July 25, 2023

Understanding Open Studies Pathways at UCalgary

Your guide to eligibility, application procedures, and the vast opportunities available with Open Studies
The UCalgary sign located at the 24th avenue entrance

What is Open Studies?

Open Studies is a registration category that provides hundreds of academic courses for students looking to meet admission requirements for other programs or to explore personal interests. Whatever you decide to do with Open Studies, there is a pathway for you!

Courses are offered year-round, running through all four academic terms. You are encouraged to research the courses offered ahead of time to ensure you meet registration prerequisites. Please note the important dates relevant to your desired term of study. If you are not currently enrolled in Open Studies and wish to do so, make sure to check out the admission requirements.


What is the Open Studies Pathway to Undergraduate Degree?

Students in Open Studies who do not have an undergraduate degree are guaranteed admission to select Arts and Science programs through the Open Studies Pathway. You are guaranteed admission to select programs when the following criteria are met:

  • Completion of a minimum of 18 units in UCalgary Open Studies by the end of the winter semester for fall admission;
  • Minimum 2.3 admission GPA for admission to Arts programs and 2.5 GPA for Science programs, calculated as an average on the most recent 18 units of UCalgary Open Studies coursework;
  • Successful completion of English 30-1 (or equivalent) and *required high school courses

*The required courses are those attributed to a student’s desired program within the faculty of arts or science.

How do I apply for undergraduate admission to be considered for the guarantee?

To apply, follow the same step-by-step process to submit the undergraduate application for admission, and apply for up to two program choices. If you are not admissible through the competitive admission process, and you meet the criteria outlined above, you will automatically be considered for guaranteed admission through the Open Studies pathway.

What undergraduate programs are offered through this pathway?

The Open Studies Pathway to Undergraduate Degree is limited to specific programs within the Faculty of Arts, and the Faculty of Science. The selection of eligible programs may change based on the admission cycle and our website will be updated annually.

Open Studies students can apply to and be considered for any undergraduate degree program through competitive admission requirements. If 12 or more units have been completed in Open Studies by the end of fall in the application year, applicants will be evaluated as transfer students.

What if I take more than 18 units in Open Studies?

Students without an undergraduate degree are permitted to take up to 36 units (12 courses) in Open Studies and are limited to 12 units (4 courses) per term. The pathway is available to Open Studies students who have completed at least 18 units by the end of winter for fall admission. Students are encouraged to take courses that pertain to their desired degree and can be used toward their future degree program.

I want to be considered for this pathway—what steps should I take?

  1. Apply to Open Studies (if not already enrolled)
  2. Plan what courses to take and explore when they are offered
  3. Ensure a minimum of 18 units are completed by the end of winter, and that the required high school courses have been met
  4. Submit an undergraduate application for admission and provide all required documents by the deadlines
  5. If you are not admissible to your program choices through the competitive admission process, and you meet the pathway requirements outlined above, you will automatically be considered through the pathway, regardless of what program(s) you have applied to

Need more help?

Feel free to reach out to our undergraduate recruitment team via email or by booking a one-on-one appointment.