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Intakes in Canada for International Students 2024

Intakes in Canada for International Students 2024

Edited By Sareena Kaur Sethi | Updated on Jul 10, 2024 04:43 PM IST

Intakes in Canada refer to the specific admission periods followed by universities in Canada when accepting applications from prospective students. In general, international students must submit their application in one of the intake periods.

Intakes in Canada also mean course start dates in an academic year. There are 3 intakes in Canada: Fall, Winter and Summer. Fall or September intake is considered the primary intake during which most courses to study in Canada are available. Winter intake often offers an alternative for those who missed applying during Fall intake. Some courses like MBA have rolling admissions throughout the year.

Intakes in Canada for International Students 2024
Intakes in Canada for International Students 2024

Recently the Canadian government has provided a cap to international student visas for two years. There will be a 35% reduction in the new student visas compared to last year. Starting from January 22, 2024, most study permit applicants should also provide the attestation letters of the province where they plan to study in Canada.

Knowledge about intakes in Canada offers more room for prospective students to make the best decision when applying for a Canadian University. It also helps with Canada student visa applications. Details regarding intakes in Canada 2025 are covered in this article for the use of international students.

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Intakes in Canada 2025

There are three intakes in Canada covering a total of three terms in an academic year. A term in Canada lasts for four months. In spite of the mentioned application timelines, they widely vary from university to university, sometimes starting as early as 12 months in advance.

Intakes in Canada for International Students

Canada Intakes 2025

Application Timelines

Duration

Fall or September Intake

December - March

September/October- February

Winter or January Intake

August – December

January–May

Spring or May Intake

September - February

May-August

Fall or September Intakes in Canada

Fall or September intake in Canada is considered the primary intake of an academic year. An academic year in Canada in most universities starts with this intake. Most programs are available during Fall among all Canada intakes in 2025.

Applications are accepted starting from August/September onwards, while courses begin in September and last till December or January. Fall intake in Canada sees the highest number of applications. So, competition tends to be in September intake Canada 2025.

International students are advised to send their applications as early as possible without waiting for deadlines, as many top universities in Canada may stop accepting applications once course seats are filled. Also, early students have a high chance of getting admission.

Fall Intake Deadlines for Universities in Canada 2025

University Name

Fall Application Deadlines

University of Toronto

January 16

Queen's University

February 1

Western University

February 1

McGill University

January 15

University of Montreal

February 1

University of Alberta

July 1

Winter or January Intake in Canada

Lasting four months, from January to April, this period in Canada sees extreme cold weather. Consequently, the least number of applications are submitted in the Winter intake to Canada 2025 universities by international students.

Moreover, the number of courses on offer during winter intake in Canada is comparatively less. Jan intake in Canada serves as a resort for students who missed applying during fall intakes or due to student visa delays, etc. Preparation for January intake colleges in Canada for international students must start at least 10-12 months in advance.

Winter Intake Deadlines for Universities in Canada 2025

University Name

Winter Application Deadlines

University of Toronto

December 15

University of British Columbia

January 15

McGill University

August 1

University of Montreal

September 1

University of Alberta

November 1

Spring or May Intake in Canada

Spring intake in Canada is offered only by select universities in Canada with a short application timeline period. Ideally, application deadlines must fall in February and March for Spring intake in Canada. However, universities may have deadlines that start as early as 12 months before.

