Find Method in the Madness

By Carleton University Modified on November 08, 2017

Key Info to Gather to Survive your University Applications with your Sanity Intact!


So you’ve decided to study in Canada - you’ve done your research, bookmarked endless sites, and you’ve finally got your shortlist. You’re ready to apply – but where to start?

The university application process can seem really daunting – every country has its own system, and even within Canada the admissions requirements, deadlines, and necessary documents vary by university and even by the program. Luckily, most institutions provide handy online checklists that guide you through the process.

Here’s some key information to gather as you’re organizing your applications:

Find out whether your institutions have their own direct application on their websites, or whether there’s a central application that you can use to apply to a number of universities. Once you have the ‘how’ and ‘where’ of the actual application, note the ‘when’ – the deadline for your specific program.

Every university will have its own requirements. In Canada, your previous academic performance tends to be the most important factor in determining admissibility. You’ll need to provide transcripts, grade reports, or exams results from your previous studies. Get on those university sites and start making your list!

Depending on what degree program you’re applying to, universities will focus on grades you’ve achieved in specific courses. So for example, if you’re applying to the Sciences, makes sure you know exactly which Math or Science subjects are required. For Engineering it’s likely Math, Physics, and Chemistry you need. There are often minimum grades required in these pre-requisite subjects, so be sure to stay on top of those during your final year of high school studies.

Applying to something in Architecture, Design, Fine Arts, or another competitive program? You may be required to submit a portfolio, an audition, or other supplementary information – while your academic transcripts are key, ensure you know what else is needed.

If you’re coming from a system where the main language of instruction is not English, you’ll likely be required to submit an English language test score like TOEFL or IELTS. Be sure you know exactly what your chosen university requires to demonstrate proficiency, so that you have enough time to schedule a test and submit the score.

Many universities provide scholarships – these are sometimes University-wide, while others may be specific to international students or school systems. Sometimes a separate application is required, but often you are considered for these automatically as part of the admissions process.

Good luck, stay organized, and start applying! Remember – Admissions offices are there to help you along – never hesitate to reach out with your questions! Contact Carleton Admissions any time: or explore