How to Apply for an Exchange Program

There are three (3) steps in applying for an exchange to UAlberta.

Step #1: Get nominated for exchange

Get nominated for exchange by your home institution and get confirmation that your nomination has been accepted by UAlberta.

Your nomination must include: 

  1. Your full name as it appears in your passport
  2. Your level of studies (i.e., undergraduate or graduate)
  3. A brief description of what you study at your home institution
  4. Your intended area(s) of study while on exchange at UAlberta
  5. The requested duration of your exchange (i.e., Fall Term, Winter Term, or Full Year)
  6. An email address at which you can be contacted

Please Note:

  1. Only exchange nominations of students meeting the relevant admission requirements will be considered.
  2. Although we can consider Fall+Winter term nominations, we cannot consider Winter+Fall term (i.e., calendar year) nominations.  Exchanges in the calendar year might be possible but would require 2 separate nominations and applications (i.e. one nomination and application for the Winter term and then, at a later date, the other nomination and application for the Fall term).
  3. Acceptance of your nomination does not guarantee that you will be accepted for exchange.  Although it doesn't happen often, your nomination could be accepted but your exchange application may later be rejected by the UAlberta faculty or department in which you wish to take all or the majority of your courses.

For students with disabilities

If your nomination is accepted and you have a documented disability affecting mobility, vision, hearing, learning and/or physical or mental health, then you will need to register with our Academic Success Centre (ASC) as soon as possible once you have been issued a Campus Computing ID (CCID) and a UAlberta Student ID number (and this might happen even before you discover that you have been accepted for the exchange).

As part of your registration, be sure to identify yourself as an international student who is currently applying for an exchange experience at UAlberta. Personnel from the ASC will arrange an online conversation with you to assess the functional impact of your disability.

You may be asked to provide a description, in English, of the disability from any disability services office at your institution or a medical professional who may be currently assisting you. We encourage exchange students to utilize the academic accommodations that UAlberta recommends and can offer once your assessment is complete.

You may also wish to contact our Residence Services team (at housing@ualberta.ca) if your disability(ies) might impact your on-campus housing requirements.

Step #2: Prepare and submit your application
Undergraduate students must refer to the "University of Alberta UNDERGRADUATE Incoming Exchange Application Guide" document that will be provided to them for application instructions.

Graduate students must:
  1. Complete an "Application for Visiting Graduate Student" form
  2. Complete a "Permission to Participate Form"
  3. Make a photocopy of the photograph / personal information page(s) of your passport
  4. Gather official transcripts showing ALL post-secondary courses already completed (INCLUDING your undergraduate courses) AND that you are presently taking.  Official transcripts must contain an official seal or signature AND must be in English.
  5. Obtain a demonstration, as required, of the minimum required English proficiency.
  6. Also check below, in the part entitled, "Additional information about exchange applications at the graduate level", for other considerations that might be relevant for your application.
  7. Send the relevant Exchange Coordinator at UAlberta all of your application documents (described above) as separate pdf files attached to an email and at one time only. In other words, please wait until you have all required documents before you send us your exchange application.  Also, please spend some time to review the pdf files before sending them to us to make sure they are legible, complete, error-free, not scanned upside down, etc.
Additional information about exchange applications at the graduate level:
  1. PLEASE NOTE that some UAlberta departments and faculties won't make graduate course determinations for the time you wish to be at UAlberta on exchange AND/OR permit you to register in courses until after you may have to make some financial and other commitments related to the exchange.  Unfortunately, you might eventually discover that you have no desire to register in any of the courses offered AND/OR all of the spaces available in one or more of your desired courses are gone.  If you are admitted for the exchange before knowing the course options open to you (i.e., before course options in your destination department or faculty at UAlberta are advertised on Bear Tracks AND before you know that you can register in courses that interest you), then you should pause and seriously consider if it's a good idea to proceed with the application knowing the financial and other risks you might encounter.
  2. When you are asked to list courses of interest in your application, UAlberta uses that information to further assess your suitability for the exchange, NOT to register you in those courses.  You will need to register in courses on your own, after you have been admitted for your desired exchange.
  3. You will need to be assigned to a "home department" at UAlberta.  Therefore, all of the courses you list in your application documents must be selected from one department only.  If you plan to go on exchange to a faculty without departments then all of the courses you list in your application documents must be selected from only that faculty.  (You *might* be able to take courses in other departments or faculties but that would be something to investigate after you have been admitted for the exchange and is not guaranteed.)
  4. The courses listed on your "Application for Visiting Graduate Student" form and "Permission to Participate Form" need to be the same and in the same order.
  5. If you wish to conduct research while on exchange (instead of taking courses) then you will need to indicate that you wish to register in only "RSCH 900" on your "Application for Visiting Graduate Student" form and "Permission to Participate Form" along with writing the name of your UAlberta host supervisor.
  6. Whenever you are asked to provide your name, please be sure to provide your full name exactly as it appears in your passport.
  7. Should you have to, or choose to, demonstrate the required English proficiency with test results from an approved external testing organization (like TOEFL, IELTS, etc.), then please obtain a copy of your test results and include them with your application sent to UAlberta.  Please do not have test results mailed directly to UAlberta from the approved external testing organization.
  8. Test results used to demonstrate English proficiency must not be more than 2 years old at the time of application.
  9. Additional application materials may be required for certain programs and/or courses and will be requested upon receipt of your application.
  10. Please only submit what you are asked to submit and nothing more.
Step #3: Waiting for the results

After you submit a complete and error-free application, it can take up to 4 to 6 weeks for it to be processed and for an official letter of admission to be released.  It might take some faculties and departments longer to make admission decisions.

Students applying for an exchange to UAlberta will be issued a student ID number, a computing ID (called a "CCID") and a password (and undergraduate students can expect to receive this information even before admission decisions are released). The CCID and password will give you access to a ualberta.ca email account and a Bear Tracks account.

Official letters of admission may be available through one or both of the accounts mentioned above or, if you are an undergraduate student, through your UAlberta Launchpad Status Page, and you are advised to check all of those locations 2 - 3 times per week for it. Official letters of admission may also be mailed as hard copies directly to you or to the Exchange Office at your home institution or emailed to your Exchange Office. Rejection notices would be issued in one of the ways mentioned above.


Please Note:

  1. Whenever possible, you should NOT make financial or other commitments for the exchange (like purchasing airline tickets) until you have received your official letter of admission from UAlberta AND only after you have satisfied any Government of Canada immigration requirements (e.g., study permits, visas, vaccinations, etc.) related to your exchange.
  2. Do not attempt to satisfy any Government of Canada immigration requirements until you have received your official letter of admission from UAlberta.
  3. UAlberta will provide you with information to help you interpret and satisfy Government of Canada immigration requirements shortly after you have submitted a complete and error-free application (if you are a graduate student) or once the decision has been made to accept your application (if you are an undergraduate student).

Click here to return to the sitemap of the Incoming Exchange Student Application Guide.

Updated for 2024/25 applications