Open and Distance Universities in Canada – Admissions to Universities in Canada (2023)

Frequently asked questions about open and distance universities in Canada

Q: Why should all Canadian students learn about open and distance universities?

A: Because they are an easy way to get into college without a high school diploma! Or, if you're already in college, they may offer you a broader range of courses.

Q: Are these non-high school programs just for dropouts?

A: No, absolutely not! These programs also provide university access to:

  • those who live in remote areas and cannot or choose not to travel to a Canadian university
  • alternative education students (alternative students, homeschoolers, child performers/athletes, travelers) who chose to have a unique high school experience or who focused on other interests/careers during high school and never graduated from high school secondary
  • Gifted, accelerated, or high-achieving students who have chosen to "skip" high school and go directly to college-level studies.
  • regular high school students who realized they could complete their university studies more flexibly and efficiently and avoid all the drama of admissions
  • current students who want or need additional courses or more flexible offerings

Q: What if I want a traditional college experience or a non-distance learning program?

A: Many students enroll in open/distance universities for one or two years and then move on to other institutions. This means that without a high school diploma, you can study for just one year and then apply to the university and program of your choice.

Open and distance universities are routes of entry into Canada's university system for anyone who wants to prove themselves, regardless of their educational background or lack of credentials.

In fact, at the time of writing this article, there was a case (Academic transformation: the forces reshaping higher education in Ontario) for the need, among other post-secondary reforms, for an Open University in Ontario to accommodate the growing student population and remove barriers to entry. Open universities are a valuable and necessary part of a successful post-secondary educational system.

(Video) Open School Degrees for Canada 🇨🇦 | Canada with Distance Education degrees

There are several reasons to take courses at a distance learning university in Canada. Canadian distance learning universities offer access and flexibility. Take advantage of the opportunity to complete an additional class in the summer, during a dual internship, during a semester, or even during high school. Enjoy a richer selection of courses than what your home university can offer. Or choose the ultimate in cost savings and flexibility and get your full title from the comfort of your home!

And choosing a distance university with an open admissions policy means thatYou can also apply if you do not have a traditional educational background.Open universities do not require formal education or credentials for admission and provide open and equal access to a college education for older students, homeschoolers, and those who have chosen to drop out of high school before earning a diploma.

Different types of open and distance universities


Universities with no formal admission requirements and undergraduate courses can be completed through distance learning (usually online).

athabasca university– A wide range of distance learning programs leading to multiple undergraduate degrees (and multiple postgraduates) and an open admissions process make this Alberta university a popular choice for any Canadian student: mature college students, homeschoolers, gifted students, adults returning to school later. in life, high school students who want to earn college credit while still in high school. At Athabasca, you can complete the following college degrees completely online:

  • Licensed in letters
  • Bachelor of Commerce
  • Bachelor of General Studies
  • Bachelor of Health Administration
  • Bachelor's Degree in Human Resources and Industrial Relations
  • Degree in administration
  • Degree in nursing
  • Bachelor of Professional Arts
  • Bachelor of Science

Universidad Thompson Rivers– Similar to Athabasca, TRU in BC attracts a wide range of students and has a wide range of undergraduate degrees with an open admissions policy:

  • Licensed in letters
  • Bachelor of Science
  • Bachelor of Business Sciences
  • Bachelor of Commerce
  • Bachelor of Technology
  • Bachelor of Science
  • Bachelor of Health Sciences
  • Bachelor of Tourism Management

In addition, TRU offers a “startprogram for BC high school students, as well as a host of non-credit study and certificate options.


The Canadian Virtual University-Université Virtual Canadian Consortium (CVU-UVC) was founded in 2000 as a coalition of Canadian universities specializing in online and distance education. The partner universities had agreements that allowed students to easily take courses from all institutions. After the e-learning landscape changed and the original purpose of CVU-UVC was achieved, CVU-UVC was discontinued in 2019.

CVU member universities that offer distance learning include:

(Video) Distance Education Degree for Canada

Consortium of the University of British Columbia

Thompson Rivers University Open Learning(TRU-OL) has agreements to offer correspondence courses in addition to its own correspondence courses

  • Simon Fraser University (SFU)
  • the University of Victoria (UVic) and
  • the University of British Columbia (UBC)

no separate admission to member universities.

Royal Roads University (RRU) and the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) are also members of the university consortium. However, your courses cannot be registered through TRU-OL and these schools must be contacted individually to take your courses as part of a TRU-OL degree.

