Admission Procedure to Study in Canada

Mrunmayai Bobade
Updated on Feb 17, 2022 8:04 PM IST

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Intakes to Study in Canada

Before we begin explaining details about the admission process followed in the universities of Canada, let us first find out about the various intakes in Canada. 

Canada has three intakes in a year. Different universities in Canada accept admissions for Fall, Winter and Summer (or Spring) term although most intakes in universities are accepted for the Fall term. It usually commences in the month of September and is the primary intake term in Canada. The secondary intake term is Winter that begins in January. Usually, students who do not apply or qualify for admissions for the Fall Term choose to apply for the Winter Term. The Summer (or Spring) Term begins in May and is offered in very few colleges in Canada. Summer term is also the least preferred intake by students.

Refer to the following table for different intakes in Canada along with dates:

Intakes 2022


Application Process Start Date 

Application Process Deadline 

Offer of Admission


September to December 

October 2021

February-April 2022

May 2022 


January to April

May 2021

August-September 2021 

November 2022

Summer or Spring

May to August

October 2021

October 2021 to February 2022 

February 2022 

Canada does not have a centralised application process. The dates and deadlines for admission vary university wise as well as programme wise. One must confirm the exact dates for admission to a specific university and course before applying. Check the following links for a detailed timeline for various terms in Canada:

COVID-19 Update for Admission in Canadian Universities

Higher Education Institutions in Canada are dedicated to bringing back the international students who have aspired to study abroad and build their future careers in countries abroad. However, with COVID wreaking havoc in the past year across the education sector, Canada sprung into action to make international admissions in Canada COVID-safe. Along with certain restrictions, amenities and student support have also been increased to ensure a safe and welcoming environment for international students during such unprecedented times.

Here are some of the COVID-19 precautions, guidelines and rules that international students are required to follow if they wish to pursue higher education in the country.

  • All interested international students should have a confirmation regarding admission to the university of their choice. In other words, an admission offer letter or a course confirmation letter from the university, confirming your enrolment in a programme under a Canadian University or College should be displayed by you on arrival in Canada.

  • The University you have enrolled in must have an approved COVID-readiness plan in accordance with the government guidelines.

  • Depending on where your Designated Learning Institution is located and the regulations at the time, you may or may not be required to quarantine for 14 days.

  • You must also provide a valid Study Permit to study in Canada for a fixed period of time or a letter of introduction that confirms your approval for the study permit.

Want to Study in Top Universities of Canada?

Entrance Exams Required For Studying in Canada

In order to secure admission in Canadian Universities, you must clear some of the mandatory entrance exams. However, depending on the course you choose to pursue, you may be required to attempt on or more Standardised Tests for admissions in Canada. Interested applicants must check the entrance test requirements defined by the university for international students and courses, and appear for the same.

The following are some of the common entrance exams accepted for admissions in Canadian universities:

Entrance Exams for Bachelors Course 

SAT: SAT is an important exam that helps you to gain admission in some of the top universities across Canada. International students who are interested in pursuing one of the thousands of UG programmes available in Canadian Higher Education Institution can attempt SAT, secure a good score and apply for admission using the score as a criteria. SATs help in outlining a candidate's aptitude for studying in one of the many globally-reputed Universities and Colleges in Canada.

Entrance Exams for Masters Course 

GRE: Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is an important exam for international students who wish to seek admission in graduate or masters courses like MS degree programmes. Similar to UG admissions, depending on the course you choose to study in Canada and the admission requirement defined by the University you choose for your Masters education, you may or may not be required to sit for GRE. 

GMAT: For those planning to study a management programme in Canada such as an MBA, then you are required to have secured a good score in GMAT. Depending on the course and university you choose and the requisite admission requirements, you may be required to have secured a minimum score, in order to be considered for admissions. Consult with the University or read through the admission brochure for the MBA course of your choice for specific details.

Note: For few courses, you may not have to appear for any tests and you may receive admission based purely on academic performance. However, some Universities and Colleges may require you to attempt specific tests. Therefore, it is crucial to thoroughly read through the admission requirements of defined by the Canadian Universities.

