Canada’s provinces have very different entry requirements. We explore how to navigate the Canadian application process. Unsurprisingly for the one of largest countries in the world, Canada has a varied and complex university application system. When you want to apply to universities in Canada, it is not quite as hard to get your head around as its neighbor the USA, there are ten different provinces for students to navigate. Each province and each university will have subtly different admission requirements. 

But we’ll let you in on a secret. 

Once you understand how the Canadian university system works, it becomes much easier to strategize an application. 

To help your Y12/G11/IBDP students who may be considering  Canadian universities, it’s helpful to structure their research with three questions. 

  • How many provinces will you be applying to? 
  • Which (if any) application portals do these provinces use to process applications? 
  • What are the individual entry requirements for each university?

We can’t take you through the individual entry requirements of every Canadian university here. But we can give you a general breakdown of the different types of Canadian universities. 

The Different Types of University in Canada

Most universities in Canada are publicly funded through the provincial governments of Canada. However, there are also a number of private institutions and liberal arts colleges. It’s also worth noting that Canada has a host of vocational institutions – for example, colleges and polytechnics 

Public universities 

These institutions receive funding from the provincial, territorial, and/or federal government, although they do charge students tuition fees as well as accept private funding. People prefer these universities more when they apply to universities in Canada.

Examples of public universities in Canada

The University of Alberta, Simon Fraser University, Universite de Moncton. 

Private universities

A private university generally does not receive funding from the provincial, territorial or federal governments, instead of receiving private funding through donations from wealthy alumni and faculty research grants as well as traditional tuition fees.

Private universities often attract and retain the very best staff possessing esteemed reputations in their respective fields.

Examples of private universities in Canada

University Canada West, Crandall University 

Liberal arts colleges

Similar to their US counterparts, liberal arts colleges place a particular emphasis on undergraduate courses in the liberal arts, namely the humanities but also social, natural, and formal sciences. Many liberal arts institutions in Canada also fall into the category of private universities.

Examples of liberal arts colleges in Canada

St Francis Xavier University, Crandall University, Mount Allison University.

Colleges & polytechnic institutes

These are Canadian institutions offering a range of technical diplomas and applied degrees. It’s also worth noting that some Canadian universities also offer shorter diplomas and career-based programs. 

Examples of colleges & polytechnic institutes in Canada

Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Sciences and Technology, New Brunswick College of Craft and Design

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If you have any more queries, you can ask your question in the forum of Canadians Live.

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