University of Alberta Consortium

The consortium, formerly organized under the umbrella of eCampusAlberta, has not been centralized since 2017. eCampusAlberta's notice on the matter states: "With online learning well established in Alberta, it is time for eCampusAlberta to hand the baton back to its founding members, where quality online learning will continue to flourish." will take place among Alberta post-secondary institutions that wish to consider pursuing certain service offerings.” In the meantime, you can find correspondence course options directly throughUniversities that were members of the eCampusAlberta consortium.


Althoughathabasca universityYUniversidad Thompson Riversoffer full courses of study, many students opt for freedom of admission just to come to the university and start their academic career.

Then, after at least one full year of successful college study, students can request a changeany other university in Canada(not just a CVU member) as a college changer. A transfer student may also be eligible to transfer credits or advanced standing at the new university. Transfer policies are established individually at each university, so you should check with the university you wish to attend to confirm their policies for admission and receipt of transfer credits.

Even if you are offered admission without credit for your previous year of study at Athabasca or TRU, you have successfully gained admission to a Canadian university without a bachelor's degree!

University of Guelph– In addition to CVU member universities, the University of Guelph in Ontario also offers an Open Distance Learning program. of Guelphopen learningThe program allows students from around the world to pursue final credit distance learning courses for personal enrichment, career advancement, or perhapsRequest for a classic coursein Guelph without formal admission requirements. Success in the Guelph Open Learning program is one way to make a smooth transition to a degree program in Guelph. While Guelph has a wide range of distance learning course offerings, it does not specifically state that a bachelor's degree can be earned entirely online. Students may be required to take some courses on campus or transfer to another distance learning university to fulfill their degree requirements.

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Universities, which usually have normal admission requirements but offer a wide range of degree programs or complete bachelor's degrees through distance learning.Keep in mind that even if a full degree cannot be earned online, often with a letter of approval from the university, students can use a small number of courses from other institutions to help meet their degree requirements.

dalhousie universityin Nova Scotia offers a distance bachelor's degreesocial work. They also offer college diploma and certificate programs and some college-level degrees.

Lakehead Universityin Ontario offersbachelor's degreefully online distance learning courses including Bachelor of Arts (General Studies) and Bachelor of Science in Nursing (Post-RN) for Registered Nurses. They also offer select graduate degrees at the master's and doctoral levels.

Laurentian Universityin Ontario offers a variety of online and correspondence courses. CVU member school.

memorial universityin Newfoundland offersbasic studiesfully distance learning, including a Bachelor of Arts (only English and Police majors can be completed fully online), a Bachelor of Business Administration, a Bachelor of Maritime Studies, a Bachelor of Nursing (post RN), and a Bachelor of Technology. Master's degrees in education, nursing, and social work are also available.

Mount Allison Universityin New Brunswick offers a good variety of correspondence courses. It doesn't seem like you can get a full degree through distance learning. Students must meet regular college entrance requirements.

universidad nipissingoffers aBachelor of CommerceGraduated exclusively by distance. CVU member school.

queen's collegein Ontario has an extensive list of courses and programs that are available throughlearn onlineand students can complete a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science throughoutPostgraduate and distance education(CDS) on a number of topics. Students who are unable to attend day classes can earn their degree by combining Queens courses with distance learning courses taken at other universities with a Permission Letter of Permission. Admission requirements are the same as Queen's general admission requirements.

(Video) Distance Education Acceptable in CANADA ??

university of royal roadsin British Columbia offers an online Bachelor of Science in International Hospitality Management, Legal Studies and Professional Communications, as well as an online Bachelor of Commerce in Business Management (Hospitality and Tourism) and an online Bachelor of Science in Environmental Management. Online Masters, Online MBA, and Masters programs are also available, as well as online certificates and diplomas.

Ryerson Universityin Ontario has a wide range of online courses and bachelor's certificates, which in some situations can transfer to a bachelor's degree from Ryerson University. Admission requirements are the same as Ryerson's general admission requirements.

University of Manitobaoffers a completely distance-learning Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Social Work. They also offer 140 distance learning courses from a variety of arts and science departments.

University of Ottawa in Ontariooffers a variety of online degree programs, but does not mention whether a bachelor's degree can be earned entirely through distance learning.

University of Waterlooin Ontario offers more than 240 online courses in more than 40 specializations leading to a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, and even a graduate degreeTitles available entirely at a distance. Admission requirements are the same as for regular face-to-face courses.

Western Ontario Universityoffers a wide range of correspondence courses. As of 2010, some arts degrees are available with majors/minors in select liberal arts and social sciences fields of study. Admission requirements are the same as for regular face-to-face courses.

victoria universityin British Columbia offers a distance learning Bachelor of Social Work (BSW). Note: Admission to the program requires the equivalent of two years of undergraduate study. Credits from another university are accepted, so you can start an undergraduate course at an open distance university, then apply to BSW and complete this program fully remotely.

