Students walk by the Arts Students' Centre

First year student FAQ

Welcome to the Faculty of Arts. Have questions? We're here to help!


Access our registration guide

See the how-to register guides on the Registrar's Office website. There's also New Student Registration Assistance at certain times of the year.

You can review the schedule and add courses to your shopping cart as soon as they become available. We recommend that you think about what courses you want to register in before your Enrolment Appointment.

No, the Shopping Cart Validation function does not enroll you in the courses. It only checks for any issues that may arise when it comes time to enroll.

You can check to see if a wait list is available. If it is, you can add yourself to the course wait list. If the course does not have a wait list, or the wait list is full, then you will need to keep checking on the course to see if space becomes available.

No, having a course in your shopping cart is distinct from being on the wait list. You must complete the transaction to either register in the course or add yourself to the wait list.

Each term has last day to 'add' and 'drop' dates. The 'drop' date is the last day you can drop a course without financial penalty, while the 'add' date is the last day you can add a course for a given term.

Restrictions hold seats in a course for specific categories of students. This allows them to get into a required course for their program that may otherwise fill up with non-majors who want to take the course as an option. You can check to see when the restrictions will lift. Once they do, you can register in the course if there is still space remaining.

Pre-requisites must be completed before you can enroll in a given course. Co-requisites are two courses that can be taken at the same time. Anti-requisites are two courses that cannot both be taken for credit.

Course selection

The number of courses you should take in the first year is subjective.

We recommend that you take all the specific course requirements in the First-year Degree Guide and the two science options (if applicable). It may take longer to complete your program if you take fewer than five courses per term.

Or, you can try to make up the difference in Spring or Summer terms, but be aware that fewer courses are offered outside of Fall and Winter and some courses that are required for degree progression may not be offered at all.

Open options are freely chosen elective courses. Most Faculty of Arts students will take a significant number of open options throughout their program.

Most Faculty of Arts programs require the completion of 6 units of science options. These consist of any courses offered by the Faculty of Science. It is strongly recommended, though not required, that you complete them in your first year.

No, you must complete at least 18 units at the 200-level before you can take a 300-level course. This precludes almost all first-year students from taking 300-level courses.

You can register in 300-level courses if you have received at least 18 units of AP/IB/GCE credit and have the necessary pre-requisites. But be aware that the expectations for students in 300-level courses are much higher than 200-levels and are very different from high school.

You should register in the required courses for the major you have been admitted to. You can adjust your registration later if you are admitted into your first choice.

As an Arts Undeclared student, you have the opportunity to explore different subjects to help you determine where you would like to focus your studies in future years.

You can also consider booking an exploratory advising appointment to help make your decision on your future studies.

If you already have a specific program in mind, you can attempt to register in the required courses for that program. Keep in mind that you will not have priority registration in many required courses.

Yes, but you should review the School of Languages, Linguistics, Literatures and Cultures' language placement page to see where you should be placed.

General questions

Yes, we require that you correspond with us using a UCalgary email address if you are a current student.

This is a change of program, which you can do through your Student Centre.

The application opens in October with a deadline of February 1 and the change will be made for the next Fall term. Some programs may have a competitive GPA or other admission requirements associated with them. If the program you want to change into is not under the Faculty of Arts, you should speak to the advising office of the school or faculty that houses the program if you have any questions.

Course outlines become available shortly before the start of term. You can find them on the course D2L.

Direct your question on the course content to the professor or, if applicable, the teaching assistant(s).