Winter/January Intake in Canada 2024: Deadlines & Universities

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Canada is known for some of the world’s top universities. The country accepts students in three intakes: Winter, Fall and Summer. Today, we will discuss the Winter intake in Canada in detail. 

Out of primary, secondary and tertiary intakes in Canada, the primary intake gets the most admissions, the secondary the next highest, and the tertiary intake gets fewer admissions. 

Here’s an overview of all three intakes:

IntakeNature of the IntakeAdmission Timelines
January/Winter IntakeSecondaryAugust-January 
September/Fall Intake PrimaryDecember-March
May/Spring IntakeTertiary January-February 

Winter intake in Canada has fewer courses and universities availability than the primary intake. But, it makes an excellent backup for those who missed the primary intake. 

The Winter intake in Canada starts in January or February and goes on till the month of April. If you plan to apply to this intake in 2024, April and May of 2023 is the ideal time to start your preparation. 

Applications deadlines can range between August and mid-January, depending on the university. The best way to stay on track is to visit the university website and check for memos. You can also sign up with Leap and get application dates delivered to your inbox!

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Winter/January Intake in Canada 2024: Deadlines & Universities

Most universities for January Intake have rolling admissions, meaning they accept applications until all seats are filled. However, it’s best to apply early- ideally in the month of September and October so you get a good consideration. 

We’ve explored the timeline, universities and everything else you need to know in much detail. Let’s dive in. 

List of Universities Accepting January/Winter Intake in Canada 2024

McGill University

McGill University is the #1 university in Canada and ranks at #31 in the world (QSWR 2023). The university enables students to learn from and collaborate with top researchers and industry professionals worldwide. 32% of the students at McGill University are international students.

Deadline for January intake Canada 2024: August 1st

University of Toronto

The University of Toronto is ranked top #34 by QS world university rankings in 2023. It is undoubtedly, one of the best universities in Canada, with international students from over 160 countries. The university offers over 700 course options and has quite a reputation in leadership and research. 

Deadline for January intake Canada 2024: December 15th

University of Montreal

The University of Montreal is an excellent choice if you’re looking to study in Canada. Ranked #116 in the world, the university is known for its achievements in research. The university offers high-tech facilities, top-notch laboratories and comfortable accommodations. Montreal is an affordable place to live in Canada, which is one of the reasons why international students prefer the university. 

Deadline for Winter Intake in Canada: September 1st

The University of British Columbia

UBC ranks #47 in the world, as per QS World University Ranking 2023. The university offers over 200 graduate programs and allows students to customise the course to meet their career goals. UBC has a huge international community and supports them through various scholarships and other financial aid. 

Deadline for January intake Canada 2024: January 15th

Winter intake in Canada
195,000 students moved to Canada in the year 2022 for higher studies.

University of Alberta

The University of Alberta is among the top 5 universities in Canada and has an international student community from 150+ countries. The university is home to some of the best facilities and has a close-knit connection with industry experts, promising a bright career to all its students. Currently, the university ranks #110 in the world, as per QS World University Rankings. 

Deadline for January intake Canada 2024: November 1st

Queen’s University

Queen’s University ranks among the top 250 universities in the world. The university offers more than 2000 combinations of programs. Over 90% of Queen’s graduates find a job within 6 months of graduating. 

Deadline for January intake Canada 2024: September 1st

University of Waterloo 

The University of Waterloo ranks at #154 in the world according to QS World University Rankings. The university, true to its ranking, offers world-class education and top facilities to a large community of international students from 120+ countries. The university has strong ties with the industry, and Waterloo graduates have a record of landing high-paying jobs.

Deadline for January intake Canada 2024: January 15th

University of Calgary

Known for its achievements in research and entrepreneurship, the University of Calgary ranks under the top 250 universities in the world. The university offers courses specially designed to meet industry requirements and has a 94% graduate employment rate. The university is located in Calgary, one of Canada’s most affordable locations. 

Deadline for January intake Canada 2024: September 1st

Simon Fraser University

Simon Fraser University particularly stands out for its contribution to research and development. Studies from Simon Fraser are published in the top 10% of journals. The university engages in solving problems for the world, like Climate Change. Graduate employability rates of SFU graduates are considerably high, with some courses exceeding 95%. 

Deadline for January intake Canada 2024: October 17th

Is January/Winter Intake in Canada 2024 the Right Intake for you? 

Choosing the right intake depends on multiple factors. Experts usually recommend the September intake, as it’s the primary intake. 

Here are some reasons you should opt for the Winter intake in Canada

  1. As a backup: If, for some reason, you cannot apply for the September intake, the January intake is your best option. 
  1. Course Specific: Not all courses are available in the January intake. However, some courses are specific to only January intakes. If most universities only offer the course you’re interested in, the Winter intake in Canada, go ahead and opt for the intake. 
  1. Faster Completion: Winter intake in Canada allows you to complete the course faster. But note a shorter duration to complete coursework might be overwhelming and requires efficient time management. 

