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!

*Note: Applications will open by or before the New Year

Katie Ohe's Zipper sculpture in Science Theatres is in the centre of the photo. Students in motion walk around it.

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 off-campus experiential learning activity. A supportive learning environment is fostered by strong peer mentoring from senior ASHA students and substantial dedicated time with professors.

ASHA Program Plan

Please note that the new ASHA course program, as seen below, is not yet reflected in the UCalgary Calendar. 

Year One

Complete ASHA 222 "Ways of Making and Knowing" (a full year course).

Begin to think about what kind of Off-Campus Experiential Learning Activity to pursue. 

Check whether the activity requires any certifications or previous experience.  

Check the requirements of your degree Honours program and work with an advisor in your faculty to map out your degree program.


Year Two

Complete ASHA 322 "Questions for Our Time" (Fall Term) and ASHA 422 "The Nature of Research" (Winter Term).

Identify an appropriate Off-Campus Experiential Learning Activity and prepare a proposal for approval by the ASHA Program Coordinator (due in December).

When proposal is approved, make any necessary arrangements for your Experiential Learning Activity.

Apply to ASHA and other university sources for travel funding if appropriate. 

Apply to degree Honours program this year or in third year as appropriate.

Year Three

No courses are required this year.

Complete your Off-Campus Experiential Learning Activity.

Complete the Online Reflection Module for your Experiential Learning Activity.

Apply for Honours if not done already. 

Year Four

Complete ASHA 503 "Capstone" (Winter Term).

Complete Honours Project or Independent Research Project (if your Degree Program doesn't have an Honours Option).

"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 222A in Fall 2021 and ASHA 222B in Winter 2022. Courses take place on Tuesday/Thursdays from 12:30 - 1:45 p.m.

Application form

Submit an online application form.

Applications close April 1, 2021 at 12 p.m.

Applications are now open

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

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 15 units total. However it is still an achievement and milestone because of the other requirements: off-campus experiential learning activity, the honours designation, 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. What is an Off-Campus Experiential Learning Activity?

    This activity can be a work, volunteer, study, or community experience -- undertaken in Calgary, elsewhere in Canada, or abroad. The length of the activity is flexible but it must be an immersive experience and a departure from one's regular course of studies.

  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.