| COMMON QUESTIONS ABOUT GRAD SCHOOLS IN ALBERTA
| What kinds of graduate programs are available in Alberta?
Alberta grad schools offer thesis- and non-thesis-based master's degrees, doctoral degrees, graduate diplomas and graduate certificates in virtually all areas of study. Graduate certificates are generally designed for working professionals to develop their skills and knowledge in a particular area of specialization (for example, a law school might offer a graduate certificate in conflict resolution).
Can international students take some graduate courses in Alberta without enrolling in a program?
Yes. Students who take graduate level courses without enrolling in a degree program are known as unclassified students.
How do I apply to grad school in Alberta?
Many grad schools in Alberta allow you to apply online. If you cannot apply online, you can request an information package or paper application from the program you are interested in. Applicants who demonstrate the ability to succeed in a graduate program but do not meet the published minimum academic requirements due to exceptional circumstances may qualify for special admission. See our section on Applying to Grad School in Alberta for more detailed steps.
When will I know the results of my application?
It generally takes a minimum of one month from the application deadline before any offers of admission are sent out.
What if I am offered admission and I need to delay starting my program?
Grad schools in Alberta may allow international students to defer their acceptance for up to a year. Contact the graduate studies office of the university you have applied to, since cases are usually assessed on an individual basis.
How much does it cost for international students to study at grad school in Alberta?
It depends on the school. There is a wide range of international student tuition fees at Alberta's many graduate schools. Annual international graduate tuition can range from approximately $7,000 to $12,000 a year. But that's just tuition. Remember that you also need to cover fees, books and living expenses.
Is financial aid available for international students at grad schools in Alberta?
Yes, from a variety of sources. See our section on international student scholarships for grad schools in Alberta here.
Are international graduate students eligible for teaching assistantships in Alberta?
Yes. However, the number of hours you are allowed to work per week may be restricted.
Can I work while I'm at grad school in Alberta?
International students registered in full-time graduate study at a degree-granting post-secondary institution are permitted to work on that campus without a work permit. "On-campus" is defined as employment in facilities owned, leased or rented by the educational institution. The employer can be the university, faculty, student organization or private contractor providing services to the university and operating on campus.
How long will it take to complete my graduate study in Alberta?
It depends on the type of graduate program you are taking and whether you plan to study full-time or part-time. Master's degrees typically take between 1 and 2 years of full-time study, while doctoral degrees take between 4 and 7 years. Length varies according to the program and whether it is a thesis-based or course-based degree. Some degrees (like the MBA) may be available in accelerated programs.
Do I need to speak both English and French?
No. While French and English are both official languages in Canada, most grad schools in Alberta offer programs in only one language of instruction (that is, English or French).
Can I apply to a doctoral program in Alberta if I don't have a master's degree?
It depends on the school and the program. Some grad schools allow exceptional students to apply directly to certain doctoral programs with only a bachelor's degree. Check with the individual institution.
Can international students apply to post-doctoral programs in Alberta?
Yes. In fact there is even specific post-doctoral funding available to international students from the Canadian government (for example, the Canadian Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship Program).
Is housing available at grad schools in Alberta for international students?
Generally, yes, but not at every school. Be aware that a grad school's housing department's application process is entirely separate from the admissions process: don't wait until you're admitted to Graduate Studies before applying for housing. Grad schools in Alberta may even have what are called "residential Colleges" devoted to providing housing and a stimulating academic and cultural environment for graduate students.
Who can I contact if I have problems or questions?
It depends partly on the nature of your problem or question. However, some key places to start looking for help are a school's Graduate Students' Society, the Graduate secretary for your program, graduate advisors, the Faculty of Graduate Studies office and the international student office/ centre if the school has one. Grad schools in Alberta are used to welcoming international students, and most therefore have specific international student support.
Will a grad school in Alberta recognize my undergraduate degree from the university in my home country?
Academic institutions--including grad schools--in Alberta each set their own admission requirements; therefore, you should contact the registrar or admissions office at each grad school to find out what they require in terms of assessing foreign credentials. Most Alberta universities have a special website section for international student admission requirements. You can also consult one of Alberta's credential assessment and qualification recognition services, such as World Education Services (WES). For a fee, these offices provide an evaluation that shows you how your credentials compare with Canadian credentials. The purpose is informative only and does not guarantee recognition of your credentials.
Will a graduate degree from an Alberta university be recognized in my home country and elsewhere?
Generally, yes. Canadian university credentials from all provinces are accepted and recognized around the world; however, a foreign degree is valued differently by different countries, so it's a good idea to check with institutions and potential employers in your home country (if that's where you plan to work or continue your graduate education) to confirm acceptance of Canadian academic credentials before you leave.