Registering for HIS courses: General Information

 Important Advice:

1)  Register as soon as you are allowed to!

We reserve a substantial proportion of our seats for HIS students. If some of those seats are unclaimed after a couple of weeks, non-history students can then take them. So, the longer you wait, the lower your chances of getting what you want.

2)  For students entering FOURTH year: Seminar registration

4000 courses and seminars are reserved for majors and honours-specialisation students. We unfortunately rarely have extra spots for non-majors, or for students who would like to take more than the number required to graduate (four seminars for honours specialisation; one seminar and one 4000-course for majors). If somehow Rabaska allows you to register in more seminars than you need, we unfortunately will have no choice but to remove you from the extra seminar. (Otherwise, some students will not be able to graduate!)

That said: if you would like to get into a seminar when Rabaska will not let you, let us know. (See below for details.)

3)  For students entering SECOND year:

We suggest VERY strongly that you take the methodology course in your second year.

4)  Inform us as soon as possible if you are having registration problems.

If you are a history student and are not able to register in a course you require to graduate, please contact or go in person to the Undergraduate office of the Faculty of Arts, Simard Building, Room 128 (phone : 613-562-5134 or 1-877-UOTTAWA (868-8292), ext. 5134).

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ #1. Rabaska does not show the title and subject of a “selected topic” course. How can I find out this information? 

You can find course titles and descriptions in the Undergraduate Course Guide Fall-Winter 2016-2017.


FAQ #2. I need one more seminar [or 3000-level or 4000-level course] to graduate, but they are all full. What can I do?

Send a request ASAP to with your student number, the program you are in (major, honours, etc.), the stage you will at in your studies and the seminar information. 

For example:

  1. student number 1234567
  2. honours history
  3. first semester, fourth year
  4. need one more seminar; could only register in three
  5. list of seminars that fit in your schedule, in order of preference 


FAQ #3. I am pursuing a major in history and I would like to take more than one seminar because... I am doing a minor and I would like to take a seminar because... It is possible??

Send a request to the academic secretariat ( with your student number and your program (specialization, major, etc.) and briefly explain why you want to follow the course. Make sure you submit your application no later than mid-August. If there are seats remaining after students needing the course to complete their studies have enrolled, we will register you.


FAQ #4. I can not register a seminar or course that I really want. Can I do something?

Try periodically Rabaska. You can also send a request to the academic secretariat ( with your student number and your program (history major, minor, etc.) and briefly explain why you want to follow the course. Send your request by mid-August.


FAQ #5. I'm in Yukon currently planting trees and I do not have Internet access. What should I do to register on time?

You can send a signed registration form by FAX to the academic secretariat (613-562-5973)


FAQ #6. I cannot take a particular course this year. Will it be given again next year?

Not always: 1000-level courses are given every year; courses at the 2000 level on 20th century history are generally offered every year; other 2000-level courses are generally given every two years; 3000-level courses are offered every two or three years (depending on availability of teaching staff). Course topics for most courses designated as “selected topics” change from year to year. 


FAQ #7. Is there a waiting list for courses that are full? 

No. However, keep trying to register through Rabaska. There is always considerable movement in and out of courses in early September.


FAQ #8. I am in third year and I would like to take a seminar or 4000 level courses. Is this possible?

Normally no. We must reserve seats for fourth year students who need to complete their program. But if you have all the prerequisites to attend a seminar, you can send a request to the academic secretariat ( explaining why you want to take the course now. If there are seats remaining after every fourth year student has enrolled, we will register you.


FAQ #9. How to identify seminars vs. 4000-courses?

If the title says “Seminar in…” it is a seminar. If it says “Selected topics in…” it is a course.


FAQ #10. What is the difference between the major and the honours programs?

The most obvious difference is that the major requires 14 history courses, while the specialisation requires 20. This means that you can combine Honours with a Minor, but not with a Major. 
Specialisation will give you access to seminars in fourth year. Majors can (and must) take one seminar; honours specialisation can (and must) take four. Seminars are small discussion-oriented classes capped at 15 students. This is where you will be able to pursue a topic in depth (through research, presentations, discussion), and will work more closely with professors and fellow students. The Honours programs is more demanding, especially in fourth-year.

If you are thinking that you might one day be interested in pursuing a graduate degree, the Honours program provides the best preparation.


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