How am I going to get to university?

You have decided to apply to university – congratulations! As you prepare your applications and explore programs that interest you, it is important that you research your options thoroughly and keep track of any deadlines. In this section you will find information on steps for applying to university.

Steps for Applying to University

  • Research your options
  • What kind of applicant are you?
  • Research funding options
  • Research your program options
  • Now you are ready to apply online
  • Review application and offers of admission
  • Respond to an offer of admission

Steps for Applying to University:

Research your options

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You can choose from over 100 different programs of study across Ontario universities. A good starting point for your research is eINFO. This site compares programs from multiple universities and includes information about admission requirements, fees and scholarships, and academic program descriptions. If you are unsure about what to study, think about your favourite class in secondary school. Chances are you can continue studying that subject in university.

What kind of applicant are you?

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Before applying to an undergraduate program, you need to know what kind of application to submit. Applications to Ontario universities are completed online through the Ontario Universities’ Application Centre (OUAC).

There are two different applications:

  1. 101 Online Application
  2. 105D Online Application

101 Online Application

The 101 Online application form is for current Ontario secondary school students who also meet the following requirements:

  • you are taking courses during the day at an Ontario secondary school (this includes students returning for second semester and graduated students returning to upgrade one or more courses);
  • you have not been out of high school for more than 7 consecutive months;
  • you have received or expect to receive your Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) with six 4U/M (university or mixed) courses at the end of the current year;
  • you have not attended a college, university or career college; and
  • you are applying to the first year of an undergraduate degree or diploma program at an Ontario university.

If you answered yes to all of the above questions, use the 101 Online application.

105D Online Application

The 105D Online application form is for Canadian citizens who are not enrolled in an Ontario high school or for those who meet the following requirements:

  • you currently reside in Canada (Canadian citizens, permanent residents, or those currently studying in Canada on a study permit or other visa); or
  • you are a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident living elsewhere (not in Canada) and
  • you are not currently attending an Ontario high school day program.

Do not complete the 105D online application if you are applying to the 4-semester consecutive BEd program or Common Law.

Are there any admissions policies for Aboriginal learners?

Ontario universities have recognized the need to encourage Aboriginal learners to participate in postsecondary education, and many now offer Aboriginal learners an additional and/or alternate pathway for admission to an undergraduate or graduate program. Find out which Ontario universities offer alternate admission pathways by visiting the university profiles.

During the university application process, you can declare that you have Aboriginal ancestry or heritage – First Nations (status or non-status), Inuit or Métis. By declaring Aboriginal ancestry, your university’s Aboriginal Student Centre may reach out to you with transition supports and other helpful information.

You should be aware that recent amendments to the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU) Act have given the Ministry the power to oblige institutions to share personalized information, including self-identification data with the Ontario government.

What is a transfer student policy?

Many schools have transfer student policies. These policies apply to students who might choose to transition from a college program into university, or students who seek to change universities during their programs. Student transfer policies outline how the credits you’ve completed at another postsecondary institution can count toward completion of a degree at your new university.

To find out more about your school’s transfer student policies, please contact the admissions office at the university you’d like to attend or visit our university profiles for more information. You can also access the resource guide for interactive transfer information and links to advisors to help you plan your educational pathway.

What is a mature learner policy?

Most Ontario universities have a policy to support admission for mature learners who don’t meet standard university entrance requirements, but who have life and work experience. These policies vary depending on the institution. The Ontario Universities’ Application Centre (OUAC) has a complete list of mature learner policies. Visit the OUAC’s Mature Learner page.

Research funding options

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While you research universities and their programs, you should also research funding options for your education. The Ontario and Canadian governments offer financial aid to those who need it, and each university has its own scholarships, industry grants and community funding sources. Visit our financial aid page for more information.

Research your program options

eINFO is a great place to start researching university programs. You might find it helpful to review the programs that interest you, develop a possible list and then narrow your program options. Keep in mind that certain programs have prerequisite courses that you must successfully complete (or be in the process of completing) in order to apply.

When you’re researching, keep track of information you might need later on in the application process. For example, find the OUAC program code, a 2- or 3-letter code, for each university program that interests you and keep them close by for easy reference when you apply.

Now you are ready to apply online

If you apply using the 101 Online Application, your high school will distribute letters in October or November with information you will use to apply online. These letters will include your Application Access Code, School Number, Student Number and temporary Personal Identification Number (PIN). The deadline to submit completed applications to the OUAC is usually in mid-January; visit the OUAC website for important dates and deadlines.

After you complete your online application, you must pay a non-refundable fee before OUAC will process your application to your universities of choice. You pay in 1 of 2 ways:

  • credit card (Visa, MasterCard or American Express). Prepaid credit cards and VISA debit cards are not accepted; or
  • online banking (Canadian banks and credit unions only). Normally takes 1 to 3 business days.

If you apply using the 105D Online Application, you have to register online to submit your application and also arrange to send your transcripts to those universities you are applying to. The 105D Online Application will be available mid-September through the OUAC website.

If you are submitting high school or postsecondary transcripts from schools outside of Ontario, you’ll need to contact those schools directly and arrange for them to send transcripts to the universities you applied to. Transcripts should not be sent to the OUAC. A transcript is a copy of your academic record and includes all your grades and courses successfully and unsuccessfully completed, including courses withdrawn after the registration deadline.

Review application and offers of admission

After you submit your application, you can log in online to view your program choices, check your academic information and make changes. Once the university has sent you an offer letter, you can also log in to respond to your offers of admission online.

The offer letter from your university will be one of the following:

  1. an offer of admission;
  2. a conditional offer of admission pending the receipt of specific information; or
  3. a refusal.

Respond to an offer of admission

You can expect to hear about the results of your application by June, unless your program has specified an alternate date. The deadline to accept an offer of admission is usually on or around June 1 of each year. After you receive an offer of admission, please visit our university profiles pages to learn more about the university.