G.A.1 Graduate Qualifications

Applicants must hold or obtain the following minimum qualifications before the Faculty will give consideration to admission:

A four-year baccalaureate degree or its equivalent from a recognized institution. Degrees and grades from international institutions are evaluated for their equivalency to those of the University of Calgary. A grade point average equivalent to 3.00 or better (on the University of Calgary four-point system) is required. This will be calculated on the second half of the degree, generally the equivalent of the last two years of full-time graded coursework. For North American institutions using a three-unit scale (where a standard undergraduate degree consists of 120 units), this is equivalent to a minimum of the last 60 units completed at the time of the application. For all other institutions, the courses and grades used to calculate the GPA depend on the institution’s credit structure and grading scale.

Admission requirements vary depending on the country where previous undergraduate and/or graduate degrees were earned. Visit International Admissions Requirements at ucalgary.ca/future-students/graduate/international for further information on specific degree and grade point average requirements for the country where you earned your degree.

In most cases, a master’s degree or equivalent is required for admission to a doctoral program. See program listings for exceptions and details.

Note: In exceptional circumstances, individuals who do not meet formal academic requirements but who have significant life achievements may be considered for admission to some graduate programs. The candidate must provide the relevant graduate program with evidence demonstrating a potential to undertake successfully the proposed program of studies. Such candidates are advised to make early contact with the graduate program. In all such cases, the decision whether or not to admit rests with the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

English language proficiency. Proficiency in the English language is essential for the pursuit and successful completion of graduate programs at the University of Calgary. Prior to admission to the Faculty of Graduate Studies, an applicant whose primary language is not English may fulfill the English language proficiency requirement for academic purposes in one of the following ways:

a) By taking the Internet-based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL iBT) or the TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition and obtaining a score of at least 86* (with no section less than 20*). When requesting that official test results are forwarded to the University of Calgary, indicate the institution code 0813 and the code appropriate to the graduate program, as listed on the TOEFL website.

b) By taking the Academic version of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and obtaining a minimum score of 6.5* (with no section less than 6.0*).

c) By taking the Cambridge C1 Advanced or Cambridge C2 Proficiency and obtaining a minimum score of 180.

d) By taking the Canadian Academic English Language test (CAEL) and obtaining a minimum score of 70 (with no section less than 60*).

e) By taking the Academic version of the Pearson Test of English (PTE) and obtaining a minimum score of 59*.

f) By taking the Duolingo English Test and obtaining a minimum score of 125* (with no sub-score below 105*). (temporary until Fall 2024 intake)

g) By successfully completing the University of Calgary Academic Communication Certificate (ACC) and achieving a minimum grade of "B+" in each course*.

*Some programs require scores higher than the Faculty of Graduate Studies minima. Some programs may not accept the ACC program or certain tests listed above. See program listings for specific details. Test scores are valid for two years from the date of the test.

The department or graduate program may waive the English proficiency-testing requirement in certain circumstances, such as the possession of a baccalaureate degree or its academic equivalent from a recognized institution in which the language of instruction is English. Contact the graduate program to which you plan to apply for further information.

Students who do not meet admission standards and wish to pursue graduate work may be advised to enrol in the equivalent of a full year (a minimum of graded 18 units) at the senior undergraduate level in order to improve their academic record to acceptable admission standards (a grade of "B" or higher in every course). Students must always discuss this option with the appropriate graduate program before embarking on such a course. All such courses represent “make-up” work and cannot be used for advanced credit towards a graduate degree program. Successful completion of "make up" work does not guarantee admission to a graduate program.

Conditional Admission for Language Upgrading

For certain graduate programs, a student may be offered admission conditional on successful completion of the Academic Communication Certificate (ACC). Applicants must provide proof of enrolment in the ACC program as part of their application for admission. Successful completion of the ACC program requires the student to achieve a minimum grade of "B+" in each course. Programs may require a higher level of achievement, which will be set out in the letter of conditional admission. Students must successfully complete the ACC prior to the commencement of their graduate program, and provide proof of the same, for their graduate program admission to be finalized.  Failure to successfully complete the ACC program prior to the graduate program admission will result in the admission being cancelled.

Back to G.A Graduate Admissions