Upcoming Intakes to Study in Canada

As one of the most popular study abroad destinations, Canadian universities provide three admission intakes unlike Indian universities which offer only one admission intake. These intakes are short time periods throughout the year when applications are accepted, processed and streamlined for a pool of courses offered at Canadian universities.

Understanding these intakes in Canada is important for students because these intakes correspond to separate academic sessions. Choosing the right session will allow you to timely plan your standardized tests, submit applications and apply for a Canadian study permit.


Type of Intake Starts from
Fall/September Intake September – December/early January
Winter/January Intake January – May
Summer/Spring/May Intake May – August


Which Intake to Choose?

You need to decide carefully which intake best suits you. Usually, the majority of the students prefer the September intake in Canada. Then comes the January intake and the least preferred intake is the May intake in Canada. You must consider the fact that the deadlines for applying to an intake are usually a few months before the date of the starting of the semester.

Also, note that

  • For a master’s level study, your deadline may vary depending on your program/subject. For example, deadlines for intensely competitive subjects such as Computer Engineering, Data Analytics, or an MBA at a top School can be as early as November of the previous year
  • Schools/Departments/Faculty within the same university may have different deadlines

Ideally, if you are aiming for a top Canadian university, you should start your applications 12-15 months before the intake. Universities usually take about 8-10 weeks to process the applications.

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Fall Intake in Canada

The Fall Intake is the most popular intake for higher education in Canada, according to Canadian universities. In most cases, the maximum number of seats are available in this intake. Over and above that, if you wish to study a unique program with limited seats, this is the best time to apply.

The majority of Canadian universities have application deadlines for the Fall semester between September and December. However, international applicants should apply as soon as possible because only a few seats are available for international students at Canada’s top universities. Universities accept applications during the fall semester, which runs from August to October.


Merits of Applying in Fall Intake

Students applying for a program in the Fall intake in Canada are 4-5 months ahead of the winter intake applicants. The competition is fierce for this intake. Students who apply in the Fall intake in Canada get ample time and space to adapt themselves in the next six months. Students get exposure to off-campus career opportunities and internships.


List of Top Universities for Fall Intake

Following are some of the Top Universities in Canada offering admission in the Fall intake:

  • University of Toronto
  • University of British Columbia
  • McGill University
  • University of Calgary
  • Western University
  • University of Alberta
  • University of Waterloo
  • University of Ottawa
  • Ryerson University


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Winter Intake in Canada

The Winter intake witnesses the lowest number of applications to Canadian universities. The reason for this is that prospective students from warm climate zones find it difficult to adjust to the extremely cold weather. The Winter intake starts in January and can last until April. International students who intend to start their studies in the Winter session must apply by the application deadlines in September & November. In Spite of the fact that the universities in Canada offer fewer programs in the Winter/ September intake, the scholarships, career opportunities and internships offered are more or less the same as the Fall intake.


Merits of Applying in Winter Intake

Students applying in the winter intake in Canada get sufficient to prepare for your application and get your student visa. Students get the higher chances of getting into their preferred university due to lower competition. Because the strength of the class will be a little less, the interaction with the faculty will be easier.

List of Top Universities Winter Intake

Here is a list of universities offering winter intake in Canada:

  • The University of Toronto
  • Carleton University
  • Queen’s University
  • Lambton College
  • McGill University
  • Douglas College
  • University of Ottawa
  • Mount Saint Vincent University
  • Centennial College


Spring Intake in Canada

May intake is also known as spring intake or summer intake in Canada. This intake starts from May and it goes till August. This is the least popular intake of all the input options available in Canada. There are not many colleges that offer a course during the spring semester, and those that do are rare. Only a few Canadian universities offer minimal programs during the Spring semester. The session usually starts in April or May. The application deadlines for the Spring intake are typically set for February and March. The dates, however, may differ depending on the university.


Merits of Applying in Spring Intake

Students applying during the spring intake in Canada can opt for a few interesting short-term courses and in the meantime can apply to full-time courses for the upcoming intakes. This helps the students have another option for their next step in their career path or higher studies.


List of Top Universities for Spring Intake

Here is a list of universities offering spring intake in Canada:

  • University of Waterloo
  • Ryerson University
  • Northern College
  • Centennial College
  • Vancouver Community College


Steps to Prepare for the Intakes in Canada 2023

The admissions procedure is mainly the same across universities and colleges in Canada. An online application, academic transcripts, and an English language competency exam are usually required for all intakes. A short, step-by-step explanation from beginning to ending is provided below to help you in making the best preparations. For each intake, the process will be the same.