Spring Intake Deadlines for Universities in Canada 2025

University Name

Fall Application Deadlines

University of British Columbia

January 15

University of Toronto

January 12

McMaster University

April 1

University of Montreal

February 1

University of Alberta

March 1

Pros and Cons of Intakes in Canada 2025

Every international student should be aware of the various pros and cons that are associated with the most popular seasons of intakes in Canada. The same are mentioned below for your reference:

Intakes in Canada: Pros and Cons for International Students

Intake

Demand

Positives

Negatives

Canada Fall Admission

High-in-Demand

  • Admission to major degree courses

  • Availability of better funding and scholarships

  • Pleasant Weather

  • Enough time to adjust to new Surroundings

High competition due to excessive applicants

Canada Winter Admission

Moderate

  • More time for university application, study permit, and visa

  • A good option for students who missed the fall intake

  • Harsh Canadian Winters

  • A difficult period for transition

  • Less part-time employment opportunities

Canada Summer Admission

Low-in-Demand

  • Less competition

  • Only short-term courses are available

  • Not many universities/colleges offer intakes

Applying to Intakes in Canada 2025

For each admission intake in Canada, planning must start at least 12 months in advance. Admission and seats are offered on a first-come, first basis in all the semesters/intakes. It's better if students start their application process well in advance to grab a seat in their favourite program and college/university.

Here are the steps students must follow for a smooth Canada admission process based on Canada intake for international students.

Step 1: Information collection (10-12 months prior)

  • Gather information about universities and colleges.

  • Find the courses, last date of application, fee requirements.

  • Download information brochures from the university websites.

  • Check for scholarship and bank loan options.

Step 2: Prepare for and take the required exams (10-12 months prior)

  • Start preparation for standardised tests like GMAT, SAT, IELTS (Academic), PTE (Academic), and TOEFL.

  • Enrol for language proficiency tests like IELTS/TOEFL/PTE at least a month prior to the exam date.

  • Keep a buffer time to re-register for standardised tests if the marks/grades are poor on the first attempt.

  • Improve the score to better the chances for preferred university admission.

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Step 3: Fill up the application form (6-8 months prior)

  • Finalise course and university preferences.

  • Prepare for the application process.

  • Start drafting the statement of purpose (SOP), university-specific essays, and self-appraisal forms for the admission process.

  • A month before the application due date, get in touch with teachers, professors, and direct managers to obtain 2-3 reference letters.

  • Arrange all the documents required for the application process.

  • Submit the application before the due date of the selected Canada intake.

Step 4: Be alert (4-6 months prior)

  • Reply to college emails.

  • Appear for telephonic or video interviews.

  • Once students receive an acceptance letter, they should inform the college authorities as soon as possible.

  • Pay the initial admission fee to confirm their seat in a Canadian college or university.

Step 5: Obtain their visa and arrange for money (3-4 months prior)

Step 6: Prepare for departure (2-3 months prior)

  • Book airline tickets.

  • Finalise initial temporary accommodation options (Airbnb, on campus, hotel etc.).

  • Arrange for international Debit/Credit card.

  • Collect all the documents/photocopies required to carry along.

  • Check the pre-departure list.

How to Choose Intakes in Canada?

  • Students must first check if the course they wish to enrol in is available in a particular intake.

  • They must check the application deadlines for the selected universities to ensure they have enough time to collect the documents and complete the required procedures.

  • Check for the financial aid opportunities in the chosen intake.

  • Check the acceptance rate for the chosen intake. As mentioned, Fall intake tends to have low acceptance rates due to competitiveness.

  • Students must check if they can withstand the harsh weather conditions in Canada, especially if they are choosing the winter intake.

Frequently Asked Question (FAQs)

1. How many intakes are there in Canada for international students?

There are mainly three intakes in Canada 2024 for international students. Fall/September, Winter/January, and Spring/May intake. 

2. What is the primary intake in Canada?

Fall or September intake is the primary intake in Canada when the academic year begins. This lasts four months from August/September to December/January. Applications begin as early as 12 months in advance.

3. What is the deadline for January intake in Canada 2024?

Deadlines in general fall between October – November of the previous year. However, this varies for different universities. Some universities start accepting applications as early as 12 months in advance.

JanuaryUniversity of Toronto: January 12

Queen's University: February 1

4. Which intake is best for Canada Universities?

The best intake to Canada universities is those which offer more courses, high acceptance rates, and financial aid options, etc. All these are applicable to Fall intake in Canada. 

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