How do I 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 deadlines. In this section you will find information about applying to university.

Research Your University Options

You can choose from more than 100 different programs across Ontario universities.

A good starting point for your research is Ontario Universities’ Info. This website compares programs from multiple universities and includes information about admission requirements, fees and scholarships, and academic program descriptions.

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What Kind of Applicant Are You?

Before applying to an undergraduate program, you need to know what kind of application to submit.

There are 2 different applications:

  1. 101 application
  2. 105 application

Applications to Ontario universities are completed online through the Ontario Universities’ Application Centre (OUAC).

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101 Application

Do you meet all of the following requirements?

  • You are taking courses during the day at an Ontario high school (this includes students returning for second semester and graduated students returning to upgrade 1 or more courses).
  • You have not, at some point, been out of high school for more than 7 consecutive months.
  • You will have received or expect to receive your Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) with six 4U/M courses at the end of the current year.
  • You have not attended a postsecondary institution (college/university/career college).
  • You are applying to the first year of an undergraduate degree program or diploma program at an Ontario university.
  • You are under 21 years of age.

If yes, you should use the 101 application.

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105 Application

Do you meet any of 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 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.
  • You currently reside outside of Canada, and are not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, and are not currently attending an Ontario high school day program (in Ontario or abroad).

If yes, you should complete the 105 application.

Note: Do not complete this application if you are applying to the 4-semester consecutive BEd program or Common Law.

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Are there any admission policies for Indigenous students?

Ontario universities have recognized the need to encourage Indigenous students to participate in postsecondary education, and many now offer Indigenous students an additional and/or alternative pathway for admission to an undergraduate or graduate program.

Find out which Ontario universities offer alternative admission pathways by visiting the Universities section.

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

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

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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 completed at one postsecondary institution can count toward the completion of a degree at another.

To find out more about your school’s transfer student policies, contact the admission office at the university you would like to attend or visit the Universities section for more information.

You can also access for interactive transfer information and links to advisors who can help you plan your transfer.

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What is a mature student policy?

Most Ontario universities have a policy to support admission for mature students who do not meet standard university entrance requirements, but who have life and work experience. These policies vary depending on the university. The OUAC has a complete list of mature student policies.

Read more about mature students and other applicants.

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Research Your Funding Options

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.

Read more about funding options.

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Research Your Program Options

Ontario Universities’ Info 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 down 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 be considered for admission.

When you are researching, keep track of information you might need later 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 it close by for easy reference when you apply.

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Now You are Ready to Apply Online

If you apply using the 101 application, your high school will distribute letters in October or November with the information you will need 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 application, you must pay a non-refundable fee before the OUAC will process your application to the universities of your choice.

You can pay in 1 of 2 ways:

  • Credit card (Visa, MasterCard or American Express). VISA and Mastercard debit cards are not accepted.
  • Online banking (Canadian banks and credit unions only). This usually takes 2 to 5 business days.

Read more about fees.

If you apply using the 105 application, you must arrange to send your transcripts to the universities you are applying to. The 105 application is available mid-September on the OUAC website.

If you are submitting high school or postsecondary transcripts from schools outside of Ontario, you will 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 of the grades and courses you successfully and unsuccessfully completed, including courses you withdrew from after the registration deadline.

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Review Application and Offers of Admission

After you submit your application, you can log in 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.

The offer letter from your university will be:

  • an offer of admission,
  • a conditional offer of admission pending the receipt of specific information or
  • a refusal.

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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 alternative 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, you can view the Universities section to learn more about the university.

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