Students are increasingly finding Canada to be an excellent destination for pursuing their higher studies. Securing an admission into a Canadian university can be a competitive challenge for most aspirants, but that should not discourage you from applying to some of the best universities that have a global ranking. Familiarising yourself with the application process, planning in accordance and following these steps would make the process of applying to a Canadian university extremely simple and efficient.
1. Choosing the program and university
The first step is to decide on the program you wish to pursue. Subsequently, make a tentative list of the preferred universities that offer your program of choice. For example, if you wish to apply for an MS in Computer Science, you can look at universities like University of British Columbia, University of Waterloo, McGill University and University of Alberta that offer various specializations in Computer Science.
2. Admission requirements
Your choice of university will often be dictated by your academic and work profile. The universities offering the desired program ask the student to fulfil a set of pre-requisites to qualify for the program. Hence it is important that you ensure you meet these requirements and can be considered as an ideal fit for the program. Looking up the program’s admission criteria will thereby, narrow down the list to the universities that match your profile. Each university in Canada has set its own admission requirements and evaluates each student individually. Nevertheless, secondary school graduation and a consistent academic proficiency are some of the baseline requirements that all universities have.
3. Requesting/Downloading application forms
Application forms for universities can be obtained either by requesting the universities by sending them query letters or alternatively, they can be downloaded from their respective websites.
4. Collecting supplementary documentation
Along with the application forms, you will be required to furnish additional documentation that includes transcripts from your school, relevant essays and resume. Documents written in languages other than English may need to be translated into the same.
The following is a list of transcripts each student needs to supply to the university:
- Application form
- Transcripts from school/college
- Statement of Purpose
- Letters of Recommendation
- Resume (in case of MBA and other technical courses)
- Score reports of GRE/GMAT/IELTS/TOEFL (some universities may not require a GRE; look up the supporting documents each university requires)
- Financial documents
For instance, to apply for the MS in Computer Science program, you will need to submit Letters of Reference/Recommendation, resume, college/university transcripts, English language proficiency test scores, GRE (some universities ask for it) and a Statement of Purpose. A minimum GPA of 3.3 on a US 4.0 grading scale fulfils the requirement, whereas a GRE score of 310 is desired. Language proficiency score of minimum 7 for IELTS (with at least 6.5 in each band) and 90 for TOEFL is accepted by most universities for this program.
The application fee for each university ranges from $50 to $100. Therefore, to save time and money, it is essential to smartly choose the universities you wish to apply to.
5. Application process
Applications can be submitted by uploading relevant documents on the particular university’s website. However, for universities in Ontario, you will be required to apply through the Ontario Universities’ Application Centre (OUAC); this will allow you to not only apply to multiple programs within a particular university, but will also allow you to apply to more than one university in Ontario.
The OUAC will supply the applications to the concerned universities. The university will then email you the list of subsequent steps to complete the process.
6. Receiving admission offer from universities
On assessing your application, if the university selects your candidature, it will make you an offer. Once you accept the offer, the university will send a final offer of acceptance.
7. Study permit
Subsequent to the acceptance of the offer, you will have to apply for and acquire a study permit to be able to pursue studies in Canada for a period of six months or more. In order to obtain the permit, other than your academic records, you will be required to show relevant financial documents that confirm you have adequate funds to pay your tuition fees and living expenses. Some universities also ask that you undergo a medical examination, while some require that you settle your health insurance (the coverage will depend on the province you’ll be travelling to).
Contact our counselors today for knowing more about the application process, university selection and career prospects in Canada.