Frequently Asked Questions - Students

Getting Started at Trent


Programs and Degrees


Academic Standing

Graduation and Convocation


Getting Started at Trent University

Q: What are my responsibilities as a student?

Students are responsible for familiarizing themselves with the regulations set out in the academic calendar. You will also need to make sure you know the final dates to add and drop courses and the financial deadlines associated with registration, including final refund dates. Check the University Diary section of the calendar for these dates.

Q: What is myTrent?

MyTrent is the student portal at Trent University. It is your personalized way to keep up to date with Trent news and events, check important dates, and view your record. You can use it to update your contact information, check your grades, register and drop courses, access Blackboard and your Trent e-mail, and much more.

Q: Can my parents access my academic information?

Student record information (including application, admission and/or registration information) will not be released to a third party, such as a parent or guardian, without your written authorization. This can be done through your MyTrent portal using the Release of Information Form. This is located under the Resources tab and the Forms heading.

Q: How do I update my contact information?

You can make changes to your mailing address and phone number through the myTrent Portal. Click on the “Academics” tab at the top of the page and click on the “Address” link under the “Account Information” heading.

Q: How will the university communicate with me?

Once your Trent account is active, you will need to use your Trent e-mail address ( for all communication with staff, faculty and other students. This is considered your official contact address and we will only contact you through your Trent e-mail address. Any communication received from a non-Trent address may be ignored or deleted.


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Q: When can I register for courses?

Trent uses a priority registration system which opens registration based on your total completed credits. Registration normally starts in mid-June, beginning with students who have completed at least 16 credits before June 1st. The schedule is posted each year on the timetable website.

Q: Do I register for my winter courses at the same time as my fall ones?

Yes. It is important to register for all your courses for the year as soon as possible to ensure you get a spot in the courses in which you are interested.

Q: Do I have to register for my full year courses in the fall and again in the winter?

No, you will only need to register for each full year course once. However, make sure that you take the course into account when you are building your winter timetable.

Q: I can’t build a schedule that fits my full-year course in both the fall and winter. What are my options?

If you are struggling with choosing a section of a full year course that works in both your fall and winter schedules, you can look into switching to a different section that fits your second term timetable when the fall term finishes. Make sure you discuss this option with your instructor in the fall. If the instructor agrees, have him or her send an e-mail to the Office of the Registrar in January to officially change your registration. It is very important to have our office make this change, or your final grade may not be entered correctly.

Q: I need to register for a course but it’s full. What do I do?

If a class is full, check to see if there is a waitlist. The waitlist automatically offers any spot which becomes available to the first person on the list. If you are offered a spot, you will receive an e-mail to your Trent account. You will have 72 hours to register for the course before your spot is lost. You can check your position on the waitlist by using the Waitlist Management link on myTrent.

Not all courses offer a waitlist. If you have a compelling reason for needing to take the course in this session, you can try contacting the department for permission.

Q: Can I take summer classes?

Summer classes are offered in six or twelve week terms from May to August.  Trent also offers a number of online courses every summer. More information is available on the Trent Summer webpage.


Q: How many classes can I take?

Full time students must take at least 3.5 credits over the full year (fall and winter semesters). A full course load is 2.5 credits per term, or 5.0 credits over the full year. Students in good standing (with an average of at least 60% in 3.0 Trent credits) can put themselves in single overload, or an extra 0.5 credit in each term. The summer course overload rules are slightly different. Please refer to the section on course overload for more information.

Q: What if I want to take more than the maximum number of classes (course overload)?

A course overload is defined as enrolment in more than the maximum number of courses in a term. In the full year fall/winter session, students in good standing may overload by one half credit in each term for a total of 3.0 credits in the fall and 3.0 credits in the winter. In the summer, students are allowed to overload by one half credit in only one of the two six-week terms, for a total of 2.5 credits over the whole summer session. Students who are not in good standing, or who wish to overload by more than one half credit must petition to the Committee on Undergraduate Petitions for permission to overload.

Q: Where can I find information about when classes start or the final date to add or drop a course?

Important sessional dates are posted in the University Diary section of the academic calendar ( This includes the first and last day of classes, the final day to add and drop classes without penalty and reading week dates. Students are responsible for familiarizing themselves with these dates.

