Family Orientation

Are you wondering how to best support your student during their transition into university? Learn about student and campus life, financial aid information, campus services and more.

General information

Supporting a student in university requires a set of skills, knowledge and motivation that's different than supporting a student in high school. Take a moment to view some ways that you as a family member can help your student to transition into post-secondary life.

You’ve invested so much into your student. You’ve seen them grow into an adult, and you want them to find success in the next part of their journey. At UCalgary, they can have an incredible education experience that will benefit them for the rest of their life.  

UCalgary offers its students high-quality academic programs and a supportive learning environment in which to excel. This includes undergraduate research opportunities like our PURE program, experiential learning opportunities such as our Study Abroad programs, and co-operative education and internship positions with a variety of companies including Amazon and BMW. Additionally, access to a wide range of supports including career advising, academic development, mental health and healthcare services, and much more, will ensure your student can find the help they need to be successful. 

Encourage your student to explore extra-curricular activities

It’s important that your student is engaged in more than their course work. Encourage your student to explore clubs, meet their professors and take part in leadership opportunities. Not only will they do better at school, they’ll also build positive relationships with peers, gain new skills and take part in experiences that can benefit them in the future.   

Encourage your student to seek help early and often.

The campus community offers many supports to our students, everything from academic and writing support to mental health and wellness support. If your student is unsure about where to start in terms of accessing supports, Student Support Advisors at Student Wellness Services can help students navigate on- and off-campus resources.

Encourage your student to be active.

They have access to our world-class Active Living recreational facilities, including our aquatic centre, fitness centre, gymnastics centre, racquet centre and the Olympic Oval. From fitness classes and intramural leagues, to sports clubs and fully-equipped gyms, there are lots of ways to stay active on campus. We also boast the Outdoor Centre, the largest of its kind in North America, which offers training courses, equipment rentals and student discounts. 

Make a plan to communicate 

Discuss with your student their plan for managing their education, as well as the type of information you’d like them to share with you, such as student account balances (fees owing), grade reports, course registration, or difficulties they may be having with school or other related activities. Keep in mind that it’s ultimately the student’s decision which personal information they choose to disclose.

Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIP) 

In accordance with Alberta’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, UCalgary is unable to share information about a student or applicant to a third-party (including family members) without the explicit consent of a student or applicant, regardless of their age. This includes information about fees owing and their admission status. 

Under FOIP, if a student or applicant would like to authorize a third party to have access to their confidential personal information, they may do so in writing using the Third-Party Authorization form.

UCalgary offers daily in-person and biweekly virtual campus tours. Tours are a chance to ask all your questions about our programs and to see our classrooms, facilities and more. Our virtual tour is featured on our Choose UCalgary YouTube channel. Explore our entire campus from the comfort of your home and instant chat with us during the tour.

Learn about tours and events

Understanding the university

The language, terminology and opportunities available to university may seem foreign to many parents. Be sure to familiarize yourself with digest of terms, unique opportunities and services available at UCalgary.

Bachelor’s degree:

An undergraduate degree that typically takes four to five years to complete. Many bachelor’s degrees are direct entry; however, some degrees require prior university study (e.g., Social Work, Law and Medicine). A student who is pursuing a bachelor’s degree is called an undergraduate student.

Honours bachelor’s degree:

An honours degree is a further specialization of a bachelor’s degree requiring high academic standing and, typically, a thesis project. A thesis project is an original research idea that’s presented at the end of the undergraduate degree. Some programs at UCalgary, like the Bachelor of Health Sciences, are only offered as an honours degree.

Combined degree:

A combined degree is is when a student registers in two different bachelor’s degrees (including honours degrees) at the same time and graduates from both degrees concurrently. It typically requires a minimum of five years of study.

Professional undergraduate degree:  

A professional undergraduate degree is one that leads to a professional Doctor degree (e.g., Doctor of Medicine, Juris Doctor and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine). These programs typically require students to present an initial bachelor’s degree before they can apply.

Academic calendar: The calendar contains information about our program and admission requirements, course descriptions and academic regulations. View our academic calendar at: ucalgary.ca/pubs/calendar/current

Major: A major is the main area of focus throughout a bachelor’s degree. Students typically take one-third of their courses in this specialization.

Minor: A minor is an optional secondary area of focus that can be added to a degree in an upper year. It requires fewer courses than a major.

