Open Studies students are students registered in selected credit courses and/or courses for audit but who are not in a specific degree or diploma program.
Admission and Registration
Admission and registration in Open Studies are administered by the Office of the Registrar and the Dean of Students.
Application and Admission
- Application: Applicants may apply for admission using the online or PDF application at www.registrarsoffice.ualberta.ca. A nonrefundable fee must accompany each application. Documentation of past education is usually not required; see (2) below.
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- English Language Proficiency: See Language Proficiency Requirements for further information. For admission purposes, documentation may be required to confirm that English Language Proficiency has been met.
- “Required to Withdraw”: Students who have been required to withdraw from Open Studies at the University of Alberta may not apply to Open Studies for a period of twelve months from the date of last attendance. Students who have been required to withdraw more than once from Open Studies are not eligible for readmission to Open Studies.
- Admission into Open Studies does not guarantee admission/readmission into other programs at the University of Alberta. Courses taken through Open Studies are not guaranteed to transfer into other programs at the University of Alberta.
- Students who have been required to withdraw from the University of Alberta for unsatisfactory academic performance must seek advice from their Faculty prior to registering in Open Studies as this may impact their readmission.
- Course Load: Maximum registration is normally ★6 per term. Exceptions to this are for the following University of Alberta initiatives:
- Fresh Start Program
- Transition Year Program
- Visiting Student Certificate Program
- Exceptional Student Athlete Applicants
Students registered in these initiatives may be registered in more than ★6 for the period in which they are enrolled.
- Cumulative Course Weight: Normally, ★30 may be completed in Open Studies.
- Fall/Winter: The registration period for Fall/Winter begins in mid-March for continuing students and in April for newly admitted students. Please refer to the Registration and Courses menu at www.registrarsoffice.ualberta.ca for details, registration information and deadlines
Most courses can be added by using the Bear Tracks web registration system. Courses that are available to Open Studies students are designated in Bear Tracks Course Catalog by the symbol. Some courses are available on a delayed registration basis only and are designated by the symbol. Registration for such courses is permitted the last week in August. Students requesting a course other than the approved courses must obtain consent from the Department offering that course.
- Spring/Summer: Open Studies students wishing to register in Spring/Summer should consult Spring/Summer Studies at www.registrarsoffice.ualberta.ca and the Course and Class Information on Bear Tracks (https://www.beartracks.ualberta.ca)
- Fees are assessed and are due and payable in accordance with the fees regulations set out in Fees Payment Guide .
- Open Studies students wishing to audit courses must follow Auditors . Fresh Start Program students and Exceptional Student Athletes are not permitted to register as Auditors or to change from credit to audit. In addition to instructor consent, audit registrations for Open Studies students are subject to the permission of the Office of the Registrar. Audit registrations will not be counted in the ★6 term course load maximum nor the ★30 cumulative course weight maximum. Audit registrations do not contribute to full-time student status.
Students are responsible for the completeness and accuracy of their registration. They are also responsible for adjustments in registration made necessary by changes to their academic status.
Students are responsible for ensuring that they have the necessary prerequisites and corequisites for courses. Refer to Prerequisite Course Requirements and Corequisite Course Requirements for more information.
Changes in Registration
Changes in registration may be made without penalty until the end of the registration period. After this deadline, students who wish to add courses (if permitted), withdraw from courses, or withdraw from the University must complete the appropriate forms at the Office of the Registrar (see Major Deadlines from the 2016-2017 Academic Schedule for further information). Students may not abandon a course; failure to properly withdraw may result in the assignment of a failing grade.
- Assessment of Academic Standing: Academic standing will be assessed on the basis of a grade point average (GPA). Refer to Grade Point Average (GPA) for rules of computation of the GPA. Students are expected to maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0. Students who do not maintain this level of academic performance may be permitted to continue under academic warning or may be required to withdraw. A review of academic performance is conducted for each student at the end of each Fall/Winter and Spring/Summer. The assignment and reassignment of categories of academic standing are based on a student’s performance in a minimum of ★9 within Open Studies. If, at the time of the first review, the student has attempted fewer than ★9 within Open Studies, the assignment of an academic standing category will be deferred until a minimum of ★9 has been attempted within Open Studies. Subsequent assessments will be made once a further ★9 has been attempted within Open Studies and will be based upon only the courses attempted within Open Studies since the previous assessment. If, at the time of review, a student has attempted fewer than ★9 since the last assignment of an academic standing category, the review will be deferred and the academic standing assigned at the last review will remain in effect until the next review.
- Categories of Academic Standing:
Satisfactory Standing: Students with a GPA of 2.0 or greater may continue in Open Studies.
Marginal Standing: Students with a GPA of 1.7 to 1.9 inclusive will be placed under academic warning. If the student’s GPA falls below 2.0 at the time of the next review, the student will be required to withdraw.