Remember that financial deadline dates are often different from academic dates. The final date to receive a refund for a dropped course is normally months before the final date to drop the course and remove it from your transcript. The financial deadlines are published in the University Diary and on the Financial Services website.

Q: Can I take an upper year course without taking the introductory course (prerequisite)?

You may be required to complete an introductory course before registering in an upper year course. This is called a prerequisite. Any prerequisite requirements are listed in the course description in the academic calendar. If you are interested in taking a course for which you do not have the prerequisite, you may wish to submit a Prerequisite Waiver request form in myTrent > Academics > Forms. The department offering the course may be willing to waive the prerequisite if they feel you have the required background knowledge.


Q: I need to leave the university. How do I withdraw?

You are always encouraged to talk to an advisor before you withdraw from Trent. Students often leave the university because they aren’t aware of their options. If you do decide to withdraw, you have to fill out a withdrawal form.  Domestic students can fill out the withdrawal form online through myTrent. International students will need to fill out a hard copy form and get approval from the TIP office.

As long as your withdrawal form is submitted before the last day to withdraw from courses, your courses will be dropped for you when your withdrawal is processed. If the form is submitted after the deadline, the courses will remain on your record. You are strongly encouraged to do your best to finish the courses that are left on your record. If this is impossible, you should contact your advisor to discuss your options.

Q: I dropped a class through myTrent. Will it still show up on my record?

If you dropped your course before the deadline, the course will disappear from your record and does not receive a grade. Once the drop date has passed, the registration system will not allow you to drop courses, and they will stay on your transcript and receive a final grade. If your circumstances changed after the drop date and you will be unable to complete your courses, you should contact an academic advisor to discuss a petition for late withdrawal.

Be sure to check your registration so you know the drop was successful. You can do this by opening the Register and Drop Courses link on myTrent and checking your current courses, or by looking at your timetable.

Q: What is the difference between part-time and full-time? Can I change my status?

Full-time students take at least 3.5 credits over the fall/winter session. Anything less than that is considered part-time. Full-time students can drop to part-time status without officially declaring the change. It is very important to consider finances before you make this decision; consult with your advisor or a Financial Aid representative.

If you were admitted on a part-time basis and now want to transfer to full-time status, you can submit a request through myTrent. The form can be found in your myTrent Portal under the Academics tab and the Forms heading. The Office of The Registrar considers all applications following review of final marks in May. Notifications are emailed to students in mid-June. To be considered for a transfer to full-time studies, you must be in good academic standing (60% cumulative average on 3.0 Trent credits) with at least 50% in each credit.

Q: Why is the course I want to take in the calendar but on not the timetable?

Not all courses are offered each session. If the course is not listed in the timetable, it is not being offered for that session. If you are particularly interested in a course, you can try contacting the department that offers it to find out when it will be available next.

Q: What does each course’s code mean?

A course code consists of four letters indicating the department offering the course and then a four digit number. The first digit in the number indicates the year level. For example, ANTH 1001H is a first year anthropology course. The letter following the course code indicates whether it is a half (H) or full year (Y) course.

Q: What is a cross-listed course?

Courses can be cross-listed with more than one department. This normally means that a course can count for degree credit towards either of the degrees associated with the course. For example, CAST-HIST 3240Y is a Canadian Studies course, but can also count as a history credit. Be sure to check the Academic Calendar before taking a course to make sure it will count towards your degree requirements. There are a few courses that do not follow this pattern so be sure to read the course description carefully.

You can choose which title you would like to appear on your transcript. For example, if you register for CAST 3240Y, that code will appear on your transcript. However, you can also register for HIST 3240Y. It is the same course with the same instructor and students, but will appear on your transcript differently. You can make a change to how a cross-listed course appears on your record until final grades are submitted.

Q: Why can’t I register in this course?

