Canada : Application Process

Published On: 24 Jul 2009

 | Last Updated On: 02 Sep 2014

If you are planning to Study in Canada, you need to plan and prepare ahead to avoid any last minute rush to get into the university of your choice. International students are expected to start planning for their studies in Canada 1 year in advance. All Canadian universities process applications from international students independent of one another. Additionally, deadlines vary from programme to programme and university to university.

Send enquiries at least 15 to 18 months before the proposed date of admission. There are two ways to get application forms.

1.    Requesting Application Forms via email: You can request application forms from the universities website. Most universities have a form on their website which can be completed online to request application material.

2.    Downloading from the university website: Many universities have a downloadable and ready to print versions of their application forms on the net. These can be used for applying just as regular forms.

Eligibility:                                                            

Most schools require qualifications comparable to a Canadian Bachelor's (Honors) degree (Four Year Degree Program). That means a minimum of 16 years of formal education. In the Indian context, it implies qualifying in a professional four-year degree like engineering or other such courses. If you have completed a three-year degree program in India, the advisable plan of action to maximize eligibility for Canadian graduate schools is to apply for a Post Graduate degree here in India.

A one year university affiliated program will make up for the fourth year of a Canadian undergraduate degree. No standardized policy exists regarding the acceptance of such programs. Some universities may accept the three-year Indian Graduation Degree for a few programs. Confirmation can only be obtained by either writing directly or formally applying to the universities concerned.

Academic Records & Transcripts:

Your past academic record is one of the most important deciding factors in securing admission to a college abroad. Most schools require you to have a reasonably good academic record especially for programs and courses offering a master's or doctoral degree. Each university has its own minimum requirement for its programs, which are flexible depending on the candidate's profile.

When you apply to a university abroad you have to attach along with the application form other documentation like academic certificates, extracurricular activities, recommendation letter, grade transcripts, essays, statement of purpose, etc. To process all these documents the university asks for an application fee, which ranges between $50-150. You can send this money through a dollar draft.

Students applying for Graduate courses (MBA, MS etc) are required to submit an official transcript (mark-sheets) from each college or university that they have attended after secondary school with complete details of the subjects/credits involved (for each year) and other details like correspondence courses, diplomas etc. Universities in Canada have their own marking and evaluation systems, which are considerably different from the Indian system. It is advisable not to convert your marks in the Indian system of grading to the Canadian Grade Point Average system or any other system since the conversion may not be accurate.

Standardized Test Scores:

These include GMAT, GRE, SAT, TOEFL, IELTS. Your scores in these tests are considered as predictors of academic performance in future years of study. Some schools require minimum scores. Others only have minimum score requirements. Find out the minimum standard at a particular school. People often take these tests more than once. Many schools will consider your best score rather than your most recent score, but you should check with the individual school regarding their policy on multiple scores.

Letter of Recommendation:

Letter of reference or recommendation letters can play an important part in admission. It should be from someone who has taught you in some course or someone you have worked under. It should list your positive and negative qualities, strengths and other such information.

The teacher must indicate his/her position, how long he/she has known the applicant and in what capacity. He/she should briefly discuss the need, importance and usefulness of the study the applicant proposes to undertake.

Statement of Purpose:

The personal essays, and/or statement of purpose, if required for the course you are applying to, also play a very important role in the process of evaluating your application for admission. A personal statement should include your reasons for choosing a particular course, the suitability of your education and experience for the chosen course, your personal interests and career goals.

Every applicant must demonstrate that they have sufficient financial resources available to them to pay tuition fees, for maintenance and dependants who go to Canada, and to pay return transportation costs without engaging in employment in Canada. The evidence of financial support is required by universities to issue the documents needed for visa application.

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