University of Manitoba - Clayton Riddell Faculty of Environment, Earth, and Resources - Student Services - FAQ
Student Services - FAQ

This page contains answers to frequently asked questions.


Contact Advisors and Professors
Student Advisors
How to Apply
Registration and Fees
Permission Forms, Auditing
Final Examinations
General Information



Contact Advisors and Professors

Q: How do I get contact information for a Student Advisor?
A: Student Advisors in the Clayton H. Riddell Faculty of Environment, Earth, and Resources are available on a year-round basis to answer any questions you may have regarding your academic program in the Riddell faculty. They will refer you to other sources on campus as required.

The Faculty office hours are Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. unless otherwise posted.

Please use the following to book an appointment with a Student Advisor:

For further information, you are invited to write or call:

Dean's Office
Clayton H. Riddell Faculty of Environment, Earth, and Resources
440 Wallace Building | The University of Manitoba
Winnipeg, Manitoba | R3T 2N2
Telephone: (204) 474-7252 | Fax: (204) 275-3147

Q: How do I get contact information for a professor?

A: Contact information for University of Manitoba staff members is available on the U of M website at Simply enter the last name of the staff member, check the box marked 'People', and search. If the person you wish to contact is not listed, or you don't know who to contact (example, Prof is TBA) please contact a Riddell Faculty student advisor.


Student Advisors

Q: When should I speak with a Student Advisor?
A: You should be in regular contact (at least once a year) with a student advisor. The advisors are busy, so phone (204) 474-7252 to make an appointment. Talking to a student advisor regularly is well worth your time, as it will ensure you meet all the requirements for graduation.

Q: The Calendar says I need to speak to a student advisor about the courses I want to take before I register. Do I have to come in person?
A: No, you may contact a student advisor via email at or call at 474-7252.

Q: What classes should I take?
A: Some general advice is, if you have interest in a specific program, take the prerequisite courses in your first year. Introductory courses provide a good overview and can often pique an interest. Then think about the courses you want to take for your major. Always consult the Undergraduate Calendar or the student advisor to make sure you take all the courses required for the major.

It is also a good idea to get an early start on your required courses in your degree program. The last thing you want is to apply for graduation and discover you are one or two courses short. If you meet with Student Advisors regularly — at least once a year — you should avoid any such problems. To make an appointment with a Student Advisor call 204-474-7252 or email

Q: The program in the Undergraduate Calendar is different than the one in the Calendar the year I was admitted, which one do I follow?
A: The Bachelor of Environmental Science and the Bachelor of Environmental Studies programs underwent curriculum changes effective Fall 2011. Students are required to complete the program under which they were admitted, so if you were admitted prior to Fall 2011, you will follow the “old” program. Students may have the opportunity to change into a more recent program, but are required to complete the program in its entirety. Students may not switch to “old” programs. Please see a student advisor for more information.

Q: Do I have to declare a minor?
A: Depending on what degree program you are completing, you may or may not have to declare a minor. If you are registered in the Bachelor of Arts in Geography (General, Advanced) or the Bachelor of Science in Geological Sciences (General), then you must complete a minor in order to graduate. If you are registered in any other program in the Faculty, you may declare a minor, but are not required to.
Minors can be declared from any department across campus that offers a minor. Please refer to the Undergraduate Calendar for more details on specific minor requirements.

Q: What is hold status?
A: Students can be placed on "Hold" status for a variety of reasons, such as outstanding fees, overdue library books, parking fines. Most academic and administrative services will be denied until the "Hold" status is cleared. You will be notified automatically if you are placed on this status.


How to apply

Q: How do I apply to a program in the Clayton H. Riddell Faculty of Environment, Earth, and Resources?
A: You can apply to the Riddell Faculty online here.

Q: When is the application deadline for the Clayton H. Riddell Faculty of Environment, Earth, and Resources?
A: For Admission deadlines, please refer to the Admissions’ website here. If you miss the deadline please contact one of our advising staff.

Q: What if I miss the application deadline?
A: If you miss the application deadline, please contact one of our advising staff to review your options.


Registration and Fees

Q: How do I register for classes?
A: All registration is through Aurora Student, the student information system. You can log in and register, check your program, your timetable, or declare your graduation date. You can also access fees, grades, transcripts, booklists and tax forms. Please check out the Registrar's Office website for more information on the procedure and deadline dates or go directly to Aurora Student.
Registration for Fall and Winter courses generally begins at the beginning of July and runs through the summer. Spring term registration is in March and runs through the summer.

