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How to get Admission in Canadian Universities or Colleges

Canada has become an increasingly popular study destination for students across the world. If you’re looking for how to get admission in Canadian Universities or Colleges, this article is your sure guide. Covered in this episode is how to find a university or college, how to check courses offered by a Canadian school; including contacting a supervisor (for masters/phd students), information about tuition/school fees and general application requirements and procedures.

Almost every Canadian province has some peculiarity and reasons students love them. Suffice to say that the choice of school, city or province to settle for is a combination of students preferences, lifestyle, budget and appetite for socio-cultural dispositions. With natural wonders of ski slopes in the province of British Columbia (BC), bustling French cities of Quebec, beautiful weather of Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal, and ever stunning prairies in the province of Manitoba, Alberta and Saskatchewan, Canada really does have it all. No wonder international students love it here!

Now let’s get to it, first with the requirements to study in Canada.

1. Check requirements to study in Canada

In general terms, every international students must have the following before applying to study in any Canadian post-secondary school.

  1. Valid International Passport
  2. Proof of English/French Language ability
  3. Proof of funds to sponsor your study

Every university, college and other post-secondary institution in Canada have general and unique requirements for admission. Depending on the level of study, course and type program; some schools will require certain admission cut-off mark from your previous education (high/secondary school, college or bachelors degree). For graduate schools, the minimum is usually 60% CGPA (cummulative grade point average), this do vary from school to school, and even from program to program.

How to calculate admission average

Most often, undergraduate students are accepted based on the strength of their high/secondary school results and the strength of their study objective statements. For masters, 60% CGPA is the minimum for most schools, although this varies from school to school and program to program. Below is how to calculate your average:

(Your CGPA/Total CGPA) * 100. 

Let’s assume that total CGPA possible in your school is 4 and you scored 3.5 at graduation. Then your CGPA would be (3.5/4) * 100 = 87.5%. (Note that some schools and countries have CGPA of 5 overall).

2. How to find a school to study in Canada

Canada has 96 universities, offering education in English and French. Most French-speaking universities are located in Quebec, while several institutions outside the province are either francophone or bilingual. At the planning stage of wanting to study in Canada, we often recommend that prospective students make a list of their top 5 universities and begin to research about the schools, city/locations, admission requirements/calendar and tuition, and scholarship opportunities.

Each university has a website which you can find on google easily by simply searching for *** university website, where “***” is name of university. Start by checking the international admission category of the school website. There are often clear and up-to-date information about courses, and admission. Follow them and contact the school, and supervisor if need be (for masters/phd) applicants. Most of the universities are responsive by email and phones.

It is important to confirm that any institution you have selected is in Canada’s list of designated learning institutions (DLI). To apply for a study permit, you need an acceptance letter from a designated learning institution. What is DLI? A designated learning institution is a school approved by a provincial or territorial government to host international students.

Choosing a course to study in Canada

It is customary to decide on a career path prior to searching for a school. That way you’re sure which courses to look out for in the school website.  We have list of courses offered by Canadian universities here on our website. See the /university section. Navigate the school website properly to see details for all accredited courses offered.

3. Canada Language test for International Students

Canada has 2 popular (national) languages – English and French. To study in Canada, students need to show proficiency in any of the two languages. Please check your school website for information about programs and language of instructions. Unless your country is language test-exempt, you will have to pass a language test before you’re considered for admission.

Accepted English language tests include the IELTS, TOEFL, and Cambridge Advanced English. If you’re from a French-Speaking country, your best bets are the TEF exam, DALF, DELF, or TCF.

Fees for each range from around CA$100 upwards so be sure to check on the website how much it will cost to take in your country. Book this far in advance to ensure you get a date and have your *perfect* test results back in time to apply.

4. Applying for admission in Canada

Now that you have checked all the requirements and comfortable with the process, it is time to apply for admission into the canadian university of your choice. How much would this cost? Well it varies. However the cost of applying for admission in Canada vary between CA$100 (US$78) to CA$250 (US$195). Again, the school website will have the exact amount you are required to pay.

5. Apply for Canada Study permit/visa

When admitted, you can apply for your visa online or in person at your local visa application centre where you will be required to pay the CA$150 (US$117) visa fee. See our article on how to apply for Canada study permit. You will need to provide the following evidence:

  • Acceptance letter from DLI
  • Valid passport
  • Proof of fund to support your study

Students applying to a school in the province of Quebec will also need a ‘Certificat d’acceptation du Québec’ (CAQ), which your university will send to you.


You may be required to provide other evidence which could include your biometrics, which will cost you CA$83 (US$65), and/or an interview.

What next?

We have a special article to further prepare you for your an exciting journey to Canada as a student.  See step-by-step study in Canada guide.

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