Diverse qualifications admission - more than grades

Of course, we want academically well-qualified students. But we’re also interested in those who meet our minimum admission standards and have demonstrated commitment or excellence in other endeavours, or who have succeeded in their studies in spite of difficult circumstances.

Through our Diverse Qualifications program we select up to 10% of new students, taking these achievements into account. To be considered under this policy, you must meet the university's minimum admission average (67% for secondary school applicants or 2.00 for post-secondary transfer applicants). You must also meet the English Language requirement and the Quantitative and Analytical skills requirement as detailed below.

Note: If you have been required to withdraw from a recognized university, you are not eligible to apply under Diverse Qualifications.

Prospective student athletes applying under the Diverse Qualifications process should be aware that admission to the university under Diverse Qualifications does not guarantee eligibility to play as a varsity athlete. Please discuss the varsity eligibility requirements for your particular sport with your prospective coach before applying.

Diverse qualifications application procedure

Apply for undergraduate admission at apply.educationplannerbc.ca

Fill out a personal information profile after you have applied online and received a User ID or application number.

Arrange for a primary referee to submit a reference letter, supporting the statements you make in your profile. (We suggest an educator who knows you well.) General character references or references from friends or family members are not helpful.

Provide a secondary referee for us to contact should we wish to verify your information. Your secondary referee does not have to submit a letter. You might choose someone from your community, such as a group leader, coach, or someone aware of your personal situation.

The deadline to submit your Personal Information Profile and Reference Letter for the Fall semester is June 15th.

Personal Information Profile

Your personal information profile should include the following:

  • a description of your special accomplishments, special situation, hardships or difficulties, community service, etc., that you feel should be considered (be as detailed and explicit as possible, to a maximum of 250 words)
  • a clear description of your educational goals and the connection between your proposed program at SFU and the attainment of those goals (be as detailed and explicit as possible, to a maximum of 150 words)
  • a list and description of any awards, honours, or recognition you've received for either academic work or other activities
  • the name and address of your primary referee
  • the name and address of your secondary referee
  • a copy of the following statement, signed and dated by you:
    • I certify that all information I have provided is true and complete and was prepared entirely by me. I consent to the disclosure of information I have given to the referees I have named, when necessary to verify my statements. I understand that any misrepresentation may result in cancellation of my admission or registration status.

English language requirement

All applicants for admission to Undergraduate Studies at SFU, regardless of country of origin or citizenship status, must demonstrate competence in the English language in one of the following six ways, depending on where you are completing your education. (Note that enrollment in first-year writing intensive courses requires higher grades than admission grades. See our FAQs.)

  1. completion of the last three years of full-time secondary education in English in Canada or another country where the principal language of instruction is English. A minimum blended grade of 60% or C in one of English 12, English Literature 12, or English 12 First Peoples, or their equivalents, is required.
    Note: a final, blended mark of 75% will permit enrollment in a writing-intensive (W) course.
  2. completion of the last four years of full-time secondary education in English at a recognized International school where the principal language of instruction in the country is not English. A minimum grade of C or 60% in senior level English is required.
  3. completion of IB English A1/A2 or English Literature and Performance (HL or SL) with a minimum grade of 3.
  4. completion of a three unit transferable English course or certified W (writing intensive) course with a minimum grade of C-.
  5. completion of the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) with a minimum overall band score of 6.5 with no part less than 6.0.)
  6. completion of TOEFL IBT (Test of English as a Foreign Language internet-based test) with an overall score of 88 or better with a minimum score of 20 in each of the four components (listening, speaking, writing, reading).

For more information on the literacy requirements visit New Admission Standards.

For information on Graduate (Master's and Doctoral) English language requirements please visit Dean of Graduate Studies


Quantitative Skills Requirement

All applicants to undergraduate programs must demonstrate their competence in quantitative and analytical skills in one of the following ways:

  1. a minimum grade of 60% or C in a senior level math course or precalculus
  2. a minimum score of 3 in IB HL or SL mathematics, or IB SL math studies
  3. a minimum D grade in GCE A/AS/O level math
  4. a grade of C- or better in a 3-unit math or certified Q (quantitative) course that transfers to SFU (for college and university transfer students). 

NOTE: a minimum grade of 70% is required in one of the acceptable Math courses used for admission in order to enroll directly in Q courses. See more information.

Additional requirements

Within the first three terms at SFU, students must either score at least 20/30 in our Q Placement Test, or achieve at least a C grade in the Foundations of Analytical and Quantitative Reasoning course (FAN X99-4).