Admission requirements and deadlines

Before you apply to the University of Victoria, there are a few key steps to take like checking general admission requirements, choosing a program of study and reviewing entry points, documentation requirements and deadlines for that program.

There are minimum admission standards set by the Faculty of Graduate Studies that must be met by all students. There are also individual program requirements which are set by your academic unit. Please review all requirements to make sure you satisfy the minimums.

If you are an international applicant, you should also review additional international applicant information.

General requirements

All applicants to the Faculty of Graduate Studies must meet minimum academic standards as published in the graduate academic calendar. You must submit all required application documents as part of your application, including unofficial transcripts and contact information for two academic referees. If your application satisfies these basic requirements, it will be forwarded for review and selection by the program or department to which you have applied.

Many departments have set higher standards than those set by the Faculty of Graduate Studies. These standards and any additional information required for your program can be found below and in the program information pages.

Please be aware that there are special admission processes if you are:

Admission to a master’s degree

Admission to any master's degree requires that you have completed an acceptable bachelor's degree or equivalent from an academic institution recognized by the University of Victoria.

  • You must have earned the equivalent of a "B" average over the last two years (or equivalent of 30 UVic units) of your degree to be considered.
  • Practica, non-graded (pass-fail) courses, credit granted on the basis of life or work experience, or credit earned at institutions not recognized by the university will not be used in determining an applicant's grade point average or units completed.
  • Any courses used in the calculation of the entering average cannot be used as credit toward a graduate degree program.
  • Many academic departments require a higher average for admission to a master's degree.

How do we calculate GPA (grade point average) for admission to graduate studies? See the GPA calculation section below for details.

Admission to a second graduate degree

Your application to study for a second master's degree will only be accepted if the emphasis is different from that of the first degree.

Admission to a PhD degree

Admission to a doctoral program requires that you have completed an acceptable master's degree or equivalent to those offered in Canada. If you have a first-class average in the last two years of a bachelor's degree, you may be considered.

How do we calculate GPA (grade point average) for admission to graduate studies? See the GPA calculation section below for details.

Admission to a second graduate degree

Your application to study for a second doctoral degree will only be accepted if the emphasis is different from that of the first degree.

Program requirements and deadlines

Before applying to the University of Victoria, you must determine which program you want to study. You may wish to discuss your academic goals with the graduate adviser for your proposed area of study to determine if it's the right fit.

If you wish to be considered for fellowships and awards for your program, we encourage you to have all application materials submitted to Graduate Admissions and Records as soon as possible, and no later than the application deadline for your academic unit.

These are specific program requirements in addition to the minimum requirements of the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

Examination requirements, the minimum academic standings, the program application deadlines, and other additional requirements specified by each Graduate Program are identified on the individual program outlines.

NOTE: Applications received after the deadlines may be considered, but may not be processed in time for the desired entry point, or in time to obtain a student visa.

GPA calculation

For minimum academic requirements, see the general requirements section, above; and general and academic requirements in the UVic graduate academic calendar.

International GPA calculation

Minimum GPA (grade point average) requirements are listed on the UVic graduate studies website under minimums from other countries. International GPA’s are not converted to the UVic grading scale: minimum requirements are determined using each country’s grading scale. International GPA’s are designated First Class or Second Class.

International GPA is calculated on the most recent two years of a bachelor’s degree. If there is no clear date separation on the transcripts, GPA is calculated on the entire degree.

Canadian and American GPA calculation

GPA (grade point average) from institutions in Canada and the United States is calculated on the most recent eligible course work equivalent to 30 units at UVic.

  • Eligible course work does not include: practica, non-graded courses (for example, courses with pass/fail/complete grades), credit granted on the basis of life or work experience, or credit earned at institutions not recognized by UVic.
  • 30 units at UVic are approximately equal to two years of full-time study: this reflects approximately 20 full-time, one-term courses valued at 1.5 units each. A full-time, one-term undergraduate course at UVic includes 3 hours of class time per week, not including labs or tutorials, for 13 weeks of instruction.

GPA is calculated using the credit/unit value and grading scale of the institution that awarded the degree; it is then converted to the UVic scale.

For example:

You have been awarded a bachelor’s degree from a Canadian university: congratulations! Your university uses a grading scale where an A+ = 4.3 and a B = 3.0. The average full-time half-year course at your university is worth 3.0 credits.

