Parents and Families

As a parent or family member, you play an important role in helping your student make the right choices and get the most out of their university experience. This web page contains tips and information on how you can support your student as they begin their university journey.

The University of Alberta is a diverse and welcoming community of students, professors, and staff – a thriving city-within-a-city that still retains a small-campus feel. We are ranked as one of the Top 5 universities in Canada and Top 100 in the world.

Why UAlberta?

Value of a Degree

Today's employers are seeking employees with global awareness, critical-thinking skills, problem-solving abilities, and strong communication and interpersonal skills. These are all skills developed and honed through a university education. Bachelor's-degree graduates have a 75 per cent lifetime income advantage ($1.4 million) over those with other types of trades certificates and diplomas.

Program Options

As a top-tiered, research-based university, we are able to offer students a wide range of programs suited to a variety of career goals and aspirations, including 200+ undergraduate program options across 16 faculties and three teaching campuses. The best way to explore all of our undergraduate program options and requirements is to visit our Programs and Requirements search tool.

How to Apply

Visit How to Apply for a step-by-step guide to the application process.

Customized Experience

Your student's university experience is what they make of it! From work experience programs, to Honors and certificate programs, to study abroad opportunities, there are hundreds of ways that students can tailor their degree to their interests.

Ask an Expert

Basic questions such as “What program do I want to take?”, “What are the requirements?”, and “What can I do with that degree?” are quite common. Fortunately, our expert staff are here to help! We can put you in touch with faculty and program advisors, and we also offer admissions advising at our many events throughout the year.

How You Can Help

Encourage your student to explore their options and keep an open mind. Some programs begin with a general first year of studies, giving students time to discover their aptitudes and interests. It's also quite normal for students to change majors and programs during their first few years as an undergraduate as their interests change and their ambitions grow.

The most important things you can do for your student as they prepare to enter university are to empower them to make informed decisions and to encourage their curiosity.

Home Away from Home

For many students, especially those who have grown up in smaller communities, living in residence is a great way to meet fellow students and get a head start.

Our Lister Hall residence, on North Campus, is designed especially for first-year students and offers many services to help them successfully make the transition to university life – including BaseCamp orientation, prior to the beginning of term.

April 30, 2016 is the deadline to apply for residence and be guaranteed housing.

Explore all our dorm room and meal plan options and apply for residence online »

Safety on Campus

The University of Alberta takes student safety, as well as physical and mental well-being, extremely seriously. University of Alberta Protective Services (UAPS) patrol our campuses 24 hours a day, and first responders such as fire, police, and ambulance service our community as well. However, emergency situations are rare, and all university staff work hard to foster a safe and supportive learning environment year round.

Emergency Notifications

Our Emergency Notification System is a robust and comprehensive service that can quickly alert students and staff of emergency situations no matter where they are, via several media, including email, text, and phone.

Residence Safety

Residence Services also employs a wide variety of security measures in conjunction with UAPS, including:

  • ID checkpoints
  • Door buzzers and proximity access cards
  • Security cameras
  • Single-button emergency contact through any campus payphone
  • 24 hour on-call Residence Services staff


Safewalk provides students with a free and safe alternative to walking alone at night. Male and female chaperones will escort students anywhere around the university community and within five blocks of any LRT station.

First Year & Beyond

University is a life-changing experience that will expand your student's horizons and set them up for a lifetime of success. It also represents a significant investment in terms of time, money, and effort. As a result, there can be a lot of pressure – from parents, from professors, and from students themselves. Be sure to mutually discuss expectations about grades, extra-curricular involvement, and work hours outside of school, beginning as early as high school.

Workload and Time Management

At times, this can seem overwhelming – especially in first year. Encourage your student to build study time (and breaks) into their schedule, maintain a manageable workload, stay on top of their assignments, and access the many services and supports that are available to them.

A weekly timetable typically involves 15 hours of lecture time per week, plus labs for some courses. And for every hour spent in class, students can count on at least one to two hours of reading and assignments. As a result, a 40-to-60-hour “work week” is typical.

Personal Responsibility

Students at the University of Alberta are treated as adults (even if they are under 18), and as such, they are accountable for their own educational experiences. This includes attending classes regularly, handing in assignments on time, studying for exams, and seeking advice and support as required. We encourage you to give your student the space they need to take full responsibility for all aspects of their education. Be supportive and empower them to figure things out for themselves.

Student Success

From tutoring and academic advising, to health care and mental wellness, to business and mentorship networks, student success at the University of Alberta is everyone’s goal. Learn More »

Orientation & Transition to University

Transition to University (T2U)

T2U is an online workshop designed for newly admitted students and their parents, to be taken before their first semester. T2U covers all the basics of academic and campus life, as well as University policies, how to support your students in their first year of studies, and more.


All students entering university from high school are encouraged to sign up for Orientation – it's a great opportunity for students to meet fellow first-year students, find their way around campus, and learn how they can get involved.

Family Orientation for Parents

Learn more about how university can affect your student, how you can support your student, and what services are available on campus. Family Orientation programs are available to parents, guardians, and any student newly admitted to the U of A.

Dates & Deadlines

Please familiarize yourself with these important dates and deadlines:

Communications & Privacy

Communications Policy

All official correspondence regarding awards and admissions will occur online, in Bear Tracks, with key notifications sent via email. Few, if any, correspondences will be sent via regular mail. Note: Some faculties and departments may correspond via regular mail.

The University holds students responsible for ensuring that messages sent to these accounts are reviewed and acted on promptly.

Therefore, it is imperative that students monitor their Bear Tracks and UAlberta email account on a regular basis. Students access Bear Tracks and UAlberta email account using their Campus Computing ID (CCID).

Privacy Policy

Alberta's FOIP Act governs public bodies to ensure accountability and openness to personal information collected. The Act protects the privacy of individuals, regulating the collection, use, and disclosure of personal information.

The University of Alberta Information and Privacy Office has established guidelines for the implementation of this act. Some sections of the FOIP Act affect access of information for parents of students.

While we recognize that parents and families may have the best of intentions when seeking information on behalf of their student, we cannot legally release information regarding a student's application, file, or academic standing to anyone other than the student, without the student's prior written consent. This applies whether or not the student is a minor.


Get quick answers to your questions, 24 hours a day! Simply visit Ask Student Connect, type in your question, and click "Ask." You can also check out related questions and view the Top 10 Questions that other users have asked Student Connect. If you have additional questions, please email us at