Apply and obtain admission to Canada

Getting to know some common terms in the Canadian study application process

Regarding the application of Canadian education, you may hear terms that you do not know their meaning. Here we explain some of these common terms to you so that you can apply for a Canadian university with more knowledge:

  • Application:  It is an online or paper form on the university’s website through which you must fill in the requested field, academic semester, personal, academic, and career details, professors’ details for the recommendation letter, language score and other requested information.
  • Apply:  What is Apply Canada? The process of filling out the application, uploading the required documents and sending it to the desired university is called Apply.
  • Application Fee:  It is a fee that universities charge you for reviewing and evaluating your application and documents, which is irreversible regardless of the result.
  • Submit:  In most applications, there is an option called Submit. Submit means submitting an application to the university for consideration, decision or approval. After entering the bank information, you must click on this option and in this case your study admission request will be registered.
  • Deadline:  The final deadline for sending an application and application.
  • Defer: Transferring the start of the academic semester to the next semester is called defer.

    For example, if you have been accepted by the University of Toronto for the September 2022 semester, but for any reason, such as the rejection of your Canadian visa, you are not ready to start your studies in this semester, you can apply to the university to change your entry semester to the following semester. It means to transfer it to January 2023, which is called a deferral.
  • Deposit Fee: A deposit is the same as a deposit. In order to secure your place in the university, you have to pay this fee. In some universities, the university will not issue the final acceptance letter that you need for the Canadian student visa process until you have paid the deposit fee.
  • Tuition Fee:  It is a fee that you have to pay for the course units and it is usually paid per semester.


Canadian universities to apply

There are about 97 universities in Canada, which is more when considering the colleges and other educational institutions of Canada. Canadian universities are classified according to the level of education in three categories: excellent, good and average, and include public and private universities.

Depending on your educational requirements and language score, you can apply to various Canadian universities. It is usually easier to get admission from private universities than public universities.

Following is the list of some of the most important Canadian universities for applying based on the USNews website in 2022:

University name National rank Global ranking
University of Toronto 1 16
University of British Columbia 2 25
McGill University 3 51
McMaster University 4 133
University of Alberta 5 135
University of Montreal 6 151
University of Calgary 7 169
University of Ottawa 8 199
University of Waterloo 9 199
Western University 10 294
Simon Fraser University 11 313
Dalhousie University 12 317
University of Victoria 13 334
Laval University 14 354
University of Manitoba 15 387


Steps to apply to Canada and obtain admission from Canadian universities

Usually, the application process of Canadian universities is different in details, but in general, they all have several main steps, including creating an account, filling out an online application, uploading documents, paying fees, and submitting the application.

To find out the details of the Canadian university application, you must enter the website of that university and read its application instructions. In this section, we have tried to comprehensively explain how to apply to Canadian universities so that you can learn the general steps and instructions for applying and you can apply for each specific university yourself.


Step 1: Assess your situation

Assess your situation including your desired budget and academic requirements such as GPA, language score, age, and goals

Sometimes, even though you have the minimum requirements for admission to a university, your application may not be successful and you may not be accepted. Other factors such as the limited acceptance capacity and the competitiveness of the field affect this issue. Therefore, pay attention to these issues when choosing a university.


Step 2: Select your desired city and province

Consider the important factors of climate, population, job opportunities, and permanent residency requirements of the province you plan to settle in.


Step 3: Choose your field and university and get ready to apply

Your interest is an important factor in choosing a major, but we must not forget that this world is not always to your liking. Therefore, you must be realistic and accept the limitations and choose the ideal university and field according to your resources.


Step 4: Check the application deadline of your desired field

One of the important things you should check before applying to a Canadian university is the application deadline. You should check the deadline or the maximum time limit for sending the application in the department of your desired field, because each field and level of study has a different application deadline. This information   is usually written in the Admission section of the department.


