Costs, Tuition, and Fees

Tuition Model

The University of Alberta is developing a new tuition model for international students. The model will be in place for international students who enroll in new programs starting in Fall 2020. The new program-based tuition model will allow international students to know the total tuition cost of their program at the time of their admission to the University of Alberta.

The following table highlights how tuition is calculated for current domestic and international students and those registering for the 2020-2021 academic year.

  Tuition Model  2019/2020 Tuition Notes  2020/2021 Tuition Notes 
Domestic Students  Registration-based No change to the tuition rate  Can increase by no more than the Consumer Price Index (CPI) as calculated by the Government of Alberta 
Current International Students (2019/2020) Registration-based  In 2019, tuition for international students increased by 2.77%.

Anticipate increases based on academic cost drivers (typically 2-3%)

Incoming International Students (2020/2021)  Program-based  N/A  Guaranteed tuition for typical length of program:
● 4 years + 1 (undergrad)
● 4 years (thesis-based masters)
● 6 years (PhD)

Why is international student tuition changing?

In November 2018, the provincial government passed Bill 19, An Act to Improve the Affordability and Accessibility of Post-Secondary Education. Student associations from across the province, including the University of Alberta Students’ Union and Graduate Students’ Association took part in the government’s consultation process, to ensure that the new legislation would best serve the interests of students.

The University of Alberta’s proposed program-based tuition model is intended to provide international students with the financial predictability that they’ve asked for in recent years. This model will continue to allow international students to apply for their student visas and funding opportunities, and will allow them to make an informed decision when selecting their post-secondary school.

What does this mean?

While the frequently asked questions below should explain some of the high-level details, it may be helpful to note the models being used to calculate tuition:

  • Registration-based model: tuition fees are assessed based on the courses that a student is registered in.
  • Program-based model: tuition is assessed based on an annual and total program tuition guarantee.

In an effort to ensure U of A faculty and staff are well informed on these changes and their impact, we will be hosting information sessions in August and will continue to update this page as additional details are finalized and the new tuition model is implemented.


Frequently Asked Questions

I am an international student starting or continuing my studies in Fall 2019.

There is no change to the tuition model for international students starting or continuing their studies in September 2019.

  • How is my tuition calculated?
    Your tuition will be calculated on a registration-based model meaning your tuition fees are assessed based on the courses you are registered for.
  • How can I find out my tuition and fees?
    Visit the Cost Calculator for a fee estimate. Once registered, your fee assessment will be available through Bear Tracks.
  • Will my tuition increase during my degree?
    Tuition amounts are approved annually and take into consideration a number of factors including the current academic cost drivers, a program’s competitiveness within the national marketplace and student supports. Tuition rates also vary by program and courses taken. In 2019, tuition for international students increased by 2.77% and it is likely that similar increases will be considered in the future.
  • Can I opt-in to the program-based model in 2020?
    No. You will only be moved to program-based model if you change programs.
  • What happens if I change programs?
    All students who change programs must apply to their new program before gaining admission. If an offer of admission is granted you will receive a new admission offer with a new tuition rate guarantee for the new program.

I am a domestic student starting or continuing my studies in Fall 2019.

There is no change to the tuition model for domestic students starting or continuing their studies in September 2019.

I am an international undergraduate student starting in Fall 2020.

Beginning in Fall 2020, international undergraduate students will receive a tuition guarantee (annual and program total) for the duration of their program.

  • How is my tuition calculated?

    Your tuition will be calculated using a program-based model. This means you will receive an annual and total program tuition guarantee. Payment of the total program tuition amount can be paid in annual or semi-annual instalments and will remain consistent regardless of how many courses you register for.

  • When will I receive my tuition guarantee?
    This information will be included in your Offer of Admission letter (beginning Oct. 1 2019).
  • How long is my tuition guarantee good for?
    For undergraduate students, the tuition guarantee is set for the typical duration of your program plus one year. Typically programs are 4 years, therefore the guarantee would be good for 5 years.
  • What if I change programs during my degree?
    All students who change programs must apply to their new program before gaining admission. If an offer of admission is granted you will receive a new admission offer with a new tuition rate guarantee for the new program.

I am an international graduate student starting in Fall 2020.

Beginning in Fall 2020, international graduate students will receive a tuition guarantee (annual total) for a specified program duration.

  • How is tuition calculated for my course-based masters?
    Your tuition will be calculated using a program-based model. This means you will receive an annual and total program tuition guarantee. Payment of the total program tuition amount can be paid in annual or semi-annual instalments and will remain consistent regardless of how many courses you register for.
  • How is tuition calculated for my thesis-based masters or my PhD?
    Your tuition will be calculated using a program-based model. This means you will receive an annual and total program tuition guarantee. Payment of the total program tuition amount can be paid in annual or semi-annual instalments for up to 4 years for a masters thesis and 6 years for a PhD thesis. Should you require additional years of study to complete your requirements, you can do so, but will be assessed a new tuition rate at that time.
  • When will I receive my tuition guarantee?
    This information will be included in your Offer of Admission letter.
  • How long is my tuition guarantee good for?
    For Masters course-based students the length of the guarantee is 4 years.
    For Masters thesis-based students the length of the guarantee is 4 years.
    For PhD students the length of the guarantee is 6 years.
  • What if I change programs during my degree?
    All students who change programs must apply to their new program before gaining admission. If an offer of admission is granted you will receive a new admission offer with a new tuition rate guarantee for the new program.