My GPA in my four year Bachelor’s degree is below the minimum of 3.4/4.0 required for admission to your MA program. What can I do?
For admissions purposes, the Faculty of Graduate Studies (FGS) requires that the department calculate grade point average (GPA) based on approximately your last twenty half-credit courses (or two years) of your degree only.
Admission requirements vary depending on the country where previous undergraduate and/or graduate degrees were earned. Visit International Admissions Requirements on the FGS website for further information on specific degree and grade point average requirements for the country where you earned your degree.
Please note, our Faculty of Graduate Studies (FGS) bases admission decisions on the BA Degree GPA only. However, for students right at or just below our department’s minimum admission GPA, you may consider registering in one or two 4th year undergraduate or graduate courses as an Open Studies student below. While these courses do not change your admission GPA, in cases where your GPA is marginal, excellent results in these after-degree courses may be taken into account by the Department when considering your eligibility for admission to our program.
If admitted, and at the discretion of the Graduate Program Director, up to two half graduate courses may count towards your MA course requirements.
- We do not guarantee admission, even if your GPA meets our minimum requirement.
- In any given year, admission decisions will depend on the number of qualified applicants, the availability of supervision, and the funds available for student support. These vary from year to year.
My BA is a three year degree and not the required four year degree. How do I upgrade for admission to the MA program?
The Faculty of Graduate Studies requires a four year BA degree. Students with a three year BA should speak to an advisor in the Arts Students’ Centre if you plan to complete extra courses to complete a four year degree. All such courses cannot be used for advanced credit towards a graduate degree program. Successful completion of this work does not guarantee admission to a graduate program.
My undergraduate or Master’s degree is in another discipline. How can I get a sufficient background in Political Science?
Normally applicants must have an immediately prior degree in Political or a strong background in Political Science -- at least 5.0 full-course equivalents in Political Science. Special consideration may be given to those who have not achieved this background.
If you have a degree far removed from Political Science, you would not be eligible for admission. We recommend that you take a second BA or MA degree in Political Science.
How can I take additional undergraduate or graduate courses at the University of Calgary?
To take courses when not registered in a regular degree program, you must apply for Open Studies admission.
The Registrar’s Office processes applications for open studies, not the Department. However, if you wish to enrol in a Political Science graduate course as an Open Studies student, you will need Department approval.
My degree(s) is from an international institution, how do I know if I am eligible to apply for admission?
The Faculty of Graduate Studies provides graduate programs with guidelines for GPA calculations on international transcripts. Prospective students can find relevant information for each country on the FGS website.
However, please bear in mind that the Department of Political Science often has higher minimum admission standards than those listed with the Faculty of Graduate Studies.
Yes, as long as you will be completing it before Sept of the year you plan to enter the program.
You will need to submit your final transcript, with your final grades and proof of completion of degree requirements by August 20th.
If admitted, speak with the Graduate Administrator about the additional steps in the process. Your admission letter will state that your admission is conditional on receipt of your final transcript.
Please review the Admission FAQ's above.
The Faculty of Graduate Studies provides programs with tools for calculating GPAs. Just for some form of reference for you, in the University of Calgary system, a 3.4 GPA is around 80% and between a B+ and A-.
Can you base my GPA calculation on only my Political Science courses as I did much better on my Political Science courses?
Unfortunately, this is not permitted. Your GPA will be calculated on approximately the last 20 half courses or the last two years for your BA program and all of your MA courses. The Faculty of Graduate Studies provides programs with very specific guidelines and procedures for GPA calculation.
This is correct, but Departments can set their own minimum GPA requirements and we require a higher GPA.
Proof of Proficiency in the English language is required from applicants whose primary language is not English.
- TOEFL score of 105 (Internet-based) or 600 (paper-based).
- IELTS score of 7.5 (Academic version)
- CAEL score of 70 with no section less than 70
- PTE score of 75, or higher (Academic version)
- Academic Communication Certificate, with a minimum grade of A- in each course.
Official scores should be sent to the Faculty of Graduate Studies at the University of Calgary. TOEFL scores should indicate the institution code 0813 and the code 25 for Political Science as listed on the TOEFL website.
Why does the Faculty of Graduate Studies accept students with a lower TOEFL score than the Department?
Each Department is allowed to set its own requirements for language proficiency. We’ve found that students below our minimum requirement struggle to complete their degree requirements.
Official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions you have attended. Original documents or certified true copies of each of your official transcripts and degree certificates, in the original sealed envelope, sent directly from the issuing University.
If original documents are not in English:
Original documents or certified true copies of each of your official transcripts and degree certificates in the original language, in the original sealed envelope, sent directly from the issuing University, and an English translation from the issuing University or a notarized word-for-word English translation of a duplicate copy of that original.
If the transcripts are from a university in a country where the mother tongue is not English, the University must provide the original transcript and an official translation. If the degree conferral is not noted on the transcript, we need the original degree certificate and translation sent directly from the University.
Transcripts are considered official only if sent directly by the University.
Transcripts can be sent by email to email@example.com or by mail to the following address:
Faculty of Graduate Studies
Earth Sciences, 1010
2500 University Drive NW
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Please note that email transcripts must be sent directly from the issuing institution's transcript office (see related FAQ). Hard copy transcripts must be in an envelope sealed by the issuing institution. You can upload unofficial documents to your online application.
You are required to upload unofficial transcripts by January 15th as part of the online application Please upload the grading scale as well (often located on the back of the transcript). Official transcripts required upon receipt of conditional admission as stated in any offer of admission.