We admit one Fall cohort per year. For admission in the subsequent Fall term, the application system will open on October 1 and will remain open until January 15. It is strongly recommended that you submit your application well before the deadline, in case of technical difficulties, but also so that your referees receive their email notification with sufficient time to respond.

Application Procedure

All applications are processed online through the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research. You can access the application portal here. Paper applications will not be accepted, and it is not necessary to mail official documents to the University of Alberta during the admissions process. Instead, you will be required to upload scans of all requested supporting documents as pdf files, and to pay an application fee before your application can be considered.

Please do not use the application portal's message system to contact the department. If you still have questions after reading this information, contact for any necessary clarification.

Entrance Requirements

  • GPA (grade point average): at least 3.3 on a 4.0 grading scale, based on your most recent two years of full time study (or equivalent) or the last 60 credits, from an institution recognized by the University of Alberta.
  • Please note: in response to the global Covid-19 pandemic, the University of Alberta has decided that grades for courses taken in Winter 2020 will not be included in the calculation of admission GPAs. Passing grades from Winter 2020 (Pass, Credit, etc.) will contribute to the credit requirements for individual admissions, provided the grades meet the threshold required for transfer credit as outlined in the University Calendar, and will be accepted as satisfying program prerequisites. See Update on Changes to Admissions for the Fall 2020 Term for more details.
  • Academic background: For an MA program, an undergraduate degree in a related field or the equivalent from a recognized institution. For a PhD program, an MA degree or the equivalent, related to the area of specialization. If your academic background is not an obvious match to your chosen stream, explain how your experience has prepared you in your Statement of Purpose.
  • English Language Proficiency: Where applicable, the minimum acceptable scores are 600 (paper-based) or 100 overall (internet-based) on the TOEFL; an overall band score of 7.0 on the IELTS. For the temporarily accepted Duolingo English Test, 125 for Spoken English Proficiency, with no subscore below 105. If you have completed a different exam, please contact the Graduate Advisor ( Students who have completed a degree at an English language institution are not required to prove English Language Proficiency.
  • Language other than English: All MA students are required to have intermediate reading knowledge of at least one language other than English, and PhD students must have at least two. (This includes a student's first language/mother tongue.) MLCS assesses the LOE on a case-by-case basis once students are admitted to our program.

Application Requirements

To be complete, an online application must contain the following documentation:

  • Completed online application and non-refundable admission fee.
  • Curriculum Vitae written in English.
  • Original transcripts and degree certificates for all post-secondary education, including exchanges or semesters abroad - please ensure you scan both the front and back of each page, and follow the instructions for acceptable documents.
  • Certified English translation of all documents requested in the application portal, if applicable.
  • Three references - the online portal will contact your referees electronically. They should not submit letters by mail or email. For the best letters, ask a professor who knows you and your work well. If you are applying to a PhD program, you should provide a reference from your MA supervisor. To help your referees write a good letter, provide them your Statement of Purpose, your CV, and plenty of time.
  • Statement of Purpose (all applicants) and Research Proposal (MA-thesis and PhD) written in English:
    • All applicants: the statement of purpose is your opportunity to explain why you want to complete this program and how it relates to your goals. Your statement should be 1-2 pages describing your academic background, your reasons for wishing to pursue graduate studies at the University of Alberta specifically, and any details you think are pertinent to your application. For MA course-based students, you should include a general idea of your research interests.
    • MA-Thesis and PhD applicants: the research proposal must be well considered and detailed. This is your opportunity to show the Admissions Committee how you will fit in our program and why your research is important. Your proposal should be 4-5 pages, including a review of the background literature, general information about the methodology and goals, and a bibliography.
  • English Language Proficiency scores, if applicable.
  • Two academic writing samples - they should demonstrate your writing and scholarly abilities, and there is no length limit.

*Please note: you are not required to identify a potential supervisor at the time of admission. Students are not required to select a supervisor until the end of their first year of study.