Application deadline for Canadian universities

Admission semesters of Canadian universities The duration of each academic semester Apply deadline
Fall semester From September to late December (September to December) Most of the deadlines are in January, February and March.
winter semester From January to the end of April (December to the end of April) Most of the deadlines are in June and July of the year before the start of the semester. A limited number of fields and universities have deadlines until August and September.
Spring semester / Summer semester is called spring semester in some universities and summer semester in some universities. Note: Only some universities offer spring/summer semester. From May to the end of July (May to the end of July) Usually, the deadlines are in October and November of the previous year. The deadline of some universities is in February and March of the same year.


Tips about application deadlines for Canadian universities

The application deadline is different depending on the field, level of study and university.  The surest way to find out about the application deadline is to check the desired department in that university. 

Considering that you are an international student and you have the study visa process, if you apply for Canadian universities, you must   apply for that university  at least 8 to 12 months before the start of the academic semester .

Do not postpone applying until the last days of the deadline.  The later you apply, the capacity of your desired field may be filled for that academic semester. 

In some Canadian universities,  the deadline for sending applications and the deadline for sending documents  are different. This means that according to a certain date, you must submit the online application first, and then you will be given a longer deadline to send the documents. 

Take the university application deadline seriously.  If you do not send the application and documents required for university admission according to the application date, your application will be rejected. 

Research-oriented courses in postgraduate and doctorate degrees usually have an earlier application deadline.  Since you need to correspond with Canadian university professors for most of these courses, start the correspondence process with professors a few months before the application deadline.


Step 5: Prepare the necessary documents for applying

Before starting the application process, carefully read the website of the department of your desired field and see what documents and conditions are required for admission to that field. Information about required documents   is usually written  in the Admission section of each department.

Prepare the required documents and convert each document into a pdf file and name it correctly in English. Some universities have their own guidelines for preparing documents, and they usually set volume limits for documents. 


Step 6: Enter the university website and create an account

In the website menu of most universities, the sections related to undergraduate studies are named “Undergraduate” and the sections related to postgraduate studies are named “Graduate”. 

If you intend to apply for postgraduate or bachelor’s degrees, you must enter the Undergraduate section, and if you intend to apply for higher degrees such as post-bac, master’s or doctorate, you must enter the Graduate section. 

The image below shows the website of the University of Ottawa. As you can see, the Undergraduate and Graduate sections are in the menu, and by clicking on each of these sections, the available fields (Undergraduate or Graduate Programs) and also how to apply (How to Apply) are displayed in those sections.

Upon entering the How to Apply section of the university, there is usually a section called Create Account. Apply starts with creating an account. After clicking on Create Account, define a username and password for the account and then enter the main application.


Step 7: Enter the online application and fill the various parts of the application with the required information. 

After creating an account and entering the main application, enter all the requested information, including personal information, home address and phone number, education information, job information and, if possible, your honors and academic achievements. Usually, in the application of universities, from the very beginning, you have to select the name of the field, degree and semester from the list.

Other information that you must enter in the universities application is the job information and contact information of two or three professors of the university where you study in the country of origin or the information of your employer so that they can write a letter of recommendation for you later.

Usually, the requirements for admission to each field and university are different, and depending on it, two or three letters of recommendation from university professors may be required. Some universities are more flexible and usually accept one or two letters of recommendation from the employer. Therefore, before starting the application process, talk to your professors and employer and get their approval to send a letter of recommendation.

After entering the professors’ information, an email will be sent to them from the Canadian university and they will be asked to send the recommendation letter form along with the recommendation letter to the email address of the Canadian university. 

For most of the research-oriented fields in the doctoral and master’s degree, it is necessary to enter the name of the supervisor who is going to be your guide in the future in the application. You have to find the supervisor before the application process and through correspondence with the university professors. 

Be very careful in entering your name and information and do not write anything wrong. After submitting the application, it is difficult to modify the information. 

After filling each field, click on the Save option and save the information. Otherwise, you have to enter your information from the beginning. In most university applications, it was possible to exit the application after filling each section and saving its information, and re-enter the application whenever you want and complete the rest. 

Usually, the application of Canadian universities is active for up to one month, and during this period you must complete and submit it. After one month, there is a possibility that your account will be deactivated.


Step 8: Upload the necessary documents in the application.

 In some university applications, it is possible to upload required documents. But in some other applications, this possibility arises after submitting the application. So check what kind of university application you want.

