University Intake Timeline: Canada – Fall Intake


If you have decided that Canada is your chosen higher education destination, and you’re looking to take your next step – you’ve come to the right place! As per our experience, what every successful Study Abroad venture has in common is this – it is based on a well-planned and structured timeline. While each student’s timeline will differ based on a number of individual factors, we’ve put together a timeline for you to get an idea of what yours could – and should – look like.

Universities in Canada typically offer 2 major intakes in a year – Fall and Winter, and an additional Summer intake for limited programmes and universities. While in India, students can only enter university in the first semester, in Canada, students have the ability to commence their studies in whichever intake suits them, subject to various factors including course availability.

The Hurray Overseas Education Consultant team has put together some information on the intakes so that you can decide on your choice of university.


  1. Fall: commences in September

  2. Winter: commences in January

  3. Summer (limited programmes/universities only): commences in April-May

The exact date of intake will differ as per the university, and sometimes as per the programme, particularly in the case of graduate programmes. As and when you select your preferred university and/or programme, remember to keep a note of the specific intake dates in order to plan accordingly. 

The following timeline is based on the assumption that you would be opting for the Fall intake in September 2021, which is often preferred by Indian applicants.


Step 1: Research and selection – June-July 2020

  • This is the step that most of you reading this post, are probably on – researching which universities and programmes are best suited to what you want to study in Canada. You may have started earlier or later – but by the end of July, you should preferably have chosen the universities and programmes to which you wish to apply.

Step 2: Clearing standardised tests – July-October 2020

  • You are probably aware that for admission to a Canadian University, you would be required to provide proof of sufficient proficiency in the language. Universities in Canada accept a certain number of English proficiency tests as proof of the same and prefer IELTS or TOEFL in particular.

  • Other important entrance exams that certain programmes demand include GRE, GMAT and so on.

  • Thus, before you can apply to a university, preparing for and clearing these tests is essential – this three to four month period (though you may certainly begin earlier), is meant for just that.

  • Plan to take the test, leaving yourself with enough time to get your certificate, in time to process your application.

At Hurray we offer specialised training courses especially for IELTS – enrol with us, and we will ensure that you are prepped and ready to take the test on time, and clear it with the required score – or higher!

Step 3: Applying to university – November-February 2021

Application deadlines for international applicants

For Fall intake (September) – the deadline can fall anywhere between February and April of the same year.

  • Canadian universities have widely differing application deadlines. Additionally, particularly in the case of graduate programmes, individual programmes may also have differing deadlines. 

  • It is essential to keep track of the exact deadlines for your preferred programmes.

  • We recommend completing and submitting your application well in advance of the recommended or final deadlines, for several reasons including:

    • Entry is competitive, and certain programmes may have limited seats and will close applications once they are filled, with later applications being considered for the following intake.

    • Furthermore, international students require time to apply for and receive their visas, book flight tickets and relocate internationally.

  • Assuming you are applying for the Fall intake, you should be prepped and ready to submit your application, with all the necessary supporting documents – including your Statement of Purpose, college essays, Letters or Recommendation and so on, as applicable to your programme, by January/February 2021.

  • If you have identified a scholarship that you wish to apply for, it will have its own deadline – in this case you will have to process your admission accordingly.

Step 4: Notification of acceptance and preparing to relocate – March-July 2021

  • Canadian universities usually take about 6 weeks to notify you of your status regarding acceptance. Assuming you send your application in early February, you are likely to receive notification by March-end at least.

  • If accepted, you will receive a Letter of Acceptance from the university, and will have to pay your fees and confirm enrolment.

  • The next important step is your Visa application

  • You can apply for your visa up to 3 months prior to your intended date of travel. To ensure that you receive your visa on time, we recommend you file your application as early as possible.

  • Along with the application form, you will have to submit your Letter of Acceptance, passport and other supporting documents as required, including a medical certificate.

  • The visa will take about 3-4 weeks to be processed.

  • Thus, assuming you file for your visa in early June, by mid-July, you can expect to be able to book your flight tickets.

Step 5: Commence study! – August-September 2021

  • If you follow the steps as specified until here, you will be settled and ready before it is time to enter university. 

  • As per the intake date of your programme, you will have an Orientation Week, following which, your programme will officially begin.

Based on your specific dates, your timeline may have variations – but you can nonetheless use the above structure, keeping in mind the number of weeks each step requires, in addition to the key dates for your preferred programme, and plan accordingly.

However, why do it all by yourself? The Hurray Overseas Counselling team has the expertise required to help you plan your timeline, as well as to carry out each step to success. To learn how we can tailor our services to your exact requirements, book your one-on-one counselling session now! Reach out to us via email:, or phone: 8971357928, for more details.

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