Download: Frequently asked questions


GPA Requirements

What are the GPA requirements of gaining admission into the MPP program?

The required GPA for entry into the program is a 3.3 on a 4.0 scale and we base this on the last two years of full-time study. Degrees and grades from foreign institutions evaluated for their equivalency to those of the University of Calgary.

What if I hold a three year undergraduate degree, would I still be eligible to apply to the program?

To be admissible into our Master of Public Policy program, students must hold a 4 year baccalaureate degree or an equivalent degree from a recognized institution. An international student who holds a three year degree can still apply provided they supply additional documentation supporting their application. Please be advised the final decision of admitting to The School rests with the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

What if my GPA is below the minimum entry requirement?

If you GPA does not meet these requirements, unfortunately you do not qualify for our Master of Public Policy program. To be eligible for admission to the Master of Public Policy program, you must have a minimum 3.3 GPA on a 4.0 scale in the last two years of your undergraduate program or over the last ten full course equivalents.

Official transcripts

Does the program accept unofficial transcripts?

We require (2) official and sealed transcripts from each individual university they have attended before the deadline. This includes their transcripts from all post-secondary universities that they have attended. The transcripts are to be sent directly from their previous institution to the address below:

Graduate Program Advisor

The School of Public Policy

University of Calgary Downtown Campus

906 8th Avenue S.W., 5th Floor

Calgary, Alberta T2P 1H9

International students

What if my transcripts are not in English?

International applicants seeking admission on the basis of documents which are in a language other than English must submit official documents in their original language as well as certified or notarized English translations. Documents must indicate the subjects studied and the grades obtained. Please do not send original documents to the University of Calgary. If you have your own original transcripts, you may wish to provide us with photocopies, which are normally acceptable for evaluation purposes and will be considered unofficial. If you are admitted, we will require official transcripts to be sent directly from the issuing institution to us and must be in sealed envelope.

Can I be exempt from the English proficiency test?

Students, who have completed at least three years of formal full-time study at an English secondary or two years of formal full-time study at an English post-secondary institution in any of the countries listed below, with proof of education in English, will have satisfied the English Language Proficiency requirement for the University of Calgary.

For students required to prove proficiency in English, a minimum TOEFL score of 600 (paper-based test) or 105 (Internet-based test) or a score of 7.5 on the IELTS. This requirement can also be met by completing Tier III of the International Foundations Program with a minimum grade of “A” on Academic Writing & Grammar III, “A” on Reading Comprehension & Proficiency III, and “A” on Listening Comprehension & Oral Fluency III.

Degree in progress

Can I submit unofficial transcripts before I complete my degree requirements?

Students, who have not officially completed their final degree before the application deadline are encouraged to submit their current official transcripts and all other applicable supporting documents including any official language test scores, if required, when they apply. If they are a successful applicant, their acceptance into the program would be conditional upon completing their degree. Our program would accept degree completion letter from their degree granting institution and would be conditional based on the receipt of the final official transcripts indicating the degree awarded.


Are professional references accepted in lieu of an academic reference?

Referees should be academic in nature if at all possible.  Referees of a professional nature will be accepted in situations where the applicant’s professional experience is most relevant. Letters from friends, family members, colleagues, and people currently registered in a graduate degree program, or general reference letters that are not written in support of the person’s application to the particular graduate program are not acceptable.

What are the requirements for submitting references?

Completed letters of reference must be uploaded to the link sent to the referees upon submission of application by an applicant. Referees must also complete the online reference form.

Reference letters must be on official letterhead, must be accompanied by the online reference form, be sent as PDF attachments and MUST be sent from an institutional e-mail account. The referee must sign and date the reference letter.We are unable to accept emailed references from Yahoo, Gmail or Hotmail (or similar) accounts.


Do I need to submit hard and soft copies of all the supporting documents?

We require your two official and sealed transcripts from each post-secondary institution that you have attended and for international students also an official copy of their English proficiency test.  All other application material should be uploaded to your Student Centre.

What if there was a delay in the transcripts to reach your office?

As long as the transcripts or documents were dated and sent prior to the application deadline, we are able to consider the documents for review. Please be advised that no other exemptions are acceptable.

Timelines for admission

Does the program start Fall every calendar year or  is there a winter intake also?

Our program starts every Fall, unfortunately we do not have any other intake. Applications for Fall opens every year on 1st October.

What is the deadline to submit applications for admission?

The deadline for receipt of all application materials for admissions for Fall for International Students as well as Canadians and Permanent Residents is 1st February every year.

Application fees

Where do I pay the application fees?

MPP office does not accept any methods for payment. Please refer to this page on how to pay the application fees https://grad.ucalgary.ca/prospective/admissions/application-fee.

What if I forgot to pay my application fees before the application deadline?

Applications with unpaid application fees are not considered for reviewing.

MPP program timeline

What is the schedule for the MPP program?

The MPP is a 12-month program designed for full-time study. All students are required to complete two preparatory courses, a block week course on effective writing and research skills, eight core courses (one of which involves completion of a capstone project in which they apply the skills they have learned to a well-defined issue of public policy) and two elective courses.

Application decision

When can I hear back from the MPP office regarding the decision on my application?

The successful applicants will be contacted via email as soon as a final decision has been made regarding their application to our program.