List of Top Canadian Universities Accepting Backlogs


Meridean Overseas

Updated On 29 September 2023 & Read Time 7 minutes


Canada is one the best countries for international students planning to acquire high-quality education with an affordable budget. However, international students who have faced backlogs in their academic path wonder whether they can crack the admission criteria of Canadian universities and colleges.


A backlog, or a failed course, is a concerning issue, but the good news is that many Canadian universities are willing to consider applicants with backlogs. In this blog, we'll explore a list of Canadian universities accepting backlogs and are known for their flexible admission policies regarding backlogs. So, let’s begin with the blog!


What are Backlogs and Backlog Certificates?


Backlogs, in the context of education, refer to courses or subjects that a student has failed or not completed successfully within the expected time frame of their academic program.


The educational institution issues a document known as a backlog certificate to prove that the student has completed previously unresolved courses. This certificate proves the student has successfully cleared the backlog and met the necessary academic criteria.


This certificate is crucial for students who intend to continue their education, apply for jobs, or pursue further studies because it demonstrates their commitment to overcoming challenges and fulfilling their academic obligations.


In some cases, a backlog certificate may not be an official document but a formal acknowledgement by the institution that the student has addressed their academic backlog. It typically includes details such as the course names, grades obtained, and the date of clearance.


Common Reasons for Backlogs

Some of the primary reasons for the occurrence of backlogs are:

  • Academic Challenges

  • Health Issues

  • Personal Circumstances


How are Backlogs Calculated by Canadian Universities?

Backlogs in Canadian universities are typically calculated based on the number of courses and the number of subjects a student has not completed successfully. Here's a general overview of how they are calculated:


Number of Attempts

In this system, if you had three tries to pass an exam for a specific subject, your backlog count will be two instead of three because backlogs are determined by the number of tries a student requires to complete the exam.


Subject Count

In this case, instead of counting the number of times in which the backlog was cleared, the number of subjects is considered. Let's say passing a maths test requires three tries. So, as backlogs are calculated based on the number of subjects and not the number of times it takes to pass a subject, even if you take three tries to pass a maths test, your backlog will still be counted as one.


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Factors Affecting Acceptance of Applications With Backlogs in Canada

Universities accepting backlogs in Canada can be influenced by several factors, and these factors may vary from one institution to another. Here are some common factors that can affect how Canadian universities view and handle student backlogs:


Overall Academic Performance

Your overall academic performance is one of the most important metrics any university can use to evaluate your academic success. Therefore, there is a chance that you will get admitted to the institution even if you have a high GPA and backlog.


Subjects of Backlogs

The backlog of courses is another aspect that Canadian colleges take into account. The universities determine whether or not the backlog is directly related to the programme you have chosen. A difficulty could arise if you are behind in a crucial program-related subject. However, it won't have a significant impact on your application if the backlog is in a minor subject that is less important than your primary subject.


Duration to Clear the Backlog

Canadian universities count the number of backlogs on the basis of the number of attempts or number of subjects. And every university has its own criteria or limitations to accept the number of backlogs to a certain extent. So, if you have backlogs to that extent, which the university accepts, then your application will be selected.


Backlog Status

The applications of students who have backlogs are rejected by prestigious universities. Keeping a backlog certificate with a clean status at the time of admission is therefore advisable.


Number of Backlogs Allowed in Canadian Universities

The number of backlogs accepted in Canada varies depending on the specific institution, program, and province or territory. The top-notch universities in Canada accept 5 backlogs. Some universities also accept backlogs to the extent of 10 or 20, depending upon your profile and the program for which you are applying.


How does a Backlog Affect your Academic Journey?

A backlog can impact your academic journey to Canada, potentially affecting your admission to universities or colleges. While many Canadian institutions accept applicants with backlogs, they may consider your academic history when making admission decisions.


In order to mitigate the adverse effect of backlogs, it's crucial to explain any backlogs in your application, demonstrate improvements in your academic performance, and research universities with policies that align with your academic history and goals. Backlogs might require additional steps, but you can still pursue higher education in Canada.


List of Universities in Canada Accepting Backlogs

Here is the list of universities accepting backlogs in Canada:


Number of Backlogs Accepted

Cape Breton University

0- 10  backlogs

Royal Roads University

0 - 7 backlogs

Concordia University of Edmonton

0 - 7 backlogs

Yorkville University

5 -10 backlogs

Thompson Rivers University

No barrier. The degree should be completed in the allocated time 

Wilfrid Laurier University

5 - 10 backlogs 

List of Colleges in Canada Accepting Backlogs

Here is the list of some Canadian colleges that accept backlogs:


Number of Backlogs Accepted

Conestoga College

No barrier backlogs, Degree should be completed in allocated time

Centennial College

0 - 7 backlogs

Fanshawe College

0 - 6 backlogs

George Brown College

0-6  backlogs

Lambton College

0 - 4 backlogs 


Q: Will I be able to study in Canada with backlogs?

A: Yes, many Canadian universities accept applicants with backlogs. However, their admission policies regarding backlogs can vary.


Q: Are 20 backlogs accepted in Canada?

A: Generally, Canadian universities and colleges accept applications with a maximum of 10 backlogs. However, very few colleges may accept applications with 20 backlogs for certain courses.


Q: What is the process for clearing backlogs in Canadian universities?

A: Depending on the university, several procedures are used to clear backlogs in Canadian universities. To have the course removed from their academic records, most universities demand that students retake it and receive a passing mark. In order to finish a course that is behind schedule, certain colleges may also require students to complete additional assignments or tests.


Q: Do I need to explain my backlogs in my application?

A: Yes, explaining any backlogs in your application is typically required. Be honest and concise in your explanation, and focus on any improvements or lessons learned.


Q: Can I still apply for scholarships if I have a backlog?

A: Scholarships often have specific academic requirements. While backlogs may not automatically disqualify you, a strong academic record can improve your chances of securing scholarships.


Q: Are there any deadlines or timelines I should be aware of when applying with backlogs?

A: Yes, application deadlines and timelines vary by university and program. Plan ahead and make sure to meet all application deadlines, including providing any required documentation related to your backlogs.


Contact our counselors for application details


Academic backlogs can be a major concern in the pursuit of study abroad dreams, but Canadian universities often adopt a flexible and inclusive approach to admissions. Thus, it's crucial to research specific universities and their admission policies, as they may vary. Remember that a well-crafted personal statement and letters of recommendation can play a significant role in showcasing your potential and mitigating the adverse impact of backlogs.


So, are you all set to start your study abroad journey to Canada? If yes, then we encourage you to have a word with our team of expert counsellors at Meridean Overseas Education Consultants (MOEC). If you are unable to travel to our offices, we offer online counselling services via our website. Our dedicated counsellors will provide you with the best guidance regarding your application to study in Canada.


Apart from this, our expert counsellors will also provide assistance in the visa process for your successful study abroad journey. Don't hesitate to contact us at or call us at 1800-1230-00011.

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