Upcoming Intakes to Study in Canada

As one of the most popular study abroad destinations, Canadian universities provide more than one intake/admission option to those interested in pursuing higher education in the country. Unlike Indian universities which offer only one admission intake, Canadian universities offer three admission intakes.

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. There are three intakes in Canada.

Understanding these intakes in Canada is critical for international students because these intakes correspond to separate academic sessions. Choosing the right session will allow you to make timely changes to your standardised test scores and Canadian study permit.



(Also known as September intake)

September September–December/early January The most popular among Indian applicants; the Fall intake begins in September

(Also known as January intake)

January January–May Although less popular, it is ideal for students who missed the Fall intake. The session officially begins in January

(also known as May intake)

May May-August Only a limited number of courses (some short-term courses in Canada) are open to international students for Summer enrolment. The session begins in April and lasts until May.


Which Intake for Me?

You need to decide carefully which intake best suits you. 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 vs. Spring Intake in Canada: Undecided?

We suggest that before you decide on your university intake, consider the following:

Program Consider
MS in Canada
  • Many of the top universities do not have a Summer/Spring intake for MS programs. Research thoroughly your university
  • Double-check deadlines at universities
  • What kind of classes do you stand to gain or miss by choosing your intake?
  • Weather can bring either an advantage or disadvantage for you. Canadian winters are harsh and cold
  • Fall intake has greater financial aid opportunities
PhD in Canada
  • Networking with a professor whom you can assist in his/her research is important
  • Intake is less important for a PhD applicant.
  • However, some Graduate Schools such as the Graduate School at the University of British Columbia have specific intake and application deadlines for PhD programs
MBA in Canada
  • Most B-Schools offer their flagship MBA programs in the Fall/September intake
  • Fall intake is the preferred intake; few universities offer Winter/Summer intake.

However, a few B-schools such as Sauder School of Business, DeGroote School of Business, Desautels Faculty of Management, Molson School of Business do offer Winter intake for part-time MBA

So, with Winter/January intake being the harshest time of the year to start class at a Canadian university and therefore a less viable option, the upcoming intakes in Canada for you should be Fall 2022 and Summer/Spring 2022.


Procedure of Choosing Intake

If you are taking February 2023 Intake, here is an overview of the timeline for the February intake:

Step-1: Shortlist universities

Step-2: Attempt Standardized Test

Step-3: Fill Out the Applications

Step-4: Interview And Acceptance

Step-5: Prepare your Travel Documents and Financial Aids

Step-6: February Intake 20


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Courses Available in Different Canada Intakes

Courses Offered Intake
All kinds of programs (undergraduate and postgraduate) Fall
Selected study programs Winter
Short-term courses Summer


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.

Following are some of the Top Universities in Canada offering admission in the Fall semester and their respective application deadlines:

University Fall Application Deadlines
University of Toronto 13 Jan
Queen’s University 1 Feb
Western University 1 Feb
University of Montreal 1 Feb
University of Alberta 1 Jul


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.

University Winter Application Deadlines
University of Toronto 13 Jan
McGill University 15 Jan
University of Montreal 1 Sep
The University of British Columbia 15 Jan
University of Alberta 1 Nov


Scholarships for Winter Intake in Canada 

Following is the list of some scholarships for winter intake in Canada:

  • Lester B. Pearson International Scholarship Program at University of Toronto
  • Donald A. Wehrung International Student Award
  • Humber International Entrance Scholarships
  • UBC Graduate Global Leadership Fellowships for Developing Country Students
  • University of Manitoba Graduate Fellowships
  • Karen McKellin International Leader of Tomorrow Award at University of British Columbia
  • University of Calgary International Entrance Scholarship
  • Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships (Vanier CGS)
  • Waterloo International Master’s Award of Excellence
  • International Undergraduate Student Bursary at University of Manitoba



Spring Intake in Canada

Duration: May, June, July, August

May intake is also known as spring intake or summer intake in Canada. 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.


Universities for Spring Intake in Canada

University Spring Application Deadlines
University of Toronto 15 Mar
McMaster University 1 Apr
The University of British Columbia 15 Jan
University of Montreal 1 Feb
University of Alberta 1 Mar



MBA Intakes in Canada

In Canada, MBA is a very popular curriculum. Thousands of overseas students apply to the country to study business management and its different specializations. This program is offered at many universities in September and January.

MBA being a highly coveted program around the world due to its promising career outcomes is a very popular degree in Canada. During an academic year, approximately 50 business schools in Canada offer approximately 100 MBA programs.

Some universities provide the MBA degree through excellent accelerated programs, such as the one-year MBA in Canada. The majority of Canadian universities offer MBA programs in the Fall or Winter.


Pros and Cons of Different Intakes in Canada

Intake Popularity Pros Cons
Fall Intake Highly Popular Good weather
Enough time to familiarize yourself with the environment
A head start of 4-5 months for applications
Apply for major courses
Great funding and scholarship opportunities
Intense Competition
A lot of applicants apply during this time
Winter Intake Popular Gives you time to prepare for the study permit and visa
More time to prepare for the university application
Harsh Canadian winters
Less international applicants
Limited courses available
Summer Intake Least Popular Least intense competition
Better chances of getting the offer
Only Short-terms courses are available
Not a mandatory semester
Offered by very few universities
Students prefer taking a spring break


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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