There are six official universities in Calgary, which is similar to the number of universities in Toronto. The University of Alberta is the most recognized and largest university in Alberta with over 40,000 students, but it is located in Edmonton, the capital. The University of Calgary is the next largest post-secondary institution with over 35,000 students enrolled in its various programs. While Edmonton is home to both the University of Alberta Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry and the University of Alberta Faculty of Law, Calgary hosts the only other medical school in Alberta at the Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary. This article will explore the other universities in Calgary and give you all the relevant admission and academic information.

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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9 min read

Universities in Calgary Admission Statistics How to Apply to Universities in Calgary How to Get into Universities in Calgary FAQs

Universities in Calgary

  1. University of Calgary
  2. Ambrose University
  3. St. Mary’s University
  4. Alberta University of the Arts
  5. Southern Alberta Institute of Technology
  6. Mount Royal University

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Admission Statistics

University of Calgary

 Acceptance Rate: 20%

Accepted GPA: Program Specific

Tuition: $6,961.00

 Ambrose University

 Acceptance Rate: n/a

Accepted GPA: 60% or higher

Tuition: $1395.00 (per 3-credit course)

 St. Mary’s University

 Acceptance Rate: n/a

Accepted GPA: 65% or higher

Tuition: $8,340

 Alberta University of the Arts

 Acceptance Rate: n/a

Accepted GPA: 60% or higher

Tuition: $15,625

 Southern Alberta Institute of Technology

 Acceptance Rate: n/a

Accepted GPA: Program Specific 

Tuition: Program and Course-load Dependent

 Mount Royal University

 Acceptance Rate: n/a

Accepted GPA: 65% but also program-dependent  

Tuition: $1,324.76 but program-dependent

How to Apply to Universities in Calgary

All six of the universities in Calgary listed here use the centralized ApplyAlberta system that accepts applications from all Alberta residents, similar to the Ontario Universities Application Centre (OUAC) for Ontario residents. Depending on the school, out-of-province students can use ApplyAlberta, or the school’s particular application service, which is reserved for out-of-province and international students.

The University of Calgary makes out-of-province applicants use its online application portal, while Alberta residents use ApplyAlberta. However, the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology allows all Canadian citizens to use the ApplyAlberta service – more information on each school’s application requirements will follow in the school spotlights section.

Regardless of origin, the ApplyAlberta portal is where students upload their personal and academic information, their top program choices, citizenship, residency and diversity information. There are no essay requirements for the general application (specific programs may require them) so Alberta students do not need to read any college essay examples.

Before submitting, all universities in Calgary advise applicants to ensure they meet the specific requirements of their preferred program. All schools ask students to choose two programs and, for general admission, the application requires only the stated information (high school, citizenship, residency, etc.) plus the term you are applying for and the payment of a $125 application fee. But, again, each program and university may require separate application information.

For example, applicants to the Alberta University of the Arts must submit a portfolio and any other work related to their specified program. International students must submit additional information such as English proficiency scores from the TOEFL test and degree information about their home high school. Applicants using the ApplyAlberta portal can also specify personal information that makes them a diverse applicant such as being a member of a racial or ethnic minority, First Nations, Metis or another Indigenous group.

How to Get into Universities in Calgary

1. University of Calgary

The second-largest university in Alberta, the University of Calgary is home to one of the best medical schools in Canada, but also has over 250 different undergraduate programs to offer Canadian and international students. Its 20% acceptance rate is among the lowest acceptance rates for universities in Canada and U of C is considered a competitive program so it is not among the easiest colleges to get into

Admission Requirements

The various undergraduate programs at the University of Calgary each have their own specific admission requirements, including GPA and prerequisite courses. For example, the English program at U of C asks only for a grade of around 70%, completion of one English prerequisite, three approved courses from a variety of subjects (math, sciences, social sciences), and one optional course.

The admissions committee will look at these five courses to consider GPA and whether the candidate fits the academic profile of their stated program. Students must also have completed their studies by the time they are offered an acceptance to their program. They may apply during their final year but must maintain the academic average stated on their application by graduation from high school, which is when they must submit their official transcripts to the school.

Out-of-Province and International Applicants

Out-of-province and international applicants to the University of Calgary must apply through the school’s proprietary UCalgary application service. They must create an account with the service and then submit all relevant materials, such as high school and degree information, if they are an undergraduate. The application for out-of-province and international applications is not that different from domestic students and applicants need to also state their program choices.

