Early Start Experience

Through our Early Start Experience, you can take a liberal education course for credit before the start of the fall term. The Early Start Experience is open to first-year students in all bachelor’s degree programs.

The course (LBED 1500 - The First-Year Experience: Mapping our Communities) has been developed to promote your success and ease your transition from high school to university, while giving you credit towards your degree. Liberal education teaches you how to think critically and become a global citizen.

Early Start Experience (ESE) promotes student success and to eases the transition from high school to university.

Deadline: Applications will be accepted, as long as space remains, until August 18, 2024.

Dates: Typically the last two weeks of August.
             9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, ending at noon on the last day
              Residence move-in is August 18, if applicable

Cost: Standard uLethbridge tuition fees for one course (part of student’s total 40 courses)

  • Early Move-in to Residence ONLY for those staying in selected Residence Housing for 2024-25 year: Early move-in cost for two additional weeks TBD.
  • Meal plan is required for those living in Residence; optional full or partial meal plan available for those not living in Residence.


  1. Acceptance to the Early Start Experience (ESE) is conditional on being accepted to ULethbridge for the Fall 2022 term. ESE is open to students in all majors/programs.
  2. Registration | You will be registered in Summer Session III for the course LBED 1500, as an Open Studies student. Complete the Open Studies application form (PDF) and select “Early Start” in the last section. Please return it by email to the Student Enrolment and Registrar Services (SEARS) office at regoffice@uleth.ca.
  3. There is an initial $140.00 fee ($40.00 open studies fee/$100.00 tuition deposit); once you send in the form you will be contacted about payment information.
  4. The ESE will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday to Friday, starting on the morning of August 21.  Don't worry, you won't be sitting in lectures all day! There will be 2 to 3 hours of lecture per day most days, interspersed with lots of activities, tours, discussion time, work time etc.


Please contact:

Dr. Shelly Wismath
Dean, School of Liberal Education
Email: wismaths@uleth.ca
Phone: 403-329-2529

To be eligible for the Early Start Experience, you must have already applied to the University of Lethbridge for the fall term. Then, complete the Open Studies Registration Form and in the section at the bottom, "I am registering in," select Early Start, and enter LBED 1500 under course subject and number.

Applications will be accepted, as long as space remains, until August 18, 2022.

Early Start participants will:

  • Get a full course credit for a special enhanced version of LBED 1500, The First Year Experience: Mapping our Communities.
  • Build social networks with a diverse group of incoming students.
  • Develop the skills & resources needed to be successful in university.
  • Be able to move into residence early

Activities include:

  • Library skills workshop on resources and research databases
  • Writing skills workshops Sessions on success and study skills
  • Tours of all parts of the campus
  • Guest lectures from some of our best uLethbridge profs
  • Small group meetings with a selection of professors, to discuss courses, research and jobs opportunities
  • Cross-campus Amazing Race
  • Volunteer opportunities in the community

LIB ED 1500 | The First Year Experience: Mapping our Communities

A liberal education challenges boundaries and borders and helps establish connections between ideas and disciplines. University offers a variety of new communities —physical spaces, social relationships and academic communities. This course will introduce you to these communities and help you find your place. Using maps and the process of map-making as guiding metaphors, you will learn valuable social, cultural, and academic skills to help you succeed at uLethbridge.

This course will be based in a classroom, but you will spend a lot of time outside the classroom on tours and activities. Lecturers from diverse disciplines will introduce you to their research; you’ll engage with the academic community and develop connections to professors. Learn about the services and support available to support your success at university and beyond.

What participants have gotten from the Early Start Experience:

“I am filled with amazement with how much more prepared I am for the year. Many—if not all—of my fears, worries, and concerns were all addressed during the classes.  I feel confident that I will be able to use the tools provided by this program, and that I will be able to succeed…no thrive…in my first year.”   2020 Early Start Student

"Over these past two weeks, I have learnt much more than I initially thought I would. I learnt how to navigate the university; and now, I can walk around with confidence, knowing exactly where I am going. But more importantly, I have learnt about all that is possible here at the University of Lethbridge. Just by coming here, I have opened the door to a world of possibilities that wouldn’t have been accessible to me back home." 2022 Early Start Student

I"n ESE I evolved academically from a high school into a university student. My high school self was nervous, full of doubt, and wondering what I had gotten myself into. I was really worried about starting university in the fall, what course work would be like, and how I would find things on campus. Basically, I was a quivering mess. My thoughts of what university is like have changed vastly since the first day. I learned in this course what the university workload and pace was like. I learned about all the opportunities that the university offers. I have turned from a quivering mess into a confident student." 2022 Early Start student.

What our students say about ESE

Early Start Experience