Arts and Science Winter Orientation 2024

January 2, 2024

Sign up here!

Welcome to the College of Possibilities (10:00 am - 11:00 am)

In this session, undergraduate students will have the chance to meet staff from the Undergraduate Student Office, get to know what the College of Arts and Science is all about, and participate in the Trials of the Pack—our challenge available on Canvas to all new Arts and Science students! 

The Trials of Pack is an opportunity for you to learn about yourself, meet new people, and explore Arts and Science! Complete all 6 trials for a chance to win prizes!

Student Panels (11:00 am -12:00 pm) 

Want to learn how to go from "surviving" to "thriving" in your first year of studies and beyond? Join us in a panel of current students and alumni who will be sharing their experiences, offering strategies to ensure academic success, and answering your burning questions about Arts and Science! Learn essential academic tips and tricks from experienced learners. Discover the different campus resources that can guide you in your academic journey such as academic advising, Math and & Stats help, and more.

Optional: Tunnel Tours (12:00 pm -12:45 pm)

Take an optional campus tour with a Student Recruitment Ambassador (SRA) to find popular first-year lecture halls, student supports and famous campus spots. Learn how to use the USask tunnel system so you can stay warm in winter!

International Student Advising (2:00 pm – 3:00 pm)

For all new undergraduate international students! Come talk to our academic advisors about program requirements, choosing your major, transfer credits, and much more! This is your time to ask any questions you have related to academics. Check your PAWS email to RSVP or register here. Please note that this session is only available to International Arts and Science undergraduate students who are new for the Winter 2024 term.

Winter Orientation Canvas Space: Opens December 15, 2023

If you are a new Arts and Science student, be sure to accept your invitation to the Arts and Science Winter Orientation 2024 Canvas space. We will be utilizing this space during Orientation, and this is where you will find the Trials of the Pack! 

Check your PAWS email, and if you have not received an invitation by December 15, please email

Meet a few of our faculty members

1. Getting oriented

Events and info sessions

USask Welcome runs before the start of the fall and winter terms for all new USask students. These events are a great opportunity for you to meet new friends, get important academic information, and learn more about student life. Additional orientation activities are also available for Indigenous and international students.

Other groups on campus, such as the University of Saskatchewan Students’ Union (USSU) , also organize welcome activities in January, such as Welcome Week. Be sure to check out the university’s event calendar.

Contact an academic advisor

Confused about what to take in your first year? Wondering which learning community is for you? Not sure how to get into a professional college? Having problems with a course? Come see an academic advisor if you need help choosing courses, have questions about your degree requirements, or want to chat with someone about any academic problems you are facing. To make an appointment with an academic advisor, call 306-966-4231, book online or visit Arts 265.

Undergraduate Student Office (Arts 265)

The Undergraduate Student Office is a one-stop shop for students in the College of Arts and Science. This is the place to go if you have questions about university or your academics, need to defer a final exam, or would like to see an academic advisor. Academic advisors help students determine which classes to take to obtain a specific degree or to apply to a professional college. They also advise on most academic issues including grade appeals, academic integrity, academic difficulty, academic grievances, DegreeWorks, and more. If you are experiencing difficulty while at USask, you can speak with your academic advisor. They can help you develop a plan for the rest of the term and refer you to different resources and support services on and off campus. For more information, call 306-966-4231 or email

Trish Monture Centre for Student Success (Arts 250)

The Trish Monture Centre (TMC) is a central space in the College of Arts and Science dedicated to student achievement. Visitors to our space at the top of the Arts Ramp (Arts 248 and 250) will find a bright and welcoming place to gather, visit and study with access to computers, wifi, a microwave and coffee pot, and a laptop loaning program. Since opening in 2014, the TMC has rarely been empty!

Students visit the TMC to connect with knowledgeable front desk staff and make appointments to meet advisors for the Indigenous Student Achievement Pathways (ISAP) , ISAP offers a holistic approach to academic advising that greets students’ mental, physical, emotional and spiritual selves with expertise specific to their student experience. For more information, or to register in ISAP, contact

Our TMC advisors offer holistic academic advising as well as information about on-campus and community-based programming, assistance with course selection and registration, and communicate with post-secondary coordinators and funding agencies. Make an appointment to plan for success with our advisors by contacting today!

Academic advising

College of Arts and Science
Undergraduate Student Office
Room 265, Arts Building
University of Saskatchewan 

Office Hours:  Monday–Friday
9 am–noon and 1–4 pm

Indigenous students advising

College of Arts and Science
Trish Monture Centre for Student Success
Room 248, Arts Building
University of Saskatchewan 

Office Hours: Monday–Friday
8:30 am–4:30 pm

2. Learning the academic jargon

Important terms

At the university, you will begin to learn a whole new language. See a list of the more important terms you will encounter as you familiarize yourself with university life.

