Education in Canada: How to enrol or apply

Enrol in or apply to a school

In Canada, you have to apply or enrol in a school depending on the level of school you’re interested in and where you live.

Enrol in primary (or elementary) and secondary (or high) school

Documents you’ll need for enrolment

  •  birth certificate
  •  proof of guardianship or custody
  •  proof of residency
  •  record of immunizations (to prove that your child’s vaccines are up to date)

Contact your local school board to enrol your child in elementary or secondary (high) school.

School boards usually manage many schools, so you will often have more than one school to choose from in your region.

Tip: If there is more than one school to choose from in your region, enrol well before the school year begins to make sure you get a spot in the school you prefer.

The first time a child is enrolled in a Canadian school, the school or school board will

  • assess their education level
  • decide
    • what level they should be placed at
    • whether they need free support (like English or French language classes)

There are also settlement workers in many schools who can help students adjust and get help if they need it.

Apply to a post-secondary school

To attend a post-secondary school, you have to apply and be accepted to a program of study. You can apply to any program that interests you. You’ll only be offered a spot in a program if you meet the school’s admission requirements.

Language testing

If English or French is not your first language, you may need to take a language test. The school will give you a list of tests that it accepts and the score you need to get.

Find more information about study programs in Canadian post-secondary schools:

If you’re interested in a certain post-secondary school, you can contact the school directly for more information about the program they offer, what the requirements are and how to apply.

Every school and program has its own admissions requirements that you have to meet. Some programs also have limited space available. If a program is very popular, it may be harder to get in.

Research the programs that you’re interested in well ahead of the application deadline, so you have enough time to understand and meet the application requirements.

Get help understanding the application process for different schools

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