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 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 with Department offering the course for any Priority Restrictions (ie: date for when the enrollment is opened up to all students instead of specific groups/cohorts of students (ex: 4th years or XXX Majors)
      • 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.
  • 03. 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.
  • 04. 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.
  • 05. 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.
  • 06. 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
  • 07. What courses should I enroll in?

    Check your degree requirements on the left hand side of the page.

    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.
  • 08. 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”

  • 09. 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 12 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.
  • 10. How many classes should I take each term?
    That depends on the program to which you have been admitted. Each program has a 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, students in our Honors Neuroscience, Honors Biochemistry, Honors Physiology, Honors Pharmacology and Honors Psychology programs must take 30 credits in each fall/winter (5 courses each term).

    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.
  • 11. 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.
  • 12. 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. 
  • 13. How do I meet my English Jr Core Requirement?

    You can meet this by completing *6 from the following

    ENGL 102, ENGL 103 or ENGL 125.  

    WRS 101 or WRS 102 (max *3 in WRS)

    Note: The ENGL requirements for JR core also count towards the Arts option total.

General FAQ

  • 01. How do I meet with an Advisor?

    We offer advising by appointment Wednesday through Friday, or drop in advising on Mondays and Tuesdays from 8:30-2:30. 

    You can book an appointment through our website
    Drop-in advising is offered between 8:30-3:00 on Mondays and Tuesdays.

  • 02. 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.

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

  • 03. How do I change my Program?

    The deadline is March 1, 2019 to apply for, or transfer to, a new program for Fall 2019.
    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.

  • 04. 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

  • 05. How to get a letter for status of degree?
    Go to SCIForms and go to documents request to get letters for progress of degree for study permit.
  • 06. 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.

  • 07. How do I get help with BearTracks?
    Bear Tracks assistance is available at Student Connect on the main floor of the Administration Building or by phone 780-492-7172.
  • 08. How do I get to my classroom?

    Students can access a campus map through the U of A website.

  • 09. How do I get a “Confirmation of Enrollment”?

    You can get a “Certificate of Enrollment” from the Office of the Registrar (Administration Building) or through your BearTracks account.

  • 10. 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)

  • 11. How to 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.
  • 12. Where do I get my books?
    Books (new and used) and booklists are available at the University Bookstore located in the Students’ Union Building (SUB).

  • 13. When do I buy my books?

    Books become available in the University of Alberta Bookstore near the end of August. You can find the list of required books for your courses online by entering your Student ID number. We suggest that if you purchase your books before classes begin, keep them wrapped until you have attended class and the professor has confirmed the book list; otherwise, if the book list changes, or you drop the course by the Delete deadline, it may be difficult to return or exchange your textbooks. The book list will be indicated on the course syllabus given out by the professor on the first day of class. You can investigate the availability of second-hand books, but be sure they are the right editions. Some professors provide a list of numerous editions that are acceptable for use in their class. Try not to wait too long to purchase your books because they may run out of copies and you will fall behind in your reading.

Calculator stickers for the 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 communications 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?

    Any calculator taken into an examination must have a sticker identifying it as an approved programmable (green sticker) or approved non-programmable calculator (gold sticker). Students can purchase calculators at the University Book Store or off campus. You can bring calculators to the following locations where the appropriate sticker will be affixed to the calculator.

    Department of Chemistry Undergraduate Office
    W4-39 Chemistry Centre
    Hours: Monday to Friday, 8:00 am - 4:00 pm (closed over the lunch hour)

    Department of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences
    632 Central Academic Building
    Hours: Monday to Friday, 8:00 am - 4:30 pm (closed over the lunch hour)
    Department of Physics 
    4-181 CCIS
    Hours: Monday to Friday, 8:00 am - 4:00 pm (closed over the lunch hour)

    Faculty of Science Student Services 
    1-001 CCIS
    Hours: Monday to Friday, 8:15 am - 4:15 pm