What does an Academic Advisor do?

Academic advisors provide advising support through regular contact with students. They can help you:

  • Navigate and understand the Academic Calendar
  • Investigate different programs, concentrations, certificates
  • Follow the correct procedure to add, drop or withdraw from a course
  • Understand the requirements for admission, transfer, or graduation
  • Get help from other services on campus to meet your individual needs.

When should I meet with an Academic Advisor?

You can meet with your Academic Advisor anytime. However, it is recommended you meet with your advisor prior to the registration period. During the registration period, advisors are very busy which can create extended waiting times. Meeting with your advisor during non-registration times has the advantage that you can talk about classes for the upcoming semester and also discuss an education plan or other academic matters that concern you. Ideally, you should meet with your advisor at least once a year.

What is a normal course load?

An average course load is five courses per semester for a total of 15 credits. Students need to take a minimum of 12 credits per semester (four courses) to be considered full-time. Less than 12 credits is considered part-time status, and it may have implications on loans and bursaries, scholarship applications, visa status, etc. Unless they have special permission from the Dean, students are not allowed to take more than 18 credits (lab credits not included) per semester.

How many credits are required to graduate?

A minimum of 120 lecture credits (lab credits not included) are required to graduate. Occasionally, students may exceed 120 credits, if the degree requirements are not yet met.

What is an elective course?

An elective is a course taken in a degree program which is not applicable to the Honours/Major requirements, but which counts towards the total requirements for the degree.

What is an exemption?

A student may be exempted from an introductory course at the University when comparable non-university course works has been completed elsewhere. No credit will be granted for the exemption.

What does corequisite mean?

A course in which a student must be registered concurrently (at the same time) in order to receive credit in the desired course.

What is an Honours?

An Honours program requires a high level of concentration in one area of study, normally about half of the total courses taken for a degree. It is recommended especially for students who intend to pursue graduate studies. A thesis is often required.

What is a Major?

A Major in any subject consists of slightly fewer than half of the total courses taken for a degree (normally about 48 credits excluding labs).

Can I change my academic program?

Yes. Students must normally have completed a minimum of one semester at the University before requesting a transfer.

In the event of an academic program change, the student must notify the Registrar’s Office by completing and returning the Degree/Program Change form with the appropriate signatures.

It is recommended that you meet with an Academic Advisor to make sure you understand the process and its implications.

What is a Minor? Do I need to declare a Minor in addition to my Major?

A Minor in any subject consists of about one-third of the total courses taken for a degree (normally 24 or 30 credits, excluding labs). It is not mandatory to declare a Minor, however, it is advisable that a Major in an academic discipline be combined with a Minor in a second discipline.

How do I add a Minor?

If you consider adding a Minor, consult with your academic advisor to explore your options. The academic advisor can then assist you in completing the Degree/Program Change form which must be approved by the Chair of the department in which you wish to add the Minor.