Program Planning

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Next steps for new students

The Getting Started guide includes general information for all new students including details about the student portal, email, requesting learning accommodations, planning your finances and paying your fees.


The information below is specific to Bachelor of Communication Studies students. Use this information, along with the academic planning sheet for your major and academic year that you were accepted into the program, to plan your degree. If you have any questions please contact us.

Declare or change your major and minor

Declare your major on your application

You declare your major when you apply to the Bachelor of Communication Studies through Apply Alberta. You will choose a major in either journalism or professional communication. Your minor will be the other discipline.

Change your major

You may change (redeclare) your major and minor after you are accepted to the program using the online declaration system. The online declaration system is open for you to redeclare your major from September 1 to February 15 from within the student portal.

Note that when you change your major you change the courses you are to take to complete your degree. You will be bound by the program of study and graduation requirements of the specific major and the year you declare the change. Reference the appropriate Academic Calendar and your academic planning form for all requirements. Please contact your advisor to discuss your options before you make changes to your major. Your decision may require additional coursework.

Attend an academic planning session

Several Academic Planning Sessions are held during the months before the start of the term. Students who have been accepted for fall term will be contacted starting in April. Students who have been accepted for the winter term will be contacted starting in November. Watch your MacEwan University student email account for your invitation.

The following topics are covered:

  • Planning your degree

  • Choosing the right courses

  • Finding out how many courses you should take

  • Navigating which sections you can enrol in

  • Calculating Grade Point Average (GPA) and understanding Academic Standing

  • Understanding university vocabulary: junior vs. senior level courses, prerequisites, etc.

Sign Up for Your Planning Session

You can sign up for a session (you'll need to be logged in with your MacEwan account) if you have been accepted or conditionally accepted to the Bachelor of Communication Studies program and have confirmed admission.

If you cannot attend a session because you live outside of the Edmonton area, you can still enrol in your classes through myStudentSystem. We encourage you to carefully review the information on this website before you enrol.

Plan your program

To plan your degree you will need to refer to the program of study which outlines the core courses, general education core requirements, major coursework and elective requirements of your degree. Your graduation depends on fulfilling all degree requirements and regulations accurately. These requirements and regulations are determined by the year you are accepted to the program. Choose the appropriate planning sheet from the list below to help you keep track of the courses you take to fulfill degree requirements. Contact your program advisor for help in selecting the correct planning sheet for your program of study.

Professional Communication major

New Professional Communication major students who start the program Fall 2019 and Winter 2020, and who did not enter the program under a block transfer agreement, use the following academic planning sheet:

Journalism major

New Journalism major students who started the program Fall 2019 and Winter 2020, and who did not enter the program under a block transfer agreement, use the following academic planning sheet:

Archived planning sheets

Use the archived planning sheets below if you are a returning student who:

  • started the program before Fall 2019,

  • have not had an interruption in your studies resulting in reapplying to the program, and

  • did not enter the program under a block transfer agreement.


Journalism major
Professional Communication major


Journalism major
Professional Communication major


Journalism major
Professional Communication major


Journalism major
Professional Communication major

Additional planning information

Course descriptions

Course descriptions provide you with a brief overview of what you will study in a course, the credit value, and the prerequisites. The course description legend breaks down the structure of a course description. Course descriptions are available in myStudentSystem, on the course list page for your major or at the back of the Academic Calendar.

Prerequisites and co-requisites

A prerequisite is a course that must be successfully completed with a grade of C- or better prior to attempting a subsequent course. The course description may also list co-requisites which are courses that must be taken along with another in the same term. The faculty has the right to withdraw students from a course at any time if it is begun without the prerequisite or co-requisite or to withhold credit for that course.

Course load

Course Load refers to the number of credits taken in a term. When choosing how many courses you should take in a term, consider the following:

  • The majority of courses in the BCS program are 3 credits

  • The maximum course load in the BCS program is 15 credits per term.

  • You cannot enrol in more than 15 credits per term without permission from the program. 

  • If you are on a student loan, and to be considered a full-time student, you must maintain enrolment in a minimum of 9 credits per term

  • You may enrol in less than 9 credits. Students enrolled in less than 9 credits are considered part-time students

  • You must enrol in a minimum of 3 credits in an academic year to remain in the BCS program

  • You must enrol in a minimum of 3 credits in the first term you are accepted to the program

Junior and senior courses

  • Courses numbered 100-199 are considered junior-level

  • Courses numbered 200 and higher are considered senior-level

Minimum grade restrictions

The minimum passing grade at MacEwan University is D. However, to be in good academic standing, you must maintain a 2.0 Grade Point Average (GPA) each term. Please refer to the Academic Standing policy (C2070) for details or speak with an advisor for help understanding the policy.

