Applying for grad studies

Get on the path to your next degree with these steps.

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. 

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

  2. Review the application deadlines for your graduate program.

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

UCalgary has more than 60 programs and 150 degrees. Find the one for you. Explore programs

Start your application

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

The Graduate Application System will be offline from 4:00 p.m. (MST) on Thursday September 26th to 8:00 a.m. (MST) on Friday September 27th for system maintenance.  Applicants will be able to complete their application but it will not be added to the University of Calgary student system until 1:00 p.m. on September 27th.

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.

You are a regular student if you are applying to a program leading to a post-baccalaureate 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 students with funding from the China Scholarship Council, see additional information.

  2. Gather references

    • Contact past professors for potential references. We will invite your referees to complete an online reference form after you submit your application.

  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

    • Pay your application fee:
      • $125 for Canadian or Permanent residents
      • $145 for International Students

If you are a graduate student from another institution, you can take courses or pursue research at the university for credit towards your degree.

  1. Get approval

  2. Begin your 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

If you are a graduate student from another institution, you can take courses or pursue research at the university for credit towards your degree. 

  1. Get approval

  2. Identify an exchange agreement

    *If there is no exchange agreement that applies to your situation, you can apply as a visiting student, either in a research-based, or a course-based capacity. See How to Apply for Visiting Students.

  3. Submit agreement form

    • Complete and submit the related form to the graduate program by:
      1. November 1 for January session
      2. March 1 for May session
      3. May 1 for July session
      4. July 1 for September session

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

If you are a doctoral student at another institution, you can obtain a PhD jointly awarded by your home university and the University of Calgary.

  1. Check requirements

    • You must meet the PhD requirements of both the University of Calgary and your home university, and have an agreed plan of study and support.
  2. Find a supervisor

    • Find a supervisor from your University of Calgary graduate program of interest.
  3. Apply for admission (see steps for regular students)

    • Pay your application fee:
      • $125 for Canadian or Permanent residents
      • $145 for International Students
  4. Complete Cotutelle documents

    • Submit these documents to the Faculty of Graduate Studies and your home university:
      1. The Doctoral Cotutelle Agreement
      2. The Appendices form
      3. A research proposal and research schedule
    • For current University of Calgary doctoral students who would like to apply to the Cotutelle program, click here

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. Before applying, make sure that both programs of interest offer the same degree (e.g. both programs offer an MA, or both offer an MSc, etc.).

  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
  4. Additional requirements:

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

    For application details, see Interdisciplinary Degree Regulations

Required documents

Official transcripts

Official transcripts must be sent directly from all post-secondary institutions you have attended (even if you did not graduate) to the UCalgary graduate program to which you have applied. The transcript should be sent in a sealed envelope directly from your previous institution(s). Find the mailing addresses for our graduate programs here. You can upload unofficial documents to your online application.

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.

Standardized tests

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

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.

If you have any questions about graduate admissions, please contact

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

Start applying for scholarships and funding as soon as possible. Awards from a variety of sources are available to students of all backgrounds.

Learn more


Apply for residence

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

Learn about living on campus


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

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