There are a dozen or so universities in Alberta that range from some of the most prestigious universities in Canada to the best universities in Canada for engineering. The two main universities are the University of Alberta and the University of Calgary, which are home to the two medical schools in Alberta, as well as law and business schools. The other universities in Alberta serve the diverse needs of the population and are located throughout the province, except for Athabasca University, which is a fully online university in Canada. This article will list all the major universities in Alberta, and give you up-to-date strategies for getting in! 

Disclaimer: Please note: although we have made every effort to provide the most accurate information, admissions information changes frequently. Therefore, we encourage you to verify these details with the official university admissions office. You are responsible for your own results. BeMo does not endorse nor affiliate with any official universities, colleges, or test administrators and vice versa.

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Universities in Alberta How to Get into Universities in Alberta: International Student How to Get into Universities in Alberta FAQs

Universities in Alberta

  1. University of Alberta
  2. University of Calgary
  3. University of Lethbridge
  4. Athabasca University
  5. Macewan University
  6. Mount Royal University
  7. St. Mary’s University
  8. The King’s University
  9. Alberta University of the Arts
  10. Ambrose University
  11. Concordia University of Edmonton
  12. Burman University

Want to learn how to get into top colleges with a low GPA? Watch this video:

1. University of Alberta

Acceptance Rate: 58%

Average GPA: Varies by program

Tuition (Canadian/International): $10,000 (Canadian)/$45,482 (international)

The University of Alberta, located in Edmonton, stands as a beacon of academic excellence. It is the largest university in Alberta with over 40,000 undergraduate and graduate students spread across five different campus locations throughout the province. It is home to the University of Alberta Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, as well as one of the best law schools in Canada. Renowned for its research-intensive programs, it also offers diverse undergraduate opportunities, from sciences and engineering to humanities and arts. You must have an average within a certain range (between 75-90%) for most undergraduate programs to be considered competitive, while the average GPA for the professional schools' ranges from 3.0 to 3.8.

The school’s main campus is in Edmonton, but there are two satellite campuses in Augustana and Saint-Jean, which is its French-language campus. The urban, Edmonton campus fosters innovation, encouraging students to engage in cutting-edge research and critical thinking. With a rich history and a commitment to nurturing leaders, the University of Alberta prepares students for a future marked by knowledge and global perspective. The school has thirteen different faculties ranging from the arts and humanities to nursing and engineering. It also includes a faculty of Native Studies, which is a unique program among Canadian universities.

2. University of Calgary

Acceptance Rate: 20%

Average GPA: 3.3 or 80%

Tuition (Canadian/International): Variable

Nestled in the heart of Calgary, the University of Calgary is a hub of academic distinction. Its diverse range of programs, spanning from business and engineering to health sciences, reflects a commitment to well-rounded education. The school has fourteen different faculties spread out across three different campuses in Alberta, one of which is home to UCalgary's medical school, the Cumming School of Medicine. It has also recently opened a satellite location in Doha, Qatar, which speaks to the school’s international reach and reputation.

You can apply to various undergraduate programs each of which has its own admission requirements. You usually have to have completed at least five Grade 12 courses for Alberta and Canadian students with a grade average between 70 to 80%. Outside of academics, the school has a focus on experiential learning, so you’ll be encouraged to explore your passions and collaborate on innovative projects with your fellow students at any of the school’s research centers or student clubs.

3. University of Lethbridge

Acceptance Rate: Competitive

Average GPA: Varies by program

Tuition (Canadian/International): $7,615 (Canadian)/ $22,183 (International)

The University of Lethbridge, in the scenic city of Lethbridge, embodies the spirit of liberal education. With an emphasis on research-driven teaching, as it features over twenty different research centers ranging in focus from addictions and substance use disorders to sustainability studies and oral history.

The university has one of the smallest student populations of all universities in Alberta. It has about 8,200 students (undergraduate and graduate), although it also has a sizable international student population, as well as a large Indigenous student population. It is also one of the newest universities in Alberta having opened its doors in 1967.

The school has two campuses in both Lethbridge and downtown Calgary, so you can decide on either a more suburban or urban learning experience if you apply. The school has seven different faculties, which include the traditional (Faculty of Arts and Science) to the more innovative (the Faculty of Liberal Education). But whatever field of study you decide to enter, the small class sizes at the University of Lethbridge facilitates personalized learning, enabling you to form close bonds with professors and peers. The university's commitment to undergraduate research and community engagement fosters a culture of curiosity and civic responsibility, making it an ideal choice for anyone seeking a grass-roots, community-forward education.

