How to apply to a university in Canada
Whether you want to pursue a master’s, doctorate, or undergraduate studies, studying at a Canadian university is a great opportunity for you. Therefore, we explain what processes you must follow to apply to a university in that country if you are a foreign student.
Make a list of your university options
First, you must create a list of your university options and verify they are a Designated Learning Institution – DLI . This means that it is approved by the Government of Canada to receive international students.
Also, consider the tuition fees, as these can significantly increase the costs of study. They almost always vary according to your country of origin, therefore, it is best to look for more information on the websites of each academic program.
Also, research about the career or specialization you want to take and the language in which it is taught. Keep in mind that Canada is bilingual, so you can select a Master’s degree taught in English, French, or both.
On the other hand, regarding academic issues, high grades are important in the application process, since many of the institutions require grades that are 70% above average. Therefore, the higher they are, the better your chances of enrolling in a good university.
Also, if you are over the age of 25 and graduated at least two years prior to your application, you may be required to provide information about your previous jobs.
Get a language certificate
In Canada, you can choose from a wide range of master’s degrees in English and French. In that sense, depending on the language in which you choose to study, you will have to demonstrate your level of proficiency.
All Canadian schools accept the TOEFL test which is even the preferred test for more than 80% of graduate programs. We recommend that you take this test one year before your application date at the university of your choice and prepare yourself in advance. For this, you can enroll in the TOEFL exam preparation program
On the other hand, regarding the French tests accepted by Canadian universities, you can opt for:
Gather your college application documents
Each university establishes its own admission requirements, however, the most common are the following:
- Graduation certificate/diploma
- Application form
- Curriculum vitae or CV
- A letter of motivation
- Evidence that you can support yourself financially during your studies in Canada
- Two letters of academic reference certifying readiness for Masters/PhD studies (including letters from employers)
Translated documents must be certified by a professional translator. In addition, you must include the original versions of the documents.
Get a study permit
As a foreign citizen, you will require a study permit before you can formally enter Canada to study. Therefore, before submitting the application, make sure you have all the necessary documentation.
In general, a study permit will be valid for the entire duration of the academic program plus an additional 90 days, allowing individuals to prepare for a permit extension or to leave Canada.
On this, the Canadian embassy or consulate in your country should have the most up-to-date information on what is required. Likewise, the university to which you have been accepted can also provide you with more information.
Do not forget that all documents must be in English. Otherwise, they must be translated by a certified translator . In addition, since the expected processing time for a study permit may vary depending on your country of origin, we recommend that you apply for it in advance.
Letter of recommendation
The letter of recommendation plays a very important role in the admission process, especially for Masters and Doctoral programs.
It is a statement signed by a person who knows you well professionally or who has taught you a subject related to the course you are applying for. You should list your positive and negative qualities, strengths and weaknesses, your character and integrity, and other similar information.
The author or teacher must indicate their position, how long they have known the applicant and in what capacity. Likewise, he should briefly discuss the need, importance, and usefulness of the study that the applicant intends to carry out.
Write an essay
Personal essays and/or motivation letter also play a very important role in the evaluation process of your application for both admission and financial aid (if you have applied), since they provide the faculty with information about you.
For MBA candidates, this is probably the most important criteria. The text should be concise, define your academic goals and/or research plans.
In addition, you must include the justification for choosing the academic program and major, and for selecting the particular university, as well as the advantages and benefits of studying that particular course. Do not forget to emphasize how your profile adds value to the program to which you are applying, what makes your profile different!
Application Deadlines for Universities in Canada
International students planning to study in Canada have the opportunity to begin their studies during two enrollment sessions:
- The application deadline for winter registration is September 1.
- Summer registration begins on January 15 for Master’s students and earlier for Bachelor’s students.
Deadlines vary between institutions and different degree courses at the same university may have different deadlines. That is why you should always check the official syllabus website for up-to-date information.
Now, to increase your chances of being accepted, we recommend that you apply 8-12 months before the courses start. That way, you’ll receive an official acceptance letter from the university a month or two after applications are closed.
Final steps after receiving your acceptance letter
After you meet the requirements, complete the application process, and are accepted to the university, you will need to take a few additional steps:
- Get health insurance. The amount covered varies depending on the Canadian province where you will live.
- Find out if you need a Canadian study permit (Canada student visa) and apply for it as soon as possible after receiving your acceptance letter, to ensure that you are allowed to enter the country. Some European Union (EU) countries do not need to apply for a student visa, so check if your country is one of them.
- Buy a plane ticket to Canada only after receiving confirmation of your visa.
- Students must officially register with the university after arriving in Canada to confirm that they will start their classes.
Now, the last step is: Enjoy your study trip.
As we mentioned, it is recommended that you review the requirements to apply to a university in Canada in advance and take the exams you need in advance so as not to have any mishaps.