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FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

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Welcome to the University of Alberta Bookstore FAQ! Below you will find answers to our most frequently asked questions about the store and website. If you can’t find the answer you’re looking for, chat with us or send us a message via our contact form. We’re happy to help!

General Questions

In-store shopping and free online order pick-up are available at our North Campus (Edmonton) location, in the Students’ Union Building (SUB).

We also offer free online order pick-up at the Augustana Founders’ Hall in Camrose.

Click here for store hours and other details.

Our North Campus (SUB) location is currently open 10 am - 4 pm, Monday through Friday.

Online order pick-up at Augustana is open 11 am - 1 pm, Monday through Friday.

We’re closed all statutory holidays. See upcoming closures and extended shopping hours.

In-store: We accept Cash, Debit (Interac), OneCard, Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Union Pay and University of Alberta Bookstore Gift Cards.

If you are purchasing on behalf of a University of Alberta department, we also accept indents with proper authorization.

Online: Our online system accepts Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Visa Debit, Mastercard Debit, Union Pay and University of Alberta Gift Cards.

We are unable to process Interac Online at this time.

No - everyone is welcome to shop at the store! Some course materials are restricted to students in specific classes, but all other items and special orders are available for purchase by the general public.

Yes! Simply select “Free in-store pick-up” for your preferred location (North Campus (SUB) or Augustana) at checkout.

Please wait until you receive an order-ready email before coming to the store. You’ll need to bring your order number, surname used at checkout and photo ID to the pick-up spot. Click here for further details.

We ship across Canada and around the world! Visit our shipping page for more information.

Most items are eligible for return or exchange within 30 days, with receipt and in original condition. There are a few exceptions to this rule, including special policies for textbooks, PPE, and medical supplies. Please read our full return policy for details.

You can chat with one of our friendly representatives below during store hours, or fill out our contact form and we’ll be in touch as soon as possible.

If you're on North Campus, drop in during our regular store hours and say hello! We're here to help.

Please check our jobs page for current postings.

Website and Online Shopping

Our online system accepts Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Visa Debit, Mastercard Debit, Union Pay and University of Alberta Gift Cards.

We are unable to process Interac Online at this time.

A pre-authorization is a temporary hold on the amount of your order prior to the payment being fully processed. It is not an actual charge. Please contact your banking provider for further details on how

The card you have on file will not be charged until your order is processed. Your order is processed in the order we receive them. If the item you are purchasing is not in stock (ie. has not arrived to us yet), your order status will remain as "processing" until we get them.

Unfortunately, we cannot process an online order without payment or accept payments over the phone. If you are unable to order online, please come to the store to purchase your items.

If you have not initiated a cancellation, it may be that your payment method was declined or the item you’ve ordered is discontinued. Please contact us for more information.

No - we offer a guest checkout for those who prefer it. You will still need to provide your name, email, shipping address and credit card information for the transaction, but we do not store this information longer than we need to. Please see our privacy policy for further details.

We’re sorry to hear you’re running into issues! Please contact us via chat or submit a ticket and we’ll be happy to help you sort it out.

Click here to unsubscribe from our newsletter. Don’t worry - you’ll still receive important information about current online orders, like confirmations, pick-up information, etc.

Textbooks and other course materials

A required textbook is a book your professor has chosen which contains necessary readings and materials for successful completion of the course. An optional book is supplemental material chosen to assist in your studies, however is not mandatory for the course. These can include study guides and partial solutions manuals.

In-store

All of our course materials are located on the lower level of the North Campus (SUB) store. Print textbooks are organized by author in alphabetical order.

To purchase ebooks or access codes, please visit the Textinfo desk and we'll be happy to help!

Online

You can use our course materials search to search for books by semester or course.

If you know the title or ISBN of the book you're looking for (usually listed in your class syllabus), you can search for it directly by using the search bar at the top of the website.

No matter which search method you use, you'll see options for print (new and used) and digital editions. Please visit our digital textbooks section for more information on access codes and ebooks.

If your upcoming term (i.e. Fall 2022, Winter 2023, etc.) isn’t listed, it means that course materials are not available for purchase yet. Check back soon, follow us on Instagram or sign up for our email newsletter to be notified when the new list is published each semester.

If you have found your course in the Course Materials Search and no materials are listed, it usually means that you do not need to purchase any books for your class. Please refer to your syllabus or check with your instructor for confirmation.

