Frequently Asked Questions
Who can I contact with questions about undergraduate studies?
University of Alberta International Relations & Recruitment is here to help you through the undergraduate application process. You can contact your regional recruiter or ask us questions on Facebook.
Who can I contact with questions about graduate studies?
Please contact the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research at firstname.lastname@example.org
Why study in Canada?
offers a first-class education system, a high quality of life, and a safe, welcoming environment. Generally, the cost of studying in Canada is lower than that of studying in the United States for a similar high-quality education. Canada is a nation of great geographic and cultural diversity. From coast to coast, you'll discover breathtaking natural beauty as well as world-class, modern cities with a strong tradition of multiculturalism.
Why study in Alberta?
Alberta offers a strong and diversified economy with great opportunities for students. You can get a high-quality education and a wide variety of job prospects to fuel your career. Alberta's economy remains strong in the global marketplace, with low unemployment and a healthy job market. Alberta is also a beautiful place to live! The Rocky Mountains are one of the most scenic areas in the world, and the province is also known for beautiful plains, canyons, waterfalls, and a big blue sky.
Why study in Edmonton?
Edmonton is a great destination for students. The city offers a thriving economy, with a moderate cost of living compared with other major Canadian cities. There are great attractions for those who love the outdoors, including the Rocky Mountains, which are just hours away. Within the city, you can enjoy great entertainment and world-class events, including over 30 festivals held each year. Edmonton is diverse and multicultural and there are hundreds of ethnic restaurants throughout the city along with vibrant cultural communities. With over one million people, Edmonton is modern and cosmopolitan while offering a friendly and welcoming atmosphere.
Where is UAlberta located in Edmonton?
UAlberta's main campus (also called the North Campus) is located centrally in the city of Edmonton, just across the river from downtown. There are also four other UAlberta campuses—three of them are also in Edmonton, and one is in Camrose:
- South Campus, with great athletic facilities, is located just south of the main campus, about a four-minute trip by subway.
- Campus Saint-Jean, our French-language campus, is located just east of the main campus, about a 10-minute bus ride away.
- Enterprise Square, home to our Faculty of Extension and other offices, is in downtown Edmonton, just a six-minute subway ride from main campus.
- Augustana Campus is not located in Edmonton, but in the beautiful town of Camrose, about an hour's drive from Edmonton.
Living in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Is it very cold in Edmonton?
It does get cold in Edmonton sometimes, but it's not cold all of the time. In fact, Edmonton is one of the sunniest cities in Canada, with hot summer days up to +30°C!
Edmonton is a great place to enjoy all four seasons: winter, spring, summer, and fall, with plenty of nice warm weather. A common misconception about Canada is that it is year-round cold and snow. Actually, winter is only about four months long. When winter does come, it is cold out and there is snow, but life goes on as usual. Buildings have central heating and the city keeps the roads plowed and sidewalks clear.
How is the public transportation in Edmonton?
Edmonton has a modern and efficient public transportation system. ETS (Edmonton Transit System) runs more than 140 bus routes and the LRT (a subway) throughout Edmonton. There are two major transit stations on campus, giving you easy access to the rest of the city.
Is it safe to go out at night?
Edmonton is like any city: you need to be aware of your surroundings and use common sense. But in general you will find that people are friendly and the UAlberta campus is very safe. If you do feel unsure about heading out on your own at night, call campus Safewalk, a free service offered by the Students’ Union. Two students will meet you and accompany you to your destination on campus and in surrounding areas.
Are there good opportunities for me to stay in Edmonton after I graduate?
Once you graduate with a degree from the University of Alberta, you are eligible to work for three years in Canada, as long as you obtain a post-graduation work permit. A job offer is not necessary to get a work permit.
There are great opportunities in Edmonton after graduation. The city is an economic leader in Canada with taxes among the lowest in the country and a skilled workforce, advanced infrastructure, and an excellent quality of life.
Applying to UAlberta
How do I apply?
You can apply online or you can use a paper application. The paper application can be downloaded in pdf format or you can contact us and request one. Once you've completed your application, you'll need to follow up by sending in all of the necessary documents.
