Review of Application Requirements into Canadian Universities

Canada has some of the best universities in the world. The good thing about Canada is that it is a bilingual country with English and French as official languages. Apart from specific course and programme requirements, there are two important general requirements for international students applying to study in Canada. They include language proficiency and sufficient finances. Both at the undergraduate & postgraduate levels, international student wishing to study in Canada will need the following requirements in order to apply for admissions.

Undergraduate Admission Requirements

  • Transcript(s) from all prior colleges. Transcripts must be in English or French (for schools in Quebec) or translated into English or French.
  • High school transcript (if you have earned fewer than 24 semester hours of college credit.
  • Official transcripts, which include all subjects studied each year and the grade/mark earned in each subject.
  • A key to the marking system with information on the minimum passing mark.
  • International students whose native language is not English must submit proof of English language proficiency IELTS: A minimum IELTS score of 6.5 on the academic test.
  • SAT: Tests Prior to March 2016: a score of 530 or higher on the Critical Reading section. (code#2660). Tests March 2016 and later: a score of 570 or higher on the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section (code #2660).
  • ACT: Score of 24 or higher on the English section (code #3656)
  • GCSE or GCE Score of A, B, or C on the English language exam International Baccalaureate (IB): Score of 5 or higher on the English Language & Literature (SL/HL) examination.

Note that all documents submitted for review must be official, that is, they must be either originals or copies certified by the examining board, an official at the institution, the Ministry of Education, or consulate. A “certified” copy is one that bears an original signature of the registrar or other designated school official, an original impression of the institution’s seal, or signature/seal of the examining board. Uncertified or notarised copies are not considered official documents.

All documents should be submitted in the original language. All documents in languages other than English must be accompanied by a certified line-by-line, literal English translation.

Postgraduate Admission Requirements

Admissions into Canadian universities is relatively easier but getting in top 3-4 universities is tough for postgraduate students and especially international students given that it is quite competitive. General admission requirements include:

  • English language proficiency such as TOEFL/IELTS.  TOEFLand IELTS score is quite important. The International English Language Testing System (IELTS): 7.5. The Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB): 90 with 80 minimum per section including a minimum score of 3 in the speaking test component. Note that most top universities prefer TOEFL.
  • Undergraduate transcripts
  • At least two Letters of reference.
  • Normally, applicants for a master’s degree programmes must hold the academic equivalent of a four-year bachelor’s degree including one of the following: a minimum overall average in the B+ range (76% at UBC) in third- and fourth-year courses, academic standing with at least 12 credits of third or fourth year courses in the A grade range (80% or higher in the field of study. Four years undergraduate degree in Canada is usually the equivalent to three years of undergraduate studies in some countries.

Alternatively, applicants who do not meet the requirements stated above, but who have had other significant formal training, relevant professional experience, and/or otherwise possess demonstrable knowledge or expertise that would prepare them adequately for successful study in a specific graduate programme, may be granted admission on the recommendation of the appropriate graduate programme and approval of the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

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