Accredited Designated Learning Institutions in Canada

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Designated Learning Institutions (DLIs) are education institutions approved and authorized by Canadian provinces and territories to administer learning to foreign students. They include primary, high, and post-secondary schools (universities, colleges and special institutions) in Canada with legal permission, government backing necessary accreditation to accept international students via offer of admissions. Canada’s immigration department, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) are updating the list of approved designated learning institutions (DLI).

All primary and secondary schools in Canada are designated and authorized to accept students from abroad. But, post-secondary schools on the other hand must receive permission from provincial or territorial government to accept international students. If you want to study in Canada at the post-secondary level, you must first obtain a letter of acceptance from a DLI. This letter is crucial to obtaining a Canadian study permit.

International students should also apply all the necessary due diligence when selecting a DLI to study in, as you do not want to choose a school that will disqualify you from obtaining a Post-graduation work permit. You must be sure that your school is on the list of designated Learning Institutions in Canada. However, if the school you are studying at loses its accreditation status, you may stay at the school until your Canada study permit expires. Otherwise, you can transfer to another school with a DLI status.

List of 97 Accredited Universities in Canada

The list below lets you know if your school offers programs that will make you qualify for a post-graduation work permit.

Expand School Listing
  1. University of Toronto, Toronto
  2. University of British Columbia, Vancouver
  3. University of Waterloo, Waterloo City
  4. McGill University, Montréal City
  5. Simon Fraser University, Greater Vancouver
  6. University of Alberta, Edmonton
  7. York University, Toronto
  8. Queen’s University, Kingston
  9. University of Calgary, Calgary City
  10. University of Victoria, Victoria
  11. McMaster University, Hamilton
  12. Western University, London
  13. Université de Montréal, Montréal
  14. Université Laval, Quebec City
  15. Laval University, Quebec City
  16. Ryerson University, Toronto
  17. University of Guelph, Guelph City
  18. University of Ottawa, Ottawa
  19. Concordia University, Montréal
  20. Dalhousie University, Halifax
  21. Université du Québec à Montréal, Montréal
  22. University of Manitoba, Winnipeg
  23. Memorial University of Newfoundland, St.John’s
  24. University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon
  25. University of New Brunswick, Fredericton
  26. Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke
  27. Brock University
  28. St. Catharines Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo
  29. University of Regina: Regina
  30. University of Windsor: Windsor
  31. British Columbia Institute of Technology: Burnaby
  32. Université du Québec à Chicoutimi: Chicoutimi
  33. University of Lethbridge: Lethbridge
  34. University of Winnipeg: Winnipeg
  35. HEC Montréal : Montréal
  36. Lakehead University: Thunder Bay
  37. Université du Québec: Quebec City
  38. École Polytechnique de Montréal: Montréal
  39. Trent University: Peterborough
  40. Vancouver Island University: Nanaimo
  41. University of Prince Edward Island: Charlottetown
  42. Acadia University: Wolfville
  43. École de Technologie Supérieure: Montréal
  44. Ontario Tech University: Oshawa
  45. University of Northern British Columbia: Prince George
  46. Thompson Rivers University: Kamloops
  47. Kwantlen Polytechnic University: Surrey
  48. St. Francis Xavier University: Antigonish
  49. Mount Allison University: Sackville
  50. Saint Mary’s University: Halifax
  51. Mount Royal University: Calgary
  52. OCAD University: Toronto
  53. Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières: Trois-Rivières
  54. Laurentian University: Sudbury
  55. Université de Moncton: Moncton
  56. Mount Allison University: Sackville
  57. Mac Ewan University: Edmonton
  58. Northern Alberta Institute of Technology: Edmonton
  59. Bishop’s University: Sherbrooke
  60. SAIT Polytechnic: Calgary
  61. Trinity Western University: Langley
  62. Nipissing University: North Bay
  63. Brandon University: Brandon
  64. Capilano University: North Vancouver
  65. Mount Saint Vincent University: Halifax
  66. Université du Québec à Rimouski: Rimouski
  67. Royal Roads University: Victoria
  68. Cape Breton University: Sydney
  69. Royal Military College of Canada: Kingston
  70. Université du Québec en Outaouais: Gatineau
  71. Algoma University: Sault Ste. Marie
  72. Yorkville University: Fredericton
  73. The King’s University College: Edmonton
  74. The University of Western Ontario: London
  75. Canadian Mennonite University: Winnipeg
  76. École Nationale d’Administration Publique: Quebec City
  77. Université de Saint-Boniface: Winnipeg
  78. St. Thomas University: Fredericton
  79. Concorida Unviversity of Edmonton: Edmonton
  80. University of King’s College: Halifax
  81. University Canda West: Vancouver
  82. The King’s University: Edmonton
  83. College of North Atlantic: Stephenville
  84. Emily Carr University of Art and Design: Vancouver
  85. Quest University Canada: Squamish
  86. Ambrose University: Halifax
  87. University of Lethbridge: Calgary
  88. Redeemer University College: Ancaster
  89. Université Sainte-Anne: Pointe-de-l’Église
  90. Luther College at the University of Regina: Regina
  91. First Nations University of Canada: Regina
  92. University of Regina: Regina
  93. Crandall University: Moncton
  94. Kingswood University: Sussex
  95. Université de Hearts: Hearst
  96. Collège Universitaire Dominicain: Ottawa
  97. Nicola Valley Institute of Technology: Merritt

What is the designated learning institution number?