Universidad Wilfred Laurierin Ontario offers a wide range of online courses for students. You can apply directly to OUAC for Laurier's distance learning program (subject to the same requirements as traditional participants), though it's unclear on the website whether a full degree can be earned remotely.

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york universityin Ontario offers correspondence courses for undergraduate degrees through the Atkinson College of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies. This college offers bachelor's degrees in arts, public administration, human resource management, and social work, though its website does not clarify whether these degrees can be earned entirely online. They offer a wide range of online courses.


Featured article on online higher education in University Affairs magazine


Do Canadian universities accept distance education? ›

Many Canadian universities and colleges welcome international students into their online and distance education programs. Search for your academic program to find out whether you can complete part or all of your studies via distance education.

In which universities admissions are open in Canada? ›

  • Rotman School of Management. Sauder School of Business. Desautels Faculty of Management. DeGroote School of Business. ...
  • University of Toronto. University of British Columbia. McGill University. ...
  • Laval University. York Univeristy. Concordia University. ...
  • University of Alberta. McMaster University. University of Calgary.

Which is the easiest university to get admission in Canada? ›

Top 15 Easiest Canadian Universities to Get Into
  1. Wilfrid Laurier University. Acceptance rate: 89% ...
  2. Lakehead University. Acceptance rate: 83% ...
  3. Ryerson University. Acceptance rate: 80% ...
  4. University of Guelph. ...
  5. University of Lethbridge. ...
  6. Memorial University of Newfoundland. ...
  7. University of Manitoba. ...
  8. University of Saskatchewan.
Feb 16, 2023

Is distance education degree valid in Canada for study visa? ›

Distance learning is a process by which technology is used in ways where the student does not have to physically be in the place where the teaching is taking place. Since by definition distance learning does not require one to be in Canada, a study permit cannot be issued for this type of course.

Do Canadian universities accept US students? ›

Canadian universities draw heavily from an international crowd. The best colleges in Canada for international students enroll Europeans, Asians, South Americans, and Africans.

Is distance education eligible for Canada immigration? ›

Does distance learning education from a Canadian University count as Canadian education for express entry? Short answer: Yes.

Which universities are open for application 2023 in Canada? ›

Here we are giving some top universities who are open in September 2023 intake in Canada.
  • University of Toronto.
  • McGill University.
  • University of British Columbia.
  • University of Montreal.
  • University of Waterloo.
  • University of Ottawa.
  • Western University.
  • University of Alberta.

Is admission open in Canada for international students? ›

Canadian universities accept international applications in the Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer seasons. Prospective students are encouraged to choose their preferred college/university as soon as possible in order to be admitted through their preferred intake in Canada.

Does Canada accept Open University? ›

Unfortunately no. Every university has a different eligibility requirement. So it is best if you check with individual universities before you apply for them. Also, some universities may accept open university students for certain courses, but not others.

Can a 2.5 GPA get me accepted in Canadian universities? ›

Most universities require a minimum GPA of 3.0 out of 4.0 in order to be eligible for a Master's degree in Canada. However, several universities will accept GPAs as low as 2.0. However, it is dependent on the university and programme.

Which Canadian university accepts most international students? ›


Founded in 1827, the University of Toronto has evolved into Canada's leading institution of learning, discovery and knowledge creation. The university has 27,536 international students from an overall of 84,158. There are 4,248 international faculty staff of an overall of 9,881.

What GPA do you need for Canadian universities? ›

To get admission as an international student in Canada University, students should require a minimum of a letter grade of B or a GPA above 2.67. Ques.

Do I need a visa to study online in Canada? ›

If your educational course in Canada is six months long or less, you will not require a study permit to study online. According to Canada's immigration laws, foreign nationals that intend to attend a program of study that is six months long, or less, do not require a study permit.

Is it possible to work while studying in Canada? ›

You can work up to 20 hours per week. Working more than 20 hours per week is a violation of your study permit conditions. You can lose your student status for doing this, and may not be approved for a study or work permit in the future. You may also have to leave the country.

Is distance education accepted by WES? ›

Accreditation by WES is essential for international students because it ensures that their online degrees are recognized and valued by employers and academic institutions in North America.

How can a US citizen go to college in Canada? ›

You should apply for a study permit before coming to Canada. Only some people can apply for a study permit from within Canada. Before you apply, you must have a letter of acceptance from a designated learning institution in Canada.