4. Athabasca University

Acceptance Rate: Open admission

Average GPA: Not applicable

Tuition (Canadian/International): Variable

Athabasca University, a pioneer in online education, transcends geographical boundaries. The school is not only an online university in Canada, but one of the only fully online, accredited universities in the world. The online school features everything from an online law school and online graduate program to a fully online MBA program. It has no physical campus and you can choose from a variety of educational paths, including enrolling as an undergraduate or graduate or taking continuing education courses as a mature student.

The school has many different pathways for you to consider, and they can help you understand how many credits to graduate from an undergraduate degree if you are a high school student or have not been in school for many years. At Athabasca University, you’ll find the same programs and faculties as any of the other universities in Alberta, such as a Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, as well as a business school and a school of Science and Technology, since it is one of the best universities in Canada for computer science.

As a leader in distance learning, it provides flexible academic programs, allowing you to balance your studies with other commitments. With a diverse array of courses, AU caters to learners from various backgrounds, offering a gateway to higher education irrespective of location. Its commitment to accessible education has made it a preferred choice for those seeking quality learning experiences without the constraints of traditional classrooms.

5. MacEwan University

Acceptance Rate: Competitive

Average GPA: Varies by program

Tuition (Canadian/International): $5,674 (Canadian)/$16,540 (International)

In the heart of Edmonton, MacEwan University stands as a testament to applied learning and practical education. The school is one of the only other universities in Edmonton and has only four faculties and two professional schools (business and continuing education). MacEwan University is also home to various professional and diploma programs so you can also receive a diploma or certificate in various trades, and professionals, aside from the traditional bachelor’s and graduate degrees it offers.

Because of its focus on real-world skills and industry connections, MacEwan is a great place to start career in any of the trades central to Alberta such as the energy and technology sector, as well as agriculture and finance. Small class sizes and dedicated faculty foster an interactive learning environment, encouraging students to delve deep into their fields of study. The university's central location in an urban setting gives you access to cultural and professional opportunities, making MacEwan an excellent choice for aspiring professionals who want to live, study and work in an urban center.

6. Mount Royal University

Acceptance Rate: Competitive

Average GPA: Varies by program

Tuition (Canadian/International): $14,800- $23,800/$25,109

Located in Calgary, Mount Royal University is one of the other universities in Calgary that offers an enriching educational experience rooted in personalized attention and experiential learning. It is one of the largest universities in Alberta according to student population, as it has over 15,000 undergraduate and graduate students across its two locations in downtown and suburban Calgary. Despite its large student population, Mount Royal University has only five faculties including the Faculty of Arts and Faculty of Business and Communication Studies to the Faculty of Continuing Education and Faculty of Science and Technology.

With a focus on small class sizes and collaborative learning, you’ll engage actively with your professors and peers. MRU's commitment to research and community involvement empowers you to make meaningful contributions to society, as there are over a dozen different research centers and institutes located on campus, such as the Centre for Community Disaster Research and the Institute for Environmental Sustainability. The scenic surroundings and a lively campus community create an inspiring atmosphere for academic growth and personal development, making MRU an ideal choice for those seeking a nurturing and supportive learning environment.

7. St. Mary's University

Acceptance Rate: Competitive

Average GPA: Varies by program

Tuition (Canadian/International): $9,900/$26,580

St. Mary's University, located in Calgary, embodies the values of academic excellence and community engagement through a Catholic philosophy and has ties to some of the best Catholic universities in USA. Despite its faith-based mission, the school offers eight different degree programs in everything from history and biology to Catholic Educators program and a Catholic Studies and Social Justice program. The school has a small student population. There are about 25 students per class, which helps facilitate meaningful interactions between students and faculty, fostering an environment conducive to intellectual exploration.

You typically need at least a 65% average to gain admission to most of the degree programs at St. Mary’s University, although the professional and diploma programs have different admissions requirements. The school is also well-known for its robust athletics program, and features varsity teams for basketball and cross-country running. In addition to a bachelor’s degree, you can also complete a diploma program in Ministry if you’re interested in becoming a pastor or church leader. 

8. The King's University

Acceptance Rate: Competitive

Average GPA: Varies by program

Tuition (Canadian/International): $7,223/$29,000

The King's University, situated in Edmonton, combines faith-based education with academic excellence. With a focus on liberal arts, education, and social sciences, King's provides a comprehensive learning experience if you want to receive a bachelor's degree in any of these subjects. But it also hosts several diploma and online degrees so you can complete a course of study wherever you are. The close-knit campus community (15:1 student-to-faculty ratio) and a commitment to spiritual growth create an atmosphere where students can explore their passions and engage in meaningful discussions.

