Skip links
Spring Intake USA

Intakes in Canada: Universities, Courses & More

Understanding the numerous intakes available for admission to Canadian universities is crucial when considering pursuing higher education there.

Fall, Winter, and Summer are typically the three main intakes offered by Canadian institutions. Every intake has special qualities and advantages tailored to prospective students’ needs and interests.ย 

This blog intends to provide an overview of these intakes, assisting you in navigating the university admission process in Canada.

Table of Contents

What are the different Intakes in Canada?

Canadian universities typically have three main intakes for undergraduate and graduate programs: Fall, Winter, and Summer. However, it’s important to note that the availability of these intakes can vary depending on the university and the specific program of study.

Here are the different intakes:

  1. Fall Intake:
  • The Fall intake is the most common and popular in Canada.
  • It usually starts in September and runs through December for most programs.
  • This intake aligns with the beginning of the academic year in Canada.
  1. January Intake:
  • The Winter intake typically begins in January and runs through April.
  • Some universities and programs offer limited admission for the Winter intake.
  • It’s less common than the Fall intake but is still an option for some students.
  1. May Intake:
  • The Summer intake starts in May and runs through August.
  • It is the least common intake and is offered by only a few universities and for a limited number of programs.
  • Summer intake is often preferred by students looking to start their studies outside the regular academic year.

Additionally, international students should consider visa and immigration requirements when choosing an intake, as visa processing times can vary, and it’s important to ensure you have enough time to obtain the necessary documents to study in Canada.

Top Universities to Apply for Canada

Here is the list of the top 5 QS ranking universities that you can apply for this 2024 and enhance your skills. Choose from 3 different Intakes according to your requirements.

Fall Intake (Primary intake)

  1. University of Toronto
  2. McGill University
  3. Western University
  4. Queenโ€™s University
  5. York University

January Intake (Secondary Intake)

  1. University of Toronto
  2. Carleton University
  3. University of British Columbia
  4. Lambton College
  5. McGill University

May Intake (Tertiary Intake)

  1. Ryerson University
  2. University of Waterloo
  3. Vancouver Community College
  4. Northern College
  5. Centennial College

Top Courses to Apply

Here is the university list and courses you could choose from according to your preferences: 

Fall Intake

Data ScienceUniversity of Toronto
University of British Columbia, Vancouver
University of Montreal
University of Alberta
University of Waterloo
FinanceUniversity of British Columbia, Vancouver
Laurentian University
HEC Montreal
Queenโ€™s University at Kingston
York University

MarketingMcGill University
University Of Calgary
York University
University of Montreal
Trent University

ManagementRotman School of Management
McGill University
Queenโ€™s University
Schulich School of Business
Sauder School of Business

Computer ScienceUniversity of Ottawa
University of Toronto
University of Waterloo
University of British Columbia
University of Alberta

January Intake

ManagementUniversity of Western Ontario
York University
Concordia University
McGill University
McMaster University
Data scienceWilfrid Laurier University
University of Winnipeg
Thompson Rivers University
Nipissing University
Seneca College
MarketingUniversity of Guelph
University of Manitoba
University of Calgary
York University
University of New Brunswick
FinanceUniversity of Guelph
University of Manitoba
University of Windsor
University of New Brunswick
Trent University
Computer ScienceUniversity of Guelph
University of Manitoba
Queenโ€™s University, Canada
University of Victoria
Dalhousie University

May Intake

University of OttawaBiochemistry, Microbiology, and Immunology, Cellular and Molecular Medicine, Neuroscience

University of ManitobaAgricultural and Food Sciences, Architecture
University of AlbertaAnthropology, History,, and Classics, Interdisciplinary Studies, Education
Concordia UniversityChemistry and Biochemistry, Communication Studies, Exercise Science, Journalism
Lambton CollegeBusiness, Design and Creativity, Engineering and Sciences, Hospitality, Tourism and Culinary, Information Technology, Marketing and Finance

Which Intake is Perfect for you?

Choosing between the May (Summer), January (Winter), and Fall intakes in Canada depends on several factors, including your academic and personal preferences, program availability, and visa processing times.ย 

Here’s a comparison of these intakes to help you make an informed decision:

  1. Fall Intake

Most Popular: The most common and widely accepted intake for Canadian universities. It aligns with the traditional academic year.

Program Availability: A wide range of programs are available for the Fall intake.

Visa Processing: Fall intake often has more time to complete visa processes because application deadlines are usually in the previous year (e.g., for September 2023, applications might be due in 2022).

  1. January Intake (Winter)

Less Common: Less common but still accepted by some universities and programs.

Limited Program Availability: Not all programs are offered so options may be limited.

Visa Processing: Visa processing can be tight due to the shorter time frame between application deadlines and the start of the semester.

  1. May Intake (Summer)

Least Common: Least common intake & offered by only a few universities for specific programs.

Limited Program Availability: Program options for the May intake are generally limited compared to the Fall intake.

Visa Processing: Visa processing may be more manageable than January intake, as there is more time between application deadlines & the start of the semester.

Consider the following factors when making your choice:

Program Availability: Ensure your desired program is offered in your preferred intake.

Visa Processing: Be mindful of visa processing times, and start the application process early.

Academic Schedule: Decide if you prefer starting your studies in a traditional academic year (Fall) or are open to alternative start dates.

Ultimately, the intake choice depends on your circumstances and priorities, so carefully assess your situation and preferences before making a decision.


In the end, your choice should be based on your academic preferences, interests, and preparation. No matter which intake you select, Canadian universities provide a top-notch education, a cosmopolitan setting, and chances for personal and professional development.ย 

For prospective students looking to begin their academic journeys in this friendly and culturally varied nation, Canada offers a variety of admissions. Your decision should align with your academic and personal objectives, whether you choose the tried-and-true Fall intake, the unconventional but still viable January intake, or even one of the select few programs offered in the May intake.ย 

So think about your possibilities, make a strategy, and start your academic journey in Canada with assurance.

To learn more about the course, visit the AdmitX and book an appointment today!

Your information could not be saved. Please check and try again.
You're on your way to become Borderless with AdmitX! Check your email!

Want this in your inbox?

Join 5,000+ readers for expert guidance on international universities, application strategies and career tips. 

One email every week, free forever!

This website uses cookies to improve your web experience.