Study Destination

Complete Guide to Intakes and Deadlines for Canada Admissions 2023-2024

Kashyap Matani

Canada attracts over 650,000 international students every year with a majority coming from India. In recent years, there has been a huge surge in the number of applicants willing to study in Canada which has made it even more popular than the UK and US among study abroad destinations. As it can be understood, with the increasing number of applicants, the level of competition also increases which is why it is important to note the Canada intake months and apply timely.

Your choice remains limited to 3 Canada intakes i.e. Fall, Winter and Summer. If you are unable to make your mind as to which of the Canada intakes is suitable for you, then read through this article to learn about the available intakes, deadlines and admission journey.

Table of Contents

Canada Universities Intakes: September vs May vs January Intakes

Canadian universities invite applications for 3 semesters i.e. Fall, Winter and Summer. The fall semester commences in September, winter in January and Summer in May.

Fall is the most popular intake among international students for admission to Canadian universities. The next best option for students who have missed the fall intake in the winter intake. It must be noted that not all courses are offered for the summer intake.

Before we dive deep into Canada intakes, let us discuss the differences between them:

September Intake

January Intake

May Intake

Also known as Fall intake

Also known as Winter/ Spring intake

Also known as Summer intake

Primary intake

Secondary intake

Available for limited universities only

All programs are available

Available for the majority of programs

Only available for selected programs

Largest number of applications are received

Applications received are fewer than in the fall intake. Usually preferred by late applicants.

Very limited applicants

Maximum scholarships and financial aid are offered

Limited scholarships and financial aid are offered

Least scholarships and financial aid are offered

Application deadline: December - March

Application deadline: September - November

Application deadline:  October - February

Complete Guide to Studying in Canada after 12th for international students

In the following sections, we shall take a look at each Canada study intake closely:

All About the September Intake in Canada

September is the primary Canada intake 2023 for admission. All universities in Canada accept applications for this intake. Since a maximum number of applications are received for the September intake, admission is quite competitive especially at top universities and therefore you must apply early.

You can start applying from December of the previous year for admission to September 2023 intake which means the process is currently taking place.

Why Study in Canada During September 2024 Intake?

The September intake in Canada is a highly preferred intake because of numerous courses available for September intake in Canada, along with a humongous amount of job and career opportunities. Additionally, students get a lot of time on their hands to settle in, and adjust to the academic environment in Canada. Also, the Spring season in Canada is much easier to adapt to, as compared to winters in Canada!

Top Universities for September Intake in Canada

Take a look at the list below to learn about top universities for September Canada 2024 intake:

  1. University of Toronto
  2. McGill University
  3. University of British Columbia
  4. Universite de Montreal
  5. University of Alberta
  6. McMaster University
  7. University of Waterloo
  8. Western University
  9. University of Ottawa
  10. University of Calgary

Admission Timeline for September Intake in Canada

As stated above, universities in Canada have started accepting applications for the September 2023 intake already. Understand the admission timeline for September intake in Canada to be on the right track throughout the application process:



August to October 2023

Use this time to research about universities you wish to apply to and come up with at least 6-8 names. Gather information regarding admission requirements, deadline for fall intake in Canada, etc.

December 2023

You must shortlist and make up your mind about universities that you will be applying to. Also use this time to prepare for standardized exams required for admission.

January to March 2024

Appear for the standardized exams and apply to the shortlisted universities.

April 2024

Apply for the student visa in your home country and appear for the visa interview.

May to July 2024

Appear for any interviews or group discussions and wait for the admission decision. If you are accepted, confirm your admission and complete the enrollment process. You will also be notified if you are eligible for any entrance scholarships.

August and September 2024

Check your student visa paperwork, apply for any external scholarships or student loans. Also, arrange for housing in Canada and start packing your bags!

Step-by-step Guide to Apply in the September Fall Intake Canada 2024

Once you decide to enrol in the September intake in Canada 2024, follow these admission steps/requirements and begin your application process.

  • Explore the various university options as mentioned below or others, select a particular course, fee structure, payment method, etc.
  • As per university requirements, take tests like IELTS, TOEFL, GRE, GMAT, SAT, ACT, PTE, DET, etc.
  • Apply to the universities with documents, including academic resume/CV, academic transcripts, proof of English language proficiency, SAT/GMAT/ACT/GRE scores, statement of purpose (SOP), letter of recommendation (LOR), and others.
  • You can also apply to the universities well before the deadline for September intake Canada with a conditional offer letter in case a vital exam score is absent.
  • After receiving the letter of acceptance from a university, you can apply for the Canadian student visa.