English Language Tests

As an international student you must take the English language test whether enrolled in Bachelor or Master degree programmes. A common requirement among Bachelors and Master's admission in Canada is the English Proficiency Test scores, which depicts your ability to communicate and survive in an English-speaking community. The two most popular language test scores accepted by the universities of Canada are:

TOEFL: Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is one of the popular exams that one must qualify to pursue higher education in Canada. It is a test to examine English language skills and is applicable for international students whose first language is not English. TOEFL is widely accepted in Universities and Colleges across Canada.

IELTS: IELTS is similar to TOEFL, which is a language proficiency test in English. Students aiming to secure admission in top Canadian universities can clear IELTS. Along with TOEFL, most Canadian Higher Education Institutions accept IELTS score as your proof of English Proficiency. There are two types of IELTS that are offered to applicants. Commonly accepted across universities and institutions in Canada is IELTS Academic. However, those interested in working after graduating in Canada may be required to apply for IELTS General.

PTE: PTE or Pearson Test of English is another English Proficiency Test which has gained popularity in over half the countries across the globe, is also widely accepted in Universities and Colleges in Canada. Certain Universities may require you to attempt specific English Proficiency Tests, therefore, check the reqiurements before you apply for any English Proficiency Tests.

Note: There are other English Proficiency Tests that are accepted by Colleges and Universities in Canada that are accepted, which include Duolingo, Cambridge Assessment English and Canadian Academic English Language (CAEL). A few universities and institutions may conduct individual tests for applicants interested in taking admission in those universities.

At Collegedekho Study Abroad, we offer our help with Test Prep for you to crack high scores in above mentioned exams.

Admission Process for Pursuing Bachelors in Canada

If you have cleared the entrance exam required for admission in undergraduate courses at a  university, submit the online application form for the same. Once the application is received by the university, you will receive an email regarding further admission process and schedule. If you clear the mandatory admission requirements of the varsity, you will be offered admission. After securing the admission offer letter, you must apply for a Canada Student/ Study Visa.

Canada has a different application process to apply for admission in colleges and universities situated in Ontario province, Quebec province and the rest of the part of Canada. The procedure to apply for admissions in undergraduate course is explained separately here:

Ontario Colleges and Universities

In order to apply for admission in universities situated in Ontario province, you must visit the OUAC (Ontario University Application Centre) website. The procedure to apply through OUAC is as follows: 

  • Visit the official website of OUAC and find the OUAC  Undergrad (105) Application Form. If you are a first-time applicant then you must create a user account on My OUAC. 

  • Once you have the OUAC account created, log in and find the application form for the undergraduate course and complete all the sections of the application. 

  • Review the application and sections and check “I Verify and Agree” at the end of the application.

  • Submit the application and make the application fee payment before the application deadline date.

  • Keep the record of OUAC Reference Number for reference. 

  • The application must regularly login to account for reviews and updates. The primary mode of communication is email and universities will acknowledge the receipt of the application via email. 

Quebec Colleges and Universities

For admissions in Colleges and Universities situated in Quebec province, students must submit the application form and documents to the Registrar Office of the respective institute. The applicant can download the application from the official website of the institution or request it via email. Another option is to contact the agent. 

After receiving the application form, the university will contact the applicant via email for any additional information and update. The institute will release the admission offer if the application is accepted. The applicant must ensure to accept the offer after which the official admission letter is released.

Check Your Eligibility to Study in Canada Here!

UG Admission Process in Canada

For most universities in Canada, there is a specific admission process that students need to follow in order to enrol in the course of their choice. Those interested in pursuing Bachelor courses in Canada must follow the following admission process.

Pre-Application Process in Canada for Pursuing Bachelors

1) Research and Shortlist: The first step in starting your study abroad venture is to research about the different universities and colleges in the country. While researching the universities and colleges, this will also be the best time to shortlist them along with a few courses that they offer. Read about the amenities, facilities and programme outcomes of the programme offered by a specific university and see if it matches your goals and aspirations.

2) Read the Admission Requirements: Each student is required to meet certain admission requirements, specific to each university and course. Moreover, international students will be required to meet additional requirements. Therefore, go through the admission requirements of each university and course as well as the requirements for international students to successfully apply and enrol in the course and university of your choice.

Application Process in Canada for Pursuing Bachelors

1) Register: Most universities require students to apply to the official university website and submit the application forms. Interested applicants should visit the official website of their university of choice. Once registered, the candidate will be able to fill up the application forms and submit the form with the necessary documents (List of necessary documents have been provided below).