Embedded certificate:Embedded certificates are completed as part of a bachelor’s degree, at no extra cost, and are designed to focus on a thematic area and be available to students across faculties. Examples include Sustainability and Mental Well-being and Resilience.

Work-integrated learning (WIL): Work Integrated Learning integrates a student’s academic studies in a workplace/practice setting. It includes a partnership between an academic program, a host organization, and a student. WIL opportunities include paid co-ops, paid internships, practicums, placements, capstone projects, consulting projects and more.

Academic Requirements: This online planning tool allows a student to see the completed and pending course requirements for their degree. The Academic Requirements tool is available through the Student Centre (my.ucalgary.ca).

We’re proud to have a welcoming and safe campus.

We take a proactive approach to safety at our university. Our university is patrolled 24 hours a day and is monitored by over 2,000 closed-circuit television cameras.

Additionally, our university offers help phones and intercoms in most buildings, parking lots and elevators, a check-in system called SoloSafe, and a Safewalk program in which volunteers will walk anyone to their destination 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Finally, students are encouraged to download the UC Emergency App on their Android or iOS mobile phone for up-to-date alerts in the campus area.

Student Conduct

Our Student Conduct Office offers Bystander Intervention Training, with over 1500 students trained each year.  This program teaches community members to look out for one another, and for our community as a whole.

 

Campus support services

There are a host of campus support services available to your student as part of their fees and tuition. Whether it be extra curricular opportunities, resume and career advising help, personal wellness services or anything else related to campus life, be sure to encourage your student to look into what's available to them on campus.

Career Services

The expert staff at Career Services will help your student prepare for a career they’ll love. They can meet with a career specialist, get expert advice to improve their resume, and attend career fairs and events to meet potential employers.

Faith and Spirituality Centre (FSC)

The Faith and Spirituality Centre seeks to cultivate a pluralistic community by encouraging cultural and religious literacy, community building, and social change

First Year Scholars (FYS)

The First Year Scholars program connects the top incoming students with a community of high-achieving peers across all disciplines.

International Student Services (ISS)

International Student Services provides support services and customized advising for all international students. Their community building initiatives deliver unique peer-driven programs that connect international and Canadian students.

Leadership and Student Engagement (LSE)

The Leadership and Student Engagement office  is committed to helping every student thrive. From hosting new student orientation, to facilitating weekly connections with peers, to providing Life Design workshops where students prototype and plan for their futures, the LSE connects students to one another, our campus and our local, national and international communities.

Student Accessibility Services (SAS)

Student Accessibility Services Admitted students can meet with an access advisor to discuss accommodations that may be needed to facilitate an accessible learning environment. 

Student Success Centre (SSC)

Whether your student is deciding which degree to pursue or would like support in enhancing their learning strategies, the Student Success Centre’s exploratory advisors, academic development staff and writing support staff are here to help them. Students have access to a variety of one-on-one appointment services, as well as writing workshops, success seminars and academic support programs.

Student Wellness Services

Student Wellness Services gives your student has full access to health and wellness services on campus including medical, chiropractic, massage, counselling and wellness programs and training. Support is available through group or individual counselling, skill-building seminars, online resources, peer support and more. There are no additional fees or session limits for accessing counselling and support services. Additionally, using a coordinated care approach, student support advisors help with issues from personal to academic success.

Women’s Resource Centre (WRC)

The Women's Resource Centre is a safe and welcoming space for connecting, promoting equality and building community.

Writing Symbols Lodge

The Writing Symbols Lodge is a welcoming campus space in support of the university’s Indigenous community, students can access a computer lab, student lounge, smudging room and a range of cultural programming including monthly ceremonies, social activities and advising.

Your student can live, learn and grow alongside their peers, while creating strong and lasting friendships. From shared dorm-style rooms in first year, to full apartments in upper years or grad school, to family housing, there are options available for all students.

Each building has a residence life coordinator who provides continuous support. Residence life coordinators foster and promote inclusive living environments, organize events and help students with everything from homesickness to health and academics. Learn more about residence here.

Due to high demand, all on-campus UCalgary residence spaces are full for fall 2022. If your student hasn’t yet planned for your fall term accommodation, we recommend that they begin their search for off-campus housing now. Learn more about off-campus housing here.

Meal plans

The University of Calgary has unlimited All You Care to Eat meal plans that ensure our students have the best value, convenience, nutrition and flexibility.

