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Environmental Design (MEDes) Admissions

Applicants to the Master of Environmental Design (MEDes) degree program require a four-year baccalaureate degree or its equivalent from the University of Calgary or a recognized institution. Degrees and grades from foreign institutions are evaluated for their equivalency to those of the University of Calgary. There are no required high school or undergraduate courses, or degree program prerequisites. The Admissions Committee looks for a connection between the applicant's undergraduate area of study and/or professional background and their indicated area of research interest(s).


In order for an applicant to be considered for admission, there must be potential for a qualified supervisor within EVDS. It is often useful to have some contact whether in person, by phone or via e-mail with faculty members who may share similar research interests. We do not, however, require that applicants identify a supervisor at the time of application. Research topics are listed on our website and are linked to faculty working those areas.

GPA Requirements

Applicants to the degree program will possess a four-year baccalaureate degree with a grade point average (GPA) in the final two years of study of at least 3.00 (based on a four-point grading system). This will consist of a minimum of 10 full-course equivalents, and adequate senior level courses to ensure preparation for graduate work. Any graduate work is also considered.

Statement of Research Interest

A clear, well written, concise and substantive statement of intent which informs the admission committee of:

  • the applicant’s reasons for wanting to pursue the MEDes
  • how the applicant’s specific educational background and professional and personal experience relates to Environmental Design as a field of study
  • the applicant’s thesis research interests and ideas in the interdisciplinary context of Environmental Design
  • the applicant's ‘vision’ (related to their personal and professional goals and intentions), how admission to the MEDes will assist in achieving these goals and anticipated outcomes from completion of the MEDes.

Examples of Work

One example of the applicant's previous academic or professional productivity such as a written essay, published paper, thesis, design project, consulting report.

in addition (optional - for those with a design background)

A digital portfolio of the applicant's choosing that provides examples or illustrates the applicant’s design work, professional work, research, creative ability, community action, or ideas related to their statement of intent or interests in Environmental Design. Below are the specifications of the digital portfolio (must be in pdf file format):

  • 8.5" x 11" page size
  • Maximum of 25 pages
  • First and last name to appear on cover page
  • Footer on each page to include first and last name
  • Indication of your specific involvement/contributions to group projects
  • File name format: Lastname_Firstname_MEDes_2016portfolio.pdf
  • PDF file no greater than 30 MB (resolution is for screen viewing, not printing)

Research Degree Funding

Committing to a thesis-based research degree is a rewarding academic endeavor, but is one that also has significant time and financial commitments. Prospective students are advised that while there are funding opportunities available through the University of Calgary, Faculty of Environmental Design, and externally, these are limited and provided on a competitive basis. Students must therefore ensure that they have a funding plan that accounts for their entire time in the program

Limited funding assistance is available for students admitted to the program and as such this is primarily a self-funded program. The expectation is that students will have the financial resources required to attend the program if admitted and that they will seek additional scholarship and student award funding to supplement their own. We therefore require a funding plan that provides evidence of sufficient financial resources to carry out the program of study. For MEDes admission a two-year funding plan is required.

Internal University of Calgary and EVDS funding that may be available includes scholarships and teaching assistantships. Graduate students may have the opportunity to work as a teaching assistant, but please note that teaching assistantships are awarded on a competitive basis and are not a guaranteed source of income. Several external sources also provide opportunities for funding. We require all thesis students to apply for both Tri-Council (CIHR, NSERC, SSHRC) or equivalent funding and the University scholarship competitions each year as applicable. Assistance in preparation of funding applications is provided through EVDS 753 Research Skills and Critical Thinking, which all MEDes students are required to complete.

Basic Components of the Application Package

  • Click here to access the Faculty of Graduate Studies online application system. You will be prompted to create or have your eID ready to access the on-line application. Non-refundable application fee: CDN $125 for Canadian citizens and permanent residents, or CDN $145 for international students who will be attending on a Study Permit
  • One set of official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended (transcripts can either be sent directly to EVDS from the institution, or applicants can receive them and then send/deliver them to EVDS - envelopes must be received by EVDS sealed and signed) University of Calgary transcripts must be official. (If you attended University in another country, please check our international admissions requirements.)
  • Three appropriate letters of reference (at least two should be academic) dated within 12 months of the date of application.  Referees will be notified by email (once the applicant's online form has been submitted) and provided a link to complete an online reference. Only if the online form cannot be completed, referees may use this form.
  • Proof of English Proficiency, if required
  • Statement of Research Interest - maximum of 2 pages (a CV can be included with the statement, as one pdf document - uploaded to Student Centre after submission of online application form)
  • Example(s) of Work (combined into one pdf document - uploaded to Student Centre after submission of online application form))
  • Portfolio (if applicable - uploaded to Student Centre after submission of online application form)
  • Funding Plan (one page pdf with explanation of funding source(s) - uploaded to Student Centre after submission of online application form)

Application Submission

All required supporting documents are uploaded by the applicant to their online Student Centre profile which is created after they have submitted the online application. Please note that referees will receive the email with instructions on how to complete their online reference once the online application is submitted, therefore it’s not recommended to wait until close to the deadline to submit the online application. All supporting documents including references must be submitted by January 15th. Official transcripts can be mailed or couriered to the following address:

EVDS Admissions - MEDes Program
Faculty of Environmental Design
University of Calgary
2500 University Drive NW
Calgary, Alberta
Canada, T2N 1N4

Because of limitations on enrollment, not all applicants meeting the admission requirements may be admitted. A rigorous selection process is used to admit students from the pool of qualified applicants. Refer to the current University of Calgary Calendar and the Faculty of Graduate Studies Calendar for further information on admissions.

Contact MEDes

For more information on MEDes admissions, please contact our admissions department.