The best program is the one that interests your child and is in the field they envisage for their career. It is not necessary however, to choose a program related to their first choice to increase their chances of being admitted.

Choosing another program for which they have an interest permits them to obtain better results and may increase their chances of being admitted to their first-choice program the following year. As they advance in their university studies, their R score will be less of a factor. Also, by choosing a program for which they see themselves in a career, they will not be caught off guard if they don’t get accepted for their first choice.

Source: Cégep de Ste-Foy

Statistics show that 40% of university students are still not certain which field interests them. The first year of university is a transition that allows students on the one hand to adapt to university life, and on the other hand, to narrow their career choices.

If they want to change course along the way, they should inform themselves in order to obtain the credits of courses they’ve already completed. The idea of wanting to choose without making a mistake puts extra pressure on their shoulders. They’re better off accepting these experiences and using them to re-orient themselves as needed in their choice of career.

Inspired by the site of Université de Moncton

Each Quebec university has its own particularities, strengths and specific research fields. The best university is the one your child will choose in terms of their learning needs and personal criteria (location, city, program, profile, sports and interesting cultural activities, etc.).

Once the diploma is obtained, the university chosen doesn’t really matter. What’s important is the way in which they distinguished themselves among other candidates on the job market: anglophone exchange, involvement during their studies, internships, contacts with people in the field and others.

Source: Cégep de Ste-Foy

These are programs with limited capacity that cannot accept every applicant. In this case, the institution must proceed with a selection among the admissible candidates. This selection is based on certain criteria that deserve particular attention.

Selection criteria

Most Quebec universities rely on the R score as a method of evaluating the excellence of a school record for admission to a limited enrolment program. The admissions process within these programs will sometimes reference criteria in addition to the R score.

Selection criteria other than the R score:

  • academic record
  • the interview
  • relevant experience
  • pre-selection
  • admissions test
  • references and recommendations
  • physical aptitude tests
  • curriculum vitae
  • simulation assessment (APS)
  • biographical letter
  • personal motivation letter
  • portfolio
  • audition

Source :

Admission requirements vary according to which category the candidates belong to: regular candidates or adult candidates. For regular candidates coming from a college education (pre-university, technical or continuing education sectors), and have never interrupted their studies, the conditional requirements are the following:

  • having completed a DEC in a pre-university or technical education program
  • respecting specific admission requirements for the programs chosen
  • satisfying applicable selection criteria
  • passing the uniform French exam

More and more Quebec universities are opening their doors to holders of a diploma in technical college studies, welcoming these graduates not only in a specialized program or continuing education, but in their regular undergraduate programs previously reserved for holders of a diploma of college studies (DEC).

Admission to the fall and winter terms

In most universities, the deadline to apply is March 1 for the autumn term and November 1 for the winter term. You can consult this subject in the publications or websites of all universities or inquire from school information specialists and guidance counsellors. It should be noted that not all programs are necessarily offered during the winter session.

Extending the admissions period

Certain establishments, notably Concordia University, Université de Montréal, Université du Québec à Chicoutimi, Université du Québec à Montréal and Université Laval, will extend their admissions by delaying the application deadlines for programs that are not limited.

Step 1: Preparation

Here are the principal sources of information to consult at the school documentation centres.

University admission guides

Prepared by each university, these guides contain information on admission conditions and selection criteria.

University calendars

These calendars offer different information on program content and course descriptions. You can find information on services and on specific elements of each university.

The Internet

University websites (see the alphabetical list of University establishments) are good sources of information and constantly updated about programs, courses and services offered. Some even offer the possibility of filling out an application online.


The REPÈRES system allows applicants to better understand individual programs and offers data on the job market, institutions, professional occupations, etc. It is Windows-based and accessible online when a university subscribes to the service.

Step 2: Admission

It goes without saying that this step is of the greatest importance, since it is at this moment that choices are made regarding programs of study. Big decisions to take at this step must take many factors into account, including admission deadlines, requirements and restrictions of certain programs.

Step 3: Selection

Once the completed application forms have been submitted to the universities concerned, all that remains is to wait for a response. A delay is expected since each application must be analyzed.

Universities proceed with the analysis of a file according to the various admission requirements and selection criteria announced in the admission requirements section of the program description.

Most universities utilize the R score as a method to evaluate the applicant’s school record for admission into limited enrolment programs.

Depending on the university and program chosen, it’s possible that other criteria will be added to the R score to complete the selection. These criteria will be considered in the evaluation of each file in varying proportions determined by the university concerned. The section concerning limited programs offers a more exhaustive listing of these criteria.

Step 4: The response

In general, universities send out their responses to applications between March 1 and May 15, but for certain programs, the replies can be issued after this period.

Step 5: Registration

After being accepted into a program, the candidates now only must choose their courses. This step is similar to the one done in cégep. The necessary documentation for registration will be sent by the university.

The registration period generally runs from June to August, a timeline that must be respected, otherwise the offer of admission may be cancelled. It is suggested to communicate with the admissions services of the university concerned with any questions about procedure.

It is very important to respect this step because admission to a program is not valid unless it is followed up by a registration for the session for which it was intended. This means that the student who is admitted but who is not registered must present a new application for a later session and restart the process as if there never was a prior application or acceptance.


Conditional acceptance

The application is accepted on the condition of obtaining a DEC within specified delays and satisfying, if applicable, other admission requirements.


The application is accepted because the candidate satisfied the admission formalities and requirements.


The university’s decision is delayed for certain reasons that will be explained in the notice.

Waiting list

The decision is positive, but the number of available places is insufficient. An offer of admission may be sent later, on condition that other candidates already admitted withdraw or do not follow all the steps.


The reasons for the refusal are included in the notice.


There are three possibilities

  • Accept the decision and do nothing.
  • Make a new program choice according to available spaces.
  • Appeal or demand a review of the decision with the admission service. Candidates must explain, in writing, the reasons justifying an appeal, and respect delays specified by the university for presenting their demand. It is preferable to consult a school information agent and career counsellor, or the admissions agent that handled their application.


Co-operative education programs (COOP) are characterized by alternating trimesters of study and paid workplace internships.

An undergraduate program can be comprised of up to four internships. The student that chooses one of these programs can acquire a year’s worth of experience while earning an attractive salary. Co-operative education therefore constitutes an organization of education that should be considered at the time of admission.


The university year extends over 12 months, beginning in September, and counts three sessions or trimesters:

  • Autumn trimester from September to December
  • Winter trimester from January to April
  • Summer trimester from May to August

In Quebec, the duration of studies is calculated in credits. Each course corresponds to a certain number of credits. Courses are usually offered over 45 hours, divided into 15 weeks, by way of three hours per week, which is equivalent to three credits.

The number of credits required to obtain a diploma is:

  • approximately 90 to 120 credits for a bachelor’s
  • 45 to 60 credits for a master’s
  • 90 credits for a doctorate
  • 30 credits for a second cycle diploma and certificate

For admission to a university outside Quebec, the procedure is basically the same, but admission requirements are different. Indeed, students in universities outside of Quebec don’t necessarily complete a college education, and instead have a sixth year of secondary school. For this reason, one should pay special attention to prerequisites, which are not the same.