Welcome to the Arts and Science Honours Academy

Do you have high academic standing? A record of leadership or involvement in your school or community? This unique experience might be for you!

Why choose ASHA?

ASHA offers students a small cohort experience (25-30 students) and exclusive access to five interdisciplinary courses taught by leading experts in their fields. Driven by curiosity, ASHA students achieve academic excellence while engaging in a meaningful embedded intercultural or international experience. A supportive learning environment is fostered by strong peer mentoring from senior ASHA students and substantial dedicated time with professors.

Sample course plan

Year One

  • Complete ASHA 220
  • Think about going on exchange
  • Take 6 units of second language courses

Year Two

  • Complete ASHA 321 and ASHA 421
  • Plan and apply for a study/volunteer/work abroad experience
  • Apply for Honours
  • Complete 6 units of second language courses (if not already done)

Year Three

  • Participate in a study/volunteer/work abroad program or a suitable program that offers an intercultural experience within Canada
  • Take 6 units of language courses while abroad (if not already done)
  • Apply for Honours (if not already done)

Year Four

  • Complete ASHA 501 and ASHA 503
  • Complete Honours courses

"I don't know where I would be today if it wasn't for ASHA!"

The ASHA program has given me the opportunity to challenge myself, alongside other exceptional students at the University of Calgary. In this program, I have developed skills that will be instrumental in my future career, and I have made friendships that are sure to last a lifetime. I don't know where I would be today if it wasn't for ASHA!

Nolan Hill, Class of 2015

How to apply

Submit your application to the University of Calgary before you apply for the Arts and Science Honours Academy.

Please note: If accepted, you'll need to register in ASHA 220A in Fall 2020 and ASHA 220B in Winter 2021. Courses take place on Tuesday/Thursdays from 12:30 - 1:45 p.m.

Application form

Submit an online application form.

Applications close April 1, 2020 at 12 p.m.

Applications are now closed

Extracurricular activities

On the application form, list 5-10 extracurricular or co-curricular activities, achievements, and interests.

In a 400-500-word essay-style response, discuss your most meaningful extra-curricular or co-curricular experience. This could be an employment or volunteer experience, or an activity pursued during high school. Please note that this response should not be used to show how many activities you've participated in, but, rather, to reflect on the meaningfulness of ONE of these activities.

Submit your essay with your application form.

Submit a 400-500-word essay

Using ONE of the three images below as a prompt, write a 400-500-word essay-style response in which you consider what themes or issues the image evokes, and what is interesting about the image. We are interested in your own original reading of the image. Consultation of external sources is not required or encouraged.

Submit your essay with your application form.

Images for essay

Submit one reference

Download the character and academic reference form and give it to one reference to fill out. They should email it directly to asha@ucalgary.ca or fax to 403-210-6335.

Download reference form

It filled an intellectual void in my degree that could not have been filled by any other experience!

ASHA has been a key aspect of my degree and my university experience. From the classroom discussions to finding life-long friends in my classmates, ASHA gave me an opportunity to grow and develop as a student and as an individual. ASHA courses challenged my perspectives and helped me become more aware of the society and culture I am a part of.

Khulud Baig, Class of 2015


Everything you need to know about the ASHA program

  1. Is ASHA a minor?

    No. ASHA is a milestone, which appears on your transcript, but not on your degree parchment.

  2. What is a milestone, and why isn’t ASHA a minor?

    A milestone appears on your transcript, but not on your degree parchment. The reason ASHA can’t be a minor is because it is not strictly course based: in order to qualify as a minor, 30 units must be taken. ASHA only offers 18 units total. However it is still an achievement and milestone because of the other requirements: the international experience, the honours designation, the second language, and the GPA requirements.

  1. If I get accepted to ASHA, am I automatically accepted to Honours?

    No. You must apply for Honours through your home faculty and under your specific program requirements.

  2. My program of study does not offer an Honours degree. Can I still complete ASHA?

    Yes. You will be required to complete a significant independent research course in your field of study in lieu of an Honours thesis. You must meet the Honours GPA requirement: 3.3 GPA over the final 90 units and over all courses completed in your major field.

  3. Where can I get information about honours?

    Visit an arts or science advisor, and read the calendar.

  1. Can I go to Quebec or other parts of Canada for my international experience?

    Yes, you may participate in a suitable program that offers an intercultural experience within Canada.

  2. What is the minimum length for the international/intercultural experience?

    While you are strongly encouraged to go abroad for a full academic year, you must participate in an approved study abroad, volunteer abroad or work abroad program, or a suitable program that offers an intercultural experience within Canada.

  3. Can I work or volunteer abroad instead of studying abroad?

    Yes! Flexibility is available when meeting this requirement.

  1. What is SASHA?

    SASHA is a Students' Union sanctioned club that provides students with support, mentorship, and social activities to provide a sense of community throughout the different cohorts.

  2. What is a cohort and why does it matter?

    A cohort is the group of students that were admitted to the program at the same time, and will move through the trajectory of the program together. This is important because in-class discussions gain a lot when students already know each other and are comfortable; also, it is an excellent chance to meet lifelong friends.