Unsatisfactory Standing: Students with a GPA of 1.6 or below will be required to withdraw from Open Studies.
- Reexaminations: See Reexaminations .
Procedures exist to enable Open Studies students to appeal certain decisions regarding academic and nonacademic matters. Formal appeals are often avoidable and students are therefore encouraged, in the first instance, to seek advice from the Office of the Registrar at Student Connect located on the main floor of the Administration Building. Telephone inquiries may be directed to (780) 492-3113, 1-855-492-3113 or you can use our Contact Form.
- Grade Appeals: Students who wish to appeal a ruling relating to a grade, examination result or standing in a particular course should consult the appeals policy of the Faculty offering the course.
- Discipline Offences: Students who wish to appeal a discipline offence ruling (plagiarism, cheating, etc.) should follow the procedures stated in the Code of Student Behavior (see Code of Student Behaviour ).
- Academic Standing: Open Studies students who wish to appeal a decision affecting their academic standing as described in Academic Standing should direct their appeal in the first instance to the Assistant Registrar, Records, Registration and Fees. Copies of the Open Studies academic appeal procedures and regulations are available from the Office of the Registrar at Student Connect located on the main floor of the Administration Building. Telephone inquiries may be directed to (780) 492-3113, 1-855-492-3113 or you can use our Contact Form.
See also Appeals and Grievances for a discussion of General Faculties Council policies regarding appeals and grievances.
Fresh Start Program
The Fresh Start Program makes it possible for students in participating Faculties to remain on campus while attempting to re-establish satisfactory standing and regain eligibility for readmission to the Faculty in which they were originally registered or to another Faculty.
Students may not apply directly to Fresh Start, they must be recommended by their Faculty. Participating Faculties include Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences; Arts; Education; Engineering; Faculté Saint-Jean; Native Studies; Nursing; Physical Education and Recreation; and Science.
Students who were registered in a first qualifying year within the Faculty of Engineering (students directly from high school or with less than 15.0 engineering units of transfer credit) may be recommended to Fresh Start.
Students in these participating Faculties will be admitted to the Fresh Start Program if they
- are recommended for admission to this program by their Faculty,
- have taken less than ★60, including the work completed during the academic year under review,
- have a GPA of 1.3 - 1.6 at the end of the Fall/Winter term,
- are assigned unsatisfactory standing and are required to withdraw (RTW),
- have not been previously required to withdraw from any postsecondary institution, and
- agree to comply with the requirements of the program.
Requirements of the Fresh Start Program
- The Fresh Start Program runs each Fall/Winter and is completed at the end of Winter Term.
- Students with a GPA of 1.9 or greater may be permitted to register for classes during Spring Term to re-establish satisfactory standing. Students who achieve the minimum GPA but, do not complete the required credit load in Fall/Winter may be permitted to register for Spring Term courses to make up the credit load deficiency. All Spring registration must be approved by the Fresh Start Academic Advisor and will be handled on a case by case basis.
- Students recommended for the Fresh Start Program must meet with the Fresh Start Academic Advisor to receive information concerning the program’s policies, procedures, requirements, application form, and to plan their individual Fresh Start Programs.
- Students admitted to the Fresh Start Program will be permitted only one registration in the program.
- Students are required to enrol in the Fresh Start Program in the academic year following assessment of unsatisfactory standing and being required to withdraw from a Faculty unless other arrangements are made in advance with the Dean of that Faculty.
- Students normally take a reduced course load with no more than ★24 in one Fall/Winter. The Faculty from which the student was required to withdraw may specify a minimum and/or maximum number of courses to be taken in a given time period.
- All students are required to take either a workshop entitled “Cognitive Strategies for Academic Success” from the Academic Support Centre (for which a fee will be assessed) or EDU 200 (regular University fees apply). Remedial instruction or other assistance such as math help, effective writing, time management, study skills, EAP courses, etc., may be required as assessed by the Faculty from which the student was required to withdraw, the Fresh Start Program Academic Advisor and/or the Academic Support Centre.
- In order to prepare the student for readmission, the recommending Faculty may provide a list of courses that the student should take while enrolled in the Fresh Start Program. Students who do not wish to reenroll in the program from which they were required to withdraw should, with the help of the Fresh Start Program Academic Advisor, select courses relevant to the program to which they wish to apply upon reestablishing satisfactory academic standing.
- Students may not take more than a total ★24 in the Fresh Start Program.
- Upon completion of the Fresh Start Program, consideration for admission or readmission to any Faculty requires Satisfactory Academic Standing (see Academic Standing).
Assessment of Academic Standing is conducted for each student at the end of Fall/Winter regardless of whether the student was registered in one or both terms.
