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Winter Intake in Canada 2023: Universities, Courses & Requirements

Updated on 10 September, 2023

The winter intake in Canada is not the primary intake in the country. This secondary intake admits students between January and May every year. It offers a chance to students, who missed the fall intake, to apply for their preferred courses and institutions. However, it is not a popular choice for international students, even though the competition is slightly lesser around this time. 

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Advantages & Disadvantages of Winter Intake in Canada 

Following are the benefits of winter intake in Canada: 

  • The winter intake offers sufficient time to get your study visa. 
  • You will also have more time in hand to prepare your application. 
  • You have higher chance of getting into your preferred institution due to lower competition. 

Some of the disadvantages include the following: 

  • Not every course and institution is available in this period. 
  • There are lesser international applications as compared to the fall intake. 
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Winter Intake in Canada

All About Winter Intake in Canada

Out of the three Canadian education intakes -Winter, Fall, and Spring – January intake is not very popular, and offers limited courses and specialized educational programs along with courses that have not filled out their seats completely. Students should note that the application procedure and eligibility criteria will remain unchanged for all intakes.

This intake takes applications between January and May, every year. Competition is lower, and students have more chances of landing seats in their chosen institutions and courses. 

Timeline for Intakes in Canada

If you look at a timeline for the winter 2022 intake in Canada, the applications will be enabled between January and May. Those missing out on the fall intake will get a chance to apply. The winter intake is followed by the spring or summer intake that accepts applications between May and August. 

Source: Get Rich abroad

Winter Intake Universities In Canada 

Here are some institutions offering admissions during the winter intake in Canada: 

  • Queen’s University (Geology, Biology, Engineering, Psychology, Computer Science)
  • Douglas College (International Business, Language, Literature & Performing Arts)   
  • Cape Breton University (Public Administration, Community Studies)    
  • The University of Toronto (Computer Science, Architecture, Music,
  • Physical and Mathematical Sciences, Kinesiology)
  • Carleton University (Architecture and Technology, Public Affairs, Journalism)
  • Mount Saint Vincent University (Psychology, Computer Science,  Public Relations)
  • McGill University (Engineering, Education, Management)
  • The University of British Columbia (Economics, Political Science,  English)
  • The University of Ottawa (Computer Science, Geosciences, Engineering)
  • The University of Manitoba (Health Services Research, Mathematics, Management)
  • Lambton College (Computer Software and Database Development, International Business, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning)

Recommended Read: Study Abroad for MASTERS Degree

Step by Step Guide to Apply for Canada Winter Intake 

Step 1

Starting the application procedure- Most Canadian institutions have a first-come admission rule. Hence, keep all the application or admission timelines in mind. Narrow down all the institutions where you are eligible to apply and those which offer your preferred courses. Note down individual deadlines of all institutions. 

Step 2

Prepare yourself for standardized examinations like the TOEFL, GRE, GMAT, SAT, IELTS, and others. Give yourself appropriate time to prepare and give yourself some buffer time to take the tests again if you are dissatisfied with your scores. 

Step 3

Submit the application. It happens between August and September, and you should finalize the application, contact your supervisors, teachers and managers for LORs and finish your SOP. The deadline for January admission usually falls around September with regard to submitting applications. Some deadlines may be till mid-November, but make sure to check them carefully. Always apply well before the deadline. 

Interviews & Acceptance Letters

September to October is the period when you will be contacted by universities for video interviews if required. You will also get your official letters of acceptance at this time. Respond quickly by paying all the initial charges or confirmation deposits and enrolling on the institution without waiting. You must make decisions quickly to avoid losing out on your seat.

Applying for your Visa and Education Loan

This period is usually between October and November. You should apply for the education loan immediately once you get the letter of acceptance. The procedure requires time, keep this aspect in mind. Complete the documents you will have to submit for the visa and apply at the earliest. You can also apply for a scholarship upon getting your acceptance letter, if you are eligible. 

Get Ready for Departure

This period is from November to December. Buy your flight tickets and ensure that you land in Canada some time earlier to find accommodation outside or within the university campus. Get all your documentation in place before departing. Ensure that your departure checklist is completely ticked off with your international debit/credit card in place.

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Documents Required for Winter Intakes in Canada

  • Standardized examinations score – ACT, GRE, GMAT, and SAT.
  • Proof of English language proficiency, i.e., TOEFL or IELTS scores. 
  • Transcripts of official academic records and certificates of extra-curricular activities. 
  • Photocopy of your valid passport. 
  • LORs or Letters of Recommendation. 
  • SOP or Statement of Purpose. 

Deadlines for Winter Intake in Canada Applications

The deadline for your application should be between September and November. The maximum deadline at some institutions may last till mid-November

Scholarships for the Canada Winter Intake 

Some of the scholarship options include the following: 

  • Lester B. Pearson International Scholarship Program at the University of Toronto. 
  • Karen McKellin International Leader of Tomorrow Award at the University of British Columbia. 
  • Donald A. Wehrung International Student Award. 
  • Humber International Entrance Scholarships. 
  • Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships (Vanier CGS). 
  • International Undergraduate Student Bursary at the University of Manitoba. 
  • UBC Graduate Global Leadership Fellowships for Developing Country Students. 
  • University of Calgary International Entrance Scholarship. 
  • Waterloo International Master’s Award of Excellence. 
  • University of Manitoba Graduate Fellowships

 There are numerous options available for students choosing the winter intake in Canada. However, you need to be careful, apply well before deadlines, and carefully check deadlines and eligibility criteria. This period can be better for getting admission into your chosen universities and courses due to lower competition. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

Are deadlines flexible?

For the winter intake in Canada, the deadlines vary across universities and institutions. They start from September and go on till mid-November in some cases. While some institutions may have flexible deadlines, adhering to these deadlines is very important in most cases. Missing out on them means that students can only apply in the upcoming summer intake, where even fewer institutions and courses may be available. Similarly, those missing the application deadline for the fall intake usually apply in the winter intake.

What if the deadline is missed?

If you miss the application deadline for the fall intake in Canada, you will have to apply at the summer intake. The fall intake is between January and May, while the summer intake is between May and August in most cases. The deadlines for applying are usually between September and mid-November for admissions in the winter intake.

Is Canada’s winter intake good?

The winter or January intake in Canada is not as preferred by international students as the fall intake. Most international students usually prefer to apply during the fall intake. However, the winter intake is good for getting access to specialized educational programs and institutions even though the overall institution and course count is not high. You can also increase your chances of admission into your chosen university and course since competition is on the lower side.

What is the difference between September and January intake?

The winter intake begins in January and ends in May. The fall or September intake is the primary intake for most students. The highest number of institutions and courses are available at this time. It is followed by the secondary or winter intake when a limited number of institutions and courses are available. Many international students apply in the fall intake, while a limited number apply in winter.

Will January intake be online in Canada?

Due to the coronavirus restrictions across the world, those who have active offers of admission for January 2021 can apply for their study permits. If you get the final study permit approval or approval in principle, you can start attending your classes straight away from your home nation online, even though you can’t land in Canada straight away.

Winter intake means which month in Canada?

The winter intake usually begins in January. It is a second opportunity for many aspirants to apply to their preferred universities and courses in Canada after missing out on the fall intake due to some reason. Many winter intake universities in Canada have majors on offer at this time, while some offer specialized and limited courses.

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