History and Classics

Admission Requirements

The Department welcomes applications from qualified individuals for admission to its programs of graduate study. The general requirements for admission are specified below. For program specific requirements, please check the relevant program pages.


The Department's minimum admission requirements are an undergraduate degree with a GPA (grade point average) of 3.5 in the last two years of undergraduate (or graduate) work at the University of Alberta, or an equivalent qualification from a recognized institution.

Language Proficiency

Given that English is the primary language of instruction and communication at UAlberta, all applicants must be proficient in English prior to admission.  Information on ELP can be found at https://www.ualberta.ca/graduate-studies/prospective-students/international-admissions-protocol/english-language-proficiency
Applicants with degrees/qualifications in a language other than English need to demonstrate English Language Proficiency by completing an approved English Language exam.  The Department of History & Classics requires test scores that are higher than the FGSR minimum requirement.  We require a TOEFL score of 580 (paper-based) or 92 (internet-based), as applicable. Alternately, students must have an overall score of 7 for IELTS with a minimum of 5.5 for each individual section (Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking).
In addition, the various programs in Classical Languages, Classical Archaeology and Ancient Societies and Cultures all have proficiency requirements in Latin and/or Ancient Greek for admission: for these, see the 'Degrees in Classics' section. The History programs do not have a uniform admission requirement for any language other than English. However, if an applicant proposes an area of study for which knowledge of a given language is necessary or useful, then his or her proficiency in that language may be a factor in an admissions decision. Applicants should always indicate their level of proficiency in relevant languages, and may wish to consult their potential advisor and/or the associate chair. All our graduate programs do have language requirements for completion, which are listed under the individual programs.

MA programs

A student holding a four-year Honours degree or BA degree in History or Classics from the University of Alberta, or a comparable degree from another university, who is continuing in the same field of study may be admitted to the status of candidate for the MA degree. A graduate of a four-year degree undergraduate program who is specializing for the first time in History or Classics, or whose undergraduate record is otherwise deemed deficient, may be required to take additional undergraduate courses or be admitted as a qualifying graduate student. Graduates holding an acceptable three-year bachelor's degree will be required to take a qualifying year.

MA qualifying year

The qualifying year is intended for otherwise qualified students who have insufficient background in History or Classics, or less preparation in the languages in Classics. A qualifying graduate student normally takes ten courses (*30) or the equivalent, with at least six courses (*18) in History or Classics, as appropriate. The courses, usually senior undergraduate courses at the 300 or 400 level, will be chosen in consultation with the Associate Chair (Graduate Studies). The student must attain a GPA of at least 3.5, with no single grade below B-. The student should also plan to complete the language requirement by the end of his/her qualifying year; advancement to candidacy status may be delayed until the student has passed the language examination.

PhD programs

Applicants are normally expected to hold an MA degree or its equivalent. In exceptional cases, a student may be admitted directly into the PhD program without an MA, or, having been admitted as a candidate for the MA, be subsequently permitted to enter the PhD program without a master's thesis/project paper.