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University of Calgary Calendar 2016-2017 Faculty of Graduate Studies 3. Admissions
3. Admissions

There is no general right of admission to Graduate Programs. Each program determines whether to recommend to the Faculty of Graduate Studies the admission of a particular applicant based not only on the applicant's credentials but also on the availability of resources for supervision and research, departmental research objectives, program balance, and other such considerations. Taking these considerations into account, graduate programs are expected to act in equitable manner in their admission procedures.

Graduate students are admitted to the Faculty in one of the following categories:


Students may be admitted to a program leading to the master's or doctoral degree, provided admission qualifications are met.

Interdisciplinary Degree: A student wishing to pursue a thesis-based master’s or doctoral degree in an area not sufficiently represented by one graduate program can request to do an interdisciplinary degree. In an interdisciplinary degree program, the student is admitted to both a home program and a conjoint program. The student submits an application form and fee along with official transcripts and letters for reference to the proposed home program, which will liaise with the proposed conjoint program.

Special Case Admission may be used when resources are available to admit a student to undertake graduate studies, but no appropriate program exists. Contact the relevant department for details.


A student who meets the qualifications for admission but lacks the necessary background for a graduate program in a chosen area of specialization may be admitted as a qualifying graduate student. Upon satisfactory completion of a qualifying year, the student may be transferred to regular student status. Qualifying graduate students must be full-time registrants in either a master's or a doctoral degree program. Qualifying status will not be granted for a period exceeding one year.

Because a qualifying student is required to take more courses in a degree program than a regular graduate student, a qualifying student in a thesis-based degree program will be assessed an extra year of full program fees. A qualifying student in a course-based program will pay tuition fees for the extra required courses on a per-course basis. Tuition fees for courses taken during the qualifying year will not count toward the tuition fee for the degree program.


A student who is registered in a graduate degree program at another university that does not have an exchange agreement with the University of Calgary, and who wishes to engage in course work and/or research at the graduate level at the University of Calgary for credit at their home university may be admitted as a visiting graduate student. A visiting student must submit a completed Visiting Student Application form and the application fee. Visiting students apply to specific graduate programs, and the applications are forwarded to the Faculty of Graduate Studies for registration. Visiting students pay all applicable general and tuition fees. Visiting students are normally permitted to spend a maximum of one year at the University of Calgary. It should be noted that admission as a visiting student does not guarantee later admission to a graduate program at the University of Calgary.


The Faculty of Graduate Studies at the University of Calgary has reciprocal exchange agreements with other institutions. Graduate students from these institutions may engage in course or research work at the University of Calgary for credit at the home institution. Exchange students must submit the appropriate application/approval form ( Exchange students pay tuition fees at the home universities when this is written into the specific exchange agreement; they pay only the applicable general fees at the University of Calgary. If there is no reciprocal agreement, the exchange student pays both applicable general and tuition fees at the University of Calgary. It should be noted that exchange student status does not guarantee later admission to a graduate program at the University of Calgary.

The Western Deans' Agreement covers graduate students from member universities in British Columbia (British Columbia Institute of Technology, Royal Roads University, Simon Fraser University, University of British Columbia, University of Northern British Columbia, Thompson Rivers University and University of Victoria), Alberta (Athabasca University, Concordia University College of Alberta, University of Alberta, University of Calgary, University of Lethbridge), Saskatchewan (University of Regina, University of Saskatchewan), and Manitoba (Brandon University, University of Manitoba).

The Canadian Graduate Student Mobility Agreement, initiated by the Canadian Association for Graduate Studies (CAGS), encourages graduate student mobility within Canada in order to foster the exchange of ideas, specialized training, research collaboration, and interdisciplinarity. Graduate students, who must be registered full-time and paying fees at a participating home university, may register as "visiting graduate research students" at another participating university. No tuition fees will be charged to visiting graduate research students, provided they are not taking courses at the host institution. Incidental fees may be charged.