Canada Intakes 2024: Fall, Winter, Spring (Summer) Intakes

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Canada is a popular study-abroad destination, with students from all over the world coming to experience the world-class education Canadian universities provide.

The country is less expensive than other prominent study-abroad locations and assists students in obtaining globally recognised educational credentials.

For this reason, students aspire to study in Canada and apply for the three major intakes: Fall, Winter, and Summer. Foreign institutions conduct admissions in a particular cycle, popularly known as intakes.

These Canada intakes are distributed across the academic year and usually range between two and four months.

Here is an overview of all three intakes in Canada.

Fall IntakeWinter IntakeSummer Intake
Primary intakeSecondary intakeAvailable for limited universities only
Most of the programs are availableAt least scholarships and financial aid Selected programs only
More number of scholarships Limited scholarshipsVery few scholarships
Application deadline:
December – March
Application deadline: September – NovemberApplication deadline:  October – February

Intakes in canada correspond to different academic sessions in the country. So it’s hard to determine which intake is best for Canada. However, generally, September or fall intake is largely preferred.

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Canada Intakes 2024: Fall, Winter, Spring (Summer) Intakes

International students aiming to take up undergraduate or postgraduate courses can go through the following sections to learn about various intakes in Canada.

Canada intakes

September/Fall Intake in Canada 2023-2024

The fall intake is usually the most popular among international candidates applying to Canadian institutions. This intake has almost all universities offering the largest number of seats available compared to the other two Intakes.

Even the top universities in Canada open slots for their most popular courses in this intake. Most of the students prefer fall intake among Canada intakes to start their studies, as fall intake gives them enough time to be academically focused on their studies and the environment.

Apart from that, the weather during the fall intake is more pleasant than other intakes. Here are the top universities offering seats during fall intake in Canada:

UniversityAnnual tuition fee in Dollars($)
University of Waterloo47,560
University of Ottawa26,354
Ryerson University38,457
McGill University56,544
University of Alberta30,090
University of Calgary40,103
Niagara College17,215


  • Students get enough time and scope to familiarise themselves with the new environment. 
  • One can enjoy excellent scholarship opportunities.


  • This applicant pool can get relatively more competitive.
  • Many students start their studies in the fall, leaving you with limited course options.

The application deadline for fall intake 2023-2024 is from December to March.

January/Winter Intake in Canada 2024

The winter intake in Canada is the second most preferred semester in Canadian universities. The institutes offer fewer programs, career opportunities, scholarships, and internship offers.

This intake is for students who have missed their admissions in the fall intake

These students will have another chance to continue their studies without waiting one whole year. The students will have to adapt to the institute’s environment quickly compared to the students from the fall intake.

Let’s explore the top universities offering seats during winter intake in Canada.

UniversityAnnual Tuition fee in Dollars($)
University of Ottawa26,354
Mount Saint Vincent University40,980
Centennial College28,742
McGill University56,544
Douglas College18,727
Carleton University42,873
Queen’s University27,513
Lambton College25,340


  • Class strength will be less, allowing you to interact with your faculty better.
  • Competition based on admission to the top universities will be high, which drives the applicants with more energy.


  • One of the major disadvantages of applying for the January intake in Canada is that it offers students fewer campus opportunities.
  • As fewer students apply during this Intake, you may find fewer international students in the course you apply to.

The application deadline for winter intake 2024 is from September to November.

May/Summer Intake in Canada 2024

The summer intake is the last intake session of the academic year in Canadian universities. Only a very few universities offer this intake for a few programs. Admissions are open during the summer semester for diploma certifications and summer vocational programs.

It is an excellent option for students who want to get a head start on their studies or who want to take the benefit of a shorter summer semester to complete courses more quickly.

Additionally, some programs may only be available during the summer semester. Let’s look at the top universities offering summer intake in Canada:

UniversityAnnual tuition fee
Centennial College$28,742
Vancouver Community College$19,900
Ryerson University$38,457
Northern College$15,451
University of Waterloo$47,560


  • There are many courses only be available during the summer intake, so starting your studies in the summer can open up unique learning opportunities.
  • The class size will be small, and you get personalized attention from professors.


  • Fewer extracurricular activities, clubs, or events are happening than the regular academic year.
  • Finding employment or internship opportunities during the summer months is more difficult.

The application deadline for summer intake 2024 is from January- February.

Courses Available for Different Canada Intakes

All major study programs in Canada intakes are usually open through the Fall intake. Admission for courses such as MBA, MS, and MA is conducted mainly in this cycle.

The winter intake provides an additional window for universities to either fill up the remaining seats or to carry out admission for specialised courses.

The summer intake is meant for short-term courses such as diplomas, certificate programs, summer courses, etc. Here is a list of courses that one can apply for during different Canada intakes:

Courses OfferedIntake
All kinds of programs (undergraduate and postgraduate)Fall
Selected study programsWinter
Short-term coursesSummer

 Candidates have to select the admission intake as per the courses they wish to enrol on.

