How to Apply for University in Canada? Comprehensive Guide



Updated date: 12th January 2023

With upcoming Admission Sessions, for both September and January intake in Canada, there is a gradual increase in the number of international students migrating to Study in Canada. Canada cannot be taken lightly when it comes to Study Abroad, being the largest host around the world to international students in Canada colleges in Universities.

How to apply to Universities in Canada?

As the intakes come closer, ַϲ brings you the complete guide to apply to Universities in Canada for 2023. Whether you would like to go for a Bachelor, PGDM, or a Master’s Program, Canada colleges and Universities have simplified it to apply to study in the Canada process.


Here is a step-by-step college and Canada University application guide to Canada colleges and Universities for international students:

How to Apply to Universities in Canada for International Students

Step 1: Choosing from Canada Colleges and Universities

The first step of study abroad in Canada will be choosing from the best Canadian Universities and Colleges as per your preference. This means your subject of interest, field of study and your academics. Choose what suits you best as per the requirements. If you are just starting, let us help you.

Given below is the list of Universities in Canada that are known for their quality education:

  1. McGill University
  2. University of Toronto
  3. University of British Columbia
  4. University of Alberta
  5. Université de Montréal 


Here is the list of colleges in Canada for international students:

  1. Centennial College
  2. Durham College
  3. Humber College
  4. Seneca College
  5. Sheridan College

If you need more help on choosing whether to go for a University or College, check out: Should I study in University or college in Canada?


Step 2: Application to Study in Canada and Eligibilities

Once you have zeroed down on a college and university, the next step is to apply to universities in Canada. In most cases, you apply to a university in Canada online.

  • Apply to Universities in Canada Online:

All of them are easy to apply to universities in Canada. Go to the official website of the college or University you want to apply, and check the application guidelines. Each of the Canada Colleges and Universities will have their own guidelines, deadlines, and eligibility criteria of their own.


The Procedure to apply for universities in Canada will change, too. In some provinces, there will be a centralised application process, while in others, you have to apply to universities in Canada by individual University applications.


As for Eligibility, Colleges will need good secondary school scores and English Language proficiency, and Universities might ask for entrance exams along with academic certificates and English Language Proficiency.

  • How Many Universities in Canada can you Apply for at Once?

The students are allowed to apply for as many universities in Canada as they want. However, for many universities, students can only apply for up to three courses for a single university. Those rules will depend on the universities you are applying to, and the field of study.


Step 3: Documents required to apply to Universities in Canada:

To Apply to a college, you will require mark sheets and transcripts of secondary and higher secondary schooling. If the documents are not in English, the institute will ask you to get them translated before the submission.

To apply to universities in Canada, you will need to submit the same documents, and if the course is for postgraduate applicants, you will be asked to provide your degree certificates and transcripts.

Normally, the documents are submitted online and scanned copies are sent to the institute. If you are sending hard copies of the documents, make sure you have read the guidelines clearly. Some Canada colleges and Universities do not return the documents once submitted. In that case, you should not send the original documents.


Step 4: Language Proficiency

This is one of the most fundamental and integral part of the application process for Canada Colleges and Universities. There are two languages of Instruction: English and French.


Depending on the Institution, you will be asked to prove your Language proficiency. Normally, students take IELTS, TOEFL and other language proficiency tests as a proof.


What average scores are required for top Canadian Universities? Find out here: English Language Requirements to Study in Top Universities in Canada.


In some Canada colleges and Universities, a test can be avoided and some alternatives are possible. Make sure you go through the language proficiency requirements to apply for University in Canada carefully on the website. You can find more information on that here: Apply to Study in Canada without English Language Tests.


Important note: If you want to apply for Canada Student Visa through SDS Visa process, it is mandatory to have the IELTS score of 6.5 overall, and there is no alternative. Even if you apply to a Canadian university without IELTS, the SDS process will require the IELTS scores. The particular requirements for the SDS Program can be found here: SDS Visa Guide to Study in Canada.


Step 5: Deadlines and Fees


  • Universities in Canada Application Deadlines: When do you apply to a university in Canada?

The most important thing to keep in mind is to keep the application period. Canada Colleges and Universities generally provide a window of the application, and it changes with institutions and intakes.

However, that is the window when the application should be submitted. You should start preparing your application and documentation eight to ten months before the intake month. Here are the deadlines for Intakes in Canada:

 Intakes in Canada 



 August - September 


January - February


February - April

For more information on Application Deadlines, read: Intakes in Canada

  • How much does it cost to apply to university in Canada?

Canada colleges and universities do not have a unanimous fee structure or timeline. Some of them have application fees, and they are mostly non-refundable. There are universities in Canada without application fee for International Students and provide a free applications to universities in Canada. Once you receive a letter of acceptance, you are asked to pay a confirmation fee if you decide to go ahead with that particular college or University. For more information click here: Cost of studying in Canada


  • Apply for University Scholarship in Canada

There are a number of scholarships available for international students who are willing to apply to universities in Canada. If one wants to apply for these scholarships, the right time to apply would be the same time when you apply for your chosen course. Both Universities and Students' visas in Canada require the candidates to apply for the scholarships beforehand. Here is all you need to know about Scholarships in Canada


  • Apply for Cheap Universities in Canada:

It is well-known that the universities in Canada are comparatively more affordable than the universities in the neighboring USA. However, there are some universities that have low tuition fees even by Canadian standards:


Step 6: Apply for Study Permit Canada:

Once you receive the confirmation letter from Canada Colleges and Universities, the next step is to apply for Canada Student Visa.


As Said above, students from India, China, the Philippines, and Vietnam can apply for Canada through SDS process introduced earlier this year. The SDS speeds up the Canada study permit process and has a lot lesser paperwork compared to earlier processes. Here is all you need to know about SDS visa process for applying to Study in Canada: New Student Direct Stream (SDS) Rule to Study in Canada.


If you are not eligible as per SDS guidelines, your application will be processed as per a normal study permit application for Canada. It takes a little longer than SDS, so make sure you apply for Canada Visa before at least three months of departure. To know about Canada Study Permit, click: Visa and Entry Requirements for Studying in Canada


Step 7: Arrival, Study and Work in Canada:

Since 2014, Students arriving in Canada to study for more than six months do not need a separate work permit to study on or off campus. International students are allowed to work for 20 hours per week during the study sessions, and full-time at the time of spring breaks and vacations.


However, it is necessary to get a SIN (Social Insurance Number) before you start working in Canada. Depending on your course, you can get up to three years of Stay Back period in Canada to continue your studies, or get a job in the industry related to your studies.


Now that you are familiar with the process, you can go ahead and start your Canada journey by having a look at our “apply to Study in Canada Country Guide”. If you have any queries, you can ask us in the box below, and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

About the Author:

Dhruv is Content Creator at ַϲ.com. He is fond of words and everything related to them. Writing about different things from around the world gives him immense pleasure, and a very healthy by-product is sharing the information and helping others in the process.

Categories: Canada

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