PhD admissions

PhD of Environmental Design (PhD) Admissions

Applications are accepted September 1 through to February 1

Doctor of Philosophy - Environmental Design (PhD)

Applications for the PhD of Environmental Design program are accepted between September 1 and February 1. All applicants admitted to the PhD program typically start in the fall term. Decisions from the selection committee will be provided by end of April. The application process is competitive, and unfortunately not all qualified applicants meeting the requirements will be admitted.


For our thesis programs, we can only offer admission to applicants who we can match with a supervisor, thus the importance of your statement of research interest. We don’t require applicants have a confirmed supervisor upon application, however it’s strongly recommended to reach out to any professors whose research interests match yours. You will be asked to list the names of a few professors you feel are a good fit in your online application form. 

Application Process:

  1. Complete an online application form: Submit your biographical, education, and referee information. Referees will receive an automated email (with a link and instructions to complete the online reference) once your application form is submitted. You'll also be prompted to pay your application fee during this process.
  2. Upload application materials to your online UCalgary Student Centre via MyUCalgary: You'll receive an email with instructions on accessing your Student Centre. This is where you can check your application status.

Refer to the University of Calgary Calendar and the Faculty of Graduate Studies Calendar for further information on admissions.

Admission requirements

A professional design degree from an accredited school.

A minimum of 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 point system, over the past two years of full-time study (a minimum of 10 full-course equivalents or 60 units) of the undergraduate degree.

An applicant whose primary language is not English may fulfill the English language proficiency requirement in one of the following ways:

Application materials

Create an eID to log in. If you already have an eID, you can begin your online application

Once in the system, select "School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape", then select the degree. 

Remember to click 'Save & Continue' often to ensure your application is saved.

Once your application has been submitted, you will be required to upload unofficial transcripts from each of the post-secondary institutions you have attended. International students will also be required to include provisional and degree certificates along with your transcripts (where applicable/available). If your application is successful, final official transcripts will be requested with your offer of admission.

If admitted, you must provide one official transcript (and degree certificates from those institutions that do not indicate the awarding of degrees on the transcript) from all post-secondary institutions attended, regardless of the number of courses taken or the amount of time spent there. Transcripts and degree certificates issued in a language other than English must be accompanied by certified, word-for-word English translations.

To be considered official, all academic records must be sent directly to the University of Calgary from the institution and received in envelopes that have been sealed and endorsed by the issuing institution. If you have transcripts from multiple institutions, you may bundle the sealed and signed envelopes (unopened) in one package. Students and graduates from the University of Calgary do not have to submit official transcripts. If you attended university in another country, review international admissions requirements.

Physical or electronic copies of your official transcripts can be submitted:

A) Send physical official transcripts to the following address:
Faculty of Graduate Studies, ES 1010
University of Calgary
2500 University Drive NW
Calgary, AB, Canada, T2N 1N4

B) If your post-secondary institution has the capacity to email official transcripts, they should be sent directly to the Faculty of Graduate Studies at gradtranscripts@ucalgary.caThese must be emailed by the school, transcripts emailed by the applicant will not be accepted.

The non-refundable application fee is CDN $125 for Canadian citizens and permanent residents, and CDN $145 for international students attending on a Study Permit.

If you have an art/design background, submit a PDF portfolio, with the following guidelines: 

  • 8.5" x 11" page size, maximum 25 pages 
  • First and last name on cover page 
  • Indicate your specific role on group projects  
  • Filename: Lastname_Firstname_PhD_2024.pdf 
  • Maximum file size 30 MB 

The admissions committee wants to see your writing skills! At least one example of academic or professional productivity such as a written essay, published paper, thesis, design project, consulting report. The examples of writing should be submitted in digital form (one portable document .PDF file). If there is more than one sample in the pdf document, please include a table of contents at the beginning. There is no official page number maximum, however keep in mind the admissions committee members won't have time to read hundreds of pages. Depending on if you have one example, or multiple examples, a good guideline is around five pages per document. Excerpts from bigger documents are acceptable.

Provide three referees, with names and contact information, both phone and email, in your online application. At least two should be academic. Once your online form has been submitted, referees will be provided a link via email to complete a reference. The deadline for references is one week after the application deadline - February 8.

A research proposal that describes the nature of the thesis research the applicant expects to undertake. This will be used by an admissions committee as an indicator of the applicant’s ability to conduct doctoral-level research and to determine if adequate supervisory resources are available. Only if such resources are available will the student be admitted. Please note that this research statement (maximum of 1500 words) must include the following sections: Background, research questions, literature review, research methodology, and broader impacts of the proposed research. The research statement should indicate potential supervisors and/or committee members, and whether they have been contacted by the applicant. 

A summary of your experiences in education, work, volunteering, and other relevant areas. 

Tuition and Fees

Information about general, supplementary and tuition fees 

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