You need at least a 60% grade average to get into the four- or three-year degree programs at the school. The school has a total of 24 different degree programs ranging from the basic (history, political science, social science) to more specialized degree in subjects such as Biblical Studies and Information Systems. But you can also pursue studies at the school’s Leder School of Business or participate in summer undergraduate research fellowships offered at the Micah Centre for Justice and Development, so there is also a lot of variety between the programs, and academic facilities. As this is a Christian-based school, you should realize that King's emphasis on character development and ethical leadership means you’ll come in contact with Christian rituals and values while on campus. So, if you’re ready and willing to engage with Christian ideology and teaching, while also receiving a world-class education, King’s University may be right for you.

9. Alberta University of the Arts

Acceptance Rate: Competitive

Average GPA: Varies by program

Tuition (Canadian/International): $7,619/$21,102

Alberta University of the Arts (AUArts), located in Calgary, stands as a hub of creativity and artistic expression. It is one of the only arts-based universities in Alberta. You can pursue either undergraduate or graduate degrees at the school, as it has several different concentrations from bachelor of fine arts programs in crafts and materials to programs focused on theory and critical studies. Almost all incoming high-school students take a Foundation year, meaning they get a taste of all the programs available at the school and then decide what their concentration will be.

As an undergraduate you can apply to a Bachelor of Fine Arts or a Bachelor of Design program. But you can also choose to enter a specific field or discipline or craft after your first year, as the school has eleven different concentrations from ceramics and glass to visual and media arts.

The university’s faculty comprises accomplished artists and designers, providing students with mentorship and guidance. AUArts' vibrant campus and access to studio spaces create an inspiring environment for you to hone your craft and express unique perspectives. Its commitment to creativity and artistic excellence makes AUArts a destination for aspiring artists and designers seeking a dynamic and immersive educational experience.

10. Ambrose University

Acceptance Rate: Competitive

Average GPA: Varies by program

Tuition (Canadian/International): $15,689/$22,664

Ambrose University, located in Calgary, offers a distinctive educational experience rooted in Christian values and academic rigor. The school is one of the smaller universities in Alberta and you can benefit from these small class sizes and low student-to-faculty ratio to earn your degree from any of the school’s four faculties (arts, humanities, social science and science) and three professional schools, as well as a degree-conferring seminary on campus. To be admitted to most programs, you need at least a 60% average, regardless of your home province.

The university’s supportive community and faith-based approach create an inclusive atmosphere where you can explore your passions, engage in meaningful dialogue with students and faculty, and contribute positively to society through the school’s various community service opportunities. Ambrose's commitment to character development and ethical leadership makes it a preferred choice for those seeking an education that integrates academic excellence with spiritual growth.

11. Concordia University of Edmonton

Acceptance Rate: Competitive

Average GPA: Varies by program

Tuition (Canadian/International): $5,637/

Concordia University of Edmonton, located in Edmonton, offers a transformative educational experience rooted in academic excellence and community engagement. The school has five faculties and two professional schools and has a small student population compared to other universities in Alberta. But the school is also a well-known hub for research, and has some of the best summer programs for high school students, as it features four different research centers on-campus ranging in focus from artificial intelligence to Chinese studies and Indigenous Knowledge and Research.

12. Burman University

Acceptance Rate: Competitive

Average GPA: Varies by program

Tuition (Canadian/International): $24,481/n/a

Burman University, located in Lacombe, Alberta, stands as a testament to academic excellence and spiritual growth. This school is another of the universities in Alberta that has a distinctly Christian mission and background, so you should be aware of that before you decide to apply. The school is one of the newest universities in Alberta and has a total of thirteen different degree programs, and seven certificate programs so you can pursue a career in everything from business management to child care and early childhood development.

Given its small size, you’ll have a lot of chances to interact with faculty along with creating meaningful connections with your fellow students thanks to the vibrant campus community. You need a grade average anywhere between 60 and 65% to be admitted to a majority of the programs at Burman, which also hosts one of the best accelerated nursing programs in Canada. 

How to Get into Universities in Alberta: International Student

Universities in Alberta are a prime destination, as are all Canadian universities, for international students. But many international students are not always sure how to get accepted into Canadian universities, which is why we recommend you get a professional international student advisor. With a professional advisor by your side, you’ll be able to learn more about the application process for universities in Alberta or anywhere else, and what you need to get in. An advisor can help you find programs that are right for you based on your GPA, academic interests, and affordability.

