How to Apply

How do I apply for graduate study?

The application is submitted through an online application system on the Faculty of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies (GPS) website. All supporting documentation must be uploaded in the application system prior to submission.

Application Deadline

What is the application deadline for graduate programs?

The online admission application system will be available starting October 1st and will have a DEADLINE for receipt of a complete application (including all supporting documentation for both domestic and international applicants) of January 15th for the subsequent academic year. The application system will close on January 16th at 12:00 am MST. Submitting your application at least three weeks before the deadline is highly recommended. Please note: There is one in-take each year in January and fall term (September 1 - December 31) is the only term in which selected applicants may begin their programs.

NEW: Please note that as of September 1, 2021, the fee for applications to all graduate programs has increased from $100 CAD to $135 CAD. If you have questions about the fee, please contact

Transcripts or Mark Sheets and Degree Certificates

A minimum admission grade point average of 3 on most 4-point grading systems or B on most letter grading systems, based on your most recent two years of full time study (or equivalent), is required.

For University of Alberta education only:

  • Upload your U of A transcript generated from Bear Tracks.

For all other applicants:

  • You will need to request one set to be sent directly to you that you will then scan and upload into your application.
  • If admitted, you will then need to request a second set of official copies to be sent directly to the Faculty of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies. (Do not request this second set until you are admitted to a graduate program and prompted to do so by GPS.)
  • Please consult the following transcript guidelines: Application Requirements for Academic Documents.

At that time please arrange to have one official transcript or marks sheet and degree certificate sent to the Faculty of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies and one sent to the Department of Art & Design. Documents must be mailed directly from the post-secondary institution, in a sealed envelope, to the following address:

  • Faculty of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies
    Killam Centre for Advanced Studies
    2-29 Triffo Hall, University of Alberta
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    T6G 2E1

Statement of Intent

Specify the area of interest and plans for study in the graduate program. The statement of intent should be approximately two pages in length and include:

  • Last academic degree and degree sought at the University of Alberta
  • Brief statement of research interest
  • Potential thesis research topic
  • Potential supervisor(s) and if you have contacted them

Curriculum Vitae (CV)

Include post-secondary education, list of awards, publications, exhibitions, curatorial projects, presentations, and relevant work and volunteer experience. You can use the form provided through the online application or submit your own.

Recommendation Letters

Three (3) original letters are required. Provide the contact information, including email address, of your three referees in the online application system. Upon submission of your application (i.e. payment of the application fee) your referees will be sent an email containing a link that will allow them to securely submit their reference. They can choose to fill out the reference form, submit a letter, or both. References provided in conjunction with an application for graduate admission are considered to be supplied in confidence and will only be disclosed as required in the admission process of the applicant or in accordance with Federal and Provincial Statutes regulating disclosure of personal information.

Writing Sample 

MA and PhD

Recent original work in English (e.g. course research paper, published article, article manuscript, MA thesis), up to 25 pages in length, for prospective MA and PhD students to the History of Art, Design, and Visual Culture programs only.


MFA and MDes

Prospective students to the MFA program are required to submit a portfolio of 12 to 15 high quality digital images in JPEG format. Please submit a folder of images via Google Drive and share them with the Graduate Advisors at ( Entitle the folder with name, program (MFA) and specialization (Drawing/Intermedia, Painting, Printmaking, Sculpture). Example: Justin Trudeau_MFA_printmaking.

If you wish to be considered for two areas of specialization with one portfolio, choose the MFA program with your primary specialization and start your application. In your statement of intent, indicate that you are open to placement in the alternate specialization. Your application will be reviewed by both areas and the respective Professors will discuss your needs, studio space availability, supervision, etc. After consultation with you and if appropriate, a program change will be made.

If you would like to submit two different portfolios for different specializations, you will need to apply twice

Prospective students to the MFA program should in addition create an image list as a seperate PDF with the (title, medium, dimensions, year or each work) and include it in the shared Google Drive folder.

MFA students should plan to submit:

  • highest quality JPEG file formats
  • images should be a minimum of 1920 pixels on the long side
  • RGB colour mode files only

Prospective students to the MDes program must submit a portfolio of 12 to 15 projects in 1 PDF (all together) no larger than 5MB and add it to Department Check 4 in the application system. Each project could include images of the research, prototypes, and the final result, as well as context of the projects (e.g., if you worked with an external partner, or it was a live project). The portfolio should be well-designed. Entitle the document with name, program (MDes) and specialization (Industrial Design or Visual Communication Design). Example: Justin Trudeau_MDes_Industrial Design

English Language Proficiency

What about the IELTS and TOEFL?

English is the primary language of instruction and communication at UAlberta. All applicants must be proficient in English prior to admission.

International applicants must be able to demonstrate English Language Proficiency at the time of application.

If previous degrees were not completed at an institution in which English is the official language of instruction, prospective students will have to take the TOEFL or IELTS exam and upload a score sheet to the application system. The University of Alberta Institutional Code: 0963.

Review the English Language Proficiency exemptions for applicants with international qualifications.

  • TOEFL in-person or special at-home edition; minimum overall score of 95 (internet-based) with at least 21 per band score; paper-based TOEFL minimum score is 580;
  • PTE minimum overall score of 68;
  • IELTS minimum overall score of 7.0 with a band score of at least 6.

Special Note: Duolingo English Test as an ELP alternative

If you are in a region impacted by Pearson, IELTS, or TOEFL test centre closures, the Duolingo English Test will be made available to all applicants to graduate programs as an additional option to demonstrate English Language Proficiency. This option has been approved for all applicants to graduate programs through to the 2028-29 admission cycle. The minimum Duolingo English Test score required by the Department of Art & Design is as follows:

  • 140 for Spoken English Proficiency, with no subscore below 120
Notwithstanding the above, graduate programs reserve the right to require a further demonstration of English language proficiency. English is the primary language of instruction and communication at UAlberta. All applicants must be proficient in English prior to admission. International applicants must be able to demonstrate English Language Proficiency at the time of application


What is the cost of tuition?

Visit Tuition and Cost of Living Estimates for more information.


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