Important terms

Class and course

The terms “class” and “course” are often used interchangeably.

Course description

Course descriptions, found in the Course and Program Catalogue, give you information about a particular course, such as the course name, number, credit units (cu) and the term(s) in which it is offered.

3. Deciphering your degree

Let's break it down

The College of Arts and Science offers a wide variety of degree options to students. Although not mandatory for earning a degree, most options allow students to complete a minor, recognition, specialization, or certificate within their degree requirements. 

The College of Arts and Science offers a wide variety of degree options to students. Although not mandatory for earning a degree, most options allow students to complete a minor, recognition, specialization or certificate within their degree requirements. 

Your major is the subject area you choose to specialize in. It is also the subject or program area where you will take the majority of your courses. With more than 60 options to choose from, the College of Arts and Science is sure to have something that piques your interest—but where to start? To help you narrow down the field, all of our majors can be divided into program types based on subject matter.

Students may also choose to complete a minor in a subject area or receive recognition in a language. Minors and recognitions must be completed in conjunction with an Arts and Science degree. To complete a minor, students must complete 18–24 credit units, as outlined by the department, in that subject area. Minors are not available in all departments and are not required to receive a degree. Recognition in a language is available upon completion of 18 credit units as required by the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultural Studies. For more information, students should consult the online Course and Program Catalogue or consult the department they are seeking a minor or recognition in.

Students may choose to complete a certificate. These may be taken alone or concurrently with a degree program. They are designed around a specific learning goal and require 15–30 credit units, including a core or capstone course. A list of certificates can be found within the Course and Program Catalogue. 

Before a BA or BSc degree can be awarded, the college requires its students to complete specific courses and meet certain regulations. All students pursuing a BA or BSc must fulfill seven different requirements to complete their degree. These requirements can be broken down into three categories.

If you are uncertain about what program type will suit you best into and/or what major you are most interested in, it is a good idea to take a variety of courses to keep your options open! Try taking classes that meet general degree requirements—that way, when you are ready to work on a major you will have most of the distribution requirements already met. Or, you can browse through the University Course Catalogue and select Arts and Science courses that interest you.

4. Get registered

Where to begin

Students are not required to take certain courses in their first year. Instead, students should choose courses that meet the requirements for majors or subject areas that interest them. They may also choose courses to meet the admission requirements for another college while working on a degree program from the College of Arts and Science.

Approved Arts and Science courses can include any course offered through a department within the College of Arts and Science. Some courses from other colleges will transfer automatically towards an Arts and Science degree. For a complete list of courses from other colleges that count for credit, please see this list.

You do not have to meet all of the distribution requirements for a degree in your first year. If you feel uncomfortable taking a course to meet a certain requirement in your first year, you can always take it at a later time. For example, if you are interested in majoring in political studies and are hesitant to take a science course in your first year, don’t. The only thing to be aware of is that certain courses may be prerequisites for upper year courses. So when you are planning your course selection, keep in mind how it will affect your registration options for the next year.

Some majors require first year students to take multiple courses in the sciences in their first year of study. When creating your timetable, keep in mind that many science courses also have weekly labs and tutorials in addition to their lecture times. This means that for some three-credit courses, you might actually be spending six or more hours in class per week—that’s the same time commitment as two courses! It is therefore recommended that first-year students take no more than six to nine credit units in lab-based courses per semester to start. If you are fulfilling admission requirements for another college, you may not have as much choice in selecting your courses for your first year.

When registering, it is always important to check the prerequisites for your courses (if applicable) to ensure you have completed them. Some 100-level courses have Grade 12 or junior level university prerequisites. Students who enrol in (and even complete) courses for which they do not have the prerequisites are at risk of being dropped from the course at any time or having the credit revoked.

For more information on specific academic requirements, consult the Course and Program Catalogue.

First-year students are usually surprised by the amount of time and effort that university courses require. Most classes are held for three hours per week and meet Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for 50 minutes each day or Tuesday and Thursday for 1 hour and 20 minutes each day. Night classes are usually held for three hours once a week. Yet, university involves a lot more work than just attending classes. Labs and tutorials will be held outside of classtime, so students must also factor these into their schedules. 

In order for students to be successful in a course, a general rule of thumb is that you should spend about two to three hours on out-of-class course work for every one hour spent in class. For example, a class that meets three hours per week will usually require the completion of six to nine hours of coursework outside of the lecture time, plus the possible addition of a tutorial or lab component. For five classes per term or a full course load, that is 30–45 hours per week of outside coursework and 15 hours spent within the lecture setting. At 45–60 hours per week, being a successful student is equivalent to holding a full-time job! Because of the significant time commitment university requires, many students limit the amount of courses they take in their first year.