How can an American apply for university in Canada? ›

Each university sets its own admission requirements but here are the most common ones:
  1. Graduation certificate/diploma.
  2. Filled-in application form.
  3. Resume or CV.
  4. A letter of intent.
  5. Evidence that you can support yourself financially during your studies in Canada.
Nov 17, 2022

Is it cheaper for Americans to go to college in Canada? ›

Canadian universities are more likely to offer financial aid or scholarships to international students, something that is very rare in the United States. Additionally, on average, Canadian university tuition fees are 27% more economical than tuition fees at US universities.

What are the requirements to immigrate to Canada as a student? ›

Basic entry requirements
  • have a valid travel document, like a passport.
  • be in good health.
  • have no criminal or immigration-related convictions.
  • convince an immigration officer that you have ties—such as a job, home, financial assets or family—that will take you back to your home country.
Feb 27, 2023

What is distance education known as in Canada? ›

Canadian Beginnings

Distance education, then called correspondence education, was used first in 1889 to provide degree opportunities for rural teachers who were unable to attend MCGILL UNIVERSITY full time.

How can I move to Canada while studying? ›

The Study and Immigrate to Canada program is so simple!! You will choose a program of study you like or from our list and we will find you a school to enroll you in. After you successfully graduate and gained some work experience, we will handle your application for Permanent Residency without leaving Canada.

What is the deadline for September 2023 intake Canada? ›

What is the deadline for September intake Canada? The Deadline for the September 2023 admissions intake is between January and February.

Which university are still open for 2023 application? ›

Universities You Can Still Apply At For 2023
  • The University of South Africa (Unisa) ...
  • Rhodes University. ...
  • The University of Fort Hare (UFH) ...
  • University of Kwazulu-Natal (UKZN) ...
  • The University of Zululand (UNIZULU) ...
  • Sol Plaatje University (SPU) ...
  • Durban University Of Technology (DUT) ...
  • University of Johannesburg (UJ)
Sep 21, 2022

How long does it take to get admission in Canada? ›

After you submit your admissions application, most Canadian schools take at least four to six weeks to assess your application, determine whether you qualify, and issue a Letter of Acceptance. However, for some schools, this process can take as long as two or three months.

Can I apply for January 2023 in Canada? ›

The deadline for January intake in Canada 2023 will vary from institution to institution. You must keep an eye on the official website of the university to check when the applications are available as admissions take place on a first come first serve basis for deadlines for January 2023 intake in Canada.

How to apply for college in Canada for international students? ›

You may apply for a study permit online, or you may obtain a paper application from your nearest visa application centre. To do this, you need: a valid passport, in most cases. a letter of acceptance from the college stating the program of study, including start and end dates.

Which college is closed in Canada for international students? ›

The three colleges, M. College in Montreal, CCSQ College in Longueuil, and CDE College in Sherbrooke, all run by Rising Phoenix International Inc, had taken millions of dollars as tuition fees from students before shutting down abruptly.

Is it difficult to get admission in Canadian universities? ›

It is quite difficult to get into Canadian universities because of the level of competition but there are some with high acceptance rates.

Which university accept low grades in Canada? ›

Saint Thomas University. Concordia University of Edmonton. Vancouver Island University (Malaspina) Université Saint Paul.

How much GPA needed for scholarship in Canada? ›

Entrance Scholarship for Academic Excellence

In order to receive continuing scholarship disbursements, the undergraduate scholarship recipients must maintain a CGPA of 2.67. On the other hand, the graduate scholarship recipients must maintain a CGPA of 3.0.

Is it better to study in the US or Canada as an international student? ›

A. Both USA and Canada are considered the best destinations among all the other countries in the world to complete higher education in terms of quality of education, tuition fee, scholarships, etc. However for Master's USA is always a preferred option among international students followed by Canada.

Which city is better for international students in Canada? ›

According to the world ranking (2022), Montreal stands at the top position among the ten best student-friendly cities, not just in Canada, but also in North America.

What is the cheapest college in Canada for international students? ›

10 Best Cheapest Colleges in Canada for International Students in...
  • University of Manitoba.
  • University of Sasketchawan.
  • Memorial University of Newfoundland.
  • Bow Valley College.
  • Humber College.
  • Algonquin College.
  • Northern Lights College.
  • Centennial College.
Jan 6, 2023

Is Canadian GPA same as us GPA? ›

Basically in the US, a 100% is a 4.0. While in Canada, a 100% is usually a 4.33. You may need to contact the schools and ask them how you should handle this on your application.

What GPA is 70% in Canada? ›

LetterPercentage4.0 GPA
B73 – 763
B-70 – 722.7
C+67 – 692.3
C63 – 662
9 more rows

Do US citizens need study permit for Canada? ›

Foreign nationals may enter Canada or remain in Canada without a study permit to attend a course or program of study of 6 months' duration or less [R188(1)(c)]. This exemption helps to facilitate access to short-term courses, regardless of their subject matter.

