Prospective Students

Applying to the Program

Evaluation of Applications

All applications will be reviewed by the NMHI Graduate Coordinator. Applications being considered for acceptance will be forwarded to the prospective supervisor who will confirm that funding is available. If all admission requirements have been met, the application will be sent to the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research (FSGR) for further processing.

The final admission decision is made by FGSR. Applicants should note that possession of the minimal entrance requirements does not guarantee admission to the program. Information provided in the completed application, the availability of resources and the identification of an appropriate supervisor will all factor in to the final decision.

The NMHI will submit the application to FSGR on the applicant’s behalf when the following requirements are met:

  1. Admission criteria has been met.
  2. A supervisor has been secured.
  3. Funding has been secured.
  4. The application has been approved by the graduate coordinator.

Important Considerations: 

Grade Point Average

The minimum GPA for students who have completed post secondary education in Canada or the United States is 3.3 on a 4.0 scale based on at least the last 20 courses or 60 course credits (or U of A equivalent).

Minimum GPA requirements for applicants from other countries must be equivalent to a 3.3 based on at least the last 20 courses or 60 course credits (usually the last 2 years of study).

Students who do not meet the minimum requirement cannot be considered.

GPA and other application requirements are the same for both the MSc and the PhD, unless otherwise noted.

English Language Proficiency for Applicants whose first language is not English

As English is the primary language of instruction at the University of Alberta, all applicants must be proficient prior to admissions. Minimum requirements of the proficiency exams include:

  • TOEFL: an overall score of 100 with no less than 20 in each of the subtests. 
  • IELTS: an overall score of 7 with no less than 5.5 on each of the subtests. 

Please note: TOEFL Institute or IELTS Testing Institute results can be directly uploaded through the Admission portal.

Students will not be required to take an English language proficient test under one of the following conditions:

  • Their institution is included in the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research's exemptions list.
  • They have completed a post secondary degree in the United States or Canada, even if the student’s first language is not English.
  • Their institution’s language of instruction is English. An official letter stating that this is the case must be sent from the institution directly to the Neuroscience and Mental Health Institute. 


As the NMHI's Neuroscience Graduate Studies program is thesis-based, applicants must have a supervisor and funding in place before they can be accepted into the neuroscience program. To facilitate this, it is strongly recommended that applicants contact potential supervisors to provide information about their research interests and determine whether the supervisor would be willing and able to supervise their graduate program.

Applicants do NOT need to apply to the program before they begin contacting supervisors. If an applicant has not contacted supervisors during the application process, the NMHI will circulate the completed and approved application to the faculty members that the applicant is interested in working. Please note that students are more likely to be considered for application if they contact potential supervisors directly with details on their research experience, CV and transcripts.

Acceptance by a supervisor does not guarantee admission into the NMHI. The final decision for admission comes from the Faculty of Graduate Studies & Research (FGSR).