It depends on the country. In Canada, Colleges usually refer to Community Colleges where students go to learn skills specific to an industry (Eg. Animation, Fashion Design, Radio Broadcasting) or to study trades (Eg. Electrician, Plumber, Machinist, or other specific trade). Colleges also offer many other programs such as Bachelor Degrees and certificates. For example, university graduates can study at a college in order to upgrade their skills. (Eg. If you have completed a university degree, you can go to college to study a post-graduate program in Human Resources Management.)
In the US, there are two types of colleges:
1) “Community College” which usually offers two year programs toward a diploma or an associate’s degree. You can refer to these as 2-year colleges.
2) “College” which usually refers to a 4-year bachelor’s degree granting institution. Students can either do an associate’s degree then transfer to a college or they can go directly to the 4-year institution. You can refer to these as 4-year colleges.
An undergraduate degree is the degree you will apply to from high school. You must complete an undergraduate degree first. Normally you cannot enter a graduate program (a Master Degree or professional Degree) until you have completed an undergraduate degree. Please refer to the information under What these academic terms and definitions mean?
Undergraduate Degree: It’s the first degree you can complete at the university level. It’s commonly called Bachelor’s degree, and may be further classified as honors or general (see below). You apply to it from high school.
Honours Degree: It’s typically completed in four years of full-time study and often focuses on a particular discipline. It provides the widest range of options, should you wish to pursue post-graduate studies. You must declare a major prior to graduation. For example: Honours Bachelor of Business Administration (in Accounting), or Honours Bachelor of Arts (in Canadian History).
General Degree: It’s typically completed in four years of full-time study and often involves a more generalized study of a broadly defined area. You will be grant “general” degrees like Bachelor of Arts. A few universities may offer three years program, and if you’ve chosen it, you are limiting your options for further university studies or professional studies. You should always apply to a four year undergraduate degree. Speak with your UP counsellor if you are unsure.
Professional Degree: It usually refers to those programs you cannot apply directly from high school including: Dentistry, Law, Medicine etc. It requires some university preparation for admissions.
Graduate Degree: It can be completed after an undergraduate degree. It involves additional study in a particular area of interest, and may include research or the completion of a thesis. You cannot apply directly from high school. It’s called a Master Degree or PHD or Doctorate Degree.
A Major is your primary area of study within a degree. It involves intensive focus on a specific discipline. For example, you could be pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in History.
A Minor is an optional secondary area of study that is related to or different from your major. It provides an introductory level of education about a single discipline. It is not mandatory and selected after you begin your university studies. It counts toward your overall degree. For example, you study History as your major but with Music as your minor. Universities may allow you to study two majors (double major) or more than one minor.
Co-op and internships are opportunities where you can gain work experience and test out potential career paths before you graduate. Most commonly, co-op is a full-time, paid work term that lasts anywhere from four to sixteen months. Students will normally not be registered in classes during their co-op work term. An internship is usually a part-time, unpaid placement that can either take place during school or over the breaks from the regular school year. Some universities use the terms co-op and internship interchangeably.
Co-op lets you try different jobs by alternating terms in class with terms working for employers in your field of study. By participating in co-op, you’ll graduate with:
∙ Tons of paid work experience that relates to what you’re studying
∙ An understanding of your strengths and skills
∙ Employer contacts in your field
∙ A better sense of your career goals
Generally, the entry requirements for a Co-op stream are higher than for a regular non-co-op program. If your grades are strong enough then you should definitely consider applying to Co-op and/or Internships. These opportunities can give you relevant work experience that can strengthen your resumé and help you explore what you want in a career.
Computer Science tends to focus on mathematics and computation – the focus is on theory. Computer Engineering will include the components of Computer Science but will have an emphasis on the design and development of real-world computing devices and systems.
These are all professional designations. In order to be granted the ability to practice any of these you will usually need to complete some undergraduate studies first. After the initial undergraduate studies you will then apply for the professional program. Many students will choose to complete a 4-year degree before studying their professional program. There are other requirements too. Talk with your Counsellor if you have more questions.
Most universities will allow you to study Nursing if you are an international student. However, as part of the Nursing program, you will be required to get some work experience in clinic, hospital or community health centre. Generally, in order to be a practicing nurse in Ontario, you must either be a Canadian Citizen or a Permanent Resident.
If you are not quite sure or have not decided what program/major you will study at university, this may be the program for you. It is common that a student has not decided on an academic discipline for his/her major or changes majors two to three times during their post-secondary years. Your selection of a Subject of Major Interest for the first year program (Level I or year one program) does not commit you to a specific program in future years.
Not all Canadian universities offer an Undeclared Program for first year students, but at many Canadian universities, students entering first year normally complete a common first-year program and then select a specific discipline (area of study) as they enter year two.
