Diverse Qualifications

The university recognizes that excellence means more than academic achievement. If you’ve achieved excellence outside of academics or have overcome significant hardships, you may seek admission to the university under this process. Diverse Qualifications is available to students who are Canadian Citizens or Permanent Residents.


How do I apply under this process if I'm an undergraduate applicant?


Step One

As a student applying to an undergraduate degree program from high school or as a transfer student from another post-secondary institution, you must apply for admission using the online application at how to apply. You must indicate that you’re applying under the Diverse Qualifications Admission Process in the “Additional Information” section at the end of the application.

When prompted, you’ll need to add contact information for two references you’d like to put forward to support your application. Your references will be contacted by email to provide information on your behalf.*

Step Two

You must complete a personal profile that outlines your special circumstances, personal achievements, and educational goals. You can download the personal profile form by clicking here.

You can upload your personal profile via the upload link under Admissions in your MyUCalgary Student Centre.

The deadline to submit your personal profile and letters of reference is:

  • March 15 for fall and summer undergraduate admission
  • September 15 for winter undergraduate admission
  • February 15 for spring undergraduate admission

*Please note: 

If you wish to change your referee(s) after submitting your initial application, you must send the DQ reference form to your new referees and ensure they submit the completed form by the deadline for your application term, indicated above. Submission instructions are noted on the reference form.

Your references should be respected community members who are both familiar with your situation and able to support the information contained in your personal profile. Examples include (but are not limited to) teachers, coaches, physicians, counselors, religious leaders and community organization representatives. Friends and family are not acceptable references.

Admission under the Diverse Qualifications Process is only available for your first choice program and is not available in the following programs:

  • The bachelor of health sciences (BHSc) program offered by the Faculty of Medicine
  • Honours programs
  • Refer to the requirements of your specific faculty if you’re applying to either the juris doctor program offered by the Faculty of Law, or the doctor of medicine program offered by the Faculty of Medicine

Submitting the required information and documents doesn’t guarantee admission to the university. Admission decisions made under the Diverse Qualifications Process are final and cannot be appealed.

Diverse qualification admission decisions are normally made between May 1 and June 30 for fall admission.

The university may admit up to 1% of our undergraduate students under this process on an annual basis.

Thank you for your willingness to support an applicant to the University of Calgary by providing a reference for their Diverse Qualifications application. As a reference, you are providing additional information that the University can consider while reviewing their file for admission.

Within your reference letter, please provide the following information:

  • Your relationship to the student and an estimate of how long you have known them.
  • Details that support the personal circumstances the student has outlined in their Personal Profile.
  • Explanation of whether you believe the student will be academically successful at our institution and why/why not.

Submission of reference letters for undergraduate degree applicants:

The student will be prompted to include your contact information on their undergraduate application for admission. You will be emailed a secure link through which to submit a reference form. If you do not receive this email or it is not working, you can fill out the DQ reference form and submit by the document deadline for their application term:

  • March 15 for fall and summer undergraduate admission
  • September 15 for winter undergraduate admission
  • February 15 for spring undergraduate admission

Submission instructions are noted on the reference form.


How do I apply under this process if I'm an Open Studies applicant?


Step One

To be considered under the Diverse Qualifications process for Open Studies you must first apply for admission to Open Studies online.

Step Two

Upon submission of the Open Studies application for admission, you need to let us know you’d like to be considered under the Diverse Qualifications process. To do this, please fill out an Diverse Qualifications Request form which includes:

  • Your name and University of Calgary ID (UCID) number
  • The name and email addresses for two references*

Upon submission of the request form, we will add Diverse Qualifications to your file and the required to-do items will be added to your MyUCalgary Student Centre. This allows you to track submission of your required Diverse Qualifications documents, including reference letters.  

The last day to request to add Diverse Qualifications to your application is the application deadline for your application term:

  • July 31 for fall term Open Studies admission
  • November 30 for winter term Open Studies admission
  • March 31 for spring term Open Studies admission
  • May 31 for summer term Open Studies admission

Step Three

You must provide your references* with the DQ reference form.

Please advise your referees to submit the completed reference form by the document deadline for your application term as noted in Step Four. Submission instructions are noted on the reference form.

Step Four

You need to complete and submit the Open Studies Diverse Qualifications Personal Profile which includes an outline of your special circumstances, personal achievements, and educational goals. You can download the Open Studies DQ Personal Profile form by clicking here.

Please upload your profile via the upload link under Admissions in your MyUCalgary Student Centre.

The deadline to submit your Personal Profile and letters of reference is:

  • August 10 for fall term Open Studies admission
  • December 10 for winter term Open Studies admission
  • April 10 for spring term Open Studies admission
  • June 10 for summer term Open Studies admission

*Please note: Your references should be respected community members who are both familiar with your situation and able to support the information contained in your personal profile. Examples include (but are not limited to) teachers, coaches, physicians, counselors, religious leaders and community organization representatives. Friends and family are not acceptable references.

Submitting the required information and documents doesn’t guarantee admission to the university. Admission decisions made under the Diverse Qualifications Process are final and cannot be appealed.

Thank you for your willingness to support an applicant to the University of Calgary by providing a reference for their Diverse Qualifications application. As a reference, you are providing additional information that the University can consider while reviewing their file for admission.

Within your reference letter, please provide the following information:

  • Your relationship to the student and an estimate of how long you have known them.
  • Details that support the personal circumstances the student has outlined in their Open Studies Diverse Qualifications Profile.
  • Explanation of whether you believe the student will be academically successful at our institution and why/why not.

Submission of reference letters for Open Studies applicants:

Please complete the DQ reference form and submit by the document deadline for the Open Studies application term:

  • Fall term – August 10
  • Winter term – December 10
  • Spring term – April 10
  • Summer term – June 10

Submission instructions are noted on the reference form.

Students walking

Current UCalgary students

Please note the Diverse Qualifications process applies to new/incoming students only. If you have questions about having exceptional circumstances considered as a change of program applicant, please connect with the Faculty to which you are applying.

Connect with your faculty

If you are applying under the Diverse Qualifications Process as a result of being impacted by sexual violence, please note that we have dedicated sexual violence support on campus. We recommend that you seek support and advice on this process from their office before submitting your application. It can be difficult to know what to share and in appreciating that this is a very sensitive matter, we want to ensure that you feel confident regarding your safety during this process. You can contact the sexual violence support team by emailing svsa@ucalgary.ca or through the sexual violence support webpage.