The system will tell you in big red letters at the top of the page why you’re being blocked from registering. Some common reasons for being blocked from registering are:

  1. You don’t meet the prerequisites. If this is the case and you are still interested in taking the course, you can try contacting the department about a prerequisite waiver.
  2. Registering in another course would put you in overload. Students in good standing are able to register themselves in one half credit overload per term in fall/winter session. Students wishing to double overload or students not in good standing wishing to take an overload must petition the Committee on Undergraduate Petitions for permission.
  3. -You need to declare your major. If you have completed at least 3.0 credits at Trent, you will need to declare a major before registering for courses. You can use the Request to Declare or Change Major form on myTrent to do so. You should note that it may take up to three business days before your request is processed.
  4. You have a fee block. Student Accounts can restrict students with outstanding fees from registering in courses. If you owe money to the university, you will need to get permission from Student Accounts before being allowed to register for courses.
  5. You are on suspension. Students on suspension must be away from the university for a year before applying to be allowed back.
  6. If you are a new student, you may have an admission condition outstanding. You may need to submit a document or meet with an advisor before the block is lifted.

The staff in the Office of the Registrar is happy to help answer your questions about registration blocks if you do not think you belong to any of the above categories.

Q: I’m having trouble figuring out my schedule/registering for courses. Where can I get help?

Your academic advisor is your best contact for help building a schedule and registering for courses. It is important to check with him or her to be sure you are choosing courses that will fulfill your degree requirements.

Trent University offers a tool called Visual Schedule Builder to help students arrange a timetable. This video will show you how to access and use VSB to create the best possible timetable and register for your courses:

The advising office has put together a few pages for first year students:

Q: What’s the difference between Blackboard and myTrent?

Blackboard is Trent’s online learning system. It’s an excellent tool for instructors to post lecture notes, assignment grades and encourage online discussion. MyTrent is how you can access and update your record with the university. You will use myTrent to change your major, update your contact information, and do all registration.

It’s very important to understand that you can’t make changes to your registration on Blackboard. If you want to add or drop a course, you have to use myTrent.

Q: When will my course show up in Blackboard?

If the instructor has set up the course, you should be able to see your course on Blackboard the morning after you are registered. If you don’t see the course appear within a few days, contact The Registrar's Office.

Q: I thought I dropped this course but it’s still on my record and the deadline has passed. What do I do?

You should get in contact with your academic advisor and with the Office of the Registrar immediately. You will be advised depending on your situation and how far past the deadline it is.

Q: My request to be registered in/dropped from a course was submitted close to the deadline. Will the staff in the Office of the Registrar get to it in time?

Don’t worry! We will register you in/drop you from a course based on the date that you requested the change. As long as you emailed us before the deadline, we will make the change for you as of that date.

If your request comes in after the deadline, we will let you know how to proceed.


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Programs and Degrees


Q: What is the difference between program and university degree requirements?

It is very important to make sure you meet both the general university requirements and your specific program requirements. The Trent University calendar outlines the university degree requirements which all Trent students must meet to qualify for graduation. For example, there is a limit to the number of first year courses which can be counted towards a degree. It is important to do a degree audit with an advisor to make sure you are aware of all of your requirements before your final year.

Q: How do I declare or change my major?

Students are encouraged to declare their major as soon as possible using the Request to Declare or Change Major application in the myTrent portal. Once you have completed 3.0 credits at Trent, you will be required to declare your major before you can register for courses. If you change your mind later, you can always change your major again using myTrent. You should always make an appointment with an academic advisor when you change your major to make sure you are meeting your degree requirements.

Concurrent and teacher stream students: Changing your major will not remove you from your program.

Q: I have a question about my degree requirements. Who should I contact?

You academic advisor is your first point of contact for help navigating degree requirements and making sure you are progressing towards graduation. You may also want to contact your department for questions about course waivers.

Q: What is a specialization?

 A specialization provides additional focus within a program. To be eligible, students must successfully complete the requirements of both the specialization and their general/honours program. The transcripts of students who have done so will contain the notation “with specialization in ____. For more information, contact your department or take a look at their website. There is a comprehensive list of specializations in Trent’s academic calendar (


Q: What is an emphasis?

 An emphasis consists of a group of courses with a particular focus and is available as a complement to your regular degree. To be eligible, students must successfully complete the requirements of the emphasis and their general/honours program. The transcripts of students who have done so will contain the notation “with an emphasis in ___.” More information about emphases is available in the academic calendar.

Q: How do I declare my minor/emphasis/specialization?

Minors, emphases and specializations are all declared on your application to graduate. If you have met all the requirements, the minor will be noted on your transcript. Minors, emphases and specializations do not appear on the degree parchment.

Minors are not declared until you apply to graduate.


