Interested to know how to get into the University of Calgary? The University is the second-best ranked school in Alberta, Canada, and it is also home to one of the best medical schools in Alberta. The University of Calgary is also in the top 10 universities of Canada, and the top 150 worldwide. Located in one of the world’s most livable cities, it is a popular choice for undergraduate students from Alberta, elsewhere in Canada and students from around the globe. The UCalgary campus promises a top-notch education paired with a strong, friendly community and plenty of job opportunities after graduation. In this blog, we’ll look at the programs offered at UCalgary, the admission requirements and eligibility, the admissions process and timeline, tuition and funding opportunities and more.

Disclaimer: BeMo does not endorse or affiliate with any universities, colleges, or official test administrators. The content has been developed based on the most recent publicly available data provided from the official university website. However, you should always check the statistics/requirements with the official school website for the most up to date information. You are responsible for your own results. 

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Article Contents
8 min read

Mission statement Academic overview Eligibility and prerequisites University of Calgary admission statistics Application process Application timeline Tuition and funding opportunities Admissions interview Acceptance, waitlist, deferral information Contact information FAQs

Mission statement

“We create a campus environment that inspires research, learning and community, enriches student experience, and advances sustainability.”

Academic overview

The University of Calgary, also known as UCalgary or U of C, was started in 1944 as an extension of the University of Alberta before separating into its own institution in 1966. Today, the University of Calgary is one of the top-ranked and best universities in Alberta and one of the most prestigious universities in Canada, and among the top 150 universities in the world, with an excellent reputation for education, leadership and research.

Calgary is an excellent choice to study not just for its universities, but for its livability. The city has been named one of the most livable cities in the world many times over, and ranks highly among desirable places to live in Canada overall for its young, friendly atmosphere, plenty of festivals and overall agreeable weather. It you want to know how to study in Canada as an international student, Calgary is a great choice for undergraduate and graduate students alike.

UCalgary is home to over 33,000 students, including over 25,000 undergraduate students and 6,000 graduate students. The international student population sits at 10%. The university has 14 faculties, and over 250 programs available for students. It is also home to a top ranking vet school, the Schulich School of Engineering, the Haskayne School of Business and the Cumming School of Medicine, which is also top of the list of medical schools in Canada. Calgary also boasts one of the best law schools in Canada.

Want to know more about med schools in Canada? Watch this video!

Eligibility and prerequisites

Alberta high school students are required to complete Grade 12, and at least five courses at the 30 level for admission to the University of Calgary. Out-of-province students and international applicants need to complete the equivalent grade or courses.

The required coursework varies by program, but each one will require the completion of at least five academic courses in order to apply. Details for each program can be found on the U of C website.

All students need to apply to the university through its online application service. International applicants who want to know how to apply for university in Canada as an international student can also do so online at UCalgary or get in touch with an international recruiter from the school for guidance on the process. The school’s recruiters act a bit like international student advisors, providing more information on the available programs and how things work at UCalgary.

Students can choose up to two programs to apply for, ranking them by first and second choice. Its recommended students choose two, as they will be evaluated for both programs and it will increase their chances of acceptance.

University of Calgary admission statistics

The University of Calgary has an acceptance rate around 20%, so it is considered difficult to get into and fairly competitive. Since the university is among the top of Canadian universities rankings, this isn’t too surprising. On average, accepted students have a 3.3 GPA, or an average grade score in the 85% and up range for undergraduate studies. UCalgary’s graduate schools can be even more fiercely competitive, so you need to bring your best to the table to secure a spot.

While it may be tough to get into, it is entirely possible. Many students who fall below the average admission grades do still get into the program of their choice. If you want to get into college with a low GPA, you may still have time to raise your scores, or you can ask a college admissions consulting service for help and feedback when you’re preparing for your application. International students can also benefit from college counseling for international students, who can provide guidance on the application process and the extra requirements needed to study in Canada.

Acceptance rate at University of Calgary

Application process

The application for the University of Calgary is done online, and is fairly straightforward. It is not one of the Canadian schools which use the common app, but it is a simple process. UCalgary uses ApplyAlberta, a centralized application system for the province, similar to the Ontario Universities Application Centre system used in Ontario. If you studied outside Alberta or you are an international student, your application will be sent directly to the school and not through ApplyAlberta.

The steps involved in your application are:

The application will consist primarily of your high school transcripts and relevant coursework information. Alberta high school students can submit their transcripts through ApplyAlberta. All other Canadian and international students can upload theirs through UCalgary’s online portal. For international students, you will also be required to submit a proof of English Language Proficiency, such as a TOEFL test result. These test results can be submitted directly by the testing centre to the school.

Some programs in the arts, health sciences or social work, will have supplementary applications or additional components to include. Check your program of choice for any additional requirements and their important deadlines.

Your application may also consist of:

·        College essay or supplemental college essays

·        Letters of recommendation or references

·        High school resume

·        Audition for arts-related programs

While a college essay will not usually be required for all programs, it’s a good idea to include one in your application anyways. Essays can tell the admissions board much more about your motivations and interests than your transcripts and grades, and it can help your application to stand out a little more. If you need writing advice, college essay advisors or reading college essay samples can be a great way to find inspiration and polish your writing sample for your application.