If your class isn’t listed in the Course Materials Search, but your syllabus gives you a book with an ISBN number, you can use that number to find your book with the regular site search.

If you are still having trouble finding what you need, please contact us or use the chat below and we’ll be happy to help!

A printed textbook is just what it sounds like - a physical book.

A digital textbook is a file viewed on a computer, tablet or ereader, sometimes in a DRM protected pdf or ebook format or, more commonly, via a publisher-specific app. Please be sure to check viewing requirements and publisher app compatibility with your device before purchasing.

An access code is often included with both print and digital editions to give students access to additional online content, such as practice tests, supplementary videos, extra tutorials and exercises, etc. Some instructors require access codes be used to complete the class, while others do not - please refer to your course syllabus or ask your instructor for confirmation.

If you purchase a used textbook, and your instructor requires use of the access code, they can typically be purchased separately.

*Please be aware that the price of a separate access code is often equal to that of a new textbook. This is done by publishers to discourage the purchase of used textbooks. Always check to see if an access code is required before purchasing used and compare prices.

eBooks and access codes are non-refundable, so please ensure you check you have the correct item for your class before purchasing.

You can return your textbook with a receipt and in original condition during the textbook return period at the beginning of each semester. Please refer to our return policy for further details.

Once the course material return deadline for the semester has passed, all textbooks, course packs and lab kits are final sale.

A course pack is a bundle of printed course materials (readings, exercises, etc.) selected by your instructor and approved by the copyright office. They are typically printed on-demand, and typically take about 24 hours for turnaround.

Course packs are eligible for in-store pick-up or shipping, and can be ordered online like any other textbook. They can also be purchased in-store at the Textinfo desk, lower level SUB. (Turnaround time still applies on in-store purchases.)

A lab kit is a bundle of materials selected by your instructor to complete specific lab activities. It allows you to buy exactly what you need in one convenient bundle rather than trying to source the individual items yourself.

To find a lab kit for your class, please use the main search bar at the top of the site and search your course name.

We sell lab coats and PPE in-store and online here. If you’re not sure what you need, please check your syllabus or contact us via chat or message for assistance.

Calculators are available here. Use the filters to find the correct calculator for your course.

Engineering students will need to have their calculators approved and marked with a sticker. Please refer to the Faculty of Engineering Calculator Policy for further details.

Publishers determine the base price of textbooks based on several factors, including demand and publishing costs. To keep your cost of textbooks as low as possible, we only add enough margin to cover minimal shipping and operational costs.

The Bookstore is committed to working with faculty and departments across the University of Alberta to help reduce textbook costs and improve equitable access to learning materials for all students. We support the Zero Cost Textbook Program announced in Fall 2020, and continue to work on additional initiatives to help subsidize, reduce, or eliminate textbook fees in the coming years. Updates will be posted to our website, Instagram account and newsletter as available.

If you require financial assistance to help cover your textbooks and other educational costs, there are several resources available to students. The Office of the Registrar offers information on scholarships, bursaries, student loans, emergency funding and other financial aid opportunities. You can also search “financial aid” or “funding” on ualberta.ca for department-specific supports, or check out the Student Union (UASU) website.

If your course uses Open Educational Resources (OER) or does not list a textbook, it means one is not required for your class. Typically instructors will provide resources throughout the class or refer you to the Library to access educational materials at no additional cost.

TIP: Classes that do not require paid course materials are labelled with Zero Textbook Cost (ZTC) in Beartracks.

Yes, we typically host a used textbook buyback in April each year. The exact date and details are usually announced on our website, Instagram, and student digest in mid-late March each year.

You can also sign up for our newsletter to be notified of this and other sales and events throughout the year!

Digital Textbooks and Access Codes

An access code is provided by textbook publishers to give students access to additional course materials, such as practice tests, assignments, videos, etc. Access codes are usually bundled with new textbooks (both print and digital editions), but may also be purchased separately.

Not all courses make use of access codes - check with your instructor or refer to your course syllabus to see if it is required for your class.

TIP:If you are considering a used textbook, ALWAYS check to see if you need the access code for your class first. While you can purchase access codes separately, the cost is often the same as buying a new textbook. (This is a common tactic used by publishers to deter the purchase of used books.)

Online: You can purchase access codes here. Once you’ve received your confirmation email, redeem them here.