Satisfactory Standing: Awarded to a student who obtains a GPA of 2.7 or greater on a minimum of ★18 or a GPA of 2.0 or greater on a minimum of ★24. In addition, all students must have successfully completed “Cognitive Strategies for Academic Success” or achieved a grade of D or greater in EDU 200.
Unsatisfactory Standing: Students who do not maintain satisfactory academic standing will be required to withdraw and will not be considered for readmission to the University of Alberta.
Visiting Student Certificate Program
The Visiting Student Certificate Program (VSCP) is a unique program which allows international students the opportunity to spend one calendar year at the University of Alberta enrolled in intensive English as a second language classes as well as regular academic courses alongside Canadian students.
Requirements of the Visiting Student Certificate Program
- The Visiting Student Certificate Program is offered through the Office of the Registrar, Open Studies in concert with the International Centre, International Student Services (ISS). International Student Services will assist in the program’s administration, student recruitment, ongoing student advising, and support services.
- Students in the Visiting Student Certificate Program are bona fide students of other universities or colleges who have been permitted to take one or more courses for transfer credit to their own institutions. The Institutions will have agreed in advance to such an arrangement.
- Completed VSCP application form with a signature from an official of the student’s home institution;
- An official transcript (in English translation) of all completed course work;
- A letter of support from a professor at the student’s home institution;
- TOEFL score, if available
- The Visiting Student Certificate Program is designed to accommodate the participation of international students whose home university academic calendars are not synchronous with the University of Alberta’s Calendar. There are four possible start dates: May 1, July 1, September 1 and January 1.
Note: The application deadlines are January 15 for a May 1 start, April 15 for a July 1 start, June 15 for a September 1 start and October 15 for a January 1 start.
- Students participate in the English Language Program (ELP) at the Faculty of Extension during the first two to four months of the Visiting Student Certificate Program.
- After the initial period of participation in intensive English language instruction, students move to regular academic work for either credit or audit depending on their performance in the English Language Program and the assessment of the Academic Advisor. Students may take up to ★9 in each subsequent academic term. If students have successfully completed EAP 145 they can take ★15 in each subsequent academic term. Students can take EAP 140 , EAP 145 for credit.
- If EAP 140 is successfully completed during the English Language Program portion of the VSCP, the student would earn ★3. (See English Language School Programs .)
- If EAP 140 and EAP 145 are successfully completed during the English Language Program portion of VSCP, the student would earn ★6.
Subject to the approval of the academic advisor, students enrolled in EAP 140 or EAP 145 for credit during the English Language Program portion of VSCP can take up to ★6 additional academic credits during that term. All credits earned during the English Language Program portion of VSCP are in addition to the credits the student can earn during each of the subsequent academic terms.
- Students must maintain satisfactory academic standing as specified in Academic Standing while registered in the Visiting Student Certificate Program.
- Students receive a Certificate of Participation in the Visiting Student Certificate Program and a U of A transcript. Transfer credit to their undergraduate degree is granted by their home institution.
To receive a Certificate of Participation, students must complete the intensive daytime English Language Program and write the post-test, take at least one regular academic course for credit or audit, demonstrate satisfactory attendance in all classes, complete all assignments and exams, participate in an extracurricular commitment, attend all VSCP meetings and interviews, and have no outstanding fees or fines to the University of Alberta.
Exceptional Student Athlete Applicants
Prospective students who do not meet the normal admission requirements for entrance to degree programs may be considered for admission under this category. Successful applicants will be approved to register as Open Studies students in a maximum of ★12 per term. If granted, this approval will be permitted for a maximum of one Fall and Winter term only, after which students must apply to a degree program in order to continue.
Admission Requirements for Exceptional Student Athlete Applicants
- All applicants must meet the admission criteria for Open Studies as stated in Application and Admission, as well as that for Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) eligibility, and must consult with Faculties that they intend to apply for following their Open Studies registration.
- All applicants must display a level of sport performance that
- can be documented objectively by an independent external source (i.e., league commissioner, national team coaching staff) and possess athletic prowess that would be acceptable to any CIS participating institution
- requires a minimum annual average of 15 training/competition hours per week in the year immediately before application to the University of Alberta.
- All applicants must submit an application for admission to the Office of the Registrar together with all high school and postsecondary transcripts.
- In addition to (3), all applicants must file additional documentation to the Exceptional Student Athletes Admission Committee in the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation. This documentation will attest to their eligibility as an exceptional athlete (see (2) above). This documentation is then screened by the Committee to ensure the above eligibility criteria have been met. Applicants from non-CIS sports will not be considered.
- The application for admission and all relevant material must be submitted no later than August 1.
Transition Year Program
The University of Alberta encourages Aboriginal students to apply for entrance to its degree programs through the normal admission categories as detailed in Admission Requirements by Faculty . Prospective students who do not meet these requirements may be eligible for admission by successfully completing the Transition Year Program. See Transition Year Program for Aboriginal Applicants .