Applicants can also apply under “diverse qualifications” to showcase special skills, excellence outside of academics or demonstrate how they have overcome significant hardship in their personal lives. Only Canadian citizens or permanent residents can apply to UCalgary under diverse qualifications. You’ll be able to select this process in the regular admissions application, and you’ll need to provide at least two references. The deadlines for the diverse qualifications application are March 15 for fall and summer undergraduate admissions, September 15 for winter undergraduate admissions and February 15 for spring undergraduate admissions.

Application timeline

The application timelines for universities are fairly standard across the province of Alberta, although certain programs may have adjusted deadlines. Due to the COVID-19 situation, the University of Calgary has opted to extend some of its deadlines, as well.

Tuition and funding opportunities

Tuition costs at the University of Calgary average out to $6,000 per year for domestic students and $12,700 for international students with the increased costs of moving and living abroad. On average, studying in Canada is less expensive than in the US or the UK, and tuition costs at Canadian universities tend to be more affordable overall.

There are many funding options for students to help them cover the cost of tuition and fees. Some of these options are scholarships, bursaries, student loans, savings or income from working part-time jobs.

The University of Calgary awards over $17 million in funding to students through scholarships and bursaries every year. There are also prizes to winners of the annual Prestige Awards and an award of $5,000 to new students who present an average of 95% or higher on admission. There are also many scholarships, bursaries and high school awards available to Alberta students, out-of-province students and international students. An international student scholarship consultant can navigate which awards you may be eligible for to help fund your studies.

The University of Calgary also offers help with financial literacy and student financial advice from its staff as part of its student services.

Admissions interview

The University of Calgary does not conduct admissions interviews for undergraduate programs.

For graduate students, if they are applying to med school or law school, will go through an interview if they are selected for one by the admissions board. Brush up on your medical school interview preparation and law school interview preparation for UCalgary if you are a graduate applicant. It’s a good idea to start preparing as early as possible, as these are two highly competitive programs and the admissions interview is an integral part of the process. Nailing the admissions interview can help you grab a coveted spot at the UCalgary faculty of law or medicine.

International students may also be asked to come in for an interview so the admissions board can get to know you better. Take a look at some international student interview questions and answers to get an idea of what to expect and how to prepare your own answers. The interview is your chance to impress the admissions board and share a little more information that can’t be found in your regular application.

Often, the University of Calgary may opt for a video interview, particularly with international students. Take a look at a guide to video interviews and prepare yourself as best you can, since this is the format your interview will probably take.

Acceptance, waitlist, deferral information

Offers of acceptance from the University of Calgary are typically sent out in early to mid-April and are sent through the university’s online student portal. Canadian universities typically have short wait times between application deadlines and offers of acceptance, but students are advised to keep checking back regularly.

In the case of being waitlisted, most likely the program is full and the admissions board is waiting to see if any spots open up later on. Students on the waitlist are not ranked, but they are accepted based on their average grade scores, starting with the highest grade and moving down the list from there. If you are waitlisted, this does not mean you won’t be accepted into your top choice program. You may have to wait up to a month to hear back whether there is a spot in the program for you, so keep checking your online student portal for updates from the school. Once you receive acceptance, respond as quickly as possible to secure your spot and begin your registration process.

If you are accepted to the University of Calgary and choose to defer your enrollment, contact the admissions office as soon as possible. Deferrals are not guaranteed but may be granted depending on your circumstances. Circumstances that might require a deferment of enrollment might include military service, religious service, a work opportunity in another country or a research or volunteer position abroad. It’s best to submit your request for deferral as early as possible so the university can make a decision based on the program you’ve been accepted to and how many students are on the waitlist.

Contact information

You can contact the university recruiter in your region or get in touch with an international recruiter at There are different recruiters for each Canadian province and territory, and multiple recruiters for international students. Applicants can set up virtual meetings with recruiters to go over their program choices and admission requirements.

Interested applicants can take a virtual tour of the UCalgary campus on Youtube, or an in-person tour by speaking to a university recruiter or advisor.

You can also call the University of Calgary administration office at 403-210-7625.


1. Is it hard to get into University of Calgary?

Yes; UCalgary can be one of the toughest universities in Canada to get into, with an acceptance rate around 20% and a competitive admissions landscape.

2. What GPA do you need to get into University of Calgary?

Students generally need to have a GPA of 3.3 to get admitted to the University of Calgary. Or an average grade percentage of 85% or higher. At minimum, students should maintain an average of 82% to get accepted.

3. Is it expensive to study in Calgary?

Calgary has some of the lowest living costs of any large Canadian city, so it is not an overly expensive place to live. Tuition fees for the University of Calgary vary, but studying here is also less expensive than studying in the US or UK.

4. Is Calgary a good choice for international students?

Yes; Calgary is an excellent choice for students studying abroad in Canada. The school offers exemplary education and plenty of job opportunities once they’ve graduated.

5. What is U Calgary known for?

The University of Calgary is known for its excellent educational opportunities, good student life and for its engagement in student leadership.

6. Does the University of Calgary offer financial aid?

Yes; the university offers financial literacy courses and advice, and it also gives out over $17 million in scholarships, awards and bursaries to its incoming students each year.

7. Is U of Calgary a good university?

Yes; Calgary is ranked as one of the best universities in Canada and currently sits in the top 150 universities in the world. It is recognized as one of Canada’s top research universities and has a reputation for academic excellence.

8. Does the University of Calgary use an admissions interview?

No, there is no admissions interview for undergraduate students. International students and graduate students, however, may be invited to an interview depending on their program of choice.

To your success,

Your friends at BeMo

BeMo Academic Consulting

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