If paying for university in Canada is an issue, you can also use an international student scholarships consultant to find unclaimed scholarships in Canada or scholarships in Canada for international students. While there are no interviews involved in getting into universities in Alberta, some scholarships do require them. In this case, an advisor could also help you develop your interview skills by practicing common international student interview questions and answers

How to Get into Universities in Alberta

1. Make Sure You Excel Academically

Achieving academic excellence is probably one of the most important things to do to ensure you get a spot at any of the universities in Alberta. The larger universities, such as the University of Alberta and the University of Calgary in Alberta are well-known for their rigorous academic standards so if you want to go to those school, you need to maintain a high GPA and engage in challenging courses during your high school years. Additionally, showcase your dedication through extracurriculars for college or student engagement activities for college. For example, at the Ambrose University College, emphasizing both academic achievement and community involvement aligns with their holistic approach to education, which will make you an ideal candidate for admission.

2. Understand the School's Mission and Values

Each of the universities in Alberta has unique values that shape its educational philosophy. Research institutions like Concordia University of Edmonton, prioritizes community, diversity, and academic integrity. While several other universities in Alberta espouse Christian-based values and beliefs that are often integrated in daily campus life. If you have an affinity for these values, or you’re interested in learning more about Christianity in general, they may be the school for you. Despite their Christian backgrounds, these schools accept all students, and you may find that there is a program or faculty member that resonates with you, which means you have to decide whether you are comfortable with being exposed to those values and beliefs for the sake of your education.

3. Research the School's Offerings and Programs

Universities in Alberta, such as Athabasca University and the Alberta University of the Arts, offer diverse programs. But knowing what you know now about them, do you want to study completely online, as you would at Athabasca University? Or do you want to pursue a career in the arts, which the Alberta University of Arts could help you with, even though it does not offer any non-arts programs or electives? These are important questions to ask if you are deciding from among the various universities in Alberta. You should conduct in-depth research into the courses, faculties, and extracurricular activities each university offers to make sure you have a lot of options going in; meaning that you can develop non-academic pursuits or find a new hobby or passion while you’re studying. If you're interested in arts, then a school like the Alberta University of the Arts might be better for you than the University of Calgary or St. Mary’s University. But if you’re more inclined to STEM subjects, business, or medicine, then you should choose a school that offers all those programs.

4. Get Professional Admission Consulting

Seeking guidance from college admission consulting professionals or college essay review services can significantly enhance your application chances, especially for competitive institutions like the University of Lethbridge or University of Calgary. Professional consultants can assist in presenting your strengths effectively, whether it be through college essays and college recommendation letters or in interview preparation, if you have to interview. But before you engage with anyone, ensure the consultant understands the nuances of each university, like MacEwan University's emphasis on community engagement. Collaborate with them to craft a compelling application that reflects your genuine passion for your chosen institution. Remember, while consultants provide valuable insights, your authenticity and unique qualities should shine through, making your application stand out to the universities in Alberta.


1. How many universities are in Alberta?

There are twelve different public, and private degree-granting universities in Alberta, but there are also many colleges and technical schools. 

2. What can you study at universities in Alberta?

The twelve universities in Alberta offer everything from traditional liberal arts education in biology, history, political science and anthropology to more focused degrees in fine arts, commerce, and Native studies. 

3. What are the best universities in Alberta?

According to Canadian universities rankings, the University of Alberta and the University of Calgary are two of the best universities in Alberta for their size, resources, reputation and program offerings. 

4. What is the best university in Alberta for international students?

The University of Alberta and the University of Calgary are the biggest universities in Alberta, so they attract the most international students. But depending on your program and what you want to study, you can explore the other universities in Alberta to find what you’re looking for. 

5. What GPA do you need to get into universities in Alberta?

The minimum GPA that most programs and universities in Alberta require is 60%, but individual programs may have higher GPA requirements, such as nursing, engineering, or other STEM subjects. 

6. How do I get into universities in Alberta as an international student?

If you’re an international student, you should first know how to apply for university in Canada as an international student, meaning you know about the English language proficiency scores, as well as individual program requirements. You should then check with the school you’re interested in and find out all you can about the requirements, and how to study in Canada as an international student but specifically in universities in Alberta. 

7. How do I apply to universities in Alberta?

Most of the universities in Alberta use the ApplyAlberta application service that collects, organizes and distributes all undergraduate and graduate applications in the province, similar to the OUAC in Ontario.  

8. Is it hard to get into universities in Alberta?

The minimum grade average to get into most undergraduate programs in Alberta (60-65%) is much lower than for other provinces. However, a lot depends on the program or degree you are applying to, as some subjects may have higher requirements. But you usually do not have to interview or submit additional documents to get into universities in Alberta, so it is not as hard to get into these programs as it is to get into universities in other provinces. 

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