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 program are accepted between September 1 and February 1. Students can follow along in their UCalgary Student Centre to see if any documentation is missing. Decision 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 may be admitted. Supervisory capacity also factors into the success of an application. 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

The application is a two-step process. Submit your biographical information, degree information and referee information through the online application form. You'll also be prompted to pay your application fee during this process.

Once you've submitted the form you'll receive an email with instructions on where to upload supporting documents (transcripts, portfolio, examples of writing, CV, etc.).

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.

Provide one official transcript from all post-secondary institutions attended. If you attended UCalgary, you do not need to submit a transcript for that/those degree(s). Transcripts can be sent directly to the University of Calgary from the institution, or you can bundle and send together. All envelopes must be sealed and signed.

If you attended university in another country, review international admissions requirements.

Deliver official transcripts to:

Faculty of Graduate Studies, ES 1010
University of Calgary
2500 University Drive NW
Calgary, AB, Canada, T2N 1N4

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

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_2021portfolio.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.


  • Research Proposal. 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.
  • C.V. / Resume

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.


For our thesis programs, we can only offer admission to applicants who we can match with a supervisor, thus the importance of your research statement or proposal. We don’t require applicants have a confirmed supervisor upon application, however it’s 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.

Tuition and Fees

Learn about how general, supplementary and tuition fees are calculated.

Scholarships and Awards

Explore how to fund your education.

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