Requirements for study in Canada

Requirements for study in Canada

Entry Requirements for Education in Canada

Specific entry requirements in Canada vary from one institution to another. There is no general entry exam for universities; each university has its own criteria and you apply directly to them. Therefore, it is important to check what documents you need to supply and make sure you apply well before the closing date to increase your chances of getting accepted.

Generally, students need to submit the following documents:

  • Completion of an undergraduate degree from an accredited/recognized university
  • High level of academic achievement in previous studies
  • Strong reference letters
  • Written Statements
  • Standardized tests such as the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT)

Undergraduate Admission Criteria

For admission into bachelor-level programs, students usually must have completed secondary school. There may also be course-content requirements or grade-point average minimums. The admissions are highly competitive, as undergraduate schools have limited space. For most, the greatest competition comes from high school students, meaning the two most basic entrance criteria are the successful completion of high school and competency in one of the two official languages (English in most of Canada, and either English or French in Quebec and New Brunswick).

Graduate Admission Criteria

For admission to a master’s degree program in Canada, students must complete a bachelor’s degree and submit the documents required by the university.

For entry into a doctorate degree program, students must have completed their masters. Students must have the fundamental theoretical knowledge to carry out their independent studies. In order to determine a candidate’s suitability for a PhD, students will generally have a supervisor to “vouch” for them.

Visa Requirements to Study in Canada

International student wishing to enrol in a higher education program in Canada for more than six months should have a study permit before they enter the country. 

Before applying for a student visa in Canada, you must first get a letter of acceptance from the university. The letter must be issued by the Canadian institution (e.g. school district, University, etc.) on official letterhead, show the exact amount of tuition fees you are required to pay, the anticipated starting and finishing dates and the date by which you need to register.

Entry Requirements for Higher Education in Canada

In addition to presenting an acceptance letter from the university, to get a student visa in Canada you must describe to the officer that you:

  • Meet the requirements of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, including leaving Canada at the end of your studies.
  • Proof of financial support.
    • If the duration of your studies in Canada will be less than a year, proof of financial support for the duration of your studies in Canada.
    • If the duration of your studies in Canada will be more than a year, proof of financial support for the first year of your studies in Canada.
  • Have no record of criminal activity. You may be asked to provide a Police Clearance Certificate.
  • Medical examination to prove that you are in good health.

Language Requirements

If you want to apply for direct entry to a degree at a university in Canada, and your native language is not English, you must provide proof of your proficiency.

TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) scores are the most common language requirement for American universities. IELTS (International English Language Testing System) exam scores are the most common language requirement for Canadian universities. But most universities will accept either test as proof of your English language ability. You can take TOEFL and IELTS exams at testing centres worldwide.


For more information about student visas, test prep, universities criteria to study in Canada, please contact Studygram.

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