Canada is becoming an interesting study overseas destination for students from across the world, especially for postgraduate programmes. Study in Canada has become a dream for many students and the number of Indian students applying for Canadian student visas has risen tremendously in the past few years. With more and more students aiming at getting a degree from Canada, the knowledge of the admission cycle for Canada is integral for prospective students. Details of the Canadian admission cycle provides prospective students with information regarding the right time to prepare/apply to various Canadian universities and the tentative course commencement dates for both the annual intakes (spring and fall).
Study in Canada: Spring vs Fall intake
There are primarily two different intakes for admission to Canadian universities. The classes for the spring intake generally begin in the month of January and the semester lasts till May. On the other hand, the classes for the fall intake begin in September and last till December. Admission for both the intakes begins around 6 months prior to the tentative date of course commencement.
There are primarily a few differences between the two types of intakes:
Many course and programs which are available for the fall intake are not available for spring intake.
A significant number of the top universities do not offer any programs for spring intake (except deferred admission in certain cases).
A lower number of students apply for the spring intake as compared to the fall intake.
The class size for spring intake is generally smaller than the class size for courses and programs in the fall intake due to a smaller number of applicants.
Study in Canada: Application start date
The application start date varies for different universities and institutes in Canada. Usually, the application procedure starts at least 6 months prior to the commencement of classes in the universities and varies with the prospective program of study. A student who wishes to get into the top universities in Canada must apply at least 10-12 months before the start of classes.
The ideal application methodology for fall 2019 applicants is:
June 2018 - August 2018: Candidates need to select and shortlist 6-12 prospective universities for study in Canada in the preferred programs of study.
June 2018 - November 2018: Candidates must appear for the requisite exams for admission such as GRE, GMAT or LSAT. Apart from these, candidates also need to give any of the English language proficiency exams such as TOEFL iBT, IELTS Academic or PTE Academic depending on the requirement of the selected universities.
August 2018 - December 2018: Candidates must apply to the shortlisted programs and universities with the required statement of purpose, essays, exam scores, and other documents. Ensure that the letters of recommendation are submitted well before the application deadline. The application deadline generally varies for different programs and universities.
November 2018 - April 2019: Candidates need to reply to any emails or other forms of university correspondence. Most universities send out acceptance letters in this period with the tentative date being dependent upon the prospective program of study as well as the time of application. Candidates therefore may need to provide confirmation, enrolment deposits and/or interviews prior to admission confirmation.
April 2019 - July 2019: In this period of time, candidates need to settle all money-related matters including applications for student loans. Subsequently, the prospective University of study will provide assistance in obtaining a student visa for the duration of study in Canada.
Study in Canada: Visa Cycle
For Indian applicants, the processing time for a Canadian student visa is approximately 6 weeks. Therefore, candidates should apply for a student visa as soon as they receive an all-clear from the prospective university of study. Students should ideally apply for a Canadian student visa at least two months prior to the course commencement date in order to evade problems which may arise due to a delayed visa.
Study in Canada: Course commencement
The programs available at Canadian universities have two different commencement dates dependent upon the type of intake: either fall semester or the spring semester intake. The academic session is divided into two terms - the first, or fall, is from September to December and the second, or spring, is from January to May. There are also a number of summer courses offered by various Canadian universities between the months of May and August.