Admissions Standards Policy

Policy Number: SS-3101-1980
Policy Title: Admissions Standards
Policy Owner: Registrar and Senior Director, Strategic Enrolment Management
Effective Date: September 1980
Last Revised: September 28, 2023

On this page:

  1. Purpose
  2. Application and Scope
  3. Definitions
  4. Principles
  5. Accountability and Compliance
  6. Rules
  7. Policy Revision Date
  8. Attachments
  9. Specific Links

1. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to provide an equitable and consistent framework by which all applicants shall be considered for admission to all Mohawk College post-secondary programs of instruction as outlined in the Ministry of College and Universities (MCU) Binding Policy Directive on Admission.

2. Application and Scope

This policy applies to all Mohawk College post-secondary programs of instruction and the applicants to these programs.

3. Definitions

"Admission Requirements" refers to Mohawk College's specific academic and supplementary requirements for entry to the College in a specific program. This may include, but is not limited to, secondary or post-secondary grades or grade point average, standardized test scores or portfolios depending on the institution or program.

"Applicant" refers to an individual applying to a program of instruction, known as a program of study at Mohawk College (also referred to as Domestic Applicant, International Student, etc.).

“Domestic Applicant” refers to an applicant who is lawfully eligible to study in Canada due to citizenship, residency or protected status (also referred to as an Indigenous Learner, Permanent Resident, Protected Person, Refugee Claimant etc.).  

“Equal Consideration Date” refers to the last day which an applicant can submit an application to a competitive program and be considered in the first round of offers. After this date, Mohawk College considers applicants on a first-come, first-served basis until programs are filled.

“Facilitated Admission refers to the process designed to directly support Indigenous learners entering oversubscribed programs at Mohawk College.. Applicants in this category must meet the minimum entrance requirements of the program they are applying to; however, they do not have to meet the competitive grade point average of admitted students in the admission year.

“Indigenous Learner” refers to an applicant to Mohawk College who has self-identified as a member of the broader community of Indigenous (Aboriginal) peoples of Canada.

“International Applicant” refers to applicants who require a study permit in order to lawfully study in Canada including a foreign national who is authorized under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (Canada) to enroll as a student in an educational institution in Canada.

"Mature Student Status" refers to the status of an applicant who may not have an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent but has reached the age of 19 years on or before the commencement of the program of instruction in which they intend to enroll.

"Ontario Secondary School Certificate (OSSC)" refers to a credential of recognition that will be granted on request to students who leave school before earning the Ontario Secondary School Diploma, provided that they have earned a minimum of 14 credits (7 compulsory and 7 optional credits), as defined by the Ministry of Education.

"Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD)" refers to a provincially recognized credential of recognition earned on successful completion of secondary school requirements established by the Ministry of Education and known as an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD), a Secondary School Graduation Diploma (SSGD), or a Secondary School Honours Graduation Diploma (SSHGD).

"OSSD equivalent" refers to a secondary school graduation diploma, such as the General Education Diploma (GED), from another jurisdiction, or documentation, as determined by the college, that supports the applicant's claim of having completed the learning outcomes of an OSSD.

"Oversubscribed Program" refers to a program for which the number of eligible applications exceeds the number of qualified applicants required to fill the program, also referred to as a competitive or high demand program.

"Permanent Resident" refers to a person who has immigrated to Canada but is not a Canadian citizen. Permanent Resident status is obtained from the Canadian Government and includes the right for a person to live, work or study anywhere in Canada.

"Program of Studies" refers to a an official list of all the required courses and work integrated learning components within all semesters or levels of an approved degree, diploma, or certificate program, successful completion of which leads to a credential.

“Protected Persons (Convention Refugee)” refers to a person who has been determined to be a protected person, including a Convention refugee or a person in need of protection within the meaning of subsection 95(2) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act by the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) or the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship of Canada.

“Refugee claimant” refers to students or applicants who have applied for Convention Refugee status but have yet to receive a Notice of Decision.

"Registration Period" refers to the period during which timetable selection takes place.

