Canada seems to have the best of everything in life – healthcare, environment, education. With that, it is not surprising that it’s a magnet for international students. The high-quality education coupled with the warm welcome, chance to learn about new cultures, and access to career opportunities have made many individuals opt to get their bachelor’s degree in this country.

This article will discuss a few essential things you should know before applying to Canadian universities. Let’s take a look at them!

Application Requirements for Applying for Bachelors in Canada

For this section, we will provide a list of general requirements Canadian universities may ask you to submit. Please note that some institutions may not require some of these documents or may require others that we have not mentioned.

For the applicants who wish to obtain undergraduate studies in Canada, these are the documents you may submit to Canadian universities: academic transcripts, proof of English language proficiency, standardized test results, notarized translations, high school diploma.

Check Also: Canada Programs for International Students

Bachelor’s Degree Language Requirements for Canada

The University of Toronto applicants may be exempted from providing proof of English competency if they have spent least four years of study in an English language school in a country where English is a dominant language. You may also be exempted if you come from their list of countries allowed for an exemption. You must submit an English Language Test Exemption Request Form to be waived from the language requirements. Otherwise, the institution accepts the following test results: Cambridge Assessment English (C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency), Canadian Academic English Language Assessment (CAEL), Canadian Test of English for Scholars and Trainees (CanTEST), Caribbean Examinations Council English courses, Duolingo English Test, ELDA/COPE, GCSE/IGCSE/GCE/AICE English courses, International Baccalaureate English, IELTS, TOEFL, Ontario College of Applied Arts and Technology, University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies “Academic English” course, and University Studies.

For the University of British Columbia, English is also a requirement. Here are ways to comply: complete four or more successive years of full-time English education; get at least 70% on the provincial examination portion of the Alberta English Language Arts 30-1, BC English 12, or equivalents; get at least 4 on Advanced Placement (AP) English Language & Composition or AP Literature & Composition; get at least 5 on International Baccalaureate English A; spend four or more years in an international secondary school, or receive a University of British Columbia Certificate in English Language from the university’s English Language Institute. You may also submit test scores from the following: CAEL, Cambridge English (B2, C1, C2), CEL, IELTS, PTE. You may also file a waiver if you are proficient in English already.

This waiver for the University of British Columbia English requirements involves submitting a letter explaining why you should be exempted. You must also pass a letter of recommendation from previous mentors testifying that your English skills are at par with native speakers. You must also submit academic transcripts. Other proofs like SAT scores may also be attached.

For McGill University, you may need to present proof of English proficiency or French proficiency. If you meet certain conditions, you may be exempted from providing evidence of English knowledge. Otherwise, they may accept some language certificates: McGill Certificate of Proficiency in English, Cambridge English (C2, C1), CAEL, Duolingo English Test, IELTS, Pearson Test of English, and TOEFL. Meanwhile, there are a few programs wherein French is mandatory. If you meet the criteria, you may be waived. If not, you may provide proof of B2 level or higher French fluency: DELF/DALF, McGill Certificate of Proficiency in French or French for Professional Communication; TCF; TCFQ; TCF DAP; TEF; TEF Express, TEFaQ, TEF Canada.

How to Apply for Bachelor’s Programs in Canada

This section will outline a general application procedure that Canadian universities may follow in accepting applicants who wish to apply for bachelor’s in Canada. Institutions may add or skip a few steps for their application process.

1. Preparation of Requirements

While preparing your documents, it is also essential to check out the academic requirements set for your program or status. For instance, international applicants of the University of Toronto who came from a US – Patterned Education may have a different set of requirements from foreigners with other educational patterns. For instance, applicants of the said educational system English and Pre-Calculus among its prerequisite subjects. Also, your country of origin may impact what documents you need to submit. Visit this link to see international admission requirements based on country of origin.

At this point, you should look into your final degree program choices. The program itself may have its own set of needed documents. Thus, it is essential to look into that also.

Another thing to consider also is the academic prerequisites and cut-offs. Some universities may set different conditions for different countries and programs. For example, suppose you want to apply for the Agricultural & Environmental Sciences of McGill University, and you’re from the US. In that case, you must have had pre-calculus and science (biology, chemistry, physics) courses as prerequisites. You may also need to present ACT or SAT scores.

2. Creation of Online Application System Account

Application is usually conducted online through an application system. Applicants who want to study for a bachelor’s in Canada should know this process as it isis common to some universities in Canada. To access this platform, you would need to make an account. You can submit documents, fill up forms, select courses, and pay fees through your account.

For the University of Toronto, the first application phase does not require documents or essays yet. Instead, you will have to choose from two online application systems: (1) Ontario Universities’ Application Center, if you are applying for another Ontario university, and (2) University of Toronto International Application, if you are applying for this university only.

McGill University allows you to choose two program choices for your application. They will be separately reviewed and decided upon.

3. Submission of Documents and Payment of Fees

After the first phase of the application, University of Toronto applicants will receive instructions on submitting transcripts, test scores, and other documents. They must also self-report their grades through the website or portal.

Make sure to review your documents before submission. See if everything checks out and there are no typos in the documents or your application forms.

4. Supplemental Application

Some universities may require additional steps or assessments for the applicants who want to get a bachelor’s degree in Canada.

For the University of Toronto, nine academic units or faculties require a supplemental application. For instance, applicants for the Faculty of Music must participate in an audition and interview. Meanwhile, for the Faculty of Arts & Science: Rotman Commerce, the supplemental application requirement is short written and video responses.

5. Results

Stay updated on any announcements from the university regarding your application process. You may keep posted through their social media pages or email blasts. You may also email them for updates if you wish, although some may be short-staffed and not reply right away.

While waiting for results, see if you can apply for scholarships already!


We hope that this article on Study Bachelor’s in Canada was helpful. To know more information on how you can study in Canada, check out the Available Programs for International Students.

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hyun is the founder at Global Scholarships. He has received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College as well as $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for his undergraduate degree and has been offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. Read more about his scholarship journey here.

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