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, as well as all required course requirements for your intended area of study.

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

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 term is February 28.

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.

Additional requirements



Learn more about how to apply through the Diverse Qualifications admission pathway, programs offered at SFU, and support services for students with refugee backgrounds. These sessions are intended for prospective students and their families, counsellors, and support workers.

Learn more

Students with Refugee Backgrounds

We are committed to considering students with refugee backgrounds for admission to all of our programs. Prospective students who meet the minimum admission requirements are encouraged to apply through the Diverse Qualifications admission pathway. We recognize that many students with refugee backgrounds may not need to be considered through this admission pathway, but we are committed to supporting the success of those students who do. For additional information and dedicated support, please contact:  

Kelly Dohei

Student Recruitment Coordinator 

Wafaa Zaqout

Refugee & Newcomers Program Coordinator