Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University
Search Programs:
View all programs

Course Selection Help

Working through the maze of course selection can be frustrating, but once you have the knack for realizing what your requirements are, and that you have control of your elective choices, it becomes a snap!

As TRU is very comprehensive in its course offerings and programming, not every program will have the same course selection process. Not all students are required to choose their own classes. We have many programs with a set pattern of courses for each semester and, once admitted, the students are given their schedule. Find out which category you will fall into.

Rules for success

For every hour spent in class, you should do two to three hours of homework to be successful. This is time spent reading, rewriting your notes, doing assignments, conducting library research, participating in study groups, etc. Be part of your own education — the effort you put in now will allow you to reap benefits later.

 Academic Course Selection

Includes year 1 to 4 and university preparation students.

The process for academic students who must select their own courses can feel quite complicated. There are options as to when you can take required courses as well as what electives you may choose. You are part of the process and you have many things to think about before choosing your courses.

  • What degree are you wanting to obtain?
  • Do you have a longer term goal? Possibly a professional program such as Education or Medicine after completing your degree.
  • What will your course load be — full time or part time?
  • Will you be working while you are attending TRU? If so, how many hours per week?
  • Do you have other family responsibilities which prevent you from focusing on your education?
  • Do you play sports?
  • Will you be on a student loan? Are you being sponsored?

This list could go on but have you begun to realize all the various factors which impact your decision in selecting your courses? Choosing which courses to take should not be done blindly. You must put a lot of thought into this, knowing that you can achieve your goal and do it with good grades too.

Do not overload yourself — in the long run it will hurt you!

  • Be focused — make sure you have done your research into the Degree program of your choice. Invest in the time it takes to do career planning. You will be investing in yourself. A large majority of first time students do not do this and are still undecided students after one or two years of study. This can become a great waste of time and money.
  • Find out about your program — what courses are required and what courses are electives.
  • Read the description of all courses you must take and those you have for elective choices. Pay careful attention to prerequisites. You cannot choose courses that you are not prepared to take. If you require upgrading, that's okay! As an academic student you can do a 'mixed' program of some upgrading with your 1st year and 2nd year courses.
  • For the brand new and university preparation student, we always recommend the Step One and Step Two Tutorials. These tutorials explain the admission and registration processes, as well as what to expect while studying at TRU. There is information regarding financial aid and assessment testing. The tutorials give you a place to begin.
  • Review the Degree Advising Tutorial for your particular degree. These sessions break down the requirements from the electives, telling you what you really need. Once you have the necessary information, you can begin to make informed choices.
  • Use the tools that are available to you. Explore the Academic Advising site, especially the Program Information section. View programs for additional information. There are program planning forms outlining requirements in a grid format, and a listing of electives noted for each program.
  • After you have done your research and reading, if you still have questions, by all means contact Academic Advising. The advisors can help you to become familiar with what is needed to make wise choices.
  • Be prepared to create your timetable and register your courses. The registration tutorials will help to get you going, so that you can schedule your courses at convenient times.
Exceptions to the academic course selection process

Students who are in the following degree programs at TRU need to follow the process outlined for the career/technology programs. This is because these few degrees and transfer programs have set programs beginning at year 1. There is usually not a lot of choice regarding electives and workload. The degree progresses in a systematic way, requiring that certain requirements be fulfilled before others can be taken.

  • Bachelor of Natural Resource Science (first year)
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Bachelor of Tourism (first year)
  • Transfer for Engineering
  • Transfer for Forestry
What about the other degrees?

All of these degrees require at least a minimum of 60 credits (or 20 academic courses) to be completed prior to entry. Students interested in being admitted must start out in another program. Usually students begin their year 1 and 2 courses in one of the other larger faculties — arts, business or science — and then switch to the program of their choice.

 Career/Technology — Course Selection and Enrolment

One- and two-year certificate and diploma programs

Find your program in the TRU Calendar. You will notice that for most career programs there is a grid showing the exact courses you will need to take each semester, whether it is for two, four or six semesters. If you happen to see an elective choice, your elective will usually be made in consultation with the chair or co-ordinator of the program, prior to enrolling. You will have to make contact to decide which elective is best for you.

An admissions/registration officer will receive the paperwork from the department and upon receipt of your commitment fee, will confirm admission into the program. Actual course registration is completed by each student sometime in June or July.

Remember: Classes are between 8:30 a.m. until 9:20 p.m. from Monday to Friday. You may find your classes are in a particular block of time, or spread out over the week at set times.

 Trades and Technology — Course Selection and Enrolment

Whether offered on-going or once per year — includes apprenticeship

Find your program in the TRU Calendar. All trade programs begin at 8 a.m. and end at approximately 3 p.m. daily. TRU is also offering two streams for some trade programs, so a few will have a second stream beginning at 1 p.m. and end at 9 p.m. The programs are usually comprised of just one course (example: Plumbing is just PLUM 1010).

Once you have been admitted, a admissions/registration officer will receive the paperwork from the department and upon receipt of your commitment fee, will automatically enrol you into the trade program. Your registration information will be mailed to you well before classes start. All you have to do is begin class.

Some trade programs are ongoing and filled from wait-lists. This means there is not a nice, neat start and end day. Programs, like partsperson, are ongoing. The first student off the wait-list is notified well in advance that a seat is being held for them for a specific start date. Again, once the commitment fee is paid as confirmation of acceptance, an admissions/registration officer will automatically enrol the student and mail out the registration information. You will need to begin classes on the start date noted on the form.