Frequently Asked Questions

CMSS generally provides financial support for its graduate students. Students are eligible for competitive funding packages for research at all levels. In addition to University awards, students are also considered for awards exclusive to the Centre.

Course fees, travel costs to attend conferences and workshops in Canada and abroad, travel costs to carry out thesis- and dissertation-related research, special research projects and other student-directed initiatives are eligible for support.

In all cases, continued funding is dependent on good academic standing and satisfactory academic progress. Academic standing will be assessed by the Graduate Committee on the basis of a number of factors, including: fulfilling degree requirements; grades; students' annual progress reports; supervisor's and instructors' comments; participation in conferences and scholarly publications; conscientious fulfillment of any teaching or research obligations. Ordinarily, an A- average (3.70 GPA) in course work and timely progress in completing courses and thesis or dissertation research will be indicators of good academic standing.

Students receiving funding from the University and/or from CMSS, and indeed all CMSS students, are expected and encouraged to apply for all external funding for which they are qualified. This is particularly the case for Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council scholarships and Open Scholarship Competitions. The University and CMSS funding of successful applicants for external funding will be adjusted, but in all cases it will be advantageous for the student to obtain the external award. The Faculty of Graduate Students website maintains a list of awards and bursaries. University Research Services should be contacted regarding travel funding. The Graduate Students Association may also provide some travel assistance.

PhD Students
CMSS will normally provide competitive funding for each PhD student admitted to the program who applies for funding. Support may come from a variety of sources. Students in the PhD program will normally be funded for four years; the maximum period for completion of the PhD program is six years.

MSS Students
The Centre will normally provide competitive funding for MSS students who apply for funding. MSS students may receive funding for up to two years; the maximum period for completion of the MSS program is four years. When does the program begin? Admissions are open October 1 and close January 15 of the following year. New students are admitted in the Fall of each year. There is no winter admittance.

The application system for CMSS opens from October 1 of each year and closes January 15 of the following year.

Admissions to graduate programs are highly competitive; all graduate programs have limited enrolment capabilities and there is no general right of admission. The program not only considers your credentials, but also reviews the availability of resources for supervision and research, departmental research objectives, and program balance.

CMSS does not have a job placement program. The University of Calgary has a Career Services department that helps students find jobs after graduation. Networking opportunities will be available to the students while they are in the program.

No. Research degree programs are normally full-time, and students are usually funded through a combination of awards, both internal scholarships and external scholarships, support from supervisors, and teaching assistantships.

No. CMSS does not have different admission requirements for mature students.

Masters: A GPA of at least 3.4 on a 4-point scale in the undergraduate program over the last 20 half courses or two years of study.

PhD: A GPA of 3.7 on a 4-point scale over all completed graduate courses in a masters progam; 3.4 in the undergraduate program in the last 20 half courses or two years of study.

Admission requirements vary depending on the country where previous undergraduate and/or graduate degrees were earned. Visit International Admissions Requirements for further information on specific degree and grade point average requirements for the country where you earned your degree.

For applicants applying to an MSS program, your statement of intent should be no more than one page and should outline the objectives of your research and its context, methodology, and contribution to the advancement of knowledge.

For applicants to the PhD program, your statement of intent should be no more than two pages (excluding bibliography) and should describe your research question, context, objectives, methodology, and contribution to the advancement of knowledge, and your special interest in the proposed area of research. If possible, your statement should show how your proposed courses and potential supervisor will support your research objectives. 

The writing sample must be something you have written yourself, independently in an undergraduate or graduate class. For all explanations for required documents please see the Faculty of Graduate Studies at: 

Please notify of the situation well in advance of the application deadline date.


If you would like to submit an employer reference on top of your academic references you are welcome to do so, but it should be relevant to CMSS and highlight your problem-solving ability, and research and writing skills.

Documents must be submitted by the January 15 deadline.

You may log on to the online application system to see the status of your application. Please note, due to the volume of applications, it may take some time to receive notification of the receipt of documents.

Only your prospective graduate program has access to your admission information because each program evaluates and administers its own applications. You can check the status of your application online in your student centre. If you have questions about the status of your sent documents or application, please directly.

Once you have submitted your application, unofficial transcripts and required supporting documents can be uploaded into your student centre. Your referee(s) will receive two emails which will include a link to the document(s) that need to be completed and a link with information for uploading the documents. Recognizing that many graduate programs are working completely remotely, we have updated our transcript process for mailing physical copies. Electronic transcripts should be emailed directly from the issuing institution to the Faculty of Graduate Studies at Hard copies of transcripts can also now be mailed directly from the issuing institution to the Faculty of Graduate Studies at:

Faculty of Graduate Studies, ES1010 University of Calgary 2500 University Drive NW Calgary, AB T2N 1N4 Canada


No, once you have submitted the online application changes can no longer be made. If your circumstances have changed and you would like to update your application, contact directly.

You will receive a letter by email to let you know whether your application is successful.