Other Admission Routes


If you are not applying directly from high school or transferring from another post-secondary institution, you may be eligible to apply under one of the following categories: 

  • Nonmatriculated Applicants (Mature Students): This category is available in some faculties and programs for applicants who do not meet the normal admission criteria.
  • Open Studies: Through Open Studies you can take university-level credit courses on a part-time basis without being admitted or committed to a degree or diploma program.
  • Special Students: For students who have completed a previous university degree and wish to enrol in further undergraduate courses for professional development or to improve on the GPA for admission to another program.
  • Visiting Students: Students enrolled at another university in a full-time undergraduate program may choose to attend the University of Alberta for one term or one academic year as a Visiting Student.

Post-Secondary Transfer

See Post-Secondary Transfer for detailed information.

Nonmatriculated Applicants (Mature Students)

Mature Students may be granted special consideration in the admissions process for certain programs. Called nonmatriculated applicants, this category is available in some faculties and programs. An applicant must be over the age of 21 on the first day of classes and will normally not present transferable post-secondary education. Some faculties may permit transfer credit.

Each faculty has specific requirements that must be met for an applicant to be considered. You can find further information in the Nonmatriculated Applications section and Admission Requirements section of the University Calendar.

Please see a printable overview of the requirements, or use the Programs and Requirements search tool to view nonmatriculated requirements for each program. 

Please note that in some cases there is a limit on the number of nonmatriculated applicants accepted into each program; there is no guarantee that candidates meeting the minimum requirements will be accepted. The application deadlines for nonmatriculated applicants are the same as for high school applicants.

Nonmatriculated applicants are expected to meet Language Requirements.

Open Studies

Open Studies students can take up to six units of course weight in each term. Many courses from a wide variety of subject areas and disciplines are available to students who choose this option.

People of any age and varied educational backgrounds choose Open Studies. It allows students the opportunity to develop skills useful to their profession, to upgrade their post-secondary qualifications and to take courses purely for personal interest.

Admission Requirements

Normally documents are not required because there is no competition for admission. Students require only an interest in the courses and, in some cases, there may be course prerequisites to be met. Official documents are usually required only to establish evidence of English Language Proficiency.

Students must submit an Application for Admission by the appropriate deadline for the term in which they wish to begin taking courses. Open Studies applicants are expected to meet Language Requirements.

Previously Required to Withdraw

Students who have been required to withdraw from Open Studies at the University of Alberta may not apply to Open Studies for a period of twelve months from the date of last attendance. Students who have been required to withdraw more than once from Open Studies are not eligible for readmission to Open Studies.

Admission into Open Studies does not guarantee admission/readmission into other programs at the University of Alberta. Courses taken through Open Studies are not guaranteed to transfer into other programs at the University of Alberta.

Students who have been required to withdraw from a faculty at the University of Alberta for unsatisfactory academic performance must consult with their faculty before registering in Open Studies as this may impact their readmission.

Learn more about Open Studies »

Special Students

Special Students are permitted to register in one or more courses which are not counted for credit toward a degree program. As priority is given to applicants to degree programs, there may be a limit on the number of special students admitted each year. Please note Special Students may not have access to all courses offered by all departments.

To be considered for admission as a Special Student, applicants must normally have received a university degree in a related field from an accredited postsecondary institution, present a competitive admission grade point average, and meet Language Requirements. In some cases, Special Students must reapply each year, and priority may be given to students who have not previously attended as Special Students.

For further information, please consult the University Calendar under a specific faculty for details on Special Students. Special Students are expected to submit the Application for Admission along with supporting documents. It is important to check the calendar as Special Student deadlines are slightly different than those for regular degree programs.

Visiting Students

The purpose of Visiting Student status is to complete coursework that will be transferred back to the student's home institution for degree completion there. Please note this is not an exchange program as students will be responsible for payment of tuition fees directly to the University of Alberta. For information on study abroad and exchange partners at the University of Alberta, please visit the University of Alberta International website.

Admission requirements for Visiting Students are as follows:

  • student is in a degree program a his home institution
  • student has completed a minimum of 24 credits (one academic year) at that institution
  • student has a letter of permission from home institution
  • student is in good standing at home institution
  • student meets the Language Requirements for the University of Alberta.

Further details on admission requirements for visiting students can be found in the Undergraduate Programs section of the University Calendar, under the specific faculty.

Visiting Student Certificate Program

The University of Alberta offers this unique program for students seeking to improve their English while studying at a Canadian university. See Visiting Student Certificate Program (VSCP) or the University Calendar.


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