Canada has been a popular destination for international students. For the past years, this country has been highly recognized for its quality education and universities. Many international students choose this country as they have the best educational institutions around the world.

One of Canada’s provinces, Alberta, has a good background in offering education for local and international students. Many students choose this province every year because of the great variety of programs available and the high quality of academia.

Additionally, if you’re looking for affordable universities with outstanding academic performance, you can consider the universities located in Alberta. In the article below, we will be looking at some cheap universities in Alberta. We included the international tuition fees and the links per university.

Which University is the Cheapest in Alberta?

The cheapest universities in Alberta are the University of Alberta, University of Calgary, and Athabasca University. The tuitions fees in these universities are based on enrolled units or credits per semester, and it ranges from CAD 2,440 to CAD 15,442 (USD 1,933 – USD 12,238).

Aside from tuition fees, international students will also be required to pay other expenses such as accommodation, transportation, medical insurance, and others. Usually, these universities have cost calculators to help you compute your total cost per study year.

Check Also: Canada Programs for International Students

Cheapest Universities in Alberta

1. Athabasca University

After much deliberation regarding the creation of a fourth institution for higher education in Alberta, Athabasca University was founded in 1970. The main campus is located in Athabasca, and there are three more around the province.

This cheap university in Alberta is characterized for its comprehensive offer of online programs. It was the first to offer an MBA program completely online in 1994.

Nowadays, all careers can be studied this way. As it expanded, it went from offering only undergraduate degrees to offering graduate programs as well. The university now has few options taught on campus, with the majority of its courses taught entirely online. Furthermore, it has partnered with national sports teams to provide education to the players on the road.

2. MacEwan University

This public university is located in Edmonton, and it was established in 1971. The programs offered are mainly within the humanities’ areas with exceptions such as engineering, health sciences, and nursing.

It has a large enrollment, with over 19,000 students attending every year. Aside from degree programs, it also offers numerous courses for personal development, something that makes it stand out among other institutions.

To provide everyone with the opportunity of pursuing higher studies, MacEwan University offers numerous scholarships every year. This has made it very attractive to prospective students from lower-income backgrounds. The quality of the classes has been recognized, and it has helped the university rank very high in that regard.

3. Mount Royal University

Mount Royal University was founded in 1910. The type of institution changed throughout the years, but it wasn’t until 2017 that it officially became a university. Despite this, numerous students have attended Mount Royal throughout the years, including notable alumni that have shown an inclination towards the arts.

Some of the programs offered at Mount Royal are broadcasting, journalism, and psychology. However, science also has a home here with an entire faculty of science and technology as well as a faculty of health studies.

This cheap institution in Alberta has garnered recognition for its focus on sustainability and social innovation. This can be seen in some of their research centers, such as the Center for Community Disaster Research.

4. University of Lethbridge

This public university was founded in 1967. It has two campuses; one is located in Lethbridge, and the second one is located in Calgary. This institution offers over 100 programs in different areas. Some of the degrees available are in health sciences, fine arts, and management, to name a few.

One of the main goals of the University of Lethbridge is to promote research, encouraging the development of ambitious projects by both the faculty and the student body.

As the university has expanded, they have always included the creation of new research centers, such as the Centre of Behavioral Science and the Alberta Water and Environmental Science building.

5. University of Alberta

Next on our list of cheap universities in Alberta is none other than the University of Alberta. This university was founded in 1908, and since its foundation, research has been one of the primary areas of focus. With five campuses and over 35,000 students, it’s one of the largest institutions in the province. Furthermore, there are over 400 programs to choose from.

These characteristics have made it a favorite for international students, with people from over 150 countries attending at any given time. The institution has focused on having a sustainable campus, and the effort has been recognized.

Among the notable alumni, there has been a Canadian Prime Minister and a Chief of Justice. The faculty is considered one of the best in the country, with multiple awards as recognition to the professors.

6. University of Calgary

This university was founded in 1944, and it was initially a branch of the University of Alberta. However, it became entirely independent in 1966.

With the main focus on research, it has over 80 different research centers, making it a great option for graduate and undergraduate students. The programs offered range from medicine to engineering, with a strong emphasis on geoscience and petroleum education and research.

Approximately 30,000 students form the student body at the University of Calgary, and some of the alumni have achieved great advances in computer science and modern transportation.

7. Concordia University of Edmonton

This cheap university in Alberta was founded in 1921, and it was affiliated with the Lutheran Church during its first years. Now, it’s a private university with no ties to any religious groups. It went from offering high school degrees to working with the University of Alberta to offer higher education degrees.

Today, the high school is an independent institution, and the association with the University of Alberta has come to an end. The faculties at Concordia University broach a wide number of subjects, from music and art to management and physical education.

There’s a wide number of activities available for students at the Concordia campus as well as residence halls for those wishing to live within university grounds.


There are numerous options available if you’re interested in studying in Alberta. Although prices are higher for international students, there are scholarships you can consider to make your studies more affordable.

With the numerous existent agreements between Canada and other countries, you could find out if there are any government-funded scholarships available to you. Alberta offers a wide variety of programs and research centers that will provide you with the skills you’ll need to be competitive in the work environment.


We hope that this article on cheap universities in Alberta was helpful. Make sure to also check out the Available Programs in Canada!

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hyun is the founder at Global Scholarships. He has received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College as well as $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for his undergraduate degree and has been offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. Read more about his scholarship journey here.

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