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Institution Types

State/Public Uni

Most Common

Private Uni

A few, most have a religious affiliation

Undergraduate Only

A few - specifically the Maple League

Junior College

Many, more commonly known as Community College

Arts Schools

Several

Business Schools

None for undergraduate Study

American Schools

There are 2 in Vancouver

Research Focused

Many universities are research focused with the most emphasis in the top medicial/doctoral universities and comprehensive universities

Teaching Focused

All state universities are required to focus on teaching, but the undergrad only institutions put the greatest emphasis on undergrad teaching

Good to Know

St. Clare's regularly supports students applying to Canada and most years we have students securing scholarships towards their undergraduate studies. Whilst most students who apply to Canada receive offers, we typically only see between 2-6% of students in any year taking up their place in a Canadian institution.

Almost all institutions of higher education in Canada are Public and receive state funding. This also means that they are carefully regulated by the government to ensure a very high quality of education.

Canadian institutions range in size from some of the biggest in the world, to some of the smallest and really vary in the geographic areas they are in, giving each of them a very different feel and giving the students who live there a different experience.

Canada is very welcoming to international students and make it very easy to stay and work in Canada after completing your degree. They also offer multiple routes for graduates from Canadian universities to immigrate to Canada and gain permanent residence.

Degree Length

Honours Bachelors degrees in Canada are 4 years. Associates Degrees are 2 years and earn you a Diploma, you can then top these up to a full degree. It is also possible to complete a 3 years non-honours degree, but it is not common.

Education Model

Most universities in Canada offer a faculty based education where you can major/minor and take some electives. They have a credits based system and having a higher number of credits in one area can earn you a specialisation or an honours title in your degree. This gives you flexibility to create a degree that is quite broad, or fairly specialised. There is also a lot of flexibility to change direction during your degree.

Canada has some undergraduate focused Liberal Arts and Science Colleges, specialist Art Colleges and vocational colleges as well as community colleges.

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Gap Years

Gap Years are widely accepted in Canada. You can either apply during IB2/Senior Year and then ask for deferral once you have received your offer, or apply from your gap year.

Placements

Placements within your degree in Canada are usually called a co-op program. In some universities it is common and most degrees give you the opportunity for multiple co-op periods that earn degree credits. In other institutions, it is very rare for co-op to be available. This is something you should check during your research if it is something that interests you.

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Application Process

In Ontario, applications are made through OUAC for all universities. Outside Ontario, most international students apply directly to each university.

Most applications in Canada do not require writing. Two notable exceptions are UBC and Waterloo, both of which ask you to write about your extra-curriculars. If you plan to apply for scholarships, or specific colleges at the University of Toronto, you may have additional essays to complete.

2-5 hours per application (excluding research time)

Application portals open in October of IB2. For the most popular universities (Toronto & McGill especially) you should aim to complete the phase 1 part of your applications by Nov 1. Most other universities have their first deadline in January.

Phase two deadlines for document submission are usually between February and April.

Universities may also ask you to submit your trial exam results in March, even if you have submitted transcripts earlier than that.

Scholarship Applications tend to be in December.

Most universities take direct applications via a portal on their own website. Universities in Ontario require applications to be sent via OUAC.

 

Grade Conversion

IB is a fairly well known curriculum in Canada and most universities will publish IB entry requirements, although it might take you a few clicks to get to it.
There isn't a standard conversion between IB and Canadian High School percentages and as Canadian universities use cut offs, the search sites also don't tend to give you options to search by grades.

As a general rule, 24 points plus gives you access to some courses in Canada. 30 points plus gives you access to most courses, 36 points plus makes you competitive for most courses.
38 points plus is only needed for the most competitive faculties at the most competitive universities, these tend to include the faculties of commerce and engineering, but also notably McGill's Arts and Sciences program.

If you are hoping to secure merit scholarship funding, or apply directly onto an honours program, you may need to be in the 38 points plus bracket.

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Research Resources

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OUAC

Application Portal

The application portal for Canadian Universities in the province of Ontario.

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Concourse Global Clearing

Application Portal

Concourse is a platform where universities search for candidates they want, rather than you completing lots of complex, time consuming and expensive applications. You complete one profile, which institutions view an anonymised version of. If they feel you are a fit for them, they will make you an offer and if you're interested, you can connect with them, share your full details and speak to them about what they can offer you.

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Maclean's Education Hub

Explore

University and Programme Rankings for Canada alongside institution profiles and blog stories

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Studying in Canada

Explore

Study in Canada is a searchable database of Canadian universities and university programs. It also contains information about studying in Canada and careers in Canada.

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GoToUniversity

Explore Options

This site is run by a company that supports university applications and whilst its university database is not exhaustive, within the application requirements tab on each university profile they have the average IB scores accepted and where available the application success rate.
They also have average living costs for the area, rankings overviews and some scholarship information.
Be aware that they list programs in all languages, not just English and the IB scores and success rate percentages are averages across the whole institution. However, they are a good indicator if the university does not publish more detailed information.

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EduCanada

Explore | Finance

The government run website providing information to students from abroad wishing to study in Canada including information about being able to stay in Canada after you graduate.
It has a course search and scholarship search.

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UniversityStudy.ca

Explore | Finance

Created by Universities Canada, UniversityStudy allows you to explore university profiles, search for courses, and find scholarships in Canada.

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IEFA

Finance

A global resource for students wanting to study internationally to find scholarships and grant opportunities

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Scholarship Positions

Finance

A blog of scholarship opportunities globally for undergraduate students

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Costs

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Funding

 

Universities

Explore the university profiles for this country on the CareersExplore Platform.

 
Bishop's University

Three words: Community, Engagement and Flexibility. Our students are engaged in and part of our purple community where they have the flexibility to combine passions and interests both inside and outside the classroom.

Liberal Arts and Sciences Education Model

Suburban Campus, Rural Campus

Small Institution <5000

Areas of Study

Art & Design
Business
Computing & ICT
English & Media
Language & Culture
Liberal Arts & Sciences
Mathematics
Performing Arts
Sciences
Society & Social Sciences

University of Toronto

Choose from 700+ programs at Canada's #1 university. With three campuses in one of the world's most diverse regions and a half-million-strong alumni network spanning 150+ countries, the University of Toronto is your best place to build lifelong friendships and unlock doors to any industry, anywhere.

UofT is a leading comprehensive research institution where students can mix & match programs areas.

City Island Campus, Suburban Campus

Very Large Institution >30,000

Areas of Study

Art & Design
Business
Computing & ICT
Engineering
English & Media
Language & Culture
Liberal Arts & Sciences
Mathematics
Medicine & Healthcare
Performing Arts
Sciences
Society & Social Sciences

UBC - University of British Columbia

UBC is modern, diverse, progressive and campus-based, with countless opportunities to create your own unique university experience.

We are a comprehensive, research-based institution with flexible study options to suit individual learners’ needs.

Suburban Campus

Very Large Institution (Vancouver)
Medium Institution (Okanagan)

Areas of Study

Art & Design
Business
Computing & ICT
Engineering
English & Media
Language & Culture
Liberal Arts & Sciences
Mathematics
Medicine & Healthcare
Performing Arts
Sciences
Society & Social Sciences