During the first year at university, through self-exploration, with the guidance from professors and academic advisors, and while you settle into university life, you have the chance to uncover where your real interests and opportunities for success are.
By starting with an undeclared year at university, it gives you the opportunity to test your areas of interest before you decide on your major for your second year. Changing majors is a lot of work and sometimes not possible leading to disappointment.
Transfers are usually possible. Your university grades will need to be strong. In general it is easier to transfer within the same faculty because the prerequisites are often similar across programs. When you are transferring to a different faculty there may be differences in prerequisites for certain courses which might require you to add some semesters to your stay at the university. It is usually easier to transfer earlier in your university career. You should speak with an advisor at your university to learn about your options.
It is often possible to transfer. It will depend on the regulations of the university you are transferring to, your grades from your current university, and how much of the program you have already completed.
Universities will likely ask for a reason for the transfer. They will also want to see a detailed breakdown of every course you have completed at the university level so they can consider whether they will grant credit for your work. Transferring is not easy and it is not advised unless absolutely necessary.
Students must first apply to Arts and Science at University of Alberta. Within your first year of Arts and Science you will take the required courses to get into business for 2nd year. There is no direct entry to the business program at University of Alberta from high school.
GPA means Grade Point Average. Universities often request your GPA for admissions purposes. GPA is most commonly reported on a scale from 1 to 4. For example, a GPA of 4.0 can be considered equal to the range of 90-100% on the percentage scale. Most Canadian institutions do not use a GPA scale. GPA is more commonly used in the US.
|GPA||3.7 – 4.0||2.7 – 3.5||1.7 – 2.3||0.7 – 1.3|
|Grade||A-, A or A+||B-, B or B+||C-, C or C+||D-, D or D+|
|Percentage||80 % – 100 %||70% – 79%||60% – 69%||50% – 59%|
Yes, you can repeat a grade 12 course to try to get a higher mark. For many universities, there is no negative impact. The university will simply take the higher mark out of the two and add that one into your average.
However, for some competitive universities, the rules are different. The University of Toronto will not accept any repeated courses for Rotman Commerce or Engineering. For the rest of the programs at University of Toronto, they may only take your first attempt mark as part of your average, especially if competition for your program is strong that year. While recognizing that there may be valid reasons to repeat a course, the University of Toronto reserves the right to give preference to students whose marks are the result of a single attempt at each course.
The University of Waterloo will generally accept repeated courses but ask you to explain the reason for repeating. However, Waterloo’s faculties of Engineering and Mathematics will likely deduct percentage points from your overall average to compensate for the repeated courses.
Repeated courses may also negatively impact your chances for admission to competitive universities such as University of British Columbia and McGill.
That means if you aim at these specific programs or universities, you’d better do every grade 12 course well and achieve the highest mark you can for the first attempt because repeated marks will put you on a disadvantage to compete with other students.
When calculating your admission average, universities will generally take the top 6 4U/M courses including the required courses. If you are taking more than 6 courses, then the university can bump out a lower mark in an elective course in favour of a higher one.
There are very few universities that will not require at least one 4U Math for a Business program. Even if a university does not require math for admission, you will definitely be studying some Calculus and Statistics in any real Business program. If you do not have a background in these topics you will be putting yourself at a disadvantage. It is strongly recommended that you take Math if you are pursuing a Business program. If you do not like Math or you are not achieving strong enough marks, you should consider choosing programs under Social Sciences or Humanities which have less Math requirements or no Math requirements. Please speak with your University Placement Counsellor for more information.
No, taking LKMDU will not negatively impact your admission chance as it is a recognized grade 12 university preparatory level course. However, if you are applying to a competitive program, you will likely benefit more from taking courses taught entirely in English and that are related to the program you want to study in university. The Mandarin course may be an interesting option for you, but, for example, BAT4M (Accounting), CIA4U (Economics), MDM4U (Data Management), BBB4M (International Business), or IDC4U (Marketing) may be a better choice for a student interested in Business.
A supplementary application is an extra component that must be submitted in addition to the standard university application. A supplementary application can be in the form of a portfolio, personal statement, video statement, essay, short answers to several questions, or other documentation. The majority of Canadian universities do not require supplementary applications, but many programs that are competitive will require one (such as Engineering, Architecture, Business, Health Science, Design/Visual Arts and Journalism at top universities.)
A portfolio is a collection of works created by you to show your skills and abilities in a certain subject. Portfolios are most commonly requested for programs that include a creative component. Eg. Design, Music, VisualArts/Fine Art, Drama, and Architecture.
A resumé is a formal document that lists and explains your education, work experience, and other relevant skills. Normally you will not need to submit a separate resumé with your applications in Canada, but a very few programs may require it. Universities and colleges in the US will often ask or allow you to submit such supplements with your application.
