How to choose a school

Before you choose a school, you can get important information in what’s called a course calendar. This book has details on:

  • programs
  • the qualifications you need to get into a school or particular program
  • housing
  • tuition fees and other costs
  • scholarships and financial aid

You can get a copy of a course calendar through the admissions office at a college or university.  You can also contact the nearest Canadian diplomatic mission for more information.

Qualifications/admissions

Each college and university sets its own admission standards. The standards can change from year to year. You will need to check a school’s website for the most current information.

When to apply

Universities

Application deadlines depend on the program and school. Deadlines start as early as September.

Colleges

In general, you will need to apply before February 1, if you want to start school in September. The admission process can take up to 9 months, so it’s a good idea to get an application in early.

What you need to apply

In most cases, you will need to gather these documents before you apply:

Transcripts

Original or certified copies of your high school diploma/record and any postsecondary education records, including courses you took and grades you achieved.

Proof of language skill

Acceptable test results from a certified language test that measures your skill in reading, writing, understanding and speaking either English or French. Generally accepted tests include:

  • test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
  • the International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
  • the Canadian Academic English Language (CAEL) Assessment

Proof of good health

Depending on your citizenship, you might also need to pass a medical exam.  The exam has to be done by an authorized doctor.

If you need an exam, it’s a good idea to make an appointment when you are accepted to an Ontario college or university. Otherwise, it could take up to three months longer to process your application.

Medical exam list: Citizenship and Immigration Canada

List of authorized doctors

A study permit

In most cases, you will need to apply for a study permit before you come to Canada. If you plan to stay 6+ months, you need a permit in all cases.

You can apply for a permit at the Canadian visa office in your country. Check with the local office in your area to see what supporting documents you will need.

Find an international visa office

Get a study permit application

Bring a spouse or child/children

If you plan to bring family members with you, you will need to submit additional documents. Contact the nearest international visa office for more information.

How to apply

Undergraduate programs

First check each school’s website. You will either apply directly to the school or use one of two application centres:

  • the Ontario Universities Application Centre (OUAC)
  • the Ontario College Application Service (OCAS)

Graduate studies

You will apply directly to a university.

Get credentials evaluated

You can have your existing credentials (degrees, diplomas, courses) evaluated through:

  • the Canadian Centre for International Credentials
  • World Education Services

Health insurance

Public universities: you need to enrol in the University Health Insurance Plan.

Public colleges and private colleges/universities: you will need to contact the international student office at the school for more information on health insurance for international students.