May Intake vs September Intake in Canada 2024


Meridean Overseas

Updated On 29 November 2023 & Read Time 7 minutes



Undoubtedly, Canada has been a top choice for international students planning to study abroad on an affordable budget. Academic excellence, career opportunities, and a high standard of living in canada convince a large number of students to study there.


However, international students planning to study in Canada often get confused between intake in Canada: the May intake and the September intake. The May intake offers a unique opportunity to start classes in the spring, allowing students to acclimate to Canadian life before the peak of winter. On the other hand, the September intake in Canada is the traditional start of the academic year and is often considered the main intake period. Ultimately, both intakes have their set of unique advantages and disadvantages.


So, if you are planning to study in Canada and are confused about which intake to choose, this blog is for you! Read this blog till the end to know the pros and cons of both intakes.


Intakes in Canada for International Students

Mainly, Canadian universities and colleges offer two intakes to international students, i.e., January intake and September intake. However, some universities also offer May intake. Now, let’s look at some quick details about all the intakes provided by Canadian universities.

  1. Fall Intake (September intake): It is the most popular intake in Canada. Almost all Canadian universities accept international students’ applications for all the courses during this intake.

  2. Spring Intake (January intake): The winter intake in Canada is the second most popular intake. The winter intake in Canada is more like an extension of the fall intake. Not all, but most of the universities in Canada, including the top ones, accept applications for certain courses in this intake.

  3. May intake (Summer intake): Students unable to secure admission in Fall and Spring intake can apply for May intake in Canada. If the universities and colleges are left with few seats, then they do offer summer intake as well. Very few universities and courses are available in this intake. However, due to less number of applications, the chances of securing admission in this intake are higher.


Advantage of Applying in September Intake in Canada

The September intake is particularly popular among international students who want to study in Canada.

  • During this intake, almost all Canadian universities allow applications from international students for all courses and levels (diplomas, PG diplomas, bachelor's, and master's). As a result, overseas students can easily apply to their dream university for the course they choose or are interested in.

  • Due to the vast number of available seats, international students enjoy a high acceptance rate during this intake.

  • The majority of on-campus recruitments take place right after the autumn semester. It is an incredible possibility to find a job right after finishing a course or even a few months before that.

  • The weather in the country is fairly pleasant and captivating in September. Therefore, as a foreign student, applying for the September intake would be a wise move because you will be able to enjoy the great weather.


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Disadvantage of Applying in September Intake in Canada

Now that we know the advantages of applying to the September intake, let’s head towards some cons of applying in this intake.

  • September is a popular intake, leading to higher competition for admission slots, scholarships, and housing. Therefore, you can face difficulty in securing admission, especially in top-notch institutions. 

  • The student visa processing time during this intake is generally higher. So, applying late might result in delays, potentially impacting your ability to start classes on time.

  • Applying late may give you less time to gather the required documents, such as transcripts and letters of recommendation. Also, scholarships and financial aid options may have earlier application deadlines, potentially limiting your access to funding.


Advantages of Applying in May Intake in Canada

 Although May intake in Canada is a minor one, it has several advantages.

  • Summer intake universities in Canada provide a variety of short courses as well as a variety of other accredited programs. Therefore, if you are willing to apply for short-term courses, it would be the best choice. 

  • Because fewer students applied to this intake, the chances of selection are higher than in other intakes across the country.

  • Students can apply for spring internships and take online classes simultaneously.

  • Some Canadian summer universities provide complete internship programmes for students enrolled in the summer intake. 


Disadvantages of Applying in May Intake in Canada

 Here are some disadvantages of applying in the May intake in Canada.

  • Many programmes are unavailable in the May intake, reducing the options available for prospective students. 

  • Some scholarships and financial aid programs may have application deadlines earlier in the year, meaning you might miss out on certain funding opportunities. 

  • If your program includes co-op or internship opportunities, starting in May might mean fewer job openings compared to the September intake. 

  • Starting in May might require adjusting to a different academic calendar, which could impact internships, part-time work, or other extracurricular activities. 



In summary, the decision between the May and September intakes in Canada varies depending on several factors discussed in the blog. Ultimately, the choice boils down to individual priorities and circumstances. It's crucial for students to weigh the pros and cons, consider program structures, and factor in personal preferences before making this significant decision.


So, are you also ready 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.



Q: What is the main difference between the May and September intakes in Canada?

A: The primary distinction lies in the start dates of academic programs. The May intake allows for an early spring start, while the September intake follows the traditional beginning of the academic year in the fall.


Q: What is the deadline for May intake in Canada?

A: The May intake in Canada is well-known for its different diploma courses and has admission deadlines between January and February.


Q: When to apply for September intake in Canada?

A: The deadline to apply for September intake in Canada varies for each university and college, although it is normally in January of the following year.


Q: How does the weather impact the choice between May and September intake?

A: The May intake provides a head start before the colder months, making it advantageous for those adapting to Canadian winters. September, being in the fall, allows students to experience a milder entry into the climate.


Q: Which universities in Canada have may intake?

A: Some of the best universities which are available in May intake in Canada:

  • University of Waterloo

  • Vancouver Community College

  • Ryerson University

  • Northern College

  • Centennial College

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