Frequently Asked Questions - Information Security Graduate Program


[last updated Dec 1/21]

As of November 1, 2021, the application portal for Fall 2022 is now open.

This is our next available intake for the Master, and Graduate Certificates.

Deadline to apply:

  • February 1, 2022 11:59PM MST for international applicants
  • April 15, 2022 11:59 MDT for Canadian/Permanent Residents. 

Fall is the only semester we offer admission for presently, we do not offer admission to the Winter, Spring, or Summer semesters.

Applications will be reviewed as they are received, and we will be providing a limited number of seats to especially strong applicants before our application deadlines.

Most international applicants can anticipate notification of their application’s status beginning in January 2022, with our intention being to notify all international applicants of their application’s status no later than May 2022.

Domestic applicants can anticipate notification of their application’s status beginning in February 2022, with our intention being to notify all domestic applicants of their application’s status no later than June 2022.

The application's "To Do" list is automatically populated within the application portal, which can lead to concern over "To Do" lists items being outstanding, but that the program itself does not require.

The following items may populate but are not required by applicants until they have been offered admission:

  • Official Transcripts (see our section on transcripts below for more information)
  • Proof of Canadian citizenship
  • Proof of Permanent Residency
  • Proof of English Language Proficiency
  • References (if you choose not to submit them)

If the Admissions Committee requires additional material from you regarding your admissibility, you will be contacted at the email address supplied in your application.


[last updated Jan 4/22]

The laddering pathway sees students complete 3 separate credentials within our program, 1 Graduate Certificate at a time, and then the final Master Internship or Capstone. 

This option has been designed for those seeking:

  • Part-Time studies
  • At least initially, only 1 Graduate Certificate rather than our Master degree
  • The option for extended breaks (multiple semesters) from study

This option does not work with the following:

  • Full-Time studies
  • Students seeking direct entry to the Master program
  • Most immigration requirements e.g. for Post-Graduate Work Permits


Fall 2021

ISEC 643 - Policies, Standards & Programs : Sept 7-10

ISEC 601 - Applied Cryptography : Oct 4-8

ISEC 611 - Private Data Management : Nov 1-5

ISEC 641 - Governance & Risk Management  : Dec 6-10


Winter 2022

ISEC 603 - Network Security : Jan 10-14

ISEC 651 - Topics in Security and Privacy: Privacy Enhancing Technologies : Feb 7-11

ISEC 631 - Privacy by Design Lab : Lecture: March 4; Lab: Mar 7-11

ISEC 621 - Ethical Hacking Lab  : Lecture: Apr 1; Lab: Apr 4-8


"In-class" lectures make up 1 week of each month’s class, students will then have course work assigned to them that will be due at the end of the month the class was taught in (e.g. ISEC 603’s class will run Jan 10-14, from 9am - 5pm, and will have additional course work due for submission on January 31). 

Please note that we anticipate offering the same courses, but the exact schedule is subject to change for the Fall 2022 academic year.


In response to the global pandemic, we have adjusted our course schedule and will be offering our January and February 2022 courses remotely.

We hope to return to an in-person model for March and April, our two lab courses, however this is still to be determined based on the assured safety of our students and staff. 

We will continue to communicate any course scheduling changes in Winter 2022 with our active students.


FALL 2022

Our intention is to return exclusively to an in-person model for our Fall 2022 cohort, however this is also dependent on future health guidelines.

The Information Security program's ISEC 600-level courses are available exclusively to students who are actively enrolled in the Information Security graduate program.

While we appreciate the interest we receive from those not actively enrolled in our program, we are not able to accommodate requests to register in, audit, or otherwise attend our courses. This restriction includes but is not limited to: undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Calgary or any outside institution, Open Studies students, Visiting Students, alumni or staff. 


[last updated Nov 29/21]

Please see Faculty of Science's section on the Program Specific Fees page of the academic calendar.

Students are also assessed General Fees.

A student enrolled in 4 courses per semester would be able to complete either the Data Privacy or Network Security Graduate Certificate in 2 semesters (8 months) or our Master in 3 semesters (12 months). 

The laddering pathway is not 1 program, but rather 3 separate credentials within our program, 2 Graduate Certificates, and 1 Master Internship or Capstone. 

Federal legislation stipulates that only certified consultants may offer advice about immigration issues. Students who have been accepted to the University of Calgary will have access to International Student Services (ISS) at the University of Calgary, who are certified in this area. See the following websites for more details:


A certificate or masters in Information Security and Privacy can work within the Canada-Alberta Job Grant model if the employer and employee meet the criteria as set out in the Canada-Alberta Job Grant Applicant Guide.


[last updated Oct 18/21]

If you completed your previous studies in a country other than Canada, you can look up the grade equivalency and minimum GPA requirement for your country here.

For students holding degrees from North American institutions which use a letter score, we are generally seeking a "B" average, or 72% as a percentage. 

If you possess any graduate-level degrees, e.g. Master/PhD etc. do not use these as part of your GPA calculation. 

If you hold a Bachelor, Master, or PhD degree from an institution that instructs in English, the proof of English Language Proficiency required is waived, and we ask that no test results be provided.

If your previous post-secondary education was taught in a different language, proof of English Language Proficiency is required. 