2. Ambrose University

Ambrose University is a private institution with a basis in Christian values that are integrated into the academic offerings of the school. Ambrose is the result of a merger between three other schools and brings together several accredited undergraduate programs in the Arts, Sciences, Humanities and Education. Ambrose is also home to a School of Ministry and a Seminary that offers graduate-level studies for theology students and practicing clergy.

Admission Requirements

Ambrose has similar general admission requirements to the University of Calgary, but specific programs (such as biology, behavioral science, music, and business administration) have additional requirements beyond the general. The general admission requirements for any program at Ambrose include: 

  • English 4U or English Literature 4U
  • Completion of 3 approved core course
  • Completion of an additional, optional core course

The minimum grade average for nearly all types of applicants (Alberta, out-of-province, American, and international) is 60%, although some programs may have a higher threshold. American students must submit their ACT or SAT scores, which must be at least 22 and 1030, respectively. Ambrose also accepts home-schooled students, although home-schooled applicants from Canada and the US must submit official transcripts for completion of at least the last year of high school and ACT or SAT scores. 

Out-of-Province and International Applicants

International applicants must present similar documentation to Canadian or American applicants, such as their transcripts and high school diploma. But they must also obtain a required visa and ensure they have the resources to attend for the duration of their program. International students outside of the US must also prove their English language proficiency by submitting the relevant documents.

3. St. Mary’s University

Another private university with a Catholic foundation, St, Mary’s University offers several types of degree programs to its over 1000 students. The school follows a Catholic intellectual philosophy, and has various programs focused on the integration of Catholicism into other disciplines such as the Bachelor of Arts with a major in Social Justice & Catholic Studies. Aside from the arts and humanities, the school also has a biology, education and business administration degree program.

With its small student body compared to other schools, St. Mary’s has small class-sizes, which helps its over 80 full-time faculty dedicate time and attention to every student. The school has a limited range of degrees and diplomas but it makes up for it with its excellent athletics program and highly-rated research centre.

Admissions Requirements

The school uses the ApplyAlberta portal to accept all applications from its various applicant categories, which ranges from high school, graduate, international and visiting applicants. The school does not have any special requirements for out-of-province applicants, as they are considered the same as Alberta residents and must meet the same requirements, which include the following:

  • One English Language Arts 30-1 or equivalent
  • One Mathematics
  • Two Core Courses
  • One Optional Core Course

Students must also have a grade average of 65% or higher in five 30-level courses to be considered. The other categories include students who have been home-schooled, international, re-applicants, and transfer students, which all have different requirements.

Several programs at St. Mary’s also have their specific admissions requirements that applicants must meet along with the general admission requirements. For example, the bachelor of science, business and psychology programs all have additional requirements including completion of math, science, biology and chemistry courses.

4. Alberta University of the Arts

The Alberta University of the Arts started as the art department of the larger Southern Alberta Institute of Technology and eventually became the Alberta College of Art and Design, and finally, the Alberta University of the Arts (AUArts). AUArts has over 11 different degree programs for undergraduate students, along with several non-degree programs for students who wish to learn a trade or craft. There is also graduate level program, which includes a Master of Fine Arts degree in several different concentrations.

Admission Requirements

Similar to all the other schools on this list, AUArts has a list of general admissions requirements that all applicants must meet along with a few extra requirements specific to each program and the school itself. As it is an arts school, all applicants are required to submit a portfolio of their work, both completed and in progress. The exact portfolio requirements are general, so they apply to any bachelor degree program offered by AUArts.

The academic requirements needed to apply to AUArts include:

  • High School Diploma from a Canadian secondary school
  • Minimum Score of 60-65% in English 30-1 or English 30-2 or provincial equivalent
  • Minimum Score of 60% in three additional Grade 12 courses (fine arts, humanities, math, science, career or technology)
  • One additional Grade 12 course

Students must submit their portfolio, which must consist of 12 original pieces in a variety of media, styles and stages of completion. Along with their portfolio, applicants must also write and submit a college letter of intent that addresses these three questions:

  • Why do you want to go to art school and earn a degree?
  • Besides art, what else do you like to do?
  • What excites you about AUArts?

All applicants to the school must use the ApplyAlberta portal, but Alberta students do not need to upload their official transcripts, as AUArts will retrieve all Alberta transcripts automatically from the portal. Out-of-province and international applicants must submit their official transcripts directly to the school either by regular mail or email.