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Q: When are final grades released?

The release date for final grades changes every year, but is normally early January for the fall term and early May for the winter term.

Q: Can I repeat a course I failed?

You can repeat a class to get a higher grade up to twice for a total of three course attempts. Each attempt will appear on your transcript and count in your sessional average, but only the highest one will count towards your cumulative average. You can only get credit towards your degree for one attempt.

Q: I don’t think the grade I received is fair. What are my options?

You have the right to appeal your final grade if you feel it is not accurate or fair. It is sometimes possible to make an informal appeal to your department, so you should contact them first. If you are not satisfied with the outcome of that conversation, you have the right to submit a formal grade appeal through the myTrent portal, Academics -> Forms -> Grade Appeal - Final Grade. Be sure to check the deadlines for submitting appeals in the academic calendar before submitting an appeal.

The form is submitted online to the Office of the Registrar with a $25 payment. The appeal is then sent to the department for consideration. When a decision is made, the department will send the appeal back to the Office of the Registrar, who will notify the student. Inquiries on the status of a grade appeal are best made to the department first.

If you are not satisfied with the outcome of your grade appeal, you have the right to appeal the decision at the Special Appeals committee.

Q: How can I see my grades online?

There are several options for viewing your grades online through your myTrent account. The links below are located under the Academics tab and the Academics heading.

“Academic Record” will show you a list of your courses and the term in which you took them. It also includes your midterm and final grades, the credit earned, and whether or not the course was a repeat.

“Grades by Term” will show you a list of courses with the grade and credit value by term.


The Unofficial Transcript gives you an idea of what your official transcript will look like. It displays all grades and any transcript notations. It does not have an official signature or seal and so cannot be used as an official transcript. You can access the Unofficial Transcript by logging into myTrent and clicking on “Unofficial Transcript” under the Academics tab and the Academics heading. It is highly recommended that you review your Unofficial Transcript before ordering an official transcript.

Q: How do I calculate my average?

Averages are calculated by dividing the total grades by the total number of credits (not courses).
Make sure to divide your half credit grades in half before adding them to your full credit grades.

Example: You took one 1.0 credit course and one 0.5 credit course for a total of 1.5 credits and got the following grades:

1.0 credit 80%;

0.5 credit 70%; 

70 / 2 = 35
80 + 35 = 115;
115 / 1.5 = 76.67%

The Office of the Registrar does not round up. In this example, the average of 76.67% will not be rounded up to 77%. Remember that the lower grade in a repeated course will not count towards your cumulative average. If you have questions about your average, feel free to contact the Office of the Registrar.

Q: Extenuating circumstances are affecting my academics. What are my options?

You should discuss issues you may be having with your academic advisor. He or she may advise that you request an incomplete, aegrotat standing, or submit a petition.


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Standings and Assessments

Q: What is an assessment?

The Registrar’s Office (RO) at Trent University runs academic assessments in May and again in August of each year. Assessments are based on your grades and determine your academic standing. They are designed to evaluate student progress at the university. Only students who have attempted at least 3.0 credits at Trent will be assessed for standing.


Q: I just got notice of my new academic standing. How was it determined?

Standings are based on cumulative and sessional averages. Your cumulative average is the average of all the courses you have ever taken at Trent. Your sessional average is the average of the courses you took in the most recent session. We assess after the fall/winter session and after the summer session. The fall/winter sessional average will be based on your fall and winter final grades. If you are concerned that your standing is incorrect, please contact us right away. Below are some guidelines for common academic standings:

Good: A cumulative average of 60% on at least 3.0 Trent credits, regardless of sessional average.

Probation: A cumulative average of 50%-59.9%.  If you were on probation in your last session and your sessional or cumulative average falls below 50%, you will be suspended.

Suspension: You will be suspended if your cumulative average falls below 50% or if you were on probation in your last session and your sessional or cumulative average falls below 50%.

Q: How do I get on the Dean’s Honour Roll?

The Dean’s Honour Roll is a notation on your transcript that recognizes academic excellence. To be eligible, you must have an 80% sessional average with a cumulative average of at least 75%. All students on the Dean’s Honour Roll will also be assessed in good academic standing. The transcript notation and e-mail notification of Dean’s Honour Roll will follow your notification of good academic standing within a few days.The Registrar's Office does not issue printed certificates for Dean's Honour Roll, though this may be done by your college office.

