Bachelor of Commerce (BCom)

Frequently Asked Questions

What Business degree programs are offered?
The School of Business offers the Bachelor of Commerce (BCom), BCom Cooperative Education, Bilingual BCom (English and French), BCom Honors, and the BCom After Degree.  

How long is the BCom degree?
The BCom degree is a four year program, with one of year of pre-professional study (pre-Business) and three years of study in the School of Business. Think of the BCom degree as a "1+3" year program.

Can I enter directly from High School?
No. The BCom degree is not a direct entry program. All applicants are required to complete a pre-professional year of university study before applying to the program.

Do high school courses or marks count towards entrance?
No. High school grades and courses are required for admission to direct entry faculties, such as Arts or Sciences. They are not considered when you apply to the BCom program. However, some International Baccalaureate (IB) and Advanced Placement (AP) courses are recognized by the U of A for transfer credit.

Where should I take my pre-professional year?

The majority of our students complete their pre-professional year at the U of A, in direct entry faculties such as Arts, Science, Campus Saint-Jean (for Bilingual BCom students), Native Studies, Agricultural Life & Environmental Sciences, Physical Education & Recreation, and Augustana Campus (in Camrose, AB). However, we receive transfer students from Alberta colleges, Alberta universities, and other Canadian universities & colleges. We also receive transfer students from recognized universities around the world. If you choose to attend another post-secondary institution, you should ensure that the institution is recognized by the University of Alberta and that the specific courses you require for entry to the BCom program are available. Information concerning the transferability of courses is available from the Undergraduate Program Office and the Office of the Registrar.
If you are studying at an AB college or university-college, you should consult the Alberta Council on Admissions and Transfers (ACAT) website. This site includes the Alberta Transfer Guide, which will help you to determine if your courses are transferable to the U of A.

Is there preference given to applicants who complete their pre-professional year at the U of A?
All applicants go into the appropriate pool for admission purposes and no preference is given to students attending any one institution.

What courses do I take in my pre-professional year?
Applicants are required to complete six pre-professional courses. These courses are:
ENGLISH (6) – Choose two of any junior level (100 level) English course (students may substitute one 3 Writing Studies course for one 3 junior English course)
ECONOMICS 101 (3) – Introduction to Microeconomics
ECONOMICS 102 (3) – Introduction to Macroeconomics
MATHEMATICS 114 (3) – Elementary Calculus I
STATISTICS 151 (3) – Introduction to Applied Statistics I
= credits

Electives (options) must also be completed in the pre-professional year, as you must present a minimum of 24 credits to apply to the BCom program.

What are the equivalent courses at other institutions?
The Alberta Transfer Guide lists all course equivalencies for AB colleges and university-colleges. Agreements with other post-secondary institutions signify that courses at those institutions have already been approved for transfer credit to the U of A. For coursework from outside Alberta, we rely on similar provincial transfer guides and on course evaluations done by the Undergraduate Office. If you have a question concerning transferable courses at your post-secondary institution (Canadian or international), please send an email to the Undergraduate Program Office.

How do you assess applicants for admission?
The School of Business is a limited enrolment faculty. Admission is not guaranteed to all applicants. Qualified applicants are ranked according to their grade point average (GPA) in the most recent Fall/Winter consisting of at least 15 credits. Applicants are admitted in order until the program quota is full. For ranking purposes, applicants may be placed into separate pools. Admission from these pools will not necessarily be equal. For more information on admission requirements and the selection process, please consult the U of A Calendar.

What is the enrolment target?

The School of Business BCom degree is a quota program and the faculty receives many more applicants than we can accept in the admission year. The faculty has an overall target number for students registered in all years. Our intake in any year will be variable depending on how many students are continuing from the previous year. New admissions can range from 500 - 700 students, depending on space available in the faculty.

What is the minimum GPA to apply to the BCom program?
Students must present a minimum GPA of 2.3 to apply to the BCom program. However, it is unlikely that a GPA of 2.3 will be competitive for admission.

What is the competitive GPA?
The competitive GPA can change from year to year as it is based on the quality of the applicant pool and space available in the program quota. The competitive GPA has fluctuated between 3.0 and 3.3 in recent admission years.

How is GPA calculated?
The GPA is calculated based on your most recent Fall/Winter session (September-April academic year) where you have completed at least 15 credits (remember that you must have a minimum of 24 credits overall to be eligible to apply). We do not take the best 15 credits - all courses in the Fall/Winter are used in the GPA calculation. The GPA is calculated the same way for all BCom applicants. We do not look at GPA's from previous Fall/Winter sessions, if your most recent session contains 15 credits or more. All courses, including failed courses if taken within the Fall/Winter session, will be included in the GPA calculation. Repeated courses, if previously passed, will have the first passing grade substituted into the calculation. 15 credits is equivalent to 5 half-year university-transferable courses.

What is the lowest mark you will accept for transfer credit?
This will depend on your post-secondary institution. Transfer credit will be granted for transferable courses from another post-secondary institution if the grade achieved is at least a C- and the course is applicable to the BCom program. The Alberta Transfer Guide lists some requirements for transfer credit under the specific institution. All courses successfully completed at the U of A are eligible for transfer credit.

Will you accept applicants missing a pre-professional course?
If our enrolment target can be met with students who present all of the required courses, then we will not admit students missing a pre-professional course. However, we are willing to consider students who present high GPA's and are missing one or more of the pre-professional courses in the appropriate case, pending space availability in the program quota. However, admission is not guaranteed for any applicant missing pre-professional coursework. To be qualified and competitive for admission, you must meet all of the admission requirements. It is very unlikely that you will be admitted if you apply to the BCom program missing one of the required courses.

What is the application deadline and how do I apply?
Application Deadline - March 1
Official transcript/document Deadline - June 15

Students are considered for early admission in April and final admission from June 15th to the end of August. Information on qualifying for early admission is available in the U of A Calendar. To be considered for early admission, you must submit your application for admission and official non-U of A transcript (if applicable) to the Office of the Registrar by February 15.

What is the Cooperative Education (Co-op) program?
The Cooperative Education program allows students to combine learning in the classroom with real world experience. Students put their academic knowledge into action through 3 terms of relevant, paid work experience.

How does a student apply for the Co-op program? 
Students with no more than 75 credits toward their degree are eligible to apply to Co-op. Applicants to the BCom program can apply to Co-op at the same time as they apply to the BCom program. Application to Co-op is separate from application to the BCom program. You must apply for admission to the BCom program prior to applying to Co-op. Please consult the Co-op website for further details.

What is the Cohort Program?
The Cohort program places new BCom students (Year 2) into groups for their first year in the program. Students will complete 6 introductory Business courses in their respective cohort pattern. Each cohort pattern permits students opportunities to explore courses offered by other U of A faculties. The program enhances a student's understanding of the core functional areas of business and his/her ability to see business as a complete area of study. Students develop their leadership and communication skills through special projects, group work and competitions. Cohort groups compete against each other during the academic year in the fiercely contested Cohort Cup. The BCom Cohort Program was the first of its kind at the U of A. 

What are the BCom Employment Statistics?
Please visit the Business Career Services website for information on BCom graduate employment rates and average salaries. You can also view Position Titles of our BCom graduates.

Can I speak with a BCom advisor?
Yes you can! You can send us an email, call our office, or drop-in during our scheduled advising hours for prospective students. Each fall, our Recruitment Team visits many schools and participates in events at the U of A. For information on other U of A events, please visit the Office of the Registrar's website.