Q: Why do I have a Program Approval Hold on my account?
A: Students admitted to and registered in a four-year Major, Advanced, or Honours program are required to contact a student advisor to discuss their programs before registering for Fall and Winter terms. Once your course selection has been approved, we will remove your program approval hold for you to register. The Program Approval form is available here.

Q: Do I have to come to the University to meet with a student advisor?
A: Ideally, yes. However, we are aware that summer is a busy time for students. If possible, we encourage you to meet with a student advisor after your exams are completed for Winter term and before you leave campus for the summer. If you are unable to come to campus to meet with a student advisor, we are available for advising via email at

Please note that students who come into the office have priority and then we will address emails in the sequence they are received.

Q: How many courses can I take?
A: Students may take up to five courses, during a term (15 credit hours). You may request to take courses exceeding the normal course load. The Application to Exceed the Credit Hour Limit is available at the following link:

Q: Can I take courses at another university?
A: Students may be registered in one degree program at only one university at a time. However, it is possible to take courses at another university on a "Letter of Permission" and use the courses towards a degree program.
You must formally apply for a Letter of Permission on an "Application for Letter of Permission" form at least one month prior to the start of classes at the other institution. These forms are available through the Registrar's Office. For further information, you may wish to contact a Riddell Faculty Student Advisor.

Q: When do I pay my fees?
A: Please see the Fee Information page on the Registrar's Office website for information on how to access your Account Summary through Aurora Student.

Q: What are the fees for courses?

A: For current course fees, please go the Registrar’s Office website, Fee Information.


Permission Forms, Auditing

Q: What are prerequisites?
A: To determine if you are eligible to take a particular course, you must first check the Undergraduate Calendar for any prerequisites. A prerequisite is a course which must be successfully completed before the next course may be taken. Prerequisites may be found within the departmental information preceeding the course description or at the end of the individual course description.

While some departments have one introductory course which is a prerequisite for all other courses within the department, others may offer a variety of 1000 and 2000 level courses which have no prerequisites. Students should note that language courses and many science courses require a high school prerequisite.

Q: Will you sign a permission form for me so I can take a course without the pre-requisite?
A: First, plan ahead. Please do not come to see a student advisor the day you are scheduled to register expecting us to complete a permission form. You need to contact the professor offering the course, rather than the student advisor, and this can take a couple of days. For contact information, go to Academic Staff on the U of M website. The Departmental Permission form is available here.

We discourage students from taking courses without the necessary pre-requisites. Introductory courses cover theory and terminology that guide you in subsequent classes. That being said, there are a few circumstances in which a professor will grant permission to take a course without the prerequisite. You need to talk to the professor, but don't expect to automatically receive permission. If you do receive permission, it is only for that specific course. You still need to take the introductory course to complete the major. 

Q: What is a Department Head Approval and how can I request one?
A: Many courses at the 3000 and 4000 level require Department Head Approval. You need to contact the professor offering the course first. Once s/he granted permission, the Department Head must give his/her approval.

Q: Will you sign a permission form for me so I can register for a course that is already full?
A: If the course is full, you can contact the professor teaching the course. The professor decides whether or not students will be admitted over cap; this is not the decision of the Student Advisor.

Q: I am interested in auditing a class, what do I do?
A: Sometimes, a student will have an interest in the content of a course which he/she will not apply to any degree program now or in the future. In effect, then, the student “sits in” on a course without completing assignments or examinations. This is called “auditing” a course. A student wishing to audit a course should seek permission from his/her student advisor. You need to have professor's permission, so plan ahead as contact with the professor could take a few days.


Final Examinations

Q: When are final examinations?
A: A preliminary schedule of final examinations and midterm test in full courses, scheduled and arranged by the Registrar's Office, is posted in late October for first term courses and in mid-February for second term and full courses. You must check for any examination conflicts (i.e., more than one examination at the same time) and if you find one, advise the Registrar's Office immediately. You may also request the Registrar's Office to attempt to reschedule an examination if you have three consecutive exams (e.g., Monday afternoon, Monday evening, and Tuesday morning are considered to be three consecutive exams. Monday afternoon, Tuesday morning, and Tuesday afternoon do not constitute three consecutive exams and you would not be eligible to request rescheduling).

A final examination schedule will be posted approximately two weeks after the preliminary schedule. Check the final examination schedule very carefully by lecture section numbers for each of your courses.
During the examination, you will be required to present your picture identification card.
In addition there may be "instructor-scheduled" final examinations which will not appear on the final examination timetable prepared by the Registrar's Office. Be sure to consult your instructor/department regarding such exams.

Students must be available during the final examination period; therefore, you should not plan any vacations or job commitments until you know the date of your last examination.