The documents that you usually have to upload to the Canadian universities application include resume, statement of purpose, language certificate, and educational documents. 

If the application you are looking for is of a type where it is not possible to upload documents, after submitting the application, you should wait for an email from the university with instructions on how to activate the university portal and upload documents. Activating the student portal in each university has a different process. You usually need to create a new username and password. 

For example, the application process at the University of Windsor is as mentioned, and after applying, an email containing instructions for uploading documents will be sent to you. The following image is from the University of Windsor website about this:

On the website of some universities,  the steps after applying  are written, according to the instructions, you can activate your account, upload the necessary documents and check the status of your application. Therefore, according to the application system of these universities, you will not be sent an activation email after applying, and you must follow the instructions on the university website.


Step 9: Pay the application fee and submit the application at the end. 

 After entering all the required information, pay the application fee and finally submit it. To pay for the application, you need an international credit card, Visa card or MasterCard. At the end of all applications, there is an option called Submit, which you must click on after entering the bank card information. 

By clicking the Submit option, your application will be sent to the university online. Always take a screenshot of the payment page and the page that confirms the submission of the application and keep it for yourself to show the confirmation to the university in case of possible problems.


Step 10: Wait for the university email and receive the application number. 

After submitting the file, you will receive a number called Application Number or Student ID or Student Number. This number is specific to your application for that university and it is very important that you keep it and write this number in the subject of your email in all your correspondence with the university. 


Step 11: Activate your university account. 

After applying, you will receive an email from the university the same day or a few days later, which contains the necessary information to activate your university portal. As we explained in step 8, the application process may be different in some universities and this email will not be sent to you. Instead, you should read the university’s website and see how to activate your portal after applying. 

By activating your university portal, you can upload the necessary documents if necessary (depending on the university’s application rules) and you can  check the status of your application  and see if all the documents have been received by the university and the application is complete.


Step 12: Receive your initial acceptance letter. 

 You will receive the result one or more months after applying to a Canadian university. If you are accepted, you will receive an acceptance letter along with a student number and DLI number.

 Universities that need to pay a deposit first send a letter called Offer Letter, which is not the final acceptance letter and cannot be used to apply for a Canadian study visa. In order for the university to send you the final letter of acceptance, which is called Letter of Acceptance-LOA, it is necessary to pay the university deposit first. 

Some other Canadian universities do not need to pay a deposit. If you are accepted from these universities, you will be issued an LOA letter from the very beginning.


Step 13: If necessary, pay the university deposit.

If your chosen university requires you to pay a deposit, you must pay this fee in order for the final acceptance letter or Letter of Acceptance to be sent to you. 

To pay the deposit, each university has different payment methods. Usually they all have an online payment method. Due to the embargo on Iranian banks, you cannot directly make your payment from Iran to Canada. So you need to get help from someone who has a Canadian bank account.

 If you have relatives in Canada, you can ask them to do this for you. Otherwise, another way is to get help from the exchange. 

After paying the deposit, you need to send the receipt to the university of your choice. 


Step 14: Receive your final acceptance letter. 

It usually takes one to two weeks to receive the LOA after sending the deposit receipt to the university. When the final acceptance letter is sent to you, read it carefully. Check that your name and surname, the name of your field and level of study and other relevant items are written correctly. 

If everything was perfect, apply for a Canadian study visa in the next step if you are ready and have prepared the necessary documents. 


Step 15: Mail the official paper translation of your documents to the university.

After receiving your LOA acceptance letter, almost all Canadian universities will ask you to mail them your transcripts. Please note that you should not send the original academic documents, but only the original translation of the academic documents and transcripts of the previous level  (Official Transcript) is required.

In the application stage, the translation of the documents does not need a judicial seal, but when you want to post the educational documents to a Canadian university, your documents must be  officially translated, that is, they must have a translator’s seal and a judicial seal. 

Documents should be sent by your university. Take the translation of the documents along with the copies of the Farsi pages to the university where you study and ask the international department of the university to mail the documents to the address of the destination university. If the home university does not do this for you, get the official university envelope from them. The envelope must be stamped by the university.  Then put your academic documents in the university envelope and close the door. 

