COVID-19 and Graduate Program Admissions

Learn about changes to GPA calculations and English Language Proficiency (ELP) testing that may help you as you prepare to apply for graduate studies at UCalgary.

The following temporary changes are being adopted by the University of Calgary's Faculty of Graduate Studies (FGS) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. These changes are intended to:

  • Clarify how grade point averages (GPA) will be calculated for students who have opted for non-letter final grades (i.e., Completed Requirements/Fail or CR/F) for their courses as a result of COVID-19 disruptions.
  • Provide online options for international students who must satisfy English Language Proficiency requirements.

If you have any questions about the following information, please contact FGS by email: graduate@ucalgary.ca


Temporary changes to GPA calculations

Many post-secondary institutions are implementing alternative grading schemes for the Winter 2020 term, which may extend into Spring and Summer terms of 2020. In some instances, post-secondary institutions have mandated the use of a grade point system (e.g., CR/F option) to be implemented for all Winter 2020 term courses. In other instances, such as at the University of Calgary, students are given the option of taking the letter grade received (included in a GPA calculation) or CR/F (not included in the GPA calculation).

The following methods will be used to assess applications for the Spring/Summer/Fall 2020 and Winter/Spring/Summer 2021 term admissions:

  1. Non-letter graded pre-requisites taken in COVID-affected terms (Winter 2020, Spring 2020, Summer 2020, if applicable) where credit has been achieved will be accepted as meeting the prerequisite requirements for admission.

  2. The GPA calculation used for minimum-required GPA for entry into graduate programs will be the highest number from the following calculations: 

For Undergraduate Transcripts:

  1. All graded courses over the last two to three years of the undergraduate degree consisting of a minimum of 60 units**.

  2. All graded courses over the last two to three years of the undergraduate degree consisting of a minimum of 60 units with the complete exclusion of COVID-affected terms (Winter 2020, Spring 2020, Summer 2020, if applicable).

  3. All graded courses over the last two to three years of the undergraduate degree consisting of a minimum of 60 units minus the number of Pass/Credit units taken during COVID-affected terms (Winter 2020, Spring 2020, Summer 2020, if applicable). [e.g. If 15 units were awarded Cr in Winter 2020, then the GPA would be calculated on a minimum of 45 units of graded courses.]

For Graduate Transcripts:

  1. All graded courses in the graduate degree**.
  2. All graded courses in the graduate degree with the complete exclusion of COVID-affected terms (Winter 2020, Spring 2020, Summer 2020, if applicable).

**Current standard practice for calculation of GPA for graduate admission.


Temporary changes to English Language Proficiency (ELP) testing

We understand that many international applicants are unable to register for tests like IELTS and TOEFL, as in-person testing centres are suspending test registration due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

On a temporary basis, the University of Calgary will accept both the Duolingo English Test and the TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition specifically for admission in the Spring 2020, Summer 2020, Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, and Summer 2021 terms for graduate programs.

PLEASE NOTE: TOEFL iBT should be used as the preferred test in any country that it is available.

Please follow the link below for a temporary score equivalency table that includes the Duolingo and TOEFL iBT tests.