How to find schools and apply to study in Canada

Thinking of studying in Canada? This is for you.

You will see info on
- Searching for programs in Canada
- Admission requirements
- CV/statement of intent guide
- Finding a research supervisor
- Study options for students with low CGPA
- Possible sources of funding

Study in Canada

To begin, it is important to answer these six (6) questions:

1. What do I want to study & at what level (undergrad or grad)?
2. Which Canadian Uni offers the program?
3. What are the admission requirements?
4. Am I eligible?
5. How will I fund my program?
6. When/How to apply? 

1. What do I want to study & at what level (undergrad or grad)?

Answer the following yourself.

What's my current level of education?
What do I currently do or plan to professionally do in the future?
What are my interests?
Which program will suit this purpose?

Think about it. 

2. Which Canadian Uni offers the program?

At this stage, believe me, Google comes in handy. For instance, if a Masters in Economics is what you are considering, use this keyword to search on Google "Masters in Economics program in Canada"

You will get enough info to start with. 

3. What are the admission requirements & costs?

From the info you got on Google, narrow down your choice and check the specific requirements of each university offering the program. Look out for required grade average, tuition, available funding, application fee, deadlines, etc 

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4. Am I eligible?

Now that you know the admission requirements, you will already know if/how to proceed. Admission requirements vary by program/university, but generally, if you are applying for an undergraduate program, the main focus will be on your high school results. 

4b. How good your high school results should also depend on the program/university

If you are applying from Nigeria, a minimum admission average of at least C4 is what I have mostly seen. This is calculated using 5 subjects.

Confirm what the school you are applying to requires.

High school resultHigh school



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4c. If applying for graduate study (Masters/Ph.D.), six factors are generally considered.

A) Grade
B) Letter of Intent
D) Letters of Recommendation
E) Proposed Research (if applying for thesis-based programs)
F) English Proficiency (if previous Degree was not in English) 

A) Grade

Masters/PhD admissions in Canada are competitive. You stand a higher chance if your CGPA is high. 70-75% CGPA is the minimum,but successful applicants & those offered entrance funding are likely those with higher grades

If you don't have this, I still have info for you. When reviewing a graduate study application, more focus is placed on the cumulative average in the last 2 years of undergraduate study. If your strong grades are in these years, or you have years of professional experience or evidence of research productivity, you may give it a shot! 

If this does not work out, there are Canadian colleges that you can apply to.

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Have you heard of Colleges like Seneca, Humber, Conestoga? If you have a first degree, consider Graduate Certificate programs in these Colleges

Check this link for useful info 

The Graduate Certificate programs are also beneficial in a lot of ways. They are mostly a one- or two-year program and are eligible for the post-graduation work permit (PGWP)

The PGWP allows eligible graduates to remain in Canada & work full time after completing their program. 

B) Letter of Intent

It gives you the opportunity to describe to the admissions committee your motivation & fit for the program. Use this to sell yourself!

State academic background, accomplishments & preparation for the program.

See samples/guides at 

In your Statement of Intent, include:

- About yourself & motivation for grad study
- Why you chose the specific program/Uni
- Your skills/experiences & what will help you succeed in the program
- Your goals during & after the program
- How the program will help you achieve this. 


Use your CV to show proof of your outstanding academic, research, and professional experience. Ensure your CV fits what is expected by the university you are applying to.

There are Career advancement centres in all Canadian universities & they have their CV samples online 

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To find CV samples from the university you are applying to, Google is again your friend here.

Do a Google search of the "University name & resume or CV guide"

For instance, "University of Calgary resume guide." The top response will give you this page 

D) Letters of Recommendations

This is an important document, and the number of letters required will depend on the program/Uni

Your referee should be someone who can assess your ability for graduate-level study, and affirm your potential to excel when admitted into the program. 

E) Proposed Research

Especially if you are applying for a thesis-based program, you will need to submit a draft of the research you intend to do.

Some programs will also require you to find a supervisor before applying. Make sure you do this if it applies to your program/Uni. 

How can you find a supervisor?

Faculty members & their areas of research are usually listed on the program websites.

By email, contact those whose research areas align with what you are proposing. Send your well-structured research proposal to them.

Appeal to their interests! 

In your email to a potential supervisor

- Briefly Introduce yourself.
- State the reason why you are contacting them.
- State what attracted you to them/their work & why you want to conduct your research under their supervision.
- Attach the proposed research for consideration. 

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F) English Proficiency

It is not compulsory to provide an English proficiency test if your primary language, the language of instruction, and examination language in your previous Degrees were in English.

You can request a waiver if asked. You don’t need IELTS (Academic) for grad study in Canada if your previous education was in English & your university is listed on 

If asked, explain the above & request a waiver. If they don’t oblige you send me their details, I’ll contact them to explain.

5. How will I fund my program?

I know you will need money to pay for tuition & living expenses. Possible sources of funding are:

- Personal funds
- University (internal) scholarships
- External scholarships (from organizations/government)
- Research Grants (from supervisors) 

5b. In many Universities, students are considered for internal scholarships when an admission application is submitted.

A separate funding application is usually not required.

I'll provide more info about how to fund your study in Canada in a separate thread.

Don't miss it! 

6. When/How to apply?

Submit your application ASAP! Applications are accepted in advance to allow enough time for admission/funding decisions & Visa applications.

Fall Term (Sep) 2020 applications are currently ongoing in many universities.

Confirm the deadlines & apply ASAP! 

Read also : Student visa and scholarship in Canada.

6b. Applications are submitted online, application fees are paid online & electronic/scanned copies of transcripts, certificates or other docs will be accepted in most (if not all) Canadian universities.

Original copies of documents may be requested after an offer has been made. 

Now you know a few things about studying in Canada, admission requirements, documents required, possible sources of funding, etc.

I hope you will find the thread useful in some ways. If you have any question please reply below, I'll do my best to provide relevant info.



Tags: Study in Canada

Author : Kekeocha Justin