See the current Graduate Calendar, Admission > A.1 Qualifications > 2. for full details.

Yes, we do ask that applicants provide reference letters. They are not mandatory but will ensure a stronger application to the program if submitted.

Yes you can take courses outside your bachelor degree to meet the program prerequisites. If you missing any of the prerequisites you can take courses to meet the prerequisites, provided they meet the following criteria:

  • They are from an accredited institution or learning resource
  • The course is evaluated/graded in some way 
  • You can produce a certificate or transcript that documents your completion and grade for the course
  • Students are required to have at least a “B” grade, or equivalent, to meet the minimum requirements.

Below are examples of appropriate prerequisites from our institution:

Computer Programming:

  • CPSC 217 - Introduction to Computer Science for Multidisciplinary Studies I, 
  • CPSC 219 - Introduction to Computer Science for Multidisciplinary Studies II, 
  • CPSC 231 - Introduction to Computer Science for Computer Science Majors I

Algorithms and Data Structures:

  • CPSC 319 - Data Structures, Algorithms, and Their Applications

Either Operating Systems:

  • CPSC 457 – Principles of Operating Systems

OR Computer Networks:

If you would like to take courses outside those listed above, please ensure they meet the following requirements:

  • The learning outcomes are similar to those listed as appropriate examples
  • It is from an accredited institution or learning resource
  • The course is evaluated/graded in some way 
  • You can produce a transcript that documents your completion and grade for the course
  • Minimum of 30 hours in length
  • Students are required to have at least a “B” grade, or equivalent, to meet the minimum requirements

No, this is not a requirement of our program.


[last updated Dec 1/21]

Until an offer of admission is provided, only unofficial transcripts (NOT official) are required for an application to be considered complete and ready for assessment. Please do not request to have your official transcripts sent until you are requested to do so as part of an unofficial offer of admission provided to you via email by the program.

Unofficial transcripts (those uploaded or supplied by the student) will be used to evaluate an application for admission.

  1. My original transcripts aren't in English, what should I do?

    If your original documents are not in English, we require both the original documents or certified true copies of each of your official transcripts and degree certificates in the original language 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 origin.

  2. I'm a UofC graduate, do I need to provide transcripts from the UofC?

    No, we are able to retrieve internal transcripts, and do not require them to be sent to the program.

    Please note that if you have any additional post-secondary education after your degree at the University of Calgary, this will not be on file and therefore need to be submitted.


Until an offer of admission is provided, only unofficial transcripts (NOT official) are required for an application to be considered complete and ready for assessment. 

"Official transcripts" are those received by the University of Calgary directly from the issuing institution. As we are currently working remotely, please utilize the option of submitting your transcripts electronically if possible. Instructions for delivery methods are below.


  • Transcripts must come directly from the issuing institution’s appropriate transcript distribution email address (e.g. Registrar Office, Transcript Office)
  • Indian transcripts and degrees may be requested via The National Academy Depository (NAD)
  • All emails must be sent to
  • Please be aware that documents sent by students or faculty members cannot be accepted as “official”
  • If possible, please request to have your files sent electronically rather than through the post


  • In light of the difficulties international students may encounter obtaining official transcripts, the Faculty of Graduate Studies will accept transcripts as official if they are sent directly from one of the following professional organizations*:
    • Alberta Education
    • Medical Council of Canada Archive
    • International Qualifications Assessment Service (IQAS)
  • Emails must be sent to


  • While the electronic method should always be utilized if possible, we understand that some institutions may not be able to offer this service.
  • Official transcripts are to be sent in a sealed envelope directly to the program by the issuing institution.
  • Mailing Address:

Faculty of Graduate Studies, ES 1010
University of Calgary
2500 University Drive NW
Calgary, AB T2N 1N4

Please note: we do not accept transcripts through WES, or any other method/organization besides those listed above. 


[last updated Oct 18/21]

The intention is for all Masters students to complete a 200-hour professional internship (in industry), but under certain circumstances students may complete a research internship, which will be based on campus, in lieu of one in a professional environment. The internship will be worth 6 credits. It is the program’s role to help ensure that students have opportunities to apply for and we will have an internship coordinator to facilitate making industry connections and assist in the placement of our students with appropriate industry partners, however the students will be required to apply for the position they are seeking and will need to interview to confirm the placement.

Our Master program specifically will have some scholarships that students can apply for, but whether they would be applicable would have to be determined by you. Check out the Faculty of Graduate Studies' scholarship database for full details. 

We will be offering a "Master of Information Security and Privacy", not a Master of Science degree. Our Master degree is a professional, course-based graduate-level credential.

Our program has been designed to provide technical expertise at a fast-pace to allow our program’s alumni to either elevate their career, or take it in a new trajectory.

We do not offer a thesis-based program, and our degree will not continue to a PhD-level.

The Master application will have an option to include References, but they are not required by the program, however, as the program is very popular it is advantageous to use all possible opportunities to highlight yourself as an applicant.

References can be professional or academic. 

The reference section is done through an online form, not through the submission of independent letters. As the system will not allow the reference portion to be left blank, if you do not wish to include references, to get around this issue you’re welcome use and as placeholders, and whatever text for the other required fields. The program will not be providing references, these requests will be archived and eventually removed from your To Do List.

Do you have a question about the program? Get in touch