How to get into The University of Alberta | Ultimate University Guide

Written by Kim Spencer and Arry Pandher

The University of Alberta – located in Edmonton – is one of the top teaching and research universities in Canada, with an international reputation for excellence across the humanities, sciences, creative arts, business, engineering and health sciences. The U of A is one of the world’s top research universities — fourth in Canada and eighty-first in the world for research impact. UofA researchers are at the forefront of advancing knowledge for the benefit of all. If this you want to know how to get into the University of Alberta, keep reading!

University of Alberta

Quick Facts about the U of A:

  • 200+ *Undergraduate Programs
  • 500+ *Graduate Programs
  • 40,061 *Students from 156 Countries
  • 41 *National 3M Teaching Fellows
  • 75 *Rhodes Scholars
  • 78 *National Athletics Titles


The University of Alberta is one of the Top 5 Universities in Canada and ranks within the Top 150 in the World!

U of A Campuses:

If you’re looking for diversity, the University of Alberta has FIVE campuses within TWO cities! Check out the links below to see more information on these campuses:

North Campus Edmonton, Campus St. Jean Edmonton, Augustana Campus in Camrose, South Campus Edmonton, and Enterprise Square.

Stand Out Programs:

The University of Alberta programs have been ranked within the top 10 Globally through the Center for World University Rankings (CWUR)!

  • #3 in Paleontology

After reading how amazing the University of Alberta is, let’s talk about the steps you need to take before applying and receiving an acceptance offer!

University of Alberta – General Admission Requirements:

Admission to all undergraduate programs at the University of Alberta is very competitive and has limited space for each program. In order to be considered for admission, you must meet the general requirements, as well as the requirements specific to your program(s) of choice.

All undergraduate programs that offer direct entry from high school require the completion of FIVE specific Grade 12 subjects; these will vary by program, but will always include English 30-1 (or the equivalent in your province). To see the specific course requirements for each program, you must go to your specific program listing.

The University of Alberta provides a wide range of programs, from highly accessible to highly competitive.

  • In order to be considered for admission, you need to present a “competitive average” for your faculty/program of choice, based on the required courses for that program.
  • On a side note, the competitive average for each faculty/program may change throughout the year, based on the competitiveness of the applicant pool.
  • Meeting the minimum or competitive average does not guarantee admission, and space in each program is limited, so aim for a higher GPA!

All undergraduate applicants must possess an adequate level of English Language Proficiency (ELP) in order to be admissible. In some cases, Spoken English Proficiency (SEP) is also required. (French-language programs require French Language Proficiency.)

  • Most Canadian applicants will meet the ELP requirement automatically by having completed at least three years of full-time education in English, in Canada. Otherwise, there are several ways to demonstrate ELP, including TOEFL and IELTS exam scores.

Competitive Admission

We encourage you to apply early, as admission is competitive, works on a rolling basis, and space in each program is limited.

The University of Alberta offers a range of programs, each with their own set of course requirements, class sizes and averages, which vary from year to year. Specific admission averages and past applicant profiles are not available as they do not serve as a guarantee for future admission.

Every applicant is unique and every enrollment cycle is unique. That’s why applications are assessed on an ongoing basis. It creates an opportunity to adjust what is considered ‘a competitive application’ throughout the admissions period (October 1 – August 31) and based on a variety of factors, including:

  • The number of qualified applicants to a particular program,
  • The averages presented by applicants that year, and
  • Program capacity.

To be considered for admission, applicants need to:

  • Have the required courses for their program
  • Meet the minimum requirements for their program
  • Fill out a complete application for admission with application fee
  • Applicants who are not accepted into their first-choice program will be assessed for their second-choice program if listed.

Just know that students who receive an offer of admission must continue to meet the university’s minimum admission requirements and all conditions stated in the admission offer letter in order to remain eligible, so make sure to study hard and keep up those grades!

Degree Specific Requirements:

For Arts students, the degree requirements generally include these required high school courses:

  • English 12 / 4U Level English
  • One class from the following grade 12 level subjects;
    • Fine Arts, Humanities, Languages other than English, Math/Sciences
  • Three classes from the following grade 12 level subjects
    • Humanities
    • Languages other than English
    • Math/Sciences

Here’s an example of classes used for admission to the Arts program:


For Science students, the degree requirements generally include these required high school courses:

  • English 12 / 4U Level English
  • One class of the following grade 12 level subjects
    • Fine Arts, Humanities, Languages other than English, Math/Sciences
  • One of the following grade 12 level courses



  • Two of the following grade 12 level courses
    • Chemistry, Computer Science, Computer Programming, Physics, Calculus, Anatomy and Physiology, Biology

For a more detailed list of Faculty of Science course pre-requisites, check out this link

Do you think you are a great candidate for the University of Alberta? Take the GrantMe eligibility quiz here to see if you qualify for our scholarship matching program to help pay for your post secondary education!

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