The University of Saskatchewan Course and Program Catalogue is the official resource for students to find out exactly what courses they need to take to earn their degree. It contains the most up-to-date information on college policies, course descriptions, degree requirements, programs offered, and admission requirements for the College of Arts and Science. Familiarizing yourself with the Course and Program Catalogue can help answer questions you may have about what courses to take, what subject you should major in, and what CWA you need to maintain to apply for an Honours program or to graduate.

Click here to access the Course and Program Catalogue. To access the College of Arts and Science programs and policies directly, select the College of Arts and Science heading or click here. Next, choose a major that sounds interesting from the programs list. You can then click on the degree options and requirements for that program. You can even click on classes for a course description, prerequisites, and more information.

Note that there is also a tool in PAWS called DegreeWorks to help students plan and choose courses each year to ensure they are meeting the requirements of their program. See p. 47–48 of the First-Year Student Handbook for more information.

To view course descriptions and prerequisites for any course offered by the University of Saskatchewan, go the Course Catalogue. Choose the subject area you are interested in from the Subject Code drop-down menu and click Search. You will now be able to view all classes offered in the selected subject area and their prerequisites.

It’s important to note that not all of the courses listed will be offered every term or every year. See page 10 of the handbook to learn how to read a course description. 

The course offerings or class search function allows you to search for a specific course in a specific term. This will generate a list of the dates and times a course/lab/tutorial will be offered in a specific term, the name of the instructor (if available), the location of the class (if available), and the Course Registration Number (CRN) needed for registration.

Click here to access the course offerings search.

Select the appropriate term from the drop down menu for courses that take place from September to December and September to April or for courses that take place from January to April. Click Submit.

Select the subject that you are interested in. Entering in a course number is optional. If you want to see all offerings for a subject, leave this field blank and it will generate a list of every course offered that term for that subject. If you are interested in all 100-level courses, you can type in “1%” and it will generate only the 100-level courses offered that term.

Be sure to select “USask – Saskatoon Main Campus” to narrow the search down to classes offered on the Saskatoon Campus, otherwise you could end up registering for a course in Yorkton or Prince Albert by accident! The only exception to this would be if you are interested in searching for an independent studies or online offering of a course. To view independent studies and online courses, you would need to select “Off-campus site” as the campus.

You can now browse through the courses offered. If you find a course with a date/time you are interested in, be sure to copy down the CRN for fast registration later! To view a brief description of the course and prerequisites required, you can click on the CRN for each course.

Once you know what courses you want to take, you should create a timetable with your course selections. Make sure that you have not picked courses that are offered at the same time. You must also include lab and tutorial times in your timetable. You can use the Course Offerings tool mentioned above to check the exact days/times during the week that lecture/lab/tutorial sections will be offered.

As a general guideline for students who are planning to take a “full course load” (30 credit units during regular session), you may wish to take three courses on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and two courses on Tuesday and Thursday. This way you will have approximately three hours of lecture time a day. Please be advised that you must schedule your labs and tutorials outside of your course times. Tutorials and labs usually require mandatory attendance and are often essential tools to successfully complete a course. Off-campus courses are scheduled in the morning, afternoon or evening. Make sure that you make your schedule flexible. You may not get into a course or lab that you want so provide yourself with alternate times/options. 

It is suggested that you schedule your courses around the time of day you find learning easiest.  If you are not a morning person, do not schedule all of your courses for 8:30 am!  It is also possible to schedule your courses back to back. Professors will let the class out with enough time to get to another class. Try not to schedule more than three hours of course time back-to-back, as it is important to leave yourself time for food breaks.  

Once you have registered in a course, you are obligated to pay any assessed fees as long as you remain registered. If you want to drop a course, you must do so on PAWS before the drop deadline. The amount of tuition you receive back for dropped courses depends on when in the term you dropped them. This website shows the registration deadlines for the current academic year. It is important to note that:

Courses dropped before the Deadline for Registration Changes (100% Tuition Credit) will not show up on your transcript.

Courses dropped after the Deadline for Registration Changes but before the final withdrawal deadline will show up on your transcript, but with a grade of “W” (for withdrawal). This will have no bearing on your Cumulative Weighted Average (CWA).

You cannot drop a course after the withdrawal deadline. If you do not write the final examination or complete all course components the course will show up on your transcript as a fail and will count towards your CWA.

To drop a course, go to your Worksheet. Under the Action column, select “Drop Class” from the drop-down menu, and click Submit Changes. This will remove that course section from your current schedule. Always double check to make sure that you dropped out of your course successfully!