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After applying to a selected study program in an educational institution in Canada, the prospective student will need to receive an admission from their school of choice. Although admission requirements vary for each school, listed below are some of the things that should be taken into account when preparing an application.

Language Requirements

Canada’s two official languages are English and French. Most English speaking schools require students for who English is not a first language to prove their proficiency by passing an English examination test such as TOEFL, IELTS or CAEL. Alternatively, they may be asked to enrol in their own language program, or at an ESL partner school. French institutions may require a DLF test or have their own language assessment methods.

Entrance Requirements

There is no Canada-wide entrance test. Each institution has its own admission requirements and assesses the qualifications of each applicant individually.

Application Deadlines

Application deadlines vary from school to school, and it can take four to six months to receive a decision from a school after submitting an application.

It is important to apply as early as possible to ensure that you have enough time to obtain a study permit (which may involve a medical examination) and land in Canada before the study program begins. The study permit application process can take 8 to 15 weeks, and so it is advised that you begin collecting the necessary documents one year in advance.

Academic Year

The academic year normally starts in September and ends in May. Some schools run a semester or trimester system, with all or some courses available even in the summer. Some programs also admit students in January.

Studying English or French as a Second Language

Prospective international students who would like to study either French or English as a second language at a private institution in Canada can confirm the quality of the program on the Languages Canada website. This organization provide a quality assessment of the language programs of schools across Canada

Institution/Program Recognition

In Canada the provincial and territorial governments are in charge of education. The provincial and territorial governments grant universities the right to accord degrees and regulate the establishment of colleges. You can consult the directory of the Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials to verify if the university you wish to attend is authorized to grant degrees, diplomas, or certificates.

There is no official ranking of Canadian educational institutions as most post-secondary programs are quite consistent in terms of quality.

Distance Education

Individuals who cannot come to Canada to study at a post –secondary institution may consider the many online programs offered by Canadian universities and colleges. If an individual is able to take a few courses online, he or she will have a head start to obtaining a degree, diploma or certificate when he or she arrives in Canada.

Financial Assistance

Potential students who need financial help for their Canadian studies should firstly contact the government of their country of citizenship as some governments provide scholarship, low-interest loans, bursaries or other awards that you qualify for. Additionally, the financial aid office of Canadian universities may be able to help depending on whether or not they provide financing options to international students. Click here for more information.
To determine if your credits can be transferred from one post-secondary to another, contact the Canadian university or college you wish to attend, as each institution has its own policy regarding transfer credits.

You should also contact the international relations office of your current educational institutions as some institutions have agreements with others to allow for credit recognition.


Once a prospective student selects a school of his or her choice to apply to for admission, the individual will need to contact directly contact the office of admissions (for undergraduate or college programs) or the office of graduate admissions (for graduate or masters programs) to obtain detailed application information and forms. The decisions are generally announced 4 to 6 weeks after the application deadline. Some provinces and regions allow students to submit electronic applications.

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