When to Apply for Canada Intakes 2024: A Timeline

ActionsFall WinterSummer
Research Course/UniversityAugust – October of the previous yearJanuary – April of the previous yearBy May of the previous year
Shortlist UniversitiesWithin December of the previous yearJune – July of the previous yearJuly- August of the previous year
Fulfil Eligibility CriteriaJanuary-February the year applyingAugust, the previous yearAugust -September of the previous year
Apply for a student visaFrom February – April of the year of applyingFrom June – September of the previous yearBy January of the year of applying
Appear for the standardized tests and English Proficiency testsWithin April of the year of applyingFrom August – September of the previous yearBy January of the year of applying
Find out supporting documentsMay-July of the year of applyingSeptember – October of the previous yearFrom February – March of the year of applying
Apply August to OctoberSeptember to NovemberApril to May (variable)

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Do’s and Don’ts for a Successful Application

When applying for Canada intakes, there are some things that you should do to increase your chances of success and some things that you should avoid. Here are some dos and don’ts to keep in mind:

Canada intakes

Here are some do’s and don’ts to keep in mind:

  1. Research your eligibility for the visa or immigration program you’re applying for.
  2. Fill out the application forms carefully and accurately, providing all the required information and documentation.
  3. If you are unsure about any steps in the application process, seek professional help from a study abroad expert.
  4. Keep track of the timelines for submitting your applications on time.
  5. Don’t provide false information or documentation in your application; it is illegal and can result in serious consequences.
  6. If you receive any request for additional information or documentation, don’t ignore it. Failure to provide such requested information can result in your application being delayed or rejected.

Candidates should carefully choose the intake for admission to a foreign university. The entire application procedure will depend on the chosen admission intake.

Those intending to study in Canada in the upcoming year should check the details of Canada intake 2024 and stay updated with the information as released by the universities.

Canadian universities are the most affordable, offering the best opportunities. Want further guidance on studying in Canada and the intakes? LeapScholar is proud to have a highly qualified team of counsellors with 50+ years of combined experience in helping students study abroad. Ready to take the Leap?

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the best time to apply for a winter intake in Canada? 

    Students planning to take admission in the Winter intake should ideally apply during June and July of the previous year. Canadian universities usually begin their application procedure during this time of the year.

  • When does fall intake begin in Canada?

    The Fall intake begins in September each year. Regular classes start in September, and applicants receive their confirmation letters by April. This allows enough time to prepare visas, travel documents, and book flights. 

  • What are the most popular Canada intakes for MBA?

    MBA is one of the most preferred courses in Canada among Indian students. The Fall and Winter intake is the best time to apply for an MBA course in Canada.

  • What are the advantages of starting studies in Canada during the summer intake?

    The advantages of starting studies during the summer intake include shorter program duration, more flexibility, access to unique courses, smaller class sizes, and more comfortable weather.

  • Can I change my intake after being admitted to a Canadian university or college?

    In some cases, it may be possible to change your intake after being admitted, but it’s important to check with the institution to confirm their policies and procedures for changing intakes.

  • Can I defer my admission to a future intake?

    In some cases, it may be possible to defer your admission to a future intake, but it’s important to check with the institution for their policies and procedures for deferring admissions.

  • What are the advantages of starting studies in Canada during the summer intake?

    The advantages of starting studies during the summer intake include shorter program duration, more flexibility, access to unique courses, smaller class sizes, and more comfortable weather.

  • Can I apply for a post-graduate work permit after completing my studies in the fall intake in Canada?

    Yes, after completing your studies in Canada during the fall intake, you may be eligible to apply for a post-graduate work permit (PGWP).

    The PGWP allows you to work in Canada for a specified period, which can range from 8 months to 3 years, depending on the length of your program.

  • Are there any specific deadlines for the fall intake applications in Canada?

    Application deadlines for the fall intake in Canada vary among universities and programs. Generally, the deadlines fall between November and April of the previous year, but it is crucial to check the specific dates for each institution as they may differ.

  • What are the 3 Canada intakes?

    September/Fall, January/Winter, and May/Spring are the three intakes in Canada.

  • How much study gap is accepted in Canada?

    Generally speaking, 2 years for undergraduate and 5 years for post-graduate courses are acceptable. However, you should know that admissions officers evaluate applications case-by-case.

    A longer gap may raise questions, but factors like work experience and academic readiness are considered. It’s important to provide a clear explanation for any gaps. Ultimately, it’s in the hand of the university.

  • Why is fall intake best in Canada?

    Most universities are open for fall intake, so students prefer it. The fall intake also offers a wide range of courses and scholarships.

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Saket Kohli

An International Higher Ed professional with 7+ years of experience studying, working, and living across three geographies, currently on a mission to share his journey as an International Student.

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