What is necessary for my application to be complete?
- a valid email address
- $115 application fee
- high school grades and transcripts
- any certificates or diplomas
- transcripts from any postsecondary institutions you have attended
- detailed course descriptions for each postsecondary course completed outside of Canada
- any English language test scores (e.g., TOEFL, IELTS)
You can submit your application form and then send your documents later.
What average GPA/grades/scores do I need in order to be accepted?
The required average for acceptance will vary depending on your desired program. You can enter some programs directly from high school, but other programs require one or more years of pre-professional study at a university level.
Do I have to take the SAT in order to apply to UAlberta?
SATs are not required in order to apply to UAlberta.
If you have written the SATs, however, you can use your scores when you apply. Although some Canadian colleges and universities may require SAT scores (for some of their programs), most do not require SAT scores. Most schools will, however, accept an SAT score in place of certain admission course requirements.
I’ve spoken English all my life. Do I still need to take an English Proficiency test in order to apply?
All UAlberta students need to demonstrate that they meet the English Language Proficiency requirement, regardless of their citizenship or country of residence. Even if you have spoken English all of your life, you will need to show that you meet the ELP requirements to attend UAlberta, although you may not need to take a test. There are several different ways to meet UAlberta's ELP requirement.
Can I track my application online?
Yes, you can use Bear Tracks, an interactive web-based service for applicants and students. Once you have applied online, you will receive an email with your Bear Tracks login information to start using the system.
How do I apply for a Canadian study permit?
Students can begin the permit application with a conditional letter of acceptance from any Canadian school. The procedure can vary from country to country—you can consult Citizenship and Immigration Canada to find information for your country.
Tuition and costs
Do international students qualify for scholarships?
Yes! UAlberta awards more than $25 million each year in undergraduate scholarships. There are many scholarships available specifically for international students. We also offer several country- and region-specific awards.
How much can I expect to pay for living expenses?
Canada offers an affordable cost of living, especially compared with the United States or the United Kingdom. Your exact amounts for tuition and fees will depend on the program that you choose. See estimates.
Preparing for life at UAlberta
How do I register for classes?
You can register for courses online using BearTracks, UAlberta's online system that gives you visual and interactive registration. You can see your course availability and your timetable after you add a course to your schedule. When you are finished, you can view and print your schedule.
Where will I live?
The U of A is home to nine student residences that house more than 4,000 students. International students who apply for housing before April 30 are guaranteed a space in residence on campus (some restrictions apply).
You can also choose to live off-campus. There are many apartments, houses and condominiums available around the U of A and throughout Edmonton.
Is it possible for international students to work?
Yes! Work opportunities are available on campus, off campus and through various academic programs. It's a great way to get Canadian job experience, make new friends and use your English skills.
Can I go on an exchange to a partner university?
Yes you can. Each year, over 500 U of A students leave to study abroad, taking advantage of more than 100 formal learning opportunities with partner universities around the world.
Can international students participate in sports on campus?
Yes! There are many opportunities to take part in sports and recreation on campus. If you wish to compete in varsity sports, then you are welcome to try out for one of the Golden Bears (men’s) or Pandas (women’s) teams. There are also intramural sports, clubs, non-credit courses, and more offered by Campus Recreation.
What should I bring with me when I come to U of A?
You will want to bring all of the essentials, of course, like clothing and legal documents, such as your passport, driver’s licence, ID, birth certificate, high school certificate/diploma, etc. Here are some other suggestions from former international students for things you might like to bring along:
- books and souvenirs from home, always a great way to share your culture with your new friends
- pictures from home
- contact information for friends and family and some emergency contact information
What kind of insurance do I need?
As medical costs in Canada can be extremely high, medical insurance is essential. If you are going to be a resident of Alberta for 12 months or more, you can register for the Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan, which will cover costs incurred for services provided by a physician and hospitalization.
If you will be studying at the University of Alberta for less than 12 months, such as on exchange or as a visiting student, you will be automatically enrolled in the University of Alberta Health Insurance Plan (UAHIP).