If you think you can pull it off, go for it! 

The right intake depends on individual circumstances. Winter intake in Canada might not be the best option for your course isn’t available.

Besides, not all universities offer Winter intakes, so make sure you check if your dream university opens admissions during this intake. 

You must also note that Winters in Canada can be really harsh. If you think the weather can affect your health, you might want to consider opting for the fall or summer intake. 

That being said, only an expert can give you a guaranteed decision based on the analysis of your profile, your interests and your goals. So, don’t hesitate to book a free conversation with Leap’s experienced counsellors today! 

Winter intake in Canada

Timeline: When should you apply for January/Winter Intake in Canada 2024?

All students begin their journey at different times and phases of the year. Ideally, your prep for Winter intake in Canada should start between April and May.

By September, you should have applied to universities, and by November, you should have accepted admission offers.

Since the journey begins differently for everyone, planning your next steps is important.

Deadline for January intake Canada 2024 varies with universities. However, if you’re starting late, which is post-July or August, it’s best to speak with an expert as you have a short amount of time. 

Leap’s counsellors have experience in guiding students no matter their current status. Talk to our experts today, and get guidance on your next steps. 

Meanwhile, here’s the ideal timeline and a to-do list for your reference! 

MonthTo-do list 
April- May-Research universities
-Shortlist universities, or let us do it for you! 
-Find out the Eligibility & requirements for each university
June-July-Take English proficiency tests
-Take Entrance exams (if any) 
August-September-Gather all the documents
-Apply to universities, or let us do it for you!
September- October-Compare and accept an admission offer
-Apply for a visa or avoid the hassle and let leap do it for you! 
November- December -Apply for scholarships
-Find accommodation
January- February Enjoy the start of your exciting journey! 

Final Thoughts

Several steps are involved in applying for the Winter intake in Canada, including finding universities that accept applications in January, shortlisting them based on your grades and requirements, meeting the university’s eligibility criteria, writing a Statement of Purpose (SOPs), and Letter of Recommendations (LORs) and more!

Sounds overwhelming? It can be if you don’t have the right guidance.

Leap’s mission is to simplify the process of moving abroad, and we have helped thousands of students on this journey. 

Have a 5-minute chat with our experts and find out how we can simplify this process. Book a free conversation with us today! 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is winter intake in Canada?

    Winter Intake is a second chance for students to begin their Academic year and begins in the month of January.

  • Does Canada have a winter intake?

    Absolutely, Canadian universities do accept admissions for the winter intake. However, there are fewer universities accepting winter intakes than primary intake.

  • Is it easier to get accepted in winter intake in Canada?

    Getting accepted for the winter intake is easier as the competition is much lower than for the Fall intake.

  • What are the admission requirements for winter intake in Canada?

    You will need academic transcripts, a Statement of Purpose, and Letters of Recommendation along with additional scores such as English proficiency exam scores and other entrance exams.

  • Are scholarships available for Winter intake in Canada?

    The availability of scholarships varies based on universities and external organizations. Compared to the fall intake, the winter intake has fewer scholarships.

  • Which intake is better among all UK intakes?

    Fall intake is the primary intake in Canada and is preferred by most Indian students.

    However, winter intake is the next best option and has advantages like low competition, lower accommodation prices and more.

  • What are some popular courses for winter intake in Canada?

    Computer Science, IT, Business administration, and Health Sciences are all popular for Winter Intake in Canada.

  • Is the winter intake as popular as the fall intake in Canada?

    The fall intake is generally more popular and attracts more students in Canada.

    However, the winter intake is still significant and offers excellent opportunities for those who missed the fall intake or prefer to start their studies in January.

  • Are scholarships available for Winter intake in Canada?

    Yes, scholarships are available in Winter intakes. Although the number might be lesser than the general availability of scholarships

  • What are the disadvantages of winter intake in Canada?

    Winter intake in Canada has fewer course and university options than the fall intake.

    The weather conditions during this intake are quite harsh, and aren’t for anybody. Otherwise, the intake is a great option for those who missed the first intake.

  • When should I start applying for winter intake in Canada?

    It is advisable to start the application process for the winter intake in Canada around 8-12 months in advance, typically in the previous year. This timeline allows sufficient time for researching institutions, gathering required documents, meeting application deadlines, and obtaining a study permit.

  • Are English language proficiency tests required for the winter intake in Canada?

    Most Canadian universities and colleges require proof of English language proficiency for international students applying for the winter intake. Commonly accepted tests include IELTS or TOEFL.

    However, some institutions may waive the language test requirement if you have studied in an English-speaking country or if English is your first language.

Anjandeep Singh

Anjandeep is a study-abroad advisor, with years of experience in the international education industry. He specializes in guiding students towards opportunities in Canada and the UK.

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