What is a major?
A major is a specific discipline that you can choose to focus on as your main area of study within a degree program. In the B.L.A. program you do not have a major; your degree program is your academic designation.
What is a minor?
A minor is a secondary area of focus. It is an option if you would like an educated introduction to a particular discipline. If you are interested in pursuing a minor, you are not required to declare it until after first year. You should discuss this option with your Program Counsellor.
How do I know which courses to take?
Follow your Schedule of Studies. It will list the core courses you must complete to graduate with a B.L.A. degree.
When do I get to take electives?
Your Schedule of Studies lists the courses that a student will take to obtain the degree while also listing the amount of electives students will take.
Are there co-op options?
Currently the B.L.A. degree does not offer co-op options, but students are able to enroll in LARC*4620: Internship in Landscape Architecture for an academic credit related to experience in the industry.
What is Distance Education or "DE"?
Distance Education (DE) is a learning style that allows students to learn independently. Courses offered through DE have no classes; they are offered online only. These courses are offered by the University of Guelph through the Office of Open Learning to provide more flexibility for students who cannot or who prefer not to participate in more traditional learning opportunities. For more information please see Open Learning. Please see the Schedule of Fees to see the additional costs associated with taking a course in DE format. Not all courses are offered in DE format.
Do I need a computer/laptop?
Generally, a current generation laptop or notebook with wireless capability should suffice. You will at some point in the program be running AutoCAD, InDesign, SketchUp and Microsoft Office (suite of programs including Word, Excel, etc). Explaining this to a salesperson should get you what you need. A higher end "graphics card" (like "gamers" use) will be worth it as you may be running some software concurrently. Apple versus PC is your choice, we tend to see about a 50/50 split here in the program.
While you don't really need any specific software upon entry consider exploring purchasing your software through UG's CCS (Computing & Communications Services) as they tend to have very good discounts. You may need to wait until you have your UG numbers/passwords in place to do so. Many of the nearby Universities are quite flexible in their rules to allow you to purchase there and achieve educational discounts. Also, many of the software companies have "student trial versions" for free such as Autodesk, which puts out the AutoCAD software. Course instructors will likely be making suggestions as these programs become needed in the course.
Who do I approach if I am having problems with my courses?
There are several places for you to get assistance with class material. Options include asking the course instructor questions after class or during posted office hours, Supported Learning Groups (SLGs), Teaching Assistant (TA) office hours, as well as help sessions offered by the individual class. You also have the option of hiring a tutor if you feel it is necessary. See the Additional Support section of this website.
What do I do if I am ill for an assignment, midterm or lab?
If you are ill, and unable to complete any graded work that takes place during the semester please follow the instructions provided to you in the Course Outline or contact the Course Instructor. If you are unsure who to contact or what to do, then please contact your Program Counsellor. Do not write a midterm exam unless you are confident that you are medically fit to do so. Once an exam has been written there are very limited options in terms of academic consideration (none of which are guaranteed). If you feel you have other grounds to miss an assignment or midterm, please contact the Course Instructor. If it is something affecting multiple courses, please contact the Program Counselling office.
What do I do if I am ill during Final Exams (or have other valid grounds for missing a Final Exam or Final Assignment)?
Do not write an exam unless you are confident that you are medically/psychologically fit to do so. Once an exam has been written, there are very limited options in terms of academic consideration (none of which are guaranteed).
If you are ill, please go to your doctor or Student Health Services and obtain medical documentation. When you are well enough to return to campus, please bring the original copy to the Program Counselling office and ask for a Deferred Privilege Request form to apply for a Deferred Final Exam or Deferred Condition. A Deferred Condition would normally refer to a situation where the missed work is a final assignment or final paper, for example (usually something other than a regularly scheduled exam). If you feel you have other grounds to miss an exam or final assignment, please contact the Program Counselling office. The policy on Academic Consideration can be a helpful resource for definition of grounds.
Can I repeat a course?
If you fail a course (grade below 50%), you can register for it and take it again. However, both grades will be factored into your average and will remain on your transcript. If you pass a course (grade of 50% or higher) you cannot retake it unless special permission is granted to do so.
What is the difference between full-time and part-time?
Full-time registration is enrolment in 2.00 or more credits. Part-time registration is 0.25-1.75 credits. Information relating to how full-time versus part-time status affects tuition can be found at Student Financial Services. If a student is interested in taking a part-time load for one or more semesters, they can discuss this option with their Program Counsellor.
Is there some kind of accommodation given if I have three or more midterms or exams in a 24 hour period?
No. Students are given their exam schedules prior to the start of the semester and therefore have time to change their courses if they are concerened about the scheduling of the exams. It is your responsibility to check when your finals are. If you have exams that are scheduled at the same time or overlap in any way, you need to drop and choose another course before the end of the Add Period. More information can be found by reading the University of Guelph's policy on final examinations, under the heading Student's Responsibilities on page 37.
What is the minimum average I need to stay in the program?
Many variables determine the answer to this question. First, whether your Admission Status is Schedule 1 or Schedule 2. Second your Current Academic Status determines the average which you need to maintain in order to stay enrolled in the B.L.A. program. Please contact your Program Counsellor if you have questions about your academic status.
Do all class sections have the same professor?
Not all class sections have the same professor. Some of the larger classes (such as PSYC*1000) may have different professors because there are so many different sections. The assigned professor is generally listed in your class schedule on WebAdvisor. In some cases, where there is more than one professor who teaches the class throughout the semester, WebAdvisor will list the Course Coordinator and you will find out the assigned professors from the course outline on the first day of class. If you miss a lab or have a conflict of another kind, contact your Course Coordinators. Course Coordinators generally do not teach the course.
What postgraduate options exist?
There is a MLA program at Guelph. Explore other postgraduate options by looking into the various Graduate Studies programs offered at the University of Guelph. Career Services is also an excellent resource for your job search and options after graduation.