Adult Admission

Adult admission is limited to applicants with Canadian education who are 21 years of age or older by the first day of classes in the semester of intended admission and who do not meet current admission requirements*. There are two Adult Admission categories: Qualified Adult High School Admission and Non-Matriculated Adult Admission. If you fit this category, you should also note the additional information we have provided for you.

*Adults who have both the required high school courses and a competitive average (e.g., 65% or higher) are admissible according to the regular High School admission route, regardless of their age or the length of time they have been out of school.

Qualified Adult High School Admission

This route applies to applicants 21 years of age or older who have completed Canadian high school requirements, with an admission average of at least 60% but less than the prevailing admission cut-off of 65%.

What is required for admission via this route?

The minimum high school course requirements are:

  • English Language Arts 30-1;
  • three other Grade 12 academic subjects; and,
  • one additional five-credit Grade 12 course, or two or more Grade 12 courses that total at least five credits (Special Projects may not be used).

The average of these courses must be at least 60% and none of the courses may have a grade of less than 50%. Blended grades (the average of school and departmental exam grades) will be used where applicable in calculating the admission average.

First-Year Quota Programs

Individuals applying via the Qualified Adult High School Admission route are not eligible to be admitted to first-year quota programs (i.e., Pre-Engineering). To be eligible for these programs, applicants would need to upgrade their admission average by retaking some or all of their Grade 12 courses at a high school or college. Applicants would also need to ensure they had the required science or math courses for the intended program.

Non-Matriculated Adult Admission

This category is intended for applicants 21 years of age by the first day of classes who do not meet minimum University of Lethbridge admission standards. This policy would apply to individuals:

  • with a high school diploma and the required Grade 12 academic subjects but without the minimum average of 60%;
  • with a high school diploma but not the required Grade 12 academic subjects; or,
  • without a high school diploma.

What is required for admission via this route?

  • Application form, application fee, official high school and all post-secondary transcripts (if any); and,
  • Letter of Intent which provides information about the applicant's life goals and the manner in which the intended university program is consistent with these goals. The Letter should also include relevant life achievement.

    Life achievement will be considered for Non-Matriculated Adult admission if it demonstrates skill development relevant to university success. Achievements could include leisure time activities; volunteer or work experience; academic upgrading; test scores indicating university-level reading, writing and math skills; transferable and non-transferable post-secondary work; and, courses taken at the University of Lethbridge as an Open Studies (formerly Unclassified).

    The focus should be on the academic/organizational skills developed and maturity gained in the course of these experiences (e.g., ability to organize and complete significant projects, sophisticated reading or writing, etc.). Individuals who have an employment history (e.g., successfully managing a business, community leadership, professional certification) that they wish to be considered are advised to submit a résumé with their Letter of Intent.

    An Adult Admission Committee will evaluate whether or not this experience compensates for high school credentials that are below the minimum for high school admission. The specific skills demanded by the intended academic program will also be considered (e.g., math skills will be considered for programs requiring quantitative course work).

    Note: Students with unsatisfactory post-secondary records will not be eligible for Adult Admission.

Strengthening Your Application as a Non-Matriculated Adult


  • Upgrading may compensate for deficiencies in a high school record. Recent successful course work is the most persuasive evidence of readiness to attend university. Grades should be at least as high as the minimum grades attained by those typically admitted through the high school admission route (e.g., 65 to 70%, or higher).
    • Which courses to upgrade? This depends upon the academic program.
      • Students pursuing studies in the Fine Arts and Humanities are advised to master vocabulary and analytical skills (associated with English and Social Studies 30).
      • Students pursuing Social Science disciplines should, in addition to literary skills, include numeracy skills developed in Mathematics 30-1 or Mathematics 30-2.
      • Students pursuing Science disciplines should note that the following courses are required/recommended preparation: Biology 30, Chemistry 30, Mathematics 30-1 or Mathematics 30-2 or Mathematics 31.

        The development of skills in Chemistry and Mathematics is highly structured and depends upon having mastered earlier courses. Their development to the university level usually requires formal course work rather than informal life learning.

    • A review of Non-Matriculated Adult admissions indicated that students who upgraded and obtained high grades in two or more Grade 12-level academic courses were more prepared to succeed in their University of Lethbridge studies.

      Note: The General Equivalency Diploma (GED) is not considered the equivalent of Grade 12, university entrance coursework.

    Test Scores
  • Applicants who believe they have developed sophisticated academic skills but do not possess transcripts to reflect this could take a university-level achievement test. It is possible to challenge or retake the Alberta Learning diploma exams. Review sessions for these exams are often offered as Continuing Education courses in community colleges.
    • Other acceptable test scores are the Scholastic Achievement Test (SAT), the American College Test (ACT), the Canadian Adult Achievement Test (CAAT) Level D, the Canadian Achievement Test (CAT) Level 19, or the Computer Placement Test (CPT).
    • We do not accept the Test of Adult Basic Skills (TABS). Scores on exams for the General Equivalency Diploma (GED) are not considered adequate indicators of academic skills for entrance to the University of Lethbridge.
  • Information on these examinations may be available at a local school district office or community development centre. Information concerning the Alberta Learning Diploma exams may be attained from the Alberta Learning Office (telephone: 780-427-2285; fax: 780-427-0591).

Additional Information

University of Lethbridge Personnel

The University of Lethbridge offers several services to assist you with your decision to pursue university studies:

  • Recruitment Officers are available to help you with everything from providing information to explaining how subjects/courses that interest you might fit into a University of Lethbridge degree. To contact Recruitment and Student Life, drop into SU065 (Level 0, Students' Union Building), call 403-329-2762, fax 403-329-5159 or email
  • Admissions Officers are available to help you to determine which admission route is best for you. They can be of most assistance if you bring copies of your transcripts and other documents with you to your appointment. The Admissions Officers will advise if you require more preparation to ensure that your university career is a success. To make an appointment with an Admissions Officer, please call 403-320-5700, fax 403-329-5159 or email

University of Lethbridge Calendar

  • Please review the current University of Lethbridge Calendar for additional information related to program requirements. Review the prerequisites/corequisites and recommended background for courses related to your intended program of study in the Courses section of the Calendar.