5. Southern Alberta Institute of Technology

While many universities in Calgary have general admissions requirements for the school and then specific requirements for its programs, the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) is one school that has only program-specific requirements that applicants must meet. The school is one of the largest technical schools in Canada and has over 80 different degree programs for undergraduates and graduates. The programs range from typical four-year degrees to two-year programs and specialized certificate programs for professionals involved in the trades or other technical professions.

There are eight different professional schools located on the downtown Calgary campus, which range from the MacPhail School of Energy to the School of Business and the School of Education. All applicants to the SAIT must complete their application via the ApplyAlberta online portal. International applicants must use the school’s Virtual Admissions System to submit their relevant documentation and information.

Admissions Requirements

There are individual admission requirements for each of the over 80 different programs available at SAIT. Even the grade averages differ wildly between programs, as some, such as the Aircraft Structures Technician and Avionics Technology require students only have a 50% grade average in three subjects (English, math, and science), while other programs, such as the Diagnostic Medical Sonography program ask for a 70% average, while others still ask for 75% and have several prerequisite courses.

6. Mount Royal University

Mount Royal University is the third-largest university in Calgary with over 15,000 full-time students on campus. The school offers 12 different degree programs in close to 40 different majors and students can choose from standard four-year degrees to two-year diplomas or certificates in various trade and professional programs. The school has competitive standards compared to other universities in Canada and has varying requirements for each of its programs.

Students can choose from Bachelor degrees in subjects such as English, Anthropology, or Psychology or choose more specialized fields such as computer science, nursing, or child studies. There are also professional degrees available in fields ranging from Massage Therapy to Fitness Instructor, Midwifery and Funeral Director. The school has a set of general admission requirements but each program has its own requirements so students should check before they apply.

Admission Requirements

There are three distinct applicant categories for anyone applying to Mount Royal University, which are:

  • High school applicant
  • Post-secondary applicant
  • Mature applicant

Depending on the category and your program of study, you must submit several different types of documents and information. Applicants to the degree programs have different requirements than those applying to the diploma programs. Applicants to any of the school’s degree programs must have meet the following requirements, which are similar to other universities in Calgary:

  • English Language Arts 30 - 1
  • Two courses from Group A (art, math, science, biology, chemistry, physics, aboriginal studies, social science, French, or another language)
  • One course from Group A or B (art, computer science, drama, music, physical education, religious studies, social studies)
  • One course from Group A, B, or C (a combination of grade 12 courses)

The grade average is also dependent on the program you are applying to, as each program has a different minimum average. The typical range is between 60 and 70%, but many of the more advanced courses require averages of 80 or 90%. International students must also have completed high school and a minimum set of prerequisites to apply to any of the school’s programs.


1. How many universities are there in Calgary?

There are six officially accredited universities in Calgary, but there are many more colleges and professional or trades school in Calgary and Alberta. 

2. Is it hard to get into universities in Calgary?

According to the latest Canadian universities ranking, it is not hard to get into universities in Calgary, even though a school such as the University of Calgary has a lower acceptance rate than many other schools. All the rest have simple admission requirements and GPA minimums that are in line with other programs throughout Canada. 

3. What can I study at universities in Calgary?

You can study various fields, disciplines, trades and professional skills at universities in Calgary. The province is also home to many technical trades and professions, which means specialty degrees in the petroleum industry and manufacturing are highlights of education in Calgary and Alberta. 

4. What GPA do I need to get into universities in Calgary?

The GPA minimum is different for each program in Calgary, but the standard minimum for most programs in the city is 60%. 

5. How do I apply to universities in Calgary?

Depending on the school, all applicants (residents or non-residents) may use the ApplyAlberta online application portal. However, some schools require out-of-province and international applicants to apply directly to the school with a separate application. 

6. What is the most prestigious university in Calgary?

The most prestigious university in Calgary is the University of Calgary, as it is the province’s second largest public university and oldest as it was founded in 1944. 

7. Can I apply to universities in Calgary as an international student?

Yes, nearly all universities in Calgary welcome and accept international applicants. They do not have to meet any other general admissions requirements than providing their official transcripts, their high school diploma, and their English language proficiency. 

8. What is the tuition at universities in Calgary?

The tuition at universities in Calgary can vary between institutions and whether they charge different fees based on a student’s origin. But the average cost of a single year of tuition is around $5,700. 

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Your friends at BeMo

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