Upcoming Intakes to Study in Canada

Upcoming Intakes to Study in Canada


Taking forward our exploration of the maze of intakes and deadlines of universities and colleges, in our series of study-abroad counseling for major destinations for international students like you, today we examine Canada. If you are planning for higher studies in Canada, you are, in many ways, in the same league with aspirants aiming for the other major destination in the North American continent, viz., the US. Let us take a quick look at the landscape of intakes and deadlines for universities and colleges in Canada.


Intakes: Canadian Universities

Similar to the US, universities and colleges across Canada enrol students three times in an academic year: Fall, Winter, and Summer/Spring.


(Also known as September intake)

September September–December/early January Primary/Major intake Most popular intake for international students, including Indian students because

  • Gives you enough time to familiarise yourself with the environment and other conditions which can be completely different from India
  • Weather is more pleasant than severely harsh Canadian winters.
  • Gives applicants 4-5 months’ head start than Winter applicants
  • Universities and departments commence their flagship and major programs
  • A wide variety of courses are offered
  • Greater opportunities for funding such as scholarship and financial aid
  • On-campus jobs, Teaching Assistantship (TA), Research Assistantship (RA) become available
  • More internship opportunities
  • A huge number of applicants
  • Competition is intense.

(Also known as January intake)

January January–May Secondary intake
  • You get the chance to apply if you have missed the Fall intake (provided the university offers an intake).
  • You have less time to adapt to the harsh Canadian winter
  • You get more time for preparation for what the university requires
  • Gives you extra time to prepare application materials and obtain a Canadian study permit
  • You get extra time to improve your English language skills
  • Does not offer as many courses as the Fall intake
  • The number of international applications is small because of the harsh winter climate

(also known as May intake)

May May-August Least preferred intake
  • Offered by few universities/colleges
  • Shorter in duration
  • Least options of courses
  • Students prefer to take a spring break
  • Not a mandatory semester
  • Mostly offer language programs for non-English speaking students
  • The pool of applicants is very small.
  • Competition is the least intense
  • Enhanced chances of getting an offer


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: Undecided?

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


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 2021 and Summer/Spring 2021.



Application deadlines are important milestones in your application process. Hence, you must have a very clear idea about the different deadlines of universities you are applying to. Here is a general guideline for the deadlines of Canadian universities. Top universities normally set their deadlines 8-12 months before the commencement of the program. Also, here you will get to know deadlines for Diploma courses in colleges in Canada which have similar intakes those of the universities

  • Fall/September Intake
  • Top Universities (A, A+): Between December and March of the previous year
  • Colleges: Between February and April of the same year
  • Winter/January Intake
  • Top Universities (A, A+): Between September and November of the previous year
  • Colleges: Between August and September of the previous year
  • Summer or Spring/May Intake:
  • Top Universities (A, A+): February of the same year
  • Colleges: Between January and February of the same year

Also, like many US universities, many Canadian universities offer rolling deadlines.


Types of Deadlines

UG: In case of the UG, the deadlines for Fall are between December and March and for Winter are between September and November

Note that

  • For UG admission through the Ontario Universities’ Application Centre, refer to your university’s website.

MS: In the case of a Master’s, there are generally two types of deadlines.

  • Financial Aid/Scholarship deadline
  • Regular deadline

MBA: Most B-Schools have various rounds of deadlines: Round 1, Round 2, Round 3, etc.

  • Round 1 deadline for B-schools is generally in September or October
  • Round 2 deadline is usually in January
  • Round 3 deadlines are usually in March

Also, note that

  • Most Business schools in Canada either have a fixed deadline or process applications on a rolling basis
  • Most B-Schools strongly recommend international students to apply “no later than” Round 3 to allow enough time for visa processing.

Here we chart out the representative deadlines for full-time MBA admission to a few leading Canadian B-Schools. However, owing to the extraordinary situation because of the CoViD-19 situation, we strongly recommend that you check out your target university website before applying.


Sauder School of Business, University of British Columbia Winter/January 2022 (Extended):

Application deadline August 18, 2021

Document Deadline: November 2021

Fall: February 28 (Representative)

DeGroote School of Business, McMaster University Fall/September 2022:

Round 1 Application: October 15, 2021

Round 2 Application: January 15, 2022

Round 3 Application: March 31, 2022

Fall: May 26 (Representative)

Desautels Faculty of Management, McGill University February 15 previous year (Representative)
Rotman School of Business, University of Toronto Fall/September 2022:

Early Round: August 7, 2021

Round 1: October 5, 2021

Round 2: January 11, 2022

Round 3: March 8, 2022

Round 4: April 26, 2022

Between September 1 and April 30 (Representative)

If you are still feeling a little confused, you can reach out to us at Manya Education. We would be happy to answer the questions that you may have.


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