The sender’s address  must be the address of the university where you study, and in the  receiver’s address field  , you must write the address of the Canadian university that is written in your acceptance letter. Be sure to write your name and student number on the envelope. 

Note: You can postpone sending the academic documents after receiving the visa result.


How do I apply for a PhD in Canada?

Applying for a doctorate degree is more time-consuming than other degrees.

All the things that   were said in the section “Steps of applying to Canada and obtaining admission from Canadian universities” also apply to applying for a doctorate degree, but applying for a doctorate in Canada has another additional step that must be done before applying, which is the appointment of a professor. It is a guide. 

To apply for a PhD in Canada, you must complete two main steps: 


1. Determining the supervisor

The difference between applying for a doctorate degree compared to master’s (course-based) and bachelor’s degrees is that in most fields you have to find a supervisor and so-called supervisor for your doctoral thesis before you apply.


2. Apply and send documents to the university

After getting approval from one of the university professors, you can start your application process for Canadian universities. Be sure to enter the name of your professor in the application and then submit it.

After admission to the university, it is possible to receive a scholarship from the professor and the university.


Canadian scholarship application

Canadian scholarships   are funded by various sources such as the Canadian government, non-governmental organizations and Canadian universities . As an international student in Canada, you have the chance to get funding from the mentioned sources and study in Canada for free or with low tuition.

Applying for Canadian education funds is usually possible in two ways: 

Separate application

Scholarship opportunities offered by Canadian government agencies and non-governmental organizations require a separate application.  This means that in addition to the main application that you submit to apply for a major in the university of your choice, you must submit another application separately to apply for a scholarship in Canadian government or non-government organizations.

For example,  the famous Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships Program is offered by the Canadian government to native students and foreign students and requires a separate application.

Some university scholarships also require a separate application.  Many universities in Canada offer a variety of scholarships for international students at different levels of study, most of which require a separate application.

For example,  the Simon Fraser University Financial Aid and Awards are offered to research-oriented PhD and Master’s degree students, which requires a separate application from the field.

How to apply

To take action to receive such scholarship opportunities that require a separate application, you must first enter the website of that governmental, non-governmental organization and university and prepare the necessary documents for applying for that scholarship according to the conditions and instructions stated therein. Then create an account, fill out the online application and submit the scholarship application like the university application process.

Your application will be reviewed by the scholarship team of the organization in question and finally they will inform you of the result.


Simultaneous application

Some scholarships offered in Canadian universities do not require a separate application. In this way, the application for these types of funds is done at the same time as the application of the study field in the Canadian university and only one application is submitted. If you have merit and a strong academic or research status, the university will automatically allocate an amount to you as an academic fund and announce it in the acceptance letter.


?Which is the easiest university in Canada to study

Brandon University, Memorial University, University of Saskatchewan and University of Manitoba are among the universities where it is easier to get admission in Canada. But hurry to apply!

To apply to Canada, you have to consider many factors such as GPA, language score, residency requirements of the major and the annual acceptance rate of the university. The most convenient university for admission to Canada is not necessarily the best choice, and you should choose the right option according to your admission requirements.


Admission rate of Canadian universities 2022-2023

The acceptance rate in the best universities in Canada is usually between  40% and 58.7%  . This means that, for example, if a university receives 4,000 applications for admission in a year, only about half of them, i.e. 2,000 applications and students, will be accepted. Therefore, the competition to enter these universities is very high.

Medium-ranked Canadian universities usually accept more students, but you should be careful to choose the right university for your study visa process.


Application for Canadian study visa after university application

After receiving admission from Canadian universities, now it’s time to apply for a Canadian study visa. Plan to submit your visa application no later than 3 months before the start of the academic semester. 

To obtain a Canadian study visa, you must have conditions without which the chances of getting a visa will be low:

have sufficient financial ability to finance one year of study and living in Canada;

Get admission from one of the accredited Canadian universities or colleges with a DLI number;

Show that your stay in Canada is temporary and you will return to your country after graduation;

Have strong emotional, work, financial and social ties in your country that justify your return to the country;

Do not have a bad history and be physically healthy.

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