In-store: Visit the Textinfo desk on the lower level in SUB to purchase. You'll redeem your code here.

Please allow 15-30 minutes for the access code to arrive. If you still don’t see it, check your spam folder. Still missing? Contact us for assistance.

Your access code will arrive in its own email. Please allow 15-30 minutes for it to appear in your inbox, and check your spam folder. If you still haven’t received your access code, contact us for assistance.

No - your access code will appear in a separate email. There’s no need to come to the store.

Please allow 15-30 minutes for it to arrive and check your spam folder if you don’t see it in your inbox.

If you made a purchase through the official University of Alberta Bookstore website at https://bookstore.ualberta.ca and have not received any emails from us, it may be that you entered an incorrect email address or your account is filtering out our confirmation emails as spam. Please contact us and we’ll be happy to help sort it out.

If you have purchased a digital textbook via a linked third-party site, such as VitalSource, your payment would have been processed through them directly. Please contact them for further assistance.

We do not have any alternative website addresses. If you suspect that you have found a fraudulent site, please let us know.

You will need to redeem your access code here. Please refer to your access code email for details.

Access codes are final sale and cannot be returned. Please verify you have selected the correct access code prior to purchase.

Unless otherwise stated, access codes will be good for 1 school term. If the access period is different, it will be stated as 6 month access, 1 year access, lifetime access, etc.

It depends on what the publisher allows - this can vary from title to title. Most publishers use an app or Adobe DRM to control access to ebooks. You may be able to print a few pages at a time to pdf, but it is rare to be able to download an entire pdf due to copyright restrictions. Please contact the app developer or publisher for more information.

Faculty of Art and Design Orders

As of August 2nd, 2022, all art supplies can be purchased at the Bookstore, in-person or online at bookstore.ualberta.ca/supplies/art-store.

Art supplies are located on our lower level, in the Students’ Union Building.

If you are picking up your art kit at the beginning of the semester, please visit the old art store location in 132 HUB.

If you are ordering additional supplies online, please wait to receive a confirmation email before coming to the pick-up window in SUB. Orders are typically ready within 24 hours.

Please visit the old Art Store at 132 HUB at the beginning of the semester to pick up your kit. If you have questions regarding your art kit, please contact your instructor.

No - neither registration nor a special link are required for purchase. You can find art supplies on the lower level of the Bookstore in the Students’ Union Building, or online at bookstore.ualberta.ca/supplies/art-store.

Studio-dispensed items, including clay, plaster, wood, and copper may be purchased at the Bookstore and picked up from your studio technician. Please keep your Bookstore receipt (orginal copy from the till, or your emailed receipt for online orders) as proof of purchase.

For further details on the pick-up location and process, please contact your instructor or studio technician.

The Bookstore does not manage studio services. Please contact your instructor or another department representative for assistance.

We will accept returns and exchanges on most items within 30 days from the original purchase date, accompanied by the sales or gift receipt and in original condition.

The following items are final sale and not eligible for return: paper products, spray cans, charcoal, items dispensed by the foot, items dispensed from the studios, PPE and special order items.

Please refer to our return policy for further details or contact us with any questions.

Special Orders

Yes! Please visit our custom orders page to submit a quote request.

Yes! Please contact us using the form on our custom orders page and we’ll be happy to help.

Please visit our textbook adoption page for information or contact us for assistance.

Sales and Discounts

Upcoming sales and events are announced on our website and Instagram accounts. You can also sign up for our newsletter to ensure you never miss out!

Generally speaking, yes. We do not mark up products sold online. We may, from time to time, offer online-exclusive or in-store exclusive promotions or discounts, which will be labelled.

University of Alberta Alumni get 10% off in-store purchases with a valid OneCard!

We also offer bulk discounts on department orders. Please contact us for more information.

Online discount codes can only be used online.

Fundraising, sponsorship and partnerships

We’ve partnered with various campus groups over the years, including the Faculty of Native Studies, Campus Food Bank, and First Peoples’ House.

Please fill out our contact form with a brief description of your department/group and fundraising idea, and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Yes, we will consider sponsorship requests from U of A student groups on a case-by-case basis. Please fill out our contact form with a brief overview of your group/event and what you’re looking for, and we’ll get back to you.

Please fill out our contact form with a brief description of who you are and what you’d like to sell and someone will be in touch as soon as possible.