"Resident of Ontario" refers to a person who fulfils one or more of the following criteria:

  • A person who can establish bona fide residency in Ontario as a Canadian citizen or permanent resident as defined by the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (Canada) for a period of 12 consecutive months (excluding periods spent in a postsecondary institution) prior to registration in the year for which application is being made.
  • A person who is dependent on a parent or legal guardian, and that parent or legal guardian can establish bona fide residency in Ontario as a Canadian citizen or permanent resident as defined by the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (Canada) for a period of 12 consecutive months prior to registration in the year for which the application is being made. As per Ministry binding policy directive on admissions criteria, a person is considered to be independent of his or her parent or legal guardian if:
    • they have been out of high school for five years; or
    • they are married, widowed or divorced; or
    • they have dependent children.
  • A person who can establish bona fide residency in Ontario as a Canadian citizen or permanent resident as defined by the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (Canada) for a period of 12 consecutive months prior to being stationed temporarily outside of Canada as an employee of a provincial or Canadian government or an international organization.
  • A person who is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident as defined by the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (Canada) who has taken up permanent residency in Ontario prior to registration as part of a bona fide family relocation from another Canadian province or territory. This does not include relocating to Ontario for the sole purpose of attending an Ontario College of Applied arts and Technology.
  • Evidence of bona fide residency may include (but is not restricted to) filing of Ontario tax returns, eligibility to vote in Ontario, production of a permanent driver's license or an Ontario motor vehicle registration, proving place of employment, and filing Municipal tax returns. For the purposes of this policy, a Canadian citizen includes a Status Indian or Inuit as defined by the federal government.

4. Principles

This policy is based on the principles of effectiveness, equity, transparency, and clarity in support of student success and retention through the application and admission process.

5. Accountability and Compliance

5.1 Accountability Framework

This policy has been approved by the Senior Management Team.

5.2 Compliance

The Registrar oversees the Admission policy and is responsible for its overall implementation and enforcement as required by the Ministry's Binding Policy Directive and overall college goals.

6. Rules

6.1. Admissions Process

The College assesses applicants against criteria which indicate the prospect of success in the program(s) selected by the applicants. The College gives consideration to admit those applicants who meet the published admission requirements. The admission process consists of the following consecutive steps:

  1. The determination of the applicant's college eligibility (6.1.1 below);
  2. The determination of program eligibility (6.1.2 below); and,
  3. The selection of program-eligible applicants from among those who have applied to oversubscribed programs (6.1.3 and 6.1.4 below).

6.1.1 College Eligibility Requirements

The College Eligibility Requirement is to consist of any one of the following:

  • an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent;
  • mature student status; or
  • any lesser or greater minimum admission requirement established by a College on a program-specific basis.

6.1.2. Program Eligibility

  • Program eligibility criteria are established for each program as approved by the College.
  • Program eligibility criteria will ensure effectiveness, equity, transparency and clarity in admissions processes and will be objective, measurable and relevant to the program.
  • No secondary school university preparation course  shall be used as a minimum requirement for applicant selection criterion, except on an exception basis, as noted in Admissions Criteria, Section D, Eligibility Requirements, of the Ministry Admissions Policy (November, 2004) which notes the following two exceptions:
  1. Collaborative college-university degree programs governed by joint agreements are not subject to the restrictions on use of secondary school university preparation or Ontario Academic Courses, where those requirements are specifically stated in the agreement.
  2. College bachelor's degrees are not subject to the restrictions on use of secondary school university preparation or Ontario Academic Courses.

6.1.3 Domestic Applicant Selection

Residency Priority

Domestic applicants will be accepted into programs based on availability and the following order of preference:

  1. Residents of Ontario;
  2. Residents of provinces and territories in Canada;
  3. Other applicants.
Facilitated Admission

Indigenous learners applying to programs at Mohawk College who would like to participate in the Facilitated Admissions Process, should complete and submit the online Facilitated Admission Form. This form does not replace, or cannot be substituted for, any other application processes such as, OSAP or other funding applications.

To be considered for oversubscribed programs, applicants must apply via OCAS by the equal consideration date for the term they are applying and submit a completed Facilitated Admission form by the 10th business day after the equal consideration date for the term the program starts.

6.1.4 International Application Selection

International applicants will be accepted into programs based on availability. 

International students may be admitted on a preferential basis to over-subscribed programs in the following circumstances:

  • Where the College has established a special program, or a special section within a program, specifically for International students (e.g. the English for International Students program, the General Arts and Science Program for International Students, etc.);
  • Where the College approves the creation of a "supernumerary" seat or seats within a program specifically for an International student or students (i.e. a seat or seats in addition to the approved maximum registration figure for the program) by the commencement of the admission cycle for international students.
  • An International student is admitted for the supernumerary seat only if they achieve the same admission criteria as other admitted applicants.

Where program capacity constraints impact international students, the college will endeavour to provide alternate enrolment options.