Q: How do I get on the President’s Honour Roll?

The President’s Honour Roll is for graduating students only with a cumulative average of 80% or better. The transcript notation and e-mail notification of President's Honour Roll will follow your notification of degree conferral.

Q: I am concerned about my academic progress. Who can help me?

Trent offers many options for students in academic distress. Your first stop should always be your academic advisor, who can help you determine the best options for you personally. Some of the programs Trent offers include: Rebound for first year students, peer mentoring, the Academic Skills Centre, the Student Wellness Centre and Student Accessibility Services.


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Graduation and Convocation

Q: I think I am eligible to graduate. What comes next?

The first thing to do when you reach your final year of studies is to make an appointment with an academic advisor as early as possible. Your advisor will run through a degree audit with you and make sure that you have met all your requirements. If you have not met a requirement, you will have time to make adjustments to your registration.

When you believe you are ready to graduate, you can submit the Application to Graduate form online through myTrent. The Office of the Registrar will complete an assessment to ensure your eligibility for graduation.


Q: I graduated. Can I take more courses?

Graduated students are welcome to return to Trent to continue their education. E-mail the Office of the Registrar at and we will advise on how to proceed.

Q: How do I qualify for the President’s Honour Roll?

The President’s Honour Roll is for graduating students who have demonstrated excellence over their academic career at Trent. It is added as a transcript notation and accompanies the assessment of Good standing. To qualify for the President’s Honour Roll, you must have achieved a cumulative average of 80% or better.

Q: How do I apply to graduate and when do I apply?

The Application to Graduate is found on myTrent in Academics in Forms. You should apply as soon as your course registration for your final year is finalized. i.e. early in the Fall term if you are graduating in January or Spring, early in Summer term if you are graduating in September. The deadline to apply to graduate can be found in the Academic Calendar. You will be notified by e-mail to your Trent U e-mail account once an assessment of your academic record is complete.

Q: When can I graduate?

If you complete the requirements of your degree during Summer term you can graduate in September. Complete at the end of Fall term and you graduate in January. If you complete at the end of the Winter term you will graduate in May. As soon as Senate approves the graduation list your academic record is updated to show you have completed your degree. You are then sent notification via e-mail that you have graduated, that official transcripts can now be ordered that are complete and that your degree will be available soon.

Q: When and how do I get my degree?

Your degree or diploma will be presented to you on Convocation day after you have participated in the ceremony when you return your graduation gown. If you are unable to attend the ceremony you can request to have the degree mailed or you can pick it up in the Office of the Registrar in Blackburn Hall. If you graduated in September or January you don’t have to wait until June to receive your degree. As soon as you are notified that you have graduated you can send an e-mail from your Trent U e-mail account to with subject line ‘mail my degree’. Include your name, student number and current mailing address. Your degree will be mailed as soon as it is available, usually within a few weeks of graduating. Alternatively you can come to the Office of the Registrar in Blackburn Hall on the Symons campus to pick up your degree. Degrees are usually not available for pick up or to be mailed for at least three weeks after the graduation date. If you graduate in May and are unable to attend the June convocation ceremony and if you send the e-mail requesting your degree to be mailed, your degree will be mailed after ceremonies, about the middle of June. Please note that your degree will not be released if you owe any money to the University. This includes fines at Bata Library. Unclaimed degrees will be held for two years. If you have not picked up or asked to have your degree mailed to you within two years of graduating you will have to request and pay for a replacement degree. There is a cost for replacement degrees.

Q: Does my Minor (or Specialization or Emphasis) appear on my Trent University degree?

Minors, specializations and emphasis do not appear on the Trent University degree parchment, only on your transcript. Your degree and major(s) do appear on the degree parchment. If you have a joint major the majors are listed alphabetically under the degree. 

Q: What do I need to know about participating in my graduation ceremony?

Convocation ceremonies for everyone who graduated in the last year are held the first week of June.  Check the convocation website for the most up to date convocation information. Grads who owe the University money are encouraged to not miss this celebration of their academic success by participating in their convocation but will not receive their degree at the ceremony. As soon as the fees are paid in full they can request to have their degree mailed.


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