If you are applying to universities in the US and/or UK, your application process begins in September of the year prior to when you will begin your studies. For example, if you want to begin studies in September 2021 you will apply in September of 2020.
If you are applying to universities or colleges in Canada for September 2021 entry, your application will normally begin in late November of 2020. If you are applying to universities or colleges in Canada for January 2021 admission, your application will normally begin in October of 2020.
Universities need a certain amount of time to consider the thousands of applicants who apply to them. Deadlines are set so that the universities have time to consider all applications. As long as you complete your application by the deadline, you will be equally considered for admission.
Be noted that the OUAC application deadline for Ontario universities for September 2021 admission will be on January 15th, 2021. The deadlines vary for other Canadian universities outside of Ontario. Contact your University Placement Counsellor for details.
For most programs there is no difference. However, there are a small number of universities and programs that will likely not be able to accept June graduates. The following universities will have limited or no availability for June Graduates while most other universities and programs are available to students who graduate in June.
McGill University, McMaster University, Queen’s University, University of British Columbia, University of Toronto, University of Waterloo (some programs), and Western University (main campus).
If you are graduating in May, most offers of admission will happen one to three weeks after your March midterm grades are sent. Early admission from December to February is uncommon, unless you start G11 in CIC or Canada, and satisfy all admission requirements (academic average, English language proficiency if needed, supplementary application) before February. Offers are generally distributed throughout the period from March to June.
If you are graduating in June, it is possible to get an offer as early as March, but most likely after the mid-term of the June semester. But if you are taking a course in June that is required for your program, it is unlikely that you will receive an early offer. In this case it is likely that you will not receive an offer until late June or later. Speak with your counsellor if you are concerned.
If you are not eligible for the program you have applied for (average is descent, but lower than the required or you do not have the required courses), sometimes a university may send you an alternate offer. This is an offer to a program that is related to the one you applied for, but either has a lower average requirement or one where you meet the course requirements.
Alternate offers can be a great option for students; both as insurance until you are able to boost your average and ask for reconsideration for the program you applied to, or as a final option if your average does not improve or there are no longer any available spots in the program to which you applied. Make sure to read the details and conditions closely and do research on this new program. You may find that you like this option even better than your original choice!
Not all universities will do so to issue an alternate offer. Some only consider you for the programs you apply to.
Postponing your admission is also called a deferral. Deferring your admission might be possible, but most universities will need a valid reason. Often universities will only consider extenuating circumstances to be valid. Examples of valid reasons include: health issues, the requirement to complete military service in your country of citizenship, or other circumstances beyond your control. You need to make the request directly with the university to get approval for the deferral.
Generally, ESL programs are expensive at university and can take up to 8 months or a year to complete. Some ESL programs will not give you a conditional offer to your academic program until ESL is complete. Admission to the program you have been accepted for may not be guaranteed after you complete ESL studies.
There are a few ESL programs that offer conditional admission to academic programs and are short in duration, but only selected universities offer this type of program. Speak with your University Placement Counsellor for clarification or more information.
If this is a concern for you, make sure you speak with an Admissions Officer in Ainsliewood Room 163 as soon as possible. They are the people who can give you advice and assist you in your Study Permit renewal.
If you are in a full-time program, you may be able to work on-campus with only a Study Permit. In order to work off-campus, you will likely need to apply for a Work Permit. You will need to visit your university website and the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website to get more details or visit the International Office or Student Services Office in the university to get help.
An undergraduate calendar is the official listing of requirements for degree programs and courses offered by a university. It also describes a university’s academic and administrative regulations, policies and procedures. It is a great place to learn about what you will be studying in your program. You may need it when you register courses online for your first year of university studies, and you can find it on the university website.
Often, universities use these words as synonyms. Scholarships, bursaries, and grants are amounts of money given to students to help pay for tuition, and you don’t have to pay it back! Scholarships are normally awarded for scholastic and/or extra-curricular achievement and bursaries and grants are awarded on the basis of financial need.
Tuition is an amount of money paid to a university/college so that you may hold a seat in your program and attend classes. Tuition is paid in order to cover the costs associated with running the institution, such as wages of administration and professors. Tuition is different at every institution. You will need to visit each university/college website individually to check the tuition amounts for the current year.
Please note that residence fees (rent), meals and text books are not included in tuition. Student union memberships and other mandatory fees (also known as ancillary fees) must also be paid in addition to tuition. When you are researching tuition at your university/college, make sure to check whether ancillary fees are included in the tuition reporting.
Some universities offer the chance to study your degree in French. Many Canadian universities offer this opportunity. Some popular universities that have French immersion include: University of Alberta, York University (Glendon Campus), and University of Ottawa, to name a few.
If you are French proficient or have your schooling back home in French and wish to apply to universities that teach in French in Canada, come meet your University Placement Counsellor for assistance.