Graduate Admissions


Acceptance of an application will be based on:

  • a minimum grade point average of 3.0 out of a possible 4.0 on the University of Alberta marking system. The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (GPS) maintains lists of equivalent grades for other Universities in other parts of the world. The department maintains a standard of 3.0 for the last two years of undergraduate (or graduate) work. All original post-secondary transcripts are to be submitted directly from the institution.
  • The availability of a potential supervisor.
  • Strong letters of reference (three with at least two from academic referees). All letters should be received directly from the referees - uploaded to the website.
  • proficiency in English is required for students whose native language is not English and who have not previously received a degree from a university with English as the language of instruction. See here for more information on English Language Proficiency requirements.
  • TOEFL Total score of 90 with a score of at least 21 on each of the individual skill areas (internet-based) or equivalent
  • IELTS minimum overall band score of 6.5, with at least 6 on each band.
  • PTE (Pearson Test of English) minimum score of 63.

Since research in Physiology requires a rather broad background from a number of fields, incoming students should have completed courses in most of the following areas:

  • Physiology 210 or 211, or an equivalent full year course in Human Physiology.
  • Biochemistry 200 and one of 310, 320 or 330, or an equivalent full year course in Biochemistry.
  • One-year basic courses in Physics and Calculus are recommended.
  • A basic course in Statistics is recommended.


  1. Prior to submitting their application, applicants should familiarize themselves with the Physiology Department. Identify research areas which might be of interest and contact the professors directly whose work is of interest (see here). This is important, because acceptance into the program requires the commitment of a departmental faculty member who will serve as the student’s supervisor.
  2. Once a potential supervisor has been secured, the applicant should complete the online application.
  3. Upon receipt of a full application, plus supporting documents, the applicant's file will be viewed by the potential supervisor for suitability. If the supervisor is prepared to accept the student, the application package will be circulated to the graduate admission committee in the department for approval.
  4. If an application is submitted to the department without a supervisor listed, the completed application package will not be processed until a potential supervisor is secured.      
  5. Acceptance of an application by the Physiology Department Graduate Committee will be based on the entrance requirements listed. Once an applicant is accepted by the department, the prospective student's file is forwarded to the University of Alberta Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, who will then communicate the acceptance directly to the student.


Both Canadian and International applicants must apply for admission online prior to the following cut-off dates:

  • July 1 for September admission
  • November 1 for January admission
  • March 1 for May admission
  • May 1 for July admission

The online system will not permit an application after these dates and will automatically default to the next term.

International applicants generally need at least six months from the time of acceptance to make the arrangements to enter Canada, so it is suggested that they have a completed application into the department at least seven months prior to the admission date.

Canadian applicants should ensure that they have all application materials submitted at least two months prior to the admission date.

The admission process will include approval of the application by the Department of Physiology, after which it will be forwarded to GPS for final approval. Once GPS has approved the application, the applicant will receive a formal admission letter to the program.