Getting Admission to a Canadian School

CIC News
Published: July 30, 2013

With an international reputation for top-quality education, it is no wonder that tens of thousands of students come from abroad each year to study in Canada.

The path to studying in Canada begins with admission to a Canadian educational institution. The admission application process can sometimes take over a year. Therefore, it is important to set clear educational goals and deadlines. If you are interested in coming to Canada to pursue any type of study, follow our steps below for admission success.

Choose Your Program and School

There is a wide range of educational opportunities throughout Canada. Generally speaking, schools fall into one of four categories:

  • University/College
  • Trade/Vocational
  • Language Schools
  • Primary/Secondary

Firstly, you should decide what sort of program you would like to enroll in. You should ask yourself questions like:

  • Do I want to obtain a degree?
  • How will my studies enhance or change my career?
  • Do I want to use my education as a stepping stone for Canadian Permanent Residency?
  • How much time and money can I commit to my education?

It is important to choose a program that connects your short- and long-term goals. You may wish to speak with school representatives, current students or alumni to get a better idea of the pros and cons of a program or school. You may also wish to attend school informational sessions online or at a location near you.

Once you have decided on your course of study, you will want to make a list of schools that teach your program and appeal to you. Some factors to take into account are:

  • Tuition costs
  • Location
  • Cost of living while at school
  • Teacher-student ratio
  • Student organizations
  • School support for international students

Some prospective students choose to apply to several schools, while others focus on just one institution. Decide where you want to go, and move on to beginning the application process.

Review Admissions Requirements

Once you have chosen the schools you wish to apply to, you should research each school’s admissions requirements to find out if you are a good candidate for the school and program. Some institutions accept all students, while others are highly competitive. Application procedures can vary greatly, even amongst similar institutions.

Prepare Your Admission Application

School applications vary as much as schools themselves. Some institutions require only the bare essentials in terms of personal and financial information. Others, especially colleges and universities, may have in-depth applications that require submission of transcripts, essays, and standardized test scores.

It is important to keep track of deadlines. The Canadian school year generally runs from September to April for universities, and to June for primary and secondary school. Many schools require that applications be submitted up to a year prior to the date of intended enrollment.

Even if your chosen school does not have a strict application deadline, you will want to take into account the time it will take you to apply for any necessary visas and/or permits and prepare yourself for an extended stay in Canada.

NOTE: International applicants may be required to gather additional documentation such as proof of English or French language ability, proof of independent health insurance, proof of financial ability or educational equivalency results. It may take you longer to prepare an application than a Canadian applicant.

Submit Your Application and Receive Acceptance Letter

Once you have prepared your application, you must submit it in a timely manner, preferably well before the application deadline. This can often be done online.

If you are accepted to a Canadian school, congratulations! You are closer than ever to coming to Canada. You will have to accept the offer of admission extended to you by your school of choice, and may be asked to make a financial deposit at that time.

Your next step will be acquiring a Canadian study permit and/or temporary resident visa, if applicable. Stay tuned to the next edition of CIC News, where we will explore this process in-depth.

To find out if you are eligible for a study permit, please fill out a free online assessment today.

Share this article
Share your voice
Did you find this article helpful?
Thank you for your feedback.
Subscribe to our newsletter
Did you find this article helpful?
Please provide a response
Thank you for your helpful feedback
Please contact us if you would like to share additional feedback, have a question, or would like Canadian immigration assistance.
  • Do you need Canadian immigration assistance? Contact the Contact Cohen Immigration Law firm by completing our form
  • Send us your feedback or your non-legal assistance questions by emailing us at
Top Stories
Can I be a dual citizen if I immigrate to Canada?
From work to study: How Americans can begin their Canadian journey
8 Tips for the Listening Component of your CELPIP Test
Join our free newsletter. Get Canada's top immigration stories delivered to your inbox.
More in Sponsor Content
8 Tips for the Listening Component of your CELPIP Test
When the time comes to take your CELPIP Test, listen carefully to the recordings.
Helpful advice for newcomers landing in Canada: A post-arrival checklist for newcomers to Canada
When you arrive, you will have to go through a process to confirm your identity.
Studying in Canada? Get Support with Increased Awards from the CAEL Scholarships!
As a test explicitly designed to measure students' English language proficiency in an academic context, CAEL is one of the most effective assessments for identifying individuals with the skills needed for success at Canadian universities and colleges.
How Pre-Arrival Services Help Immigrants to Canada Even Before They Arrive
Planning for Canada Team
Link copied to clipboard