Preparing for University
Be prepared for admission.
Explore some of our transition programs.
Get a head start.
What high school classes do I need?
There are two places to check which classes you need:
Required classes for admission
You will need some math and/or science classes, depending on which college you plan to apply for. Check the program-specific requirements to find these.
You will also need enough classes to calculate your admission average. This average calculation uses a five-subject formula that requires classes in specific areas.
Prerequisites for university classes
The high school classes that are required for admission are not always the same as the classes you will need to complete your degree program or to take classes you're interested in.
For example, you don't need biology to be admitted to the College of Arts and Science. But if you want to study Environmental Biology, you will need it for the required university biology courses in that program.
Commonly required high school courses
- In order to study university-level biology, chemistry or physics, the 30-level/senior-level/Grade 12 high school course of the same subject is required. University-level chemistry and physics also require Foundations of Math 30 or Pre-Calculus 30 (or equivalents).
- In order to study university-level calculus, which is required for some programs, Pre-Calculus 30 (or equivalent) is required. However, students who have not completed Pre-Calculus 30 may be eligible to take a university-level elementary calculus class before their required university-level calculus course(s).
Please note that this list is not exhaustive and if you are uncertain, we recommend you contact an academic advisor.
What if I don’t have the high school classes I need?
Some university mathematics and science courses can be used to help you meet the prerequisite requirements for other courses. If you have not completed or wish to review your high school classes for math, chemistry, biology and/or physics, you have the following options:
- A math deficiency can be cleared by taking certain USask math classes depending on your college and program. Since it varies, see information for your college on which course(s) may be used.
- A biology deficiency can be cleared through completion of BIOL 90 or BIOL 108.6.
- A chemistry deficiency can be cleared through the completion of CHEM 90 or CHEM 100.3
- A physics deficiency cannot be cleared with USask courses with the exception of PHYS 90 offered as part of the ISAP STEM Accelerator program (see below for more information).
Indigenous Student Achievement Pathways (ISAP) STEM Accelerator program
In the ISAP STEM Accelerator program, Métis, First Nations and Inuit students are able to start strong with a preparatory first term that sets you up for a successful transition to university-level STEM courses in Term 2. Prep courses include Biology 90, Chemistry 90 and Physics 90, each of which can stand in place of a high-school-level prerequisite for university-level STEM subjects in all USask colleges. These courses also help you brush up your skills even if you have taken them in Grade 12. Students who complete all three courses can earn a STEM Accelerator certificate.
Indigenous students in the IBAC program have the opportunity to upgrade high school mathematics while taking IBAC courses.
What if my grades are not high enough for admission
The University of Saskatchewan Transition Entrance Program (USTEP) was established for students under 21 years of age who do not meet the university's regular admission requirements. USTEP operates under the belief that all students can be successful at USask if given the tools they need, regardless of their academic performance in high school.
If you are over 21 years of age, you may be able to apply for Special (Mature) Admission.
Transitioning to university life
Joining a Learning Community (LC) is a great way to overcome common first-year university challenges. You get to take a set of classes with a group of other students who share common interests and meet in a weekly LC Hour that is guided by upper-year university students. There are a number of LCs to pick from for each college; some are for different majors, others simply different schedules.
I want to get a head start
Summer university classes
Taking summer classes is a great way to:
- get ahead in your degree program,
- focus on that tough class you want to get out of the way, and
- lighten your load during fall and winter session.
If you want to work on university-level material while still in high school and possibly earn university credit, you may want to consider taking Advanced Placement courses.
I need to improve my English
I don’t meet the English language proficiency requirements
You can take the English for Academic Purposes certificate program if you need to improve your English skills before entering university.
I want to improve my English language skills
Improving your English will help you improve your grades. Our Language Centre offers part-time evening English as a Second Language (ESL) classes.