17 Aug 20232 min read

Canadian Intakes: Universities & Their Start Dates


Studying in Canada is made possible through three major intakes: Fall, Winter, and Spring. Each intake has its own unique characteristics and benefits. These intakes determine when you can begin your studies and which programs are available during specific periods.

By familiarizing yourself with the intakes, you can plan your application process strategically and increase your chances of securing a spot at your desired university.

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Fall Intake (September to December)

It is the primary intake in Canada, offering a wide range of courses, abundant internships, and scholarship opportunities for international students. Having said that, the competition for applicants is at its peak, with only a few available slots and a difficult application process.

This Intake starts in September and extends until December depending upon the courses. Hence, you should make sure that you have geared up all the documents at least 3-4 months before the application window opens.

Below is the list of universities/colleges that you can apply for Fall Intake.

  • University of Waterloo
  • Niagara College
  • Canada West University
  • Fleming College
  • Seneca College
  • St. Lawrence College
  • Fanshawe College
  • Conestoga College

Winter Intake (January to April)

Generally, Winter Intake is an alternate option for students who have missed Fall Intake and usually has fewer program and course options. Hence, students may find spots in the unfilled slots of the September intake.

The application window for the Winter Intake generally opens in July or August and closes by September or October. Ensure that you check the specific deadlines for each university you're interested in, as they may vary. Additionally, submit your application at least a month before the deadline to allow ample time for processing.

Below is the list of universities/colleges that you can apply for Fall Intake.

  • Lambton College
  • Fanshawe College
  • Centennial College
  • Douglas College
  • Trent University

Spring Intake (May to August)

Spring is the least popular intake among international students as it offers only a limited number of courses. Not all universities in Canada provide programs during the Spring Intake.

Despite its lack, this intake is perfect for short-term courses or bridge programs. The application window for the Spring Intake generally opens in October and closes by December or January.

Below is the list of universities/colleges that you can apply for Fall Intake.

  • Brock University

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Fall Intake Winter Intake Spring Intake
Opens in September and extends until December or even January Opens in January and extends until April Opens in May and extends until August
Primary Intake with all course and program options Secondary intake with majority course and program options Limited availability of course and program options
A large number of applications resulting in high competition Less application and competition as compared to Fall intake, and it is generally preferred by late applicants Very limited applicants
Maximum financial aid Limited financial aid Few to no financial aid
Application Deadline: December to February Application Deadline: September to November Application Deadline: October to February

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