With multiple fresh food options available (gluten free, vegan, vegetarian and meat choices), students can choose to eat whatever they like, whenever they like and as much as they need throughout the academic year. The Landing offers breakfast, lunch, dinner and continuous dining between meal times.

For those not living in residence, the All You Care to Eat meal plans are also available, along with swipe plans and door rates, which will vary based on the time of day. Learn more at about the meal plan here. 

Discover our co-operative (co-op) programs, practicums and internships

Want your student to have an opportunity to get their foot in the door in industries related to their field of study? If so, our co-ops, practicums and internships are perfect. Not only will your student gain valuable work experience during their degree, but they’ll also develop connections with potential employers. Learn more about co-op practicums.

If your student is ready to see the world, UCalgary can take them there with our Study Abroad program

Your student doesn’t have to wait until they graduate to see the world. With 200+ partners and programs across six continents, our Study Abroad program is your chance to explore new places and new ideas through study and travel, leading to the adventure of a lifetime. Learn more about the Study Abroad program.

Student finances

View this section for a general overview of student fees, student benefits, loan and RESP information and more. Also, be take a moment to review the different awards that are offered with your student.

Tuition for Haskayne School of Business

  • Canadian citizens and permanent residents: $7,533
  • International students: $23,634

Tuition for Schulich School of Engineering

  • Canadian citizens and permanent residents: $6,960
  • International students: $30,066

    International Engineering tuition fees are approved fees for the 2022 – 2023 academic year.

Tuition for all other programs

  • Canadian citizens and permanent residents: $6,166
  • International students: $22,189

General fees (includes transit pass, health plan and dental plan)

  • Canadian citizens and permanent residents: $1,340
  • International students: $1,340

Books and supplies (two terms)

  • Canadian citizens and permanent residents: $400 – $1,000
  • International students: $400 – $1,000

Living expenses and spending money

  • Canadian citizens and permanent residents: $1,000 – $4,000
  • International students: $1,000 – $4,000

Average first-year room cost

  • Canadian citizens and permanent residents: $3,953 – $7,872
  • International students: $3,953 – $7,872

7-day All You Care to Eat meal plan

  • Canadian citizens and permanent residents: $4,879
  • International students: $4,879

Total

  • Canadian citizens and permanent residents: $17,738 – $26,624
  • International students: $33,761 – $49,157

Estimated costs for your student’s first year (September to April).

All costs cover an eight-month period and are based on an expected first-year course load and a typical student's experience in residence. Fees are based on the 2021 – 2022  academic year. Tuition fees are reviewed regularly by the Board of Governors, in consultation with students.

Paying tuition fees

Students have several options to pay their fees including online banking and international fund transfers.

Learn more at about paying tuition fees.

Health and dental benefits

All full-time undergraduate students (taking three or more courses) are automatically enrolled in the Student Health and Dental Plan when they register for classes. Students from outside the province should apply for Alberta health care in order to receive comprehensive coverage during their studies. Learn more about health and dental benefits.

Student loans

Government student loans and grants are available to Canadian citizens and permanent residents. For more information, visit Canlearn.ca.

Apply through your home province of residence or visit for details.

Using RESPs

Students use an official confirmation of registration letter from their Student Centre (my.ucalgary.ca) to submit as proof of enrolment for withdrawing RESP funds. The official confirmation of registration letter is available once students are registered in courses and tuition fees have been posted to their account (July 2022). Tuition fees are due in September 2022 after the start of classes.

Money Smart

Students can learn about budgeting, money saving strategies, financial planning and more by attending a Money Smart workshop, accessing a Financial Literacy session or making an appointment with a Money Smart peer helper. Learn more about Money Smart

Scholarship: An award based primarily on academic merit, but also based on other selection factors.

Bursary: An award based on financial need. Financial need is calculated by looking at a student’s costs and then subtracting their resources.

Award: An award based on multiple requirements.

Prestige awards: These awards are for high-achieving entering students. A student’s academic excellence and accomplishments outside the classroom are considered.

Do you have any questions?

If you have any further questions about campus life, student finances or services that are available to your student, please be sure to contact us at family@ucalgary.ca. If you have questions about student orientation programming, please visit the Fall Orientation webpage or contact us at orientation@ucalgary.ca.

Please also feel free to download a PDF version of this webpage content for you to read offline.

Students advice to parents

In this video, UCalgary students talk about how their parents supported them, and provide examples of ways that parents could better help their own university student.