Applying for grad studies

Get on the path to your next degree.

Getting ready

Follow these steps before you apply for grad studies. Admissions to graduate programs are highly competitive, as there are a limited number of spaces. There is no general right of admission, so it's best to be as prepared as possible.


Ensure you meet admission requirements for the Faculty of Graduate Studies and your program.


Review the application deadlines for your graduate program.


Plan 2-6 months to prepare required documents. International students may need longer.

UCalgary has over 170 graduate credentials in 13 faculties. Find the right one for you. Explore programs

Start your application

Identify the admission category that applies to you and follow the steps below.

If you are thinking of working with an agent, please note that only applications made through the official UCalgary web application will be considered for admission. If successful, an offer will be sent directly to you from the university and made available in the Student Centre. The university does not release admission information to third parties, including agents.

Apply as a regular student if you wish to gain admission to a program leading to a graduate-level certificate or diploma, a master’s or a doctoral degree.

  1. Collect your documentation

    • Check your program requirements to find out which documents and forms you will need to prepare.
    • See the program's list of required documents for submission details.
    • Prospective doctoral students with funding from the China Scholarship Council: see additional information.
  2. Gather references (if required)

    • Contact past professors for potential references. We will invite your referees to complete an online reference form after you submit your application.
    • Some course-based programs do not require references, please see specific admission requirements if you are unsure.
  3. Begin your application

    • Create an eID to log in. If you already have an eID, you can begin your online application
    • Once you begin, remember to click 'Save & Continue' often to ensure your application is saved.
  4. Submit your application

Apply as a visiting student researcher if you are a graduate student from another institution interested in conducting research at the University of Calgary for credit towards your degree. Admission to the University of Calgary as a Visiting Student Researcher is at the discretion of the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

  • Visiting students are normally permitted to attend UCalgary for up to 12 months.
  • It is strongly recommended to align the start of your study period with the start of an academic term at UCalgary. The academic term start dates are:
    • Fall term - September 1
    • Winter Term - January 1
    • Spring Term - May 1
    • Summer Term - July 1​​​​​​
  1. Identify a supervisor in your graduate program of interest

    Contact your graduate program of interest and notify your prospective supervisor of your intention to apply as a Visiting Student Researcher.

  2. Begin your Visiting Graduate Studies application

    • Create an eID to log in and begin your online application
    • Once you begin, remember to click 'Save & Continue' often to ensure your application is saved.
  3. Submit your application

    • Deadlines to apply are:
      • Mar. 1 for Spring session (May to Jun.)
      • May 1 for Summer session (Jul. to Aug.)
      • Jul. 1 for Fall session (Sep. to Dec.)
      • Nov. 1 for Winter session (Jan. to Apr.)
    • Pay your application fee:
      • $125 for Canadian or Permanent residents
      • $145 for International Students

    Learn about payment options here

Apply as an exchange or course-based visiting student if you are a graduate student from another institution interested in taking UCalgary courses for credit towards your degree. 

  1. Check to see if your institution has an exchange agreement with UCalgary

    • Please search here to see if your home institution has an active exchange agreement with the University of Calgary.
  2. If your home institution has an active exchange agreement with UCalgary:

  3. If your home institution does NOT have an active exchange agreement with UCalgary:

    • Apply as a course-based Visiting Student.
    • Create an eID to log in and begin your online application. Once you begin, remember to click 'Save & Continue' often to ensure your application is saved.
    • Deadlines to apply are:
      • Mar. 1 for Spring session (May to Jun.)
      • May 1 for Summer session (Jul. to Aug.)
      • Jul. 1 for Fall session (Sep. to Dec.)
      • Nov. 1 for Winter session (Jan. to Apr.)
    • Pay your application fee:
      • $125 for Canadian or Permanent residents
      • $145 for International Students

    ​For current University of Calgary graduate students who would like to attend another institution as an exchange student, go here.

Joint thesis-based graduate students study and perform research at the University of Calgary and one other institution. The University of Calgary may be either the home or collaborating institution. Joint thesis-based graduate students must have a supervisor at each institution, and spend a minimum of 6 months physically at the collaborating institution. Joint thesis-based graduate students will graduate from their home institution and the degree parchment will include the name of the collaborating institution.

Students who wish to attend the University of Calgary as their collaborating institution apply as follows:

  1. Find a supervisor

    • Check the admission requirements for your University of Calgary program of interest in the Graduate Calendar.
    • Working with your supervisor at your home institution, find a supervisor from your University of Calgary graduate program of interest.
  2. Arrange a joint degree agreement

    • If your home institution does not already have a joint PhD agreement with the University of Calgary, work with your faculty to initiate one.
  3. Apply for admission as a Visiting Student Researcher

    • See steps for how to apply above.

Interdisciplinary degrees allow you to pursue thesis-based research (master's, PhD) in a research area that does not fit within a single graduate program.

