How to Apply

Applying to Canadian universities is not a daunting process especially since most components of the application can be completed and submitted online. But because there are over 100 universities in Canada, each school may require something different from its applicants.

Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  1. Organize yourself.
    There is no master list of information for universities because each student is looking for different qualities in the school he/she will ultimately choose. Before you actually research and apply, make a table of universities you are interested in, and leave enough space for you to fill in important information about the application process for each, including: deadlines, reference-letter requirements, portfolio requests, interview appointments, and the actual application process (by mail and/or online).

  2. Visit each university’s website to determine its specific application requirements.
    Canada does not have a central application system as they do in the US (the Common App) and the UK (UCAS). The Ontario Universities Application Centre (OUAC) does allow applicants to apply to multiple schools at once using a single application, but not all schools use it. Elpis College has compiled a list of university websites for you ... click here.

  3. Sign up for newsletters and reminders.
    No one likes receiving junk mail, but if you’re truly interested in a particular school, you will definitely benefit from signing up for newsletters and other reminders for that university. You might even have the opportunity to begin your application process online right away. By signing up and/or creating an account with the school, you will receive official mail that will help you with the rest of your application process and even, when it comes to it, deciding which school is right for you. Remember, thanks to CASL, you can unsubscribe from newsletters any time you wish.

  4. Begin fulfilling requirements as soon as possible.
    Once you’ve done some research on universities’ application requirements, you should begin fulfilling them. For example, some schools require reference letters, so you should determine who to ask and what to ask them to write. Depending on the program you are applying to, you might need to have a portfolio, so begin gathering your writing samples, art projects, or music demos. This is also a good time to look over your extracurricular activities. Because most applications have pages for you to provide information about volunteer hours, school/community projects you were involved in, and awards you received, you might want to start (if you haven’t already) accumulating hours and experience.

  5. Apply before the deadline.
    This may seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many students think applying after the deadline is no big deal. Although it’s true that for many schools you CAN apply throughout the year, depending on the date, you may be applying for the school year or semester AFTER the one you intended to begin. Keep track of your deadlines, fill in your forms, submit your documents, then click “apply now”!

Important Sites to Bookmark

  • Ontario Universities Application Centre (OUAC)
    Many universities ask prospective students to apply through OUAC, so you only need to fill in basic information once. Click here for more information about their application process.

  • Ontario Universities' Info
    This is a great website dedicated to helping students choose the next step in their academic path. It gives you information about universities, programs, admission requirements, and dates. It’s constantly being updated with information from university officials, so you should definitely bookmark it.
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