Winter intake in Canada

Winter intake in Canada refers to the period when Canadian universities and colleges offer admissions specifically for the winter semester. 

In Canada, there are three main intakes for students looking to pursue their education: Fall intake, Winter intake, and Summer intake.

Fall Intake: 

The Fall intake is the primary intake and it begins in September. Most Canadian universities offer a wide range of courses during this intake. 

Winter Intake: 

The winter intake is the secondary intake and it starts in January/February and goes on till April. This intake is primarily designed for students who may have missed the application deadlines or were unable to secure admission during the fall intake. While not all programs are available during the winter intake, many universities still offer a significant number of courses and programs during this intake. 

Summer Intake: 

The summer intake is the least common in Canada and it begins in May. The number of courses and programs offered during this intake is limited compared to the fall and winter intakes. 

The winter intake provides an opportunity for Indian students who may have missed the deadlines or were unable to secure admission during the fall intake to still pursue their studies in Canada. It allows students to join their chosen programs in January and participate in the winter semester, which runs from January to April.

Advantages of Winter Intake in Canada:

Higher Acceptance Rates: 

One of the major advantages of the winter intake is that there is generally less competition for admissions compared to the fall intake. This means that the acceptance rates for programs and universities during the winter intake are often higher. It can increase your chances of securing admission to your desired course or institution.

More Time for Visa Processing: 

Opting for the winter intake gives you more time to gather all the necessary documents, submit your application, and complete the visa process. 

Preparation and Paperwork: 

Choosing the winter intake allows you additional time to focus on preparations for your studies. Whether it’s studying for entrance exams, gathering required documents, or completing paperwork, having the extra time can be beneficial in ensuring you are well-prepared and organized before starting your program.

Disadvantages of Winter Intake in Canada:

Limited Course and College Options: 

While some universities offer a significant number of courses during the winter intake, it’s important to note that not all programs may be available. This limitation could result in fewer options when it comes to choosing your desired course or college. 

Lower International Student Diversity: 

The winter intake in Canada generally attracts fewer international applications compared to the fall intake. As a result, there may be less diversity in the classrooms during the winter semester. 

Challenging Winter Climate: 

Canada’s winter can be extremely cold, particularly in certain provinces. Adjusting to the harsh winter weather conditions may pose a challenge for students who are not accustomed to such climates. 

Key Universities Accepting Winter Intake Admissions in Canada

Here are some institutions in Canada that accept students during the winter intake and the programs they offer:

Queen’s University: 

Programs available during the winter intake include Geology, Biology, Engineering, Psychology, and Computer Science.

Douglas College: 

This institution offers programs such as International Business, Language, Literature & Performing Arts during the winter intake.

Cape Breton University: 

Available programs during the winter intake include Public Administration and Community Studies.

University of Toronto: 

Programs available during the winter intake at this prestigious university include Computer Science, Architecture, Music, Physical and Mathematical Sciences, and Kinesiology.

Carleton University: 

During the winter intake, Carleton University offers programs such as Architecture and Technology, Public Affairs, and Journalism.

Mount Saint Vincent University: 

This institution offers programs such as Psychology, Computer Science, and Public Relations during the winter intake.

McGill University: 

Programs available during the winter intake at McGill University include Engineering, Education, and Management.

University of British Columbia:

Available programs during the winter intake at the University of British Columbia include Economics, Political Science, and English.

University of Ottawa:

Programs available during the winter intake at the University of Ottawa include Computer Science, Geosciences, and Engineering.

University of Manitoba:

This institution offers programs such as Health Services Research, Mathematics, and Management during the winter intake.

Lambton College:

Programs available during the winter intake at Lambton College include Computer Software and Database Development, International Business, and Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.

These universities and colleges offer a range of programs during the winter intake, allowing students to start their studies in the winter semester instead of the traditional fall intake.

How to Prepare for Canada Winter Intake


Keep in mind that Canadian institutions are likely to accept applications based on first-come, first serve. Therefore, stay updated with all the application or admission timelines. Prepare a list of all the institutions where you can apply and those which have your preferred courses. Last but not least—have a look at the deadlines of those institutions. 

STEP 2: 

Appear in the examinations like the IELTS, TOEFL, GRE, SAT and GMAT, and other required ones. 


The next step is to apply. The submission is done between August and September. Therefore, make sure to prepare your application, stay in touch with your supervisors, teachers, and managers for LORs, and complete your SOP. The intake for January is usually accepted in September, although some deadlines can last till mid-November. However, it is highly recommended to apply for them before the deadline. 


From September to October, universities may contact you for video interviews and send you official acceptance letters. It’s important to respond quickly and pay any initial charges or deposits they require. This will secure your spot at the institution.


Between October and November, you should start applying for a visa and an education loan. Applying for these takes time, so keep that in mind. Make sure you have all the necessary documents for the visa and apply as soon as possible. If you’re eligible, you can also apply for a scholarship after receiving your acceptance letter.


From November to December, it’s time to get ready to leave for Canada. Buy your flight tickets and plan to arrive there a bit early to find a place to live, either on or off campus. Make sure you have all your important documents in order before you depart. Don’t forget to have your international debit or credit card with you as well.

Let Us Help You with Winter Intake Admissions in Canada!

There are several steps involved when it comes to applying for winter intake in Canada, such as identifying universities that accept applications in January, considering your grades and requirements, ensuring you meet the eligibility criteria, preparing a strong Statement of Purpose (SOP) and securing Letters of Recommendation (LOR), among other tasks.

If you find this process overwhelming or are unsure about how to proceed, don’t worry. 

Our Canada Immigration Consultants are here to help. By having a quick chat with our experts, you can gain valuable insights and discover how we can streamline the process for you. 

We offer personalized guidance and support to make your transition to studying in Canada as smooth as possible. Get in touch now!

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