University Entrance Requirements in the US and Canada

university entrance requirementsIf you want to study in the US and Canada, this page will help you find out more about university entrance requirements, college entrance requirements and also the entry requirements for graduate (or postgraduate) study.

Before applying for study in the US and Canada, it is useful to find out more about the college or university admission requirements for which you are applying.  Request information from several universities.  Carefully go through the admission requirements for university and make sure you have the information and the qualifications required.  Check out the preparation for college page for details on any tests required.

So as to maximize your chances of being accepted, you should apply for several universities and make sure your list has a range of entry requirements, i.e., higher to lower levels of school grades.  In this way if you don't get into your first choice university, at least you might get into one of the others.


School, college or university entrance requirements in the US

High school students apply to either four-year liberal arts colleges or universities. Others attend community colleges, which admit all students with high school diplomas, in preparation for transfer to a four year university. Special arrangements exist for non-traditional students (usually students over the age of 22) who pursue studies in higher education at university or college. The US system is decentralized: requirements for university entrance vary, even when using a common application form, so it is always best to check with the school, college or university for their entrance requirements.

Having considered the entry requirements in general terms, you are probably now ready to apply.  You might like to consider studying online at one of the most popular online universities such as Capella University, University of Phoenix Online, or DeVry University. Remember to apply to more than one.  Or you might like to:


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School, college or university entrance requirements in Canada

In the Canadian education system there is a clear distinction between "colleges" and "universities" - colleges are for individuals seeking applied careers, such as a chef or store manager whereas universities are for individuals seeking more academic or professional careers. Admission depends on high school grades and varies according to the university. In some cases, university admission can be achieved with average performance (around 70% in Canadian high school grading), whereas in more well-established universities  such as McGill University, Queen's University, University of British Columbia and University of Toronto, 75% to 80% is required for admission. It is always best to check the university requirements for admission.

Applicants from the USA are considered for entry into Canadian universities based on senior academic courses, test scores, and advanced academic course work. Successful applicants normally require a Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.80 or above and an SAT I score of 1550 or higher.


Graduate entry requirements in the US and Canada

Entry into graduate studies in the US is based on your performance in the bachelor's degree.

Graduate studies in Canada are restricted to universities (rather than colleges) and admission to any graduate program is difficult. Typically you will be assessed on:

  • The grades in your Bachelor's Degree (a high level of academic achievement is required);
  • School transcripts;
  • Standardized tests such as the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT);
  • Letters of recommendation;
  • Your resume;
  • Personal statement.

For both the US and Canada, check the website for the university entrance requirements before applying.


Law school entry requirements in the US and Canada

Before you apply to a law school, check the website for the university entrance requirements. Getting into a law school in the US is hard, so don't be too disappointed if you don't get the school of your choice - and always have a fall-back plan.

Typically you will be assessed on:

  • The grades in your Bachelor's Degree;
  • LSAT scores;
  • School transcripts;
  • Letters of recommendation;
  • Your resume;
  • Personal statement.


For information on specific schools and programs

Browse the schools below to find a suitable school and program. Request information from several schools and compare the admission requirements and course content before you choose a program.

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