How to Apply for University in Canada – Step by Step Guide

Want to study in Canada? Here’s the step-by-step guide on how to apply for university in Canada either as a domestic or international student.

You will find this post useful if you want to apply for a Canadian university, either as a resident of Canada or applying from a foreign country.

Canada, the second-largest country in the world, is also a wildly popular education hub for international students. The universities in this country are listed among some of the world’s best by top-ranking platforms and its diverse culture makes it a suitable place for students from all parts of the world who want to come and pursue a degree.

Whether it is an undergraduate or graduate degree you are searching for, Canada’s prestigious universities, colleges, or technical schools might be the ideal place for you.

What’s more?

Canadian institutions hold international prestige so do their degrees and it is recognized by HR all over the world, thereby putting you ahead of the workforce competition. It is common knowledge that students who graduate from prestigious universities are recognized over those who don’t.

With a degree from a Canadian university, it is also normal that you get recognized over people who graduated from a lesser recognized university. As an international student, this would earn you a lot of respect in your country of origin plus your CV will look more professional.

With a vibrant environment, suitable weather, some of the world’s best universities, and a wide of financial aid for international and domestic students, you just might have made the right decision of studying in Canada.

To fulfill your dreams and facilitate your admission to becoming a full-fledged Canadian student, we at Study Abroad Nations have prepared this article to show you the correct step-by-step guide on how to apply for university in Canada.

How to Apply for University in Canada

Now that you’ve finalized your decision to study in Canada, the next phase is to begin the application for a Canadian university, and below is exactly how you can apply for universities in Canada.

1.     Choose a University

Just like every other country, Canada has many universities and colleges, and since you want to study there the first thing you need to do is choose a university of your choice. The institution you want to choose must have the program you want to study. You can as well reach out to a special university tutor for assistance.

It could be a bachelor, masters, or doctorate in a particular field of study that interests you or passionate about and if you don’t know, you may want to consider the following programs:

  • Computer science
  • MBA
  • Civil engineering
  • Medicine
  • Business & Finance
  • Software engineering
  • Pharmacy
  • Journalism
  • Biochemistry
  • Mechanical engineering and others.

You can as well check out some of the most valued degrees in Canada here.

The programs above are the top ten programs in Canada and you may want to consider studying them at any of the following top Canadian universities:

  • The University of British Columbia
  • Calgary University
  • The University of Toronto
  • Queen’s University
  • York University
  • The University of Alberta
  • The University of Toronto

If none of these programs or universities interest you proceed to research other universities and programs in Canada. To easily do that you can access all Canadian universities and programs here.

The university you want to attend should match your career goals and interest and have the proper resources to provide you with a quality education. This includes facilities for your field of study, scholarships, or other financial aid benefits that will aid in your study.

Tip: choose at least three university options that you want to study, just in case.

2.     Prepare Your Application

You’ve crossed the first step on how to apply for university in Canada and now unto the next step.

You now have a preferred institution and the program you want to study there in mind, it is normal that you apply for admission into the university to kick start your career. There are certain requirements and documents you need to know and have in your portfolio when preparing for your application.

These admission requirements, rules, and processes vary across institutions but you can find out the needed information on their website. This step on how to apply for university in Canada covers other aspects which are also related to applying to your preferred institution and although they may vary the following are the general ones you may want to consider:

The eligibility requirements

Before you can apply for a higher institution in Canada, there are eligibility requirements you need to possess to be considered for admission. Although these requirements vary by institutions they typically request excellent academic performance which is determined by your GPA from your previous school which could be high school or college.

Entrance examinations are also another method that Canadian institutions use in evaluating a student’s academic performance. However, not every university in Canada does the entrance exams thing, you will have to find out if your preferred institution does or not.

Required documents

Documents also vary across the institution and the program of your choice but the general documents are;

  • All academic transcripts from high school or attended colleges and universities
  • Student permit or student visa only for international students.
  • Recommendation letter
  • Reference letter
  • Complete application form
  • TOEFL/IELTS language requirement scores for international students from non-English speaking countries and/or whose first language is not English.
  • GMAT or GRE test scores for graduate applicants although some schools may waive it off.
  • Proof of employment for graduate applicants may also not be required by some schools
  • Letter of purpose/intent
  • An updated CV or resume

While some universities may want applicants to submit all of these documents, others may waive some of them off and request new ones. It is your responsibility to find out the documents that are required by what universities and proceed to have them.

Language requirements

Canadian universities require international students whose first language is not English or who come from non-English speaking countries. They typically request the IELTS or TOEFL test scores, and the score varies across institutions, check your school website to know what their English language scores are.

For more information visit the Languages Canada website, click here

Application Process

This is the next phase or steps on how to apply for a university in Canada and it is an important process in facilitating your admission to a Canadian university of your choice.

The application process for all universities in Canada is the same, you simply need to gather the documents and pass the eligibility requirements set out by your host institution and program and then submit them via the application portal of your school.

Nowadays, universities have online application portals where you can apply for a program that interests you and meets your career goals. This harnesses the power of the internet thereby making university application easy for everyone wherever they are in the world.

If your application is accepted, you will get an offer of admission by the university which is also known as an acceptance letter. This can be mailed to you or sent via the email you provided while applying for your admission.

Canada Student Visa

A student visa is a permit that allows you to stay in Canada for study purposes. It is an important requirement for international students who want to pursue a degree in Canada. If you aren’t a permanent resident or citizen of Canada, you must have a Canada student visa as it is part of your application process.

How do I get a Canadian student visa?


We at Study Abroad Nations have an updated article on the Canada student visa rules and requirements. It shows you step by step guide on how you can apply for a Canadian student visa from your home country.

Other tips on how to apply for university in Canada should be sourcing for scholarship opportunities that will help in offsetting your tuition. The Canadian government, universities, charity foundations/organizations, and alumni provide a wide range of scholarships to international and domestic students.

We also have a variety of articles on Canadian scholarships for domestic and international students, scroll down to the “recommendation” section on this page to see them.

FAQs on How to Apply for University in Canada

Applying for a university in Canada can be a daunting task, especially for international students and a lot of confusion will set in. There are a couple of FAQs concerning how to apply for university in Canada, let’s take a look at them.

When should I start applying to Canadian universities?

Start applying early. There’s no other way to say this and it usually confuses a lot of aspirants, apply for a university in advance just in case it does not work out you can always go for the other options.

The application deadlines of every school vary and it is information that is available on their websites, check the deadline dates and know when you will start applying. Just start early, very early.

How much does it cost to apply for a university in Canada?

Fees to apply for Canadian universities vary across universities, programs of study, and countries of origin. International or foreign students will pay more tuition than permanent residents or citizens of Canada.

To know the cost of applying to your preferred university in Canada, you can find details on the “tuition fee” page of the school website. Some websites also have a “cost estimator” which is a feature that helps you calculate the full cost of studying in Canada. It calculates all expenses for you and gives you results which will help you in planning your budget.

Which university in Canada is easiest to get into?

Below are the easiest universities in Canada to get into:

These are the easiest universities in Canada to get into their acceptance rate is high so you may want to consider applying to them.


I promised some Canadian scholarship recommendations earlier, here they are:


  1. Hi I’m Kiana Shirani. I’m 17
    Im Iranian, I study in iran but I want to go Canada and study medicine in free and good university , because i dont have money for fee of medicine university…
    My study in iran is very good!
    But I don’t know how can I get visa and go to Canada for study in medicine
    My dreams is that!…
    Please help me ????????

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