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|
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
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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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.
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.
Following are some of the Top Universities in Canada offering admission in the Fall intake:
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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.
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.
Here is a list of universities offering winter 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.
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.
Here is a list of universities offering spring intake in Canada:
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.
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.
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:
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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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.
• 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.
The right time to begin your application for January intake is June- July.
The fall intake starts in the month of September.
• Transcripts of 10th and 12th and degree courses
• CV/ Resume
• Photocopy of Passport
• Extra-curricular certificates
• 2 passport size photographs
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.
‘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!
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