  1. Apply in writing

    • Email the home program and copy to the conjoint program. This can be done prior to admission​.
  2. Find two supervisors

    • You will need a supervisor in the proposed home program and a co-supervisor in the conjoint program.
  3. Apply for admission (see steps for regular students)

    Pay your application fee:

    • $125 for Canadian or Permanent residents
    • $145 for International Students

    Learn about payment options here

  4. Additional requirements

    • Provide an abstract of your research proposal and rationale for interdisciplinary work.

    For application details, see Interdisciplinary Degree Regulations

Interested in completing two graduate credentials at the same time? Learn about concurrent registration

Required documents

Please note: required documents vary from one program to another. Your program may not require all of the documents listed below, or may require one or more documents not listed here. Please check your program requirements for a complete list of relevant documents.

Unofficial transcripts

All transcripts uploaded by the applicant are considered “unofficial transcripts”.

Once your application has been submitted, you will be required to go to your online Student Centre and upload transcripts from each of the post-secondary institutions you have attended. If your transcript is in a language other than English, also upload an English translation completed by a Certified Translator.

International students are required to include provisional and degree certificates/diplomas (where applicable/available) along with your transcripts.

Transcript file(s), including English translations and/or degree certificates (if applicable), must be amalgamated into one PDF file per institution, and clearly outline the following:

  • terms
  • institution grading scale
  • course weight (units/credits)
  • grade

Official transcripts

Unless your program instructs otherwise, please do not request official transcripts from the post-secondary institutions you have attended at the time of application. If your application is successful, final official transcripts will be requested with your offer of admission.  

After you have received an offer of admission: 

Official transcripts must be sent directly from all post-secondary institutions you have attended (even if you did not graduate) to the Faculty of Graduate Studies. 

Transcripts can be sent by email to or by mail to the following address:  

Faculty of Graduate Studies 
MacKimmie Tower, Second Floor 
2500 University Drive NW 
Calgary, Alberta, Canada  
T2N 1N4 

Please note that email transcripts must be sent directly from the issuing institution's transcript office (see related FAQ). Hard copy transcripts must be in an envelope sealed by the issuing institution. Learn more about transcripts.

Self-Calculated GPA

Some programs require that applicants calculate their grade point average for a previous degree. Learn more about how to complete this calculation.

Curriculum vitae

Some master’s and doctoral programs require a current version of your curriculum vitae.


Reference letters

Contact your referees and ask if they would provide a letter in support of your application. It is customary to give them at least one month’s notice.

How to find good references

Study proposal

A study proposal provides a clear description of the research or study area that you would like to pursue. Many successful applicants take approximately one month to research and write the proposal.

How to write a study proposal

Writing sample

Some graduate programs require a writing sample. A sample must be something you have written yourself, independently in an undergraduate or graduate class.

English Language Proficiency tests

Applicants whose primary language is not English may fulfill the English language proficiency requirement for academic purposes by taking English Language Proficiency (ELP) exams. ELP scores must be received directly from the test score agency. We are unable to accept test results sent directly from applicants as official documents.

For information on how to share your score to University of Calgary, please see the following links:

Standardized tests (GMAT, GRE, etc.)

Check your program requirements to know which tests you will need to take and the minimum score required to be considered for admission. The time to schedule and successfully complete these tests varies, and so you will need to plan accordingly.

Document translation

If your original documents are not in English, you must request a second set of documents to be given to a translator for a notarized word-for-word English translation. Send the translated copy to your graduate program in addition to your official documents.

Program documents

After you submit your online application, you will receive an email with your UCID number and instructions on how to access your Student Centre, where you will find a to-do list for providing program-specific supporting documents.

How to upload supporting documents

How to view your application status

To avoid delayed processing times please refrain from sending application documents before submitting your application.

International students

You are an international student if you do not hold Permanent Residency or Citizenship in Canada.

The application steps are the same as for domestic students (see above), but you will need to provide your immigration status. For all incoming international students, please indicate that you will be on a study permit. If you are not already inside of Canada on a valid study permit, please still indicate study permit and leave the information blank. You must first be admitted to UCalgary before being able to apply for a study permit, or an extension of your current permit. For information on applying for immigration after you have received your admission offer, please contact

Indigenous students

Please declare your Indigenous identity on the online application form (see regular student steps above). Self-identifying on your application helps us tell you about programs, services, and scholarships for Indigenous students.

Go to our Indigenous graduate students page to get more information and to contact us.

After you apply

After submitting your online application, you will be notified by the program via email if you are required to provide any additional program-specific documents.

Apply for scholarships and awards

You are encouraged to apply for awards when you have submitted your admissions application and received your University of Calgary student number (UCID). You are not required to meet the eligibility requirements in the terms of reference of an award when you apply, but if successful, you must meet the eligibility requirements at the time the award is paid.

Learn more

Apply for residence

The university offers residences for graduate students who are living alone or who require family housing.

Learn about living in residence

Changes to your application

Once you have submitted the online application, it cannot be updated. If your circumstances have changed, please notify your program directly.

Check your status

To check the status of your sent documents or application, log in to your Student Centre. Allow 3-5 business days for changes to be posted.

MyUCalgary login

Ready for graduate studies at UCalgary? Explore programs