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Academics are a fundamental part of the university experience, after all, you’re here to learn. At Carleton, we’re committed to helping you achieve academic success from registration to graduation.

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Lectures are classes that could contain anywhere from 30 to 400 students. Lectures are taught by a professor and often have a linked component such as a lab or a tutorial that is smaller in size. Lectures assist students with the comprehension of their course readings and teach important course concepts, research techniques, and critical thinking skills.

First-Year Seminars

First-year seminar courses are small classes (usually with 30 students) designed to give students the opportunity to discuss and research topics of interest in a core subject area. Most university students are in their third or fourth year of study before they have the opportunity to take seminar courses. If you are a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Cognitive Science, Bachelor of Communications and Media Studies or Bachelor of Global and International Studies student you have the opportunity to join a learning community at the first-year level through enrollment in a First-Year Seminar.


A tutorial is a linked component to a lecture which allows a more intimate discussion of course topics. Tutorial sizes generally range from 20 to 30 students. Tutorials are led by Teaching Assistants who are either Graduate students or upper-year Undergraduate students. Tutorials are designed to complement the lecture and attendance is mandatory.


Just like tutorials, labs are linked components of lectures. During your lab you will be applying the knowledge you learned in your lecture. Labs are led by Teaching Assistants who are either Graduate students or upper-year Undergraduate students. It’s important to attend as it is a great opportunity to strengthen your understanding of concepts learned during your lecture. Just like tutorials, attendance at labs is mandatory.


The syllabus tells you what to expect during a course. It will explain how the course will progress through the semester. You will find your reading schedule, a breakdown of assignments and information about how your instructor likes to teach their course. This is an important document to read and be familiar with, course syllabi can be accessed through cuLearn once they have been published.

Course Work


For each of your classes you will have some materials that will need to be completed before each class. The purpose of weekly readings is to provide you with some knowledge of the subject that you will be discussing during the week in your lectures and tutorials. It’s important to complete these readings each week as they will help you prepare for your class and you may be tested on this material.


Sometimes your professors will give you quizzes that need to be completed by a certain date. These are generally given to test your knowledge of the weekly readings or the information you covered in class.


Assignments come in a variety of forms and lengths. Sometimes classes have weekly assignments while sometimes you may have one larger assignment for the whole semester. It’s important to plan out your time so that you can complete all your assignments by their deadline no matter how big or small they are.


Just like assignments, papers can be of various lengths. You might have multiple shorter papers due during your semester or you may have one large term paper. Just like your assignments, it’s important to structure your schedule so that you can complete your papers by their due date.

Services and Accounts


cuLearn is your online learning dashboard. Most of your classes will have a cuLearn section where professors can post reading materials, grades, assignments and emails. You can also use cuLearn to contribute to online discussions and forums as well as email your classmates.


MyCarletonOne is your username and password for all things Carleton. Throughout your time at Carleton you’ll use your MyCarletonOne to access email, use the wifi and login to computers across campus.

Everyone reacts to the university transition in their own way, but there are some common challenges that there are some common challenges that all students face. While getting oriented to a new campus, learning university policies and procedures and adjusting to different class sizes and academic expectations may seem daunting, we have some tips to help ease your transition to life at Carleton.

Download the Carleton Mobile app! Available for iPhone and Android, this app allows you to view your class and exam schedules, access grades and academic apps like cuLearn, view student account information and get around campus using the campus map. The app will help you get to know campus in your first couple of weeks while you locate your classrooms and lecture halls. You can also see your course schedule on Carleton Central.

The Centre for Student Academic Support (CSAS) is a centralized collection of learning support services designed to help students achieve their goals and improve their learning both inside and outside the classroom. CSAS offers academic assistance with course content, academic writing and skill development. Visit us on the 4th floor, MacOdrum Library and find out which of our services is best for you!

Learning Support Sessions

Learning Support Sessions are available at the Centre for Student Academic Support for students who are looking for an opportunity to build on skills that can help them achieve personal and academic success. Learn how to tackle academic challenges, such as time management, and develop study skills that can strengthen your academic performance get help with your academic writing by visiting with a Writing Services tutor or sit down with a PASC Subject Coach for help understanding difficult course material.

Group Support

If you enjoy learning in groups and collaborating with others, CSAS runs weekly sessions and workshops. Practice your English speaking skills at an English Conversation Session. You can review course material through fun, collaborative activities and gain a better understanding of the concepts discussed in your lectures at a Peer Assisted Study Sessions (PASS) workshop. You can also attend a Learning Support Workshop to improve your study habits.

Peer Support

For students who have a difficult first semester at Carleton, Bounce Back is a mentorship program that pairs first-year students with an upper-year Facilitator. This Facilitator can offer support and help the student work through issues that may be impacting their academic performance and help them work towards academic and personal success.

If you’re a transfer student, the Transfer Student Peer Mentor Program matches new upper-year students with former transfer students for personalized support. Mentors are able to draw from their personal experiences as new students and can advise you on important student services.

If you’re looking for some support and guidance in your first months at Carleton, look no further than the First Year Connections (FYC) program. The First Year Connections program helps first year students make a successful transition to university life by guiding them to achieve their personal and academic goals. Having a mentor during your first few weeks at Carleton can help you get adjusted to your new surroundings. You will be paired with an upper year student who is in a similar academic program and has a similar schedule as you in order to match you with someone who will have the skills needed to help you along your way as you get acclimated to Carleton. Having a mentor is a great way to become connected to campus, focus on your academic success and personal growth, gain support from your peers at Carleton, and make connections with other students.

Carleton is pleased to welcome college graduates and university transfer students to our campus community. We recognize that transfer students have unique backgrounds and transition needs. We have developed dedicated support services to help facilitate a smooth transition into a new cultural and academic environment. Here, you’ll find a stimulating campus community where you can meet new people, get involved in activities that interest you, and experience all that living in Ottawa, Canada’s national capital, has to offer.

Top 4 Academics Tips