Application FAQs

View our frequently asked questions regarding the graduate application process.

Do I have to find a supervisor before I apply?
No.  However, contacting faculty members before applying may increase your chances of admission. We only admit students where there is at least one potential supervisor willing to provide funding.

Will I be funded?
All admitted full-time thesis-based students (except those who are sponsored by a company, an institution or a government) will be funded.

If I am funded, do I have to pay tuition and fees?
Yes.  All students are responsible to pay tuition and fees.

I am ready to apply for a graduate program in your department. What are the next steps?
This is the website where you can find the instructions on how to apply:    

I want to apply to more than one program. Do I have to submit more than one application?
No.  You need to apply for one program but indicate that you are also open for another program on your application.

Is the application fee refundable?

All my courses were taught in English, do I need to provide English Proficiency Test result?
Yes.  English Proficiency Test is required from all applicants if their degrees are granted from institutions of countries where English is not a native language.

My undergraduate degree was in other discipline, am I qualified to apply?
Please check the academic background section under each specialization to see if you have sufficient background for our graduate program.

Can you review my transcripts and CV and let me know if I stand a chance?
No.  We do not evaluate any application materials until the application is submitted and the fee paid.

I have a 3-year B.Sc. degree, can I apply for a M.Sc. Program?
No. With a 3-year B.Sc. degree, we also require a M.Sc. degree if you want to apply for our graduate program.

My government will fund me, but the funding application deadline is January.  Can I get an early admission?
No. All sponsored applicants have to submit their applications and compete against all other applicants.  Proof of funding has to be submitted to Faculty of Graduate Studies for verification.

My GPA is below your minimum requirement.  Is there a chance that I can study for your graduate program?
University of Calgary offer an Open Study Program, where you can apply to take some courses to improve your GPA.  We will calculate the last 20 relevant courses for GPA calculation.

I can’t afford the application fee. Is there any assistance for this?

The Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Calgary is offering application fee relief to select students who demonstrate strong financial burden and/or are members of underrepresented groups in physics and astronomy, including, but not limited to, women, indigenous persons, and persons of colour. To apply for this application fee relief, please send the following documents to the Associate Head - Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (currently Dr. Jo-Anne Brown at jocat(at)

a)  an unofficial transcript

b)  a maximum of one page document stating:
       - your name and contact information;
       - who your proposed supervisor is;
       - an explanation of the reason you wish to receive the relief.

I might miss the application deadline; can I have an extension?
The online application system will be closed on January 15.  You can apply for our next admission.

Where do I send my supporting documents?
All supporting documents can be uploaded onto your application online.  For hard copies and original documents, you can mail them to

My degree hasn’t been conferred yet because I am still attending university, but I plan on finishing soon. How should I address this in my application?
Most of the applicants are in the same situation when they apply.  Our offer will be based on the grades you submit.  If you receive more grades later, please sent them to us.  Your offer will have a condition that your final transcripts should maintain a good GPA and original transcripts and degree certificate must be mailed to us on a later date.

What are the minimum English Language Proficiency and GRE test scores required to apply to a graduate program in your department?
•    Duoingo 115
•    IELTS 6.5
•    TOEFL iBT 86 (min 20 in each section)
•    PTE 59
•    CAEL 70 (min 60 in each section)
•    ACC “B+” in each course
•    GRE result is required

I want to apply, but I can't take my English Language Proficiency test until after the application deadline. Can I apply, and submit my test score later?
Yes, you can.  However, please remember the admission process is a competition.  By the time when you have your test result, if all of our offers have been released, your application will not be considered.

When should I contact the program I applied to?
The evaluation of the applications will start right after the deadline (January 15) and it takes at least a month for us to release the 1st round offers.  The offers will continue to be released until our admission quota is reached.

I no longer wish to apply for your program. Can I get a refund?
No.  Application fee is not refundable.

I have made a mistake on my submitted application. Can I edit the information?
No.  The submitted application cannot be edited.  You should contact Graduate Program Administrator by emailing for help.

Can you confirm if you have received the required documents?
Your online application will be updated when required documents have been received.  The mailed or couriered documents will be received by the University Central Distribution Unit and it usually takes a few more days for them to reach the department.  

What is the status of my application?
You will receive an offer if you are admitted.  If not, it could be the final decision has not been made.  We will not notify you if you are not admitted.  You can contact Graduate Program Administrator by emailing for an update.

My referee is not available until later.  What do I do?
It is important for us to receive the references when the evaluation starts.  Without references, we will not review your application.

Can my referee send an e-mail reference?
The referee will receive an email with instructions on how to submit the reference material.  If they have difficulty doing so, please ask them to contact Graduate Program Administrator directly by emailing for help.

How are electronic references submitted?
The referee will receive an email with instructions on how to submit the reference material.

My referee told me that they have submitted the reference materials but on my portal, I still see that they have not completed the task.  Why?
We require both a reference form and a letter from each referee.  If they only submit one item, the status will still show “incomplete". Please communicate with your referees that they have two items to submit.

I've written a personal letter of recommendation. How should I send it?
Once you have agreed to be a referee, the applicant will put your email onto their application.  You will receive an email with instruction on how to upload your reference material.  We require both a reference form and a reference letter.  Both items have to be submitted.  If you encounter any problem while doing so, please contact Graduate Program Administrator directly by emailing for help.

Can I send a reference as an e-mail or e-mail attachment?
If you have problem submitting the materials online, you can contact Graduate Program Administrator directly by emailing for help.

Did the program get my reference letter/form/electronic reference?
When you submit both required items (a form and a letter), the system will notify you.

Where should I send the paper reference form?
You can contact Graduate Program Administrator directly by emailing for help.