Check your transfer credit

If you have taken post-secondary courses previously, some of those credits may qualify for transfer to this program. Depending on the courses, your credit may be applied toward first-year English and breadth requirements. You would then have a lighter course load in your first year or you may be able to take some courses from the second year of the program during your first year.

The process for assessing transfer credit varies depending on where you took your courses. In all cases, your first step is to apply to the program. Transfer credit will only be assessed after you have been accepted.

Learn more about transfer credit

Request special permissions

Permission Numbers

Permission numbers allow you to enrol in certain restricted sections through myStudentSystem. For example, some BCS sections are reserved by major.

To request a permission number email from your MacEwan University email account (Gmail). You will need the following information:

  • Your full name

  • Your student ID number

  • Your major (Journalism or Professional Communication)

  • The course and section number (e.g. BCSC 100 BC01)

  • The term the course is offered in (e.g. Fall 2015)

  • A brief explanation of why you wish to enrol in this course

  • If you have been admitted under one of our block transfer agreements, please indicate which one.

Visiting student permission

According to policy C2035 (External Course Taking), you can apply to take courses towards your degree at another recognized post-secondary institution.

Before you start a course at another institution

In order to receive credit for courses taken at another institution, you must apply and be granted permission prior to starting the course. To request a letter of permission, complete the visiting student application form and bring it to the Bachelor of Communication Studies office by the deadline.

Fall term: August 1
Winter term: December 1
Spring term: April 1
Summer term: June 1

Please be aware that the application process can take several weeks and you must hand in your completed and signed application by the posted deadlines.

After you complete your course

When you have received your final grade for the course, please ask the institution you attended to send an official copy of the transcript to the Office of the University Registrar. Unofficial transcripts cannot be used to award transfer credit. In-progress grades on a transcript are not accepted.

If you have applied to graduate and have planned to use this course toward your graduation requirements, it is best practice to finish your course at least six weeks in advance of the document deadline date for graduation. It can take a number of weeks for your final grade to be processed and an official transcript generated and mailed to us. Transcripts received after the document deadline will not be accepted and you will need to reapply for the next convocation date.

In all cases, it is your responsibility to confirm that your transfer credit has been processed. Follow the instructions to "Check your transfer credit" above.

Prepare for your field placement

In your third year, you will begin building your portfolio of work and your network of contacts. You will have the opportunity to try out your skills in a real work setting. 

This required course is a 3-credit 180- to 250-hour professional field placement. The number of placement hours vary depending on your major and program of study year. Students normally complete their field placement at the end of their third year.

To prepare for your field placement:

  1. Complete 84 credits of your program of study, including BCSC 306: Ethical Practice and Portfolio with a minimum of grade of C-. Depending on your major, additional course completion requirements may be needed. Please see the program's University Advisor for up-to-date information.  

  2. Ensure your résumé is up-to-date and highlights your skills. You will apply for your field placement position.

  3. Attend a field placement information session. If you cannot attend an information session, meet with the program’s University Advisor to review the requirements to take the Professional Field Placement course.

  4. Request a copy of the Work Integrated Learning Student Handbook from the program.

  5. Apply for the course by sending an e-mail to to the attention of the program’s University Advisor requesting to be added to the program’s field placement list. Include your name, major, student ID number and when you expect to start your field placement (fall, winter, spring/summer). The program will use this information to confirm students’ eligibility to take the course and coordinate field placements.

  6. Complete a Work Integrated Learning Confidentiality Agreement and Field Placement Description form when your field placement is confirmed and return to the program office.

  7. Attend a pre-departure orientation session if you are going outside of the country for your field placement.

Forms and further information are available from the program office.

Apply to graduate

To receive your credential, you must apply to graduate by the deadline. You can find the application to graduate in myStudentSystem.

Graduation requirements 

To graduate you must complete all the requirements and adhere to the regulations of the degree and MacEwan University. 

Convocation ceremony 

MacEwan University holds two convocation ceremonies per year. If you complete your degree in December or April, you can convocate in June. If you complete your degree between May and August, you can convocate in November.

Check the Convocation website for details on how to apply to graduate (including deadlines), confirm your attendance, order your gown and order photos.