Q: What do I do if I miss an examination?
A: If you miss a final examination, contact the Riddell Faculty General Office immediately. For legitimate reasons, such as illness documented by a medical certificate or compassionate reasons, you may apply for a deferred examination (i.e., an examination deferred to a later date).

To apply for a deferred examination, you must report to your home faculty*, in person, within 48 hours of the date of the missed examination, and provide supporting documentation (such as a medical certificate). The dates of your illness or affliction must correspond to the dates of the examination.

If you are applying to defer an exam, you should take your Application For Deferred Examination and supporting written document(s) to the Riddell Faculty general office, 440 Wallace.

Travel arrangements, vacation plans, employment situations and misreading the final exam timetable are not considered grounds for deferring a final exam. If your exam schedule shows three final exams within a 24 hour period you are eligible to defer one exam of your choice to the deferral period. Please refer to our important dates to obtain the dates of the Deferred Final Examination period.

Q: When will I receive my final grades?
A: Final grades in first term courses are usually available through Aurora Student during the second week in January. Second term and full course results are usually available through Aurora Student in early June. You will be sent a mark statement for the Fall and Winter Terms at this time as well. In addition, instructors are required to post grades by student numbers at the time they are submitted to the Registrar's Office.

Q: How can I appeal a final grade?
A: If you have good reason to believe that a mistake was made in the assessment of your final grade, you have the right to appeal the grade through the Registrar's Office. If you wish to appeal an assigned grade, you must do so within 21 days of the publication of the final examination results. For further information, contact the Registrar's Office. For information regarding appeals on term work, consult the instructor/department.

Q: How does the letter grade system work?
A: The University of Manitoba uses a Letter Grade System, wherein every final grade is a letter grade ranging from A+ to F. The Letter Grade System is explained in the Undergraduate Calendar.
Students in the Riddell Faculty who receive grades of F should note that a failing grade cannot be removed from a transcript, even if the same course is repeated and successfully completed.
Students who do not write the final examination will obtain the notation "NP" in addition to the grade assigned, e.g., F-NP (Failure -- No Paper).



Q: I am looking for a job, can you help me?
A: The best recommendation we can give to assist in your search for employment is to check the University of Manitoba Career Resource Centre.

Q: Will I be competitive in the job market when I finish my degree?
A: We have designed our programs so that you will acquire several different types of skills. First and foremost, you will have a strong background in your discipline of specialization. This is highly valued in the industry. Secondly, we will provide you with opportunities to develop many communication skills, plus multidisciplinary team-work skills and practical problem solving skills. We believe that this preparation will give you a competitive edge in today's marketplace.


General Information

Q: Can I get a second degree?
A: Students who have completed a first degree may be admitted to the Clayton H. Riddell Faculty of Environment, Earth, and Resources seeking a second degree.

A "second degree" student is one who is pursuing a second undergraduate degree and whose basis of admission is a first degree from a recognized university program.

Once a degree has been awarded, it cannot be revoked or exchanged for a different degree. However, students are free to apply for admission to the Clayton H. Riddell Faculty of Environment, Earth, and Resources seeking a second degree.

Students will be allowed to transfer up to 60 credit hours of acceptable coursework from their first degree toward the Clayton H. Riddell Faculty of Environment, Earth, and Resources second degree program. Courses extra to the first degree may also be transferred. Courses from external institutions which exceed ten years will not be considered for transfer credit.

Once admitted to the Clayton H. Riddell Faculty of Environment, Earth, and Resources and to one of the three undergraduate degree programs, students must satisfy all continuation requirements (such as the minimum performance level), and all graduation requirements relevant to that degree program.

Q: What is a voluntary withdrawal?
A: The Voluntary Withdrawal (VW) deadline date is the final date by which a student may withdraw from a course without academic penalty. You should make note of the VW deadline for all courses in which you have registered.

There is no academic penalty associated with a voluntary withdrawal. If, however, you miss the VW deadline, you must complete the course to the best of your ability. If you receive a failing grade, this will become a permanent part of your academic record, and cannot be removed. It is therefore extremely important to be aware of the VW deadlines for all of your courses!

Q: How do I get a time extension?

A: If you require additional time to complete term work, you may apply in writing through your instructor for a time extension. You must apply for a time extension prior to the end of classes. Time extensions are normally granted only under exceptional circumstances, such as medical or compassionate grounds.

Q: Changing Your Address

A: If you change your address during the academic year, be sure to update your personal information in Aurora Student. Click on "Personal Information", then "View/Update Addresses and Phones."