How much money is required for Canada study visa? ›

Proof of Funds

As per the present standards, you would have to prove that you would have enough funds to pay our tuition fees as well as take care of living expenses. Canadian Immigration deems a student would require at least CAD 10,000 for every year of their stay.

Is it easy to find a job in Canada after studying? ›

While finding a job in Canada is not easy, it is possible! Below we have laid out the steps you need to follow to make the most of your Canadian job search. A job offer from a Canadian employer can significantly increase your chance of receiving an invitation to apply for permanent residence.

How many hours is full-time study in Canada? ›

Part time, as defined, is up to 20 hours per week and full time is defined as up to 40 hours per week.

Is it easy to get job in Canada after studying in Canada? ›

Yes, you can work in Canada after graduation. You will need a post-graduate work permit (PGWP) to work in Canada. What are some of the highest paying jobs for international students in Canada?

Is distance education valid for Canada study visa? ›

Distance learning is a process by which technology is used in ways where the student does not have to physically be in the place where the teaching is taking place. Since by definition distance learning does not require one to be in Canada, a study permit cannot be issued for this type of course.

Is WES acceptable in us? ›

WES evaluations are recognized and accepted by universities, licensing boards, government agencies and employers throughout the U.S. WES is the largest and among the oldest of the evaluation services the U.S. Each year, WES prepares evaluations for approximately 50,000 individuals from all over the world.

How many years is WES valid? ›

What is the validity of WES report? A WES evaluation is valid for five years from the date it is issued.

Can international students take online classes Canada? ›

International students studying online from abroad or who submit a study permit application no later than August 31, 2022, are allowed to complete up to 100% of their program online without affecting their PGWP eligibility.

Do foreign universities accept distance degree? ›

All Indian universities whether regular or correspondence, distance education, or online learning courses are valid worldwide. But for this, they should be UGC approved, DEB and AIU approved as well. While you start your higher education with distance or online programs, you can find the best job abroad countries.

Can I do a Bachelor of education online in Canada? ›

If you're interested in studying a Education degree in Canada you can view all 10 Online Courses Programmes. You can also read more about Education degrees in general, or about studying in Canada. Many universities and colleges in Canada offer English-taught Online Courses degrees.

Can I study online without visa in Canada? ›

No. Although the student may complete a short-term program of study without a study permit, they may not be able to apply for a study permit from within Canada if they wish to enrol in subsequent courses that cannot be completed within their original period of authorized stay.

Can I study in Canada remotely? ›

You can work remotely for an employer outside Canada as long as you still meet the conditions of your study permit.

Is Open University Recognised in Canada? ›

Canadian Universities You Can Apply for After IGNOU

IGNOU has a NAAC A++ accreditation which makes the degrees offered equivalent to regular universities. Some Canadian universities with high acceptance of international students that you can apply to include: Concordia University: Degrees other than Engineering.

Which country is best for distance education? ›

Top distance learning countries - Finland
  • United States. The US is the undoubtedly the top player in distance education around the world today, with hundreds of online colleges and thousands of programmes to offer. ...
  • India. ...
  • China. ...
  • South Korea. ...
  • Malaysia. ...
  • United Kingdom. ...
  • Australia. ...
  • South Africa.

Is Open University degree valid in USA? ›

The Open University is fully accredited both in the UK and US.” Despite its unconventional mode of delivery, the Open University is on paper a university like any other. More specifically, the OU is fully accredited both in the UK and US.

Is a distance education degree as valid as a regular degree? ›

Yes, a degree acquired in the online/distance mode from a UGC-DEB recognised higher education institution is absolutely equivalent to a degree acquired through the regular mode. Click here for more information on UGC rules and regulations regarding online/distance education.

What are the two types of distance education? ›

Although the expansion of the Internet blurs the boundaries, distance education technologies are divided into two modes of delivery: synchronous learning and asynchronous learning. In synchronous learning, all participants are "present" at the same time in a virtual classroom, as in traditional classroom teaching.

How long is Bachelor of Education in Canada? ›

Program details

The Bachelor of Education is a two-year program following the completion of a first bachelor's degree which meets admissions requirements. Students are required to complete a total of 60 credit hours of study which includes 24 weeks of practicum experience.

Can I teach in Canada without education degree? ›

To be certified, teachers must: have completed a minimum three-year postsecondary degree from an acceptable postsecondary institution. have successfully completed a four semester teacher education program. apply to the College for certification and pay the annual membership and registration fees.


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