Frequently Asked Questions

Admission GPA (Fall 2020)

For ALL post-secondary students applying to an undergraduate program in the Faculty of Nursing, grades for courses taken in winter 2020 will not be included in the calculation of admission GPAs.

Passing grades from winter 2020 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.

Non-passing grades from winter 2020 will not contribute to the credit requirements for individual admissions and will not be accepted as satisfying program prerequisites.

These admissions practice changes aim to ensure that the academic changes and disruptions in global education systems that have accompanied the COVID-19 pandemic do not disadvantage applicants to University of Alberta programs. The goal is to ensure all applicants are treated in a fair and equitable manner.

Are there resources available to help me transition to university?

There are a variety of resources for students coming to the U of A, especially for those transitioning from high school:

How will I be graded?

Refer to the Evaluation Procedures and Grading System section of the University Calendar for more details about the University of Alberta's evaluation procedures and grading system. Specifically, point (4) from this section explains how grades are assigned by instructors at the university.

In the Faculty of Nursing, grades are assigned based on a combination of absolute individual performance and performance relative to other students in the class. The relative performance component helps an instructor determine what letter grade will be assigned to the student's total term mark. Instructors consider the grade assignment guidelines provided by the University of Alberta Office of the Registrar and look for "natural breaks" in the list of total term marks received by students in a particular class. However, since we do not apply a standard bell curve, instructors are not required to assign certain letter grades or failing grades to a predetermined or specified portion of the class.


Student performance in lecture-based courses is evaluated using a combination of assignments and exams, which will vary depending on the specific course and instructor.

Tutorials (Seminars)

Student performance in tutorial courses is evaluated using a combination of exams, scholarly papers and participation in group work (assignments, research and discussions).


Student performance in the lab component of courses is evaluated using a combination of lab exams and the lab instructor's assessment of each student's participation, preparation and skill proficiency (including nursing psychomotor skills, communication and professionalism).

Clinical Placements

Student performance in clinical courses is evaluated using a combination of exams, assignments and an evaluation of nursing practice or clinical performance from each student's clinical instructor.

What can I do if admission has been declined?

Students not granted admission to the Faculty of Nursing either have not met one or more of the admission requirements for the program they applied for, or did not meet the required admission average for that intake. If you would like to apply for a future cohort, below are some steps you can take to prepare yourself for the next round of admissions.

NOTE: Applications can not be transferred between terms — if you are denied admission for a specific term, you will need to submit another application and application fee to be considered for another term.

If you are missing prerequisite courses

All students must meet the prerequisite requirements for the program they are applying to as outlined in the Program Descriptions section of our website and in the University Calendar. For the BScN-Collaborative and BScN-Bilingual programs there are high school subject requirements. For the BScN-After Degree and RPN to BScN programs there are post-secondary prerequisite course requirements. If you were denied admission because you were missing one or more admission requirements, you should ensure you complete them before applying again. There are a variety of institutions in Edmonton that offer high school upgrading and others, including the U of A, that offer post-secondary courses.

If you did not have the required admission average

The Faculty of Nursing sets our admission averages for each of our programs for each intake. If you were denied admission because you did not meet the average for a specific term, you can work to "boost" your average by:

  • upgrading your high school courses (if you are a high school applicant) or
  • by completing additional university courses (if you are a post-secondary applicant).

High school upgrading is not available at the U of A but a variety of institutions offer upgrading options.

University courses can be completed at the University of Alberta through another faculty or through Open Studies, or through another post-secondary institution that offers university-transferable courses. The University Calendar outlines how admission grade point average is calculated for post secondary applicants. You should select courses in which you feel you are most likely to obtain a high GPA, but may also wish to consider taking some courses that are transferable to Nursing.

What programs are available for current nurses?

Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN)

The Faculty of Nursing does not offer an LPN to RN stream, but LPNs are welcome to apply to our four-year BScN-Collaborative Program.

Red Deer Polytechnic (formerly College) offers an LPN to BScN program .

Internationally Educated Nurses

Refer to our international applicants page.