Parents and Families

It starts with you

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. From peer support services to our network of alumni mentors, student success is everyone's goal.

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. Dollars follow degrees: 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.

Why UAlberta?

The University of Alberta is an internationally renowned university celebrated for excellence in research and teaching - and one of the top five post-secondary institutions in Canada.

Learn more »

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. With more than 200 undergraduate programs to choose from, along with dozens of opportunities for volunteering, work experience, and community involvement, there is no right or wrong answer – but a little bit of guidance can go a long way.

Programs and Requirements

Our Programs and Requirements search tool allows you to browse our list of over 200 undergraduate programs and to check the admission requirements and deadlines for each. You can also use this tool to compare programs, select favourites, and save selections for later. 

Work Experience

Some programs, such as those in Engineering, Nursing, and Education, include co-ops and work placement terms that are directly relevant to those careers. Other work-experience opportunities, such as the Community Service-Learning program and the Undergraduate Research Initiative, are more self-directed and give students invaluable experience while still undergraduates. 

How to Apply

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

How You Can Help

Encourage your student to explore their options and keep an open mind. Many 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. 

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, and 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.

Residence Options

Living in residence is a great way for students to meet new people, make the transition, and get the most out of their university experience. Our largest first-year residence offers both single and double rooms, along with a range of meal plan options. April 30, 2015 is the deadline to apply for residence and be guaranteed housing.

Explore residence options and apply 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 5 blocks of any LRT station.

What to Expect

Attending university is a life-changing experience that will expand your student’s world and set them up for a lifetime of success. It also represents a significant investment in terms of time, money, and effort, and as a result there can be a lot of pressure – from parents, from professors, and from students themselves. Therefore, it is important to have realistic expectations about things like grades, extra-curricular involvement, and work hours outside of school. We encourage parents and students to discuss these expectations as they begin their university journey.

Home Away from Home

For students who are moving away from home for the first time, the new-found independence that comes with university life can be a difficult adjustment for parents and students alike. For many students, especially those who have grown up in smaller communities, living in residence is a great way to meet fellow first-year students and access the services and supports that they need.

Workload and Time Management

Students at the University of Alberta are personally responsible for creating their own course schedules, attending classes regularly, managing their workloads, and completing their assignments on time. 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.

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 services and supports that are available to them.

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

The University of Alberta is committed to student success. There are many student services and peer support groups on campus, from tutoring and academic advising to health care and mental wellness. Learn More »

Orientation & Transition to University

Transition to University (T2U)

T2U is an online workshop designed for newly admitted students and their parents, before students begin their first year. Covering all the basics of academic and campus life, T2U also addresses parents’ changing roles, how to support your students in their first year of studies, University policies, and much more.

Learn more and sign up online »


All students entering university from high school are encouraged to sign up for Orientation before the beginning of fall term. Orientation sessions for parents and families are also offered by the Students' Union.

Orientation is a great opportunity for students to learn about their new school, meet fellow first-year students, find out where their classes are, and learn how they can get involved. The president's address is also one of the can't-miss events of the year.

Learn more and sign up online »

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 is available to parents, guardians, and any student newly admitted to the U of A.

Learn more »

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, with all notifications being sent via email. Few, if any, correspondences will be sent via regular mail (note: some faculties and departments may correspond via regular mail). 

Therefore, it is imperative that students monitor their UAlberta email account on a regular basis. Students will also be required to log in to Bear Tracks, our secure online student service system, to check their application status, register in courses, and more. The university holds students responsible for ensuring that messages sent to those accounts are reviewed and acted on promptly.

Students access their UAlberta email account and Bear Tracks 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. 


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