6.1.5 Program Specific Criteria

If the program of instruction continues to be oversubscribed after the application of the residency priority, program specific selection criteria may be applied. Such criteria will be objective, measurable and relevant to the program.

The applicant selection criteria may vary from year to year depending on the local needs and the number of qualified applicants. In cases where admission requirements for a postsecondary program of instruction at a college are changed in the direction of greater stringency (i.e., added requirements), applicants will be given a minimum of one year's notice before the change is implemented.

Random selection will not be used as an applicant selection technique.

6.1.6 Applicants with Foreign Credentials

Domestic applicants who have been educated outside of Canada who wish to use foreign credentials for the purposes of admission must provide assessment and authentication of their documents by a recognized credential assessment service as determined by the College.

6.1.7 Applicants with a First Language other than English

The College has established English language entry levels for its programs. Applicants for whom English is not a first language must provide proof of English language proficiency as an admission requirement for their selected program.

Applicants are required to provide proof of English proficiency by submitting a test of English which is recognized internationally as determined by the College. Applicants may be required to successfully complete alternate programming to improve English proficiency prior to being granted admission to college programs.

6.1.8 Alternate Program Delivery

Where services have been contracted by an external agency (e.g., Canadian Bureau of International Education (CBIE), International Contracts, apprentice students, Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) Seat Purchases) admission is restricted to applicants directed to the College as outlined in the agreement and consistent with admission requirements.

6.2 Waiting Lists

Waiting lists will be established and maintained up to the end of the registration period for oversubscribed programs.

The Domestic and International Admission offices maintain waitlists and, upon request, applicants can confirm their relative position on the waiting list.

6.3 Admission Decision

A domestic applicant who was not successful in being admitted to a program has the right to a review of an admissions decision by submitting a Review Form to the Manager, Admissions, in the Registrar's Office as per Attachment 1 - Admissions Review Form.  

An International applicant who was not successful in being admitted to a program has the right to a review of an admission decision by submitting a request to the International Admissions department.

6.4 Re-Admission

When a student has separated from their program by withdrawal, termination or expulsion for more than one year and wishes to return to that program, they must reapply through the Ontario College Application Service (OCAS) for domestic applicants and the International Applicant Systems (IAS) for international applicants.

The College reserves the right to deny re-admission for a prescribed period, when the separation has occurred as the result of unsatisfactory performance (i.e. compulsory withdrawal or disciplinary reasons).

6.5 Communications

Formal communications issued by the College in response to admission and strategic enrolment management will originate from the Registrar’s Office (or designate) to ensure that the information provided is consistent with College communication standards.

7. Policy Revision Date

7.1 Revision Date

September 2028

7.2 Responsibility

The Registrar will be responsible for reviewing this policy every five (5) years or as required.

8. Attachments

9. Specific Links


AS-2010-2008 Academic Integrity Policy

SS-3105-2009 Academic Appeal Policy

SS-3200-2006 Student Behaviour Policy

SS-3100-2008 Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition Policy

Colleges Ontario, Standards for International Programs

Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act

Immigration and Refugee Protection Act

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

Ministry of College and Universities Binding Policy Directive

Ontario Human Rights Code


Appendix A - Approved Foreign Credential Verification Services in Ontario

World Education Services-Canada (WES Canada)
45 Charles Street East, Suite 700 Toronto, Ontario M4Y 1S2 Canada
Tel.: +1 416 972-0070
Fax: +1 416 972-9004
Toll-free: +1 866 343-0070 (from outside the 416 area code)
E-mail: ontario [at] (ontario[at]wes[dot]org)
Website: WES - World Education Service

Comparative Education Service (CES)
University of Toronto 315 Bloor Street West
Toronto, Ontario M5S 1A3 Canada
Tel.: +1 416 978-2190
Fax: +1 416 978-7022
Website: UT - comparative education service

International Credential Assessment Service of Canada (ICAS)
Ontario AgriCentre
100 Stone Road West, Suite 303 Guelph, Ontario N1G 5L3 Canada
Tel.: +1 519 763-7282
Toll-free: +1 800 321-6021
Fax: +1 519 763-6964
E-mail: info [at] (info[at]icascanada[dot]ca)
Website: ICAS

Canadian Council of Professional Engineers (CCPE)
Engineering International-Education Assessment Program (EIEAP)
180 Elgin Street, Suite 1100Ottawa, Ontario K2P 2K3 Canada
Tel.: +1 613 232-2474
Fax: +1 613 230-5759
E-mail: evaluation [at] (evaluation[at]ccpe[dot]ca)
Website: CCPE - Engineers Canada