My First Choice Is Out Of Reach - What Now?

By University of Calgary Modified on May 11, 2017

Advice from the University of Calgary.


At this time of year, some university applicants are realizing their final grades will not allow them to be admitted to their first-choice program. If you find yourself in this position, don’t worry, you still have options. To find out what they are, consider these questions:

  1. 1. Did I include a second choice program or major on my application? Does it have different required subjects and/or a lower admission average?

    You may include two programs on your application. You’ll be considered for your second choice program if you don’t meet the requirements for your first choice. If you anticipate not meeting the requirements for your first-choice program and wish to cancel it so that you can be considered for your second choice program, please contact us at If you don’t currently meet the admission criteria for your first- or second-choice program, we may offer you admission to a third alternative. You’re able to accept an offer without losing the opportunity for an offer of admission to your first- or second-choice program at a later date. You also have the option to decline an offer; however, we’ll provide an alternative for your consideration where possible.

  2. 2. Should I attend a college transfer program for a year or two? Is there a college that will allow me to transfer into my preferred university program?

    It’s possible to take courses at a college that transfer into your University of Calgary degree. We encourage you to check for course transferability using the Alberta Transfer Guide. Keep in mind that taking post-secondary courses changes your student status. Check our website to find out more about how being a transfer student changes the admission process.

  3. 3. Would it be better for me to upgrade my high school subjects and re-apply for a later term?

    For some programs, such as the Bachelor of Science in Engineering, it may be a good idea for you to re-take your high school subjects rather than to attempt to transfer.

If you’d like to discuss this, or any other issue regarding your application, please contact your University of Calgary advisor at We look forward to helping you make the choice that is right for you.