2) Attempt Standardised Tests: It advisable to take the tests before you begin with your application. Tests such as TOEFL, IELTS, GRE, GMAT and SATs are commonly accepted tests in Canada. You may be required to present valid test scores in these tests or any other relevant test defined by the University of your choice for admissions.

Documents Required for Bachelors Admissions in Canada

Each university will outline the documents they require to offer admission to prospective student. However, the general list of documents required for undergraduate admissions in Canada will include past academic records, tests scores and much. The application for an undergraduate course in Canada is incomplete without the mandatory documents listed below:

Post-Application Process in Canada for Pursuing Bachelors

1) Appear for Interviews: Universities and colleges in Canada will revert back to you and ask you to appear for interviews to complete your admission processes. One of the steps that you need to complete is to sit for Personal or Video Interviews, as specified by the University.

2) Await Response: The Universities will respond and provide you the details of whether you are selected for admission at the university, depending on your performance in the interviews. Selected candidates will receive an offer letter that will provide the next few steps that you need to complete, including depositing a non-refundable depost or security deposit as confirmation of acceptance of the offer letter.

3) Apply for Financial Aids: Once selected for admissions, you must look out for financial aids such as student loans, scholarships and other financial support measures. Universities will be able to provide you with the appropriate scholarship and financial aids. However, you will be required to apply for student loans separately. Studying in Canada can be expensive, therefore, applying for student loans can be the right choice for you.

4) Apply for Student Visa: Students planning their higher education studies are required to apply for the appropriate Study Permit in Canada to commence their studies in Canada. Refer to the Embassy of Canada that is closest to you and apply for the Study Permit. You will also be required to sit for inteviews to receive approval for the Study Permit. Once approved, you can commence your higher education studies in Canada.

5) Book Flight Tickets: The final steps in starting your course in Canada is to the book the flight tickets and fly over to the country. Book your flight tickets as soon as you receive the Study Permit approval as you will not be allowed to enter Canada without a valid Study Permit, under the current COVID-19 regulations. 

Admission Process for Pursuing Masters in Canada

If you have a relevant bachelor’s degree and have cleared the entrance exam required for admission in a graduate course in a university then you must submit the application form and complete the admission procedure. 

The universities of Canada directly accept the application form for graduate courses. You can request for the application form via email to universities or download the application form available on the official website of the university.

The past academic qualifications and work experience play an important factor in determining the admission confirmation. Each university sets its own evaluation system to enrol students in graduate courses. The universities ask candidates to submit certain documents for evaluation based on which the admission is confirmed.

Pre-Application Process for Masters Admissions in Canada

1) Research Universities and Courses: Start your study abroad experience by researching and studying about the different universities and courses available in Canada, that are perfect for you. You can check out our list of the top Universities and Colleges in Canada for PG courses. While researching, it is also advisable to go through the various amenities, facilities and financial aids available for international students.

2) Shortlist Universities and Courses: Once you are updated on the different universities and courses on offer in Canada, then you can choose and shortlist the best universities and courses as per your requirements.

3) Go through the Admission Processes and Requirements: Be thorough with the admission processes and requirements that you will neet to meet, in order to enrol in the course of your choice. Each university will define its own admission process and eligibility criteria. Therefore, you must read through each admission process of the universities you shortlisted.

Application Process for PG Courses in Canada

1) Attempt Standardised Tests: Prepare and attempt the necessary standardised tests such as GRE, GMAT, IELTS or TOEFL and secure a good score in order to be considered for admissions at the University of your choice. Each university will define its standardised test requirements, therefore, read them first before applying for any standardised test.

2) Submit Application Forms: Start your application process by submitting the necessary application forms with the appropriate documents (list of documents required for graduate admission in Canada have been defined below). Candidates must ensure that they are entering the correct information with the appropriate documents and certificates.

Documents Required for Graduate Admissions in Canada

The set of documents that must be submitted with the graduate application form or admissions in Canada are mentioned below:

  • Transcript
  • GRE/GMAT scorecard
  • English Language Test Scorecard
  • Letter of Recommendation or Reference 
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Copy of Passport
  • Photographs
  • Work Experience (if any)

Post-Application Process for PG Courses in Canada

1) Appear for Interviews: All eligible candidates will receive communication from the university regarding the date, time and place, where they would be required to sit for a personal or video interview. These interviews will decide whether you are the prospective student that the University is looking for.