Every post-secondary schools that admit foreign students in Canada have a DLI number. A DLI number is a unique code or number that’s associated with the school. The DLI number can be found on the Canada study permit application form. It is the number that starts with the letter “O”.

If you want to study in Canada as an international student, you must first make sure that your school is on the list of Designated Learning Institutions (DLIs).

Also, bear in mind that there are schools with several campuses or smaller departments that may have a different DLI number for each location.

How to Change a Canadian DLI Number?

As an international student studying in Canada, you are allowed to change your DLI number anytime. You may change the level of study, institution of study, and/or program of study. You do not need a representative to change your DLI number. You can always do this yourself if you have your study permit application details intact. However, before initiating this process, you may need to notify the appropriate immigration department in charge of this.

Basically, you need the following documents to change your DLI number:

  • a valid online account linked to your application.
  • your study permit number.
  • your new school’s designated learning institution (DLI) number.
  • your new Student Identification Number (i.e Student ID).
  • your start date at your new school.

7 Steps to change your DLI Number

An international student with valid study permit and with the necessary documents may change or switch from one school (DLI) to another as an international student in Canada. Eligible students may follow these steps to change their DLI number online:

  • Step 1: Sign in to your online CIC account.
  • Step 2: Find the section Designated Learning Institution Student Transfer and click on Transfer from DLI number.
  • Step 3: Enter your study permit application number and click Search for my application.
  • Step 4: Insert more information about your original study permit application.
  • Step 5: Insert your new DLI number, your new Student ID number, and your start date at your new institution. Then Click Submit transfer.
  • Step 6: Confirm the details of your transfer. If all the information is correct, click on Confirm Transfer.
  • Step 7: You will receive a notification that your transfer is complete. This shows that you have notified IRCC of your intention to change DLIs.

Changing Schools in Canada

As a foreign student, you are permitted to change your institution of study. You do not need to obtain a new study permit to effect this change. However, if you wish to change school within the same level of study, then you are required to contact Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and notify them of the change in institutions. And you must ensure that your new school is accredited to host international students.

Transferring from one DLI another is easy, provided the student have a valid study permit and acceptance letter from the new school they are changing to. See steps.


Furthermore, if you wish to transfer from a school outside of the province of Quebec to a school inside of the province of Quebec, you will have to obtain a certificat d’acceptation du Québec (CAQ) before you can transfer. This is because Quebec has unique requirements for accepting international students.

Popular Questions About Designated Learning Institutions

<strong>Q. What are designated learning institutions</strong>
A. Designated learning institutions are schools approved by provincial or territorial government to host foreign students. All primary and secondary schools in Canada are designated learning institutions. Please note that if want a Canadian study permit, you need an acceptance letter from a designated learning institution.

<strong>Q. Designated learning institutions during COVID-19</strong>
A. Some DLIs in Canada are opened to international students who have been approved for a study permit. Before you travel to Canada as an international student, be sure that your school has a COVID-19 readiness plan approved by their province or territory government. If your school isn’t included, you may not travel to study during this period.

<strong>Q. Can I change my school in Canada as an international student?</strong>

A. As an international student studying in Canada, you can initiate a transfer from one school to another. This process is known as Designated Learning Institution Student Transfer. To do this, you will need to inform immigration refugees and citizenship Canada (IRCC) about your change of post-secondary school.

Kindly also know that you don’t need a representative to change your post-secondary school, even if you used one to apply for your study permit. You can initiate this by yourself if you have your study permit application details.

<strong>Q. How to access the designated learning institution portal</strong>
A. The Designated Learning Institution Portal is for colleges and universities that need to report on the enrolment status of their international students. All post-secondary schools, except for those in Quebec province, must use the DLI portal to complete their reports. For schools to access this portal they need to create an account on the portal and complete a compliance report, as well as academic and enrolment status definitions.
<strong>Q. Are Designated learning institutions reopening to international students?</strong>
A. Some designated learning institutions (DLIs) are currently reopening to international students who have approved study permits. These DLIs must have a COVID-19 readiness plan approved by their respective provincial or territorial governments. Before you travel, you are advised to check whether your DLIs have a COVID-19 readiness plan. If your school included in the list, you can not travel to Canada to study during this period.

How to check if a Canadian School is COVID-19 ready

International students are cautioned that they can’t come to Canada before their school is added to the IRCC list of approved schools.

“If your institution isn’t included below, you can not come to Canada to study at this time. If you try to come to Canada when your institution isn’t included, you will not be allowed to board your flight at the port of entry.”

A total of 1, 548 DLIs are listed on the official IRCC website, across all Canadian provinces across the country except Nunavut. Each of these Learning institutions must be individually assessed before they are listed as ‘approved’ on the official IRCC website. Canada immigration ministry regularly updates its list of designated learning institutions regularly as more and more post-secondary institutions have their coronavirus readiness plans approved by their respective provincial or territorial governments.

list of approved DLIs

As of November 17, 427 out of 436 institutions in Quebec have had their coronavirus readiness plans approved. On the other hand, out of the 482 learning institutions in Ontario, only fifty-six (56) have had their plans approved. In British Columbia, eighty-one (81) out of 266 DLIs have approved plans. While there are plans pending federal government approval, certain Canadian universities may not have lodged their COVID-19 readiness plans for approval yet.