We would calculate your GPA using your university’s grading scale and course credit values; then we would convert this to the UVic scale. If there is no clear date separation on the transcript, GPA is calculated on the entire degree.

Term Total credits per term Term GPA
2012 Spring 15 credits 4.0 (A)
2011 Fall 15 credits 3.3 (B+)
2011 Spring 15 credits 3.0 (B)
2010 Fall 15 credits 3.0 (B)
Total 60 credits 3.33 (B+) average
Converted to UVic scale 30 units 6.08/9.0 (B+) average

Which courses are included in a Canadian or American GPA calculation?

Our first step in calculating GPA is to review the transcript and eliminate any courses that are ineligible. (See eligible courses above for details.)

For example:

Term Course Credit value GPA
2012 Spring ANTH 400 1.5 units 8.0 (A)
ANTH 435 1.5 units 9.0 (A+)
FREN 300 1.5 units 8.0 (A)
WRIT 303 1.5 units Pass (ineligible)
GS 504 3.0 units COM (ineligible)
Total 9.0 units 8.33 (A)
GPA calculation 4.5 units 8.33 (A)

After eliminating the ineligible courses, we will count back 30 units from the date the degree was awarded. If the number of units in the most recent terms adds up to 30, we will use those complete terms to calculate GPA.

For example:

Term Total credits per term Term GPA
2012 Spring 4.5 units 8.0 (A)
2011 Fall 7.5 units 8.0 (A)
2011 Spring 7.5 units 8.0 (A)
2010 Fall 10.5 units 8.0 (A)
Total 30 units 8.0 (A)

If the number of eligible units in the most recent terms adds up to less than 30 and we are required to include some (but not all) units from the next most recent term, we would use the total term GPA and prorate that to the number of units required to reach 30.

For example:

Term Total credits per term Term GPA
2012 Spring 4.5 eligible units 9.0 (A+)
2011 Fall 7.5 units 8.0 (A)
2011 Spring 7.5 units 7.0 (A-)
2010 Fall 7.5 units 8.0 (A)
Total so far: 27.0 eligible units 7.89 (A-)

In this example, we still need 3.0 units of eligible course work to bring the total up to 30.0 units. Let’s say that the next most recent term, 2010 Spring, has a total of 7.5 units and a GPA of 9.0.

Term Total credits per term Term GPA
2010 Spring 7.5 units 9.0 (A+)

In this example, we would prorate the 2010 Spring term from 7.5 units to 3.0 units to make a total of 30.0 units in our GPA calculation. We would still use the total 2010 Spring term GPA.

Term Total credits per term Tern GPA
2012 Spring 4.5 eligible units 9.0 (A+)
2011 Fall 7.5 units 8.0 (A)
2011 Spring 7.5 units 7.0 (A-)
2010 Fall 7.5 units 8.0 (A)
2010 Spring 3.0 units (prorated) 9.0 (A+)
Total 30.0 units 8.0 (A)

Upgrading for admission to graduate studies

See upgrading for admission to graduate studies in UVic’s graduate academic calendar for a full explanation of upgrading options and regulations.

If you have completed upper-level undergraduate course work (300- and 400-level courses in Canada and the United States) or graduate non-degree course work and if this will raise your GPA (grade point average) for admission purposes, we may include this in your GPA calculation.  Lower-level undergraduate course work (100- and 200-level courses) cannot be used to upgrade your GPA.

For example:

This student completed a bachelor’s degree but his GPA, calculated on the most recent 30.0 eligible units, is below the minimum admission requirements of 5.0 (B).

Bachelor's degree, awarded Spring 2010 60.0 units total GPA calculated on most recent 30.0 units: 4.8 (C+)

We see that this student completed a term of upgrading courses after his degree and his term GPA is 7.33 (A-). 

Upgrading term Course Credit value GPA
2011 Fall BIOL 400 1.5 units 7.0 (A-)
BIOL 435 1.5 units 7.0 (A-)
SPAN 300 1.5 units 8.0 (A)
Total 4.5 units 7.33 (A-)

We would add the upgrading courses to the GPA calculation for the bachelor’s degree, prorating the units in the bachelor’s degree so that the total is 30.0 units.

Degree/upgrading Credit value GPA
Upgrading term, 2011 Fall 4.5 units 7.33 (A-)
Bachelor's degree, awarded 2010 Spring 25.5 units (prorated) 4.80 (C+)
Total 30.0 units 5.18 (B)

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