2) Offer Letter: Universities and Colleges will send out admission offer letters to those shortlisted candidates that they deemed as prospective students. These offer letters will consist of all the information that the candidates will be required to follow to complete the admission process.

3) Apply for Financial Aids: Once selected for admission, candidates can look out for and apply for the different financial aids that will help you cover the costs of studying in Canada. Apply for student loans, scholarships and other financial aids that can reduce the financial burden.

4) Apply for Study Permit: If you wish to commence your studies in Canada, then you need to possess a valid Study Permit. Connect with the nearest Canadian Embassy to your location and apply for the appropriate Study Permit. You must receive their Study Permit to enter Canada and commence your higher education studies in the country.

5) Book Flight Tickets: Once you are approved for the Study Permit, select the best flight available to you, so that you can start your study abroad advaneture. If your University is a registered DLI with an approved COVID-19 Readiness Plan, then you can fly over to the country and start you studies.

Having Issues Applying to the RIght University in Canada!

FAQs on Admission Procedure to Study in Canada in 2023

Can I go to Canada without taking the IELTS exam?

Yes, Canadian universities provide many alternatives for those without IELTS scores who wish to study in Canada. Alternative exams include: TOEFL, Duolingo English Test CanTEST, PTE, CAEL, CPE, Cambridge English Exams, etc.

Is it possible to bring my family to Canada while studying there?

Definitely! You have the option of bringing your spouse or common-law partner to Canada, along with dependent children. Depending on their situation, they might qualify for a study or work permit, or for a visitor visa. The applications need to be submitted in conjunction with your application for a study permit.

Can I study in Canada if I have a gap in my academic history?

The majority of colleges and universities in Canada accept students with gaps in their studies under regulations. Studies gaps of up to two years are acceptable between undergraduate and graduate courses, and five years are acceptable between graduate and undergraduate programs.

How much percentage is necessary for studying in Canada after 12th grade?

65% and above is the minimum percentage required for studying in Canada for the humanities stream in class XII, and 70 - 80% and above is needed for studying the science/commerce stream. Students who have not achieved 60% are eligible for Foundations or Diploma programs.

How long does it take to get admission in Canada?

You can expect the Canadian study permit application process to take up to 90 days after you submit your application, although it is usually faster. This process will also vary based on where you live. You may be able to get the study permit in a shorter amount of time with the Student Direct Stream.

How do I find out what academic subjects are acceptable at a Canadian university?

Universities set the minimum eligibility criteria for the admission of international students for a specific course. You can check the academic subjects on the course page of the college/ university website. You can also directly get in touch with the international student admissions office to confirm the admission requirement.

How do I decide which university is best for me to study in Canada? 

With many popular universities in Canada, it is often difficult to decide which college is the right choice for you. However, you can research the university that offers the course that you are interested in. For example, if you are planning to study MBA, look for universities in Canada that offer the best MBA course. After shortlisting the top MBA colleges in Canada, check the location, fee structure, duration of course, and study environment, and then select the final university to study in Canada. 

What to do in case I do not meet the English language test required for admission to a Canadian University?

Those who do not meet the English language requirements for admission to a Canadian university can take an alternative to IELTS Academic, TOEFL, or PTE Academic. If a student is unable to take the English language test, they will usually receive a conditional offer letter. Each institute sets its own requirements. Prior to beginning the course, such students can hold an International Baccalaureate degree or an equivalent diploma with English as the medium of instruction.

Can I transfer to a Canadian university from a university outside of Canada?

Canadian institutes provide students with the flexibility of applying as transfer students. Students who are studying in a university, college, university, polytechnic institute, or other institutes outside Canada must review the general requirements for the degree program along with the major or specialization before applying as a transfer student in Canada. For admission to a specific course at a Canadian institute, the candidate must also meet the GPA requirement. Admissions documents such as transcripts and test scores are required.

How can I find out if a Canadian institution is accredited or not?

The universities in Canada that are accredited by a governing body in Canada or abroad usually mention it in their prospectus or publish it on its official website. You can confirm the accredited body for a specific academic program before admissions. The degree offered by universities in Canada is accepted worldwide. One can apply for jobs in any country after acquiring a degree from Canada. Students who complete their studies from Canada find it easier to get a job within the country or abroad soon after the completion of their studies. 

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