  • You should have a list of 8–12 universities to which you will submit your applications. Visit university websites and take note of the criteria for applications, deadlines, etc.
  • You should be familiar with your options for bank loans and scholarships to help pay for your education.
  • Start by downloading admissions materials from the institution websites. The majority of brochures are released over a year earlier.
  • Depending on the subject and university, get ready for standardized tests like the GMAT, GRE, SAT, TOEFL, or IELTS.
  • Prepare for GRE/GMAT at least three months before the test date.
  • Register at least one month ahead to the exam date for the TOEFL/IELTS.
  • To ensure you have enough time in case you need to retake an exam, schedule the appropriate tests.
  • Make a short list of universities and get your application ready. Think about your unique skills as a candidate, then list your advantages and evaluate yourself.
  • For the required 2-3 reference letters, get in touch with your lecturers and current supervisors, at least a month before the deadline for your application.
  • Start writing your essays and SOP. Give yourself a month to properly arrange these documents.
  • Apply before the end date!
  • After uploading your applications to several universities, now just wait and let the universities review and respond to your application.
  • While this is going on, the colleges will set up online interviews and group conversations. Take a part in the video or personal interview. 
  • Make your decision as soon as you receive your admission letter.
  • According to the deadline, inform the universities of your choice.
  • For your admission to be confirmed, you must pay a non-refundable deposit.
  • Create a file for your student visa. You must confirm and submit an online application.
  • Apply for a student loan as soon as you get your letter of acceptance.
  • In Canada, search for and apply for international scholarships.
  • It is now time to book your flight to Canada to begin your study abroad experience
  • It is necessary to get a global debit or credit card.
  • Gather all the copies and original paperwork you will need to travel to Canada.
  • Make sure you are prepared to travel to Canada by checking out a pre-departure checklist.


How to Apply for Admission Intakes in Canada?

Whichever term you choose, try to apply as soon as possible. This is due to the fact that most universities in Canada operate on a first-come, first-served basis. Early applications have a higher chance of being accepted, especially for the Fall session.

Prepare for the standardised tests required to apply to your preferred program at a preferred university in Canada. Generally, undergraduate programs require SAT or ACT scores. GRE or GMAT scores may be required for graduate programs.


Documents Required for Admission Intakes in Canada

The eligibility criteria and supporting documentation for intakes in Canada vary greatly depending on the universities and programs chosen.

The following are the supporting documents for international students applying to Canada’s Top Universities:

  • Completed Application forms
  • Application fees
  • Standardized test scores
  • English proficiency test results
  • Transcripts of academic work
  • CV/resumé
  • Statement of Purpose (SOP)
  • Personal statement
  • Letters of Recommendation (LORs)
  • Evidence of financial capability
  • Health coverage (if required)
  • Student permit or visa based on your program of study
  • Immigration papers

In addition to the general requirements, graduate programs require a competitive GPA, standardised test scores such as the GRE or GMAT, work experience, and professional LOR(s).

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Can I get admission in Canada with 6 bands?

Yes, an IELTS score of 6 is appropriate for overseas students interested in studying in Canada. However, most universities in Canada accept 6 or 5.5 IELTS score.

Which universities have winter intake in Canada?

• Ivey Business School, University of Western Ontario
• Schulich School of Business, York University
• John Molson School of Business, Concordia University
• Smith School of Business, Queen’s University
Fanshawe College.
• Mount Saint Vincent University.
Lambton College.
Cape Breton University.
Douglas College.
Carleton University.
• Centennial College.
Royal Roads University.

When should I apply for January intake in Canada?

The right time to begin your application for January intake is June- July.

Which month is fall intake in Canada?

The fall intake starts in the month of September.

What are the required documents for studying in Canada?

• Transcripts of 10th and 12th and degree courses
• CV/ Resume
• Photocopy of Passport
• Extra-curricular certificates
• 2 passport size photographs

Can I work after studying Masters in Canada?

Students can apply for a post-graduation work permit (PGWP) to work in Canada after completing their MS in Canada. The permission is valid for 8-36 months.

When can I start applying for study abroad programs?

‘ASAP’ is the word. Depending on the programme and the university, there may be one, two, or three intakes in a year. Some programmes also have rolling deadlines. Roughly, the programmes start with the Fall semester in September/October and start accepting applications as early as January/February of that year till about June/July.

However, it is important to note that there would be millions of applications pouring in, so your application process should start more than a year earlier. Start researching on the programmes that suit your profile and career aspirations and shortlist the universities. Be aware of the deadlines but do not wait for them. Get your documents in place and start sending your applications just as soon as they are ready. After all, it is the early bird that gets the worm!

When should I start applying for fall 2023 in Canada?

Applicants for the September intake in Canada may apply between November and March. Check the Deadlines for the colleges/universities you want to attend and apply at least a month ahead of time. Respond to university emails as soon as possible.

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