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All About the January Intake in Canada

Also referred to as the secondary intake, the winter intake in Canada is the second most popular choice among students. However, not all programs are available for Canada January intake 2024 deadline and the total number of seats for winter 2024 intake Canada is also quite less compared to the fall intake.

Some students see this as an advantage as there are less number of applicants which means less competition. The January intake in Canada 2024 is still the next best alternative if you have missed the fall deadline. Universities also welcome applications for courses that have vacancies.

How to Survive Winters in Canada?

Top Universities for January Intake in Canada

Most universities with 2 yearly intakes invite applications for the January intake i.e. the winter 2024 intake Canada. The universities listed below accepted applications for the winter 2024 intake Canada:

  1. University of Toronto
  2. McGill University
  3. Universite de Montreal
  4. University of British Columbia
  5. University of Alberta
  6. Queen’s University
  7. University of Ottawa
  8. Centennial College
  9. Carleton University
  10. University of Manitoba

Admission Timeline for January Intake in Canada

The deadline for January intake in Canada 2024 will vary from institution to institution. You must keep an eye on the official website of the university to check when the applications are available as admissions take place on a first come first serve basis for deadlines for January 2024 intake in Canada.

Here’s the timeline for the winter 2024 intake Canada :



January to April 2023

Start looking for universities that offer your choice of program and details regarding deadlines for January 2024 intake in Canada, eligibility criteria and scholarships awarded.

July to August 2023

Prepare and appear for entrance exams. Also finalize which universities you will be applying to. Submit your student visa application.

September to October 2023

Submit applications for admission and gather all supporting documents.

October to November 2023

Wait for the admission decision. If you are accepted, complete the process for confirming your admission and pay the enrollment fees. Apply for any scholarship opportunities or student loan. Arrange for housing.

December  2023 to January 2024

Pack your bags for traveling to Canada.

Please note that the admission for winter 2023 intake Canada is already completed.

All About the May Intake in Canada

The Canada summer intake or the May intake in Canada 2024 is available only at select institutions and for limited programs of which majority are short term courses, diplomas or certificates.

Students who have personal constraints or are awaiting results apply before the deadline for May intake canada. There is generally more seat availability as the number of applicants are very limited.

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Top Universities for May Intake in Canada

Some Canadian universities offer part-time and non-degree programs for the Canada summer intake or the May intake in Canada 2024. Here are the few universities that offer summer intake:

  1. University of British Columbia
  2. University of Manitoba
  3. University of Alberta
  4. University of Waterloo
  5. Ryerson University

Admission Timeline for May Intake in Canada

The last date for May intake in Canada is scheduled in the end of February or beginning of March. You must check the final application deadline on the university’s website.

If you are looking forward to applying before the deadline for May intake Canada for admission in 2024, then by now you must apply for the student visa and be prepared to appear for standardized exams.

The admission timeline discussed below is with reference to May intake 2024:



May to June 2023

Check which universities and programs are offered for May intake.

July to October 2023

Prepare and appear for standardized tests.

November 2023 to February 2024

Gather all supporting documents and apply for admission.

February to March 2024

Wait for your acceptance letter and confirm your enrollment. Check all your visa documents. Apply for your accommodation.

April to May 2024

Book your tickets and get ready to arrive in Canada!

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Which Canada Intake to Choose As An International Student?

The most relevant choice for international students seeking admission in Canada is the Fall intake. It is better than the other available intakes in every way. You may find the January or May intake suitable if you are looking for a course in particular.

Take a look at the factors that must be considered while choosing Canada intake 2023:

  • First of all, you need to check the availability of the course you intend to enroll in.
  • Next, you must check the application deadline and see if you have sufficient time to gather all documents and apply.
  • You must have all your academic records and entrance test results handy to be able to apply. If you are awaiting the results for any examination, it is better to apply in the next intake as your application might be waitlisted.
  • You must also glance through the financial aid opportunities for the chosen intake.
  • Don’t forget to check the acceptance rates for your chosen intake.
  • Most importantly you must be prepared to enter the course at the given time as it will be a big shift for you.
  • Talking about student life, Canada witnesses harsh winter which is why some students avoid enrolling during the January intake.

Know all about the Entrance Exams to Study in Canada

Hope this article helped you understand the difference between all intakes and make an informed decision. The excellence of the education system in Canada is recognized worldwide and is one of the most preferred destinations when it comes to studying abroad so make sure you choose the right semester intake for yourself.  Also, make sure you follow the proper admission timeline to land into your dream university. For further information, reach out to our Yocket Counsellors!

Frequently Asked Questions About Intakes in Canada

How many intakes do Canada universities have?

Which Canada intake month is best for international students?

When should I apply to receive maximum scholarship consideration?

How will I know when to start applying for admission to an intake?

Will I get admission if I have missed the deadline?

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