Admissions Standards Policy

Policy Number: SS-3101-1980
Policy Title: Admissions Standards
Policy Owner: Registrar
Effective Date: September 1980
Last Revised: April 23, 2014

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 full-time or part-time admission to all Mohawk College post-secondary programs of instruction as outlined in the Ministry of Training, College and Universities (MTCU) 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.

"Mature Student Status" means the status of an applicant who does 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 he or she intends to enrol.

"Ontario Academic Credit (OAC)" means a credit used toward university admission

"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).

"OSSO 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" is 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 program.

"Permanent Resident" means 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 Instruction" refers to a group of related courses leading to a diploma, certificate, or other document awarded by the Board of Governors, referred to as a Program of Study (POS) at Mohawk College.

"Registration Period" refers to the period of time commencing at timetable selection and ending on the tenth day of class of a given semester

"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:
    • he or she has been out of high school for five years; or
    • he or she is married, widowed or divorced; or
    • he or she has 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 licence 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 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 or Ontario Academic Course (OAC) 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 Applicant Selection

Residency Priority

Applicants will be accepted into oversubscribed programs according to the following order of preference:

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

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.

International Students

Notwithstanding the above, 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.

Tuition fees for full-time and part-time international students will be established at levels deemed appropriate by the College and approved by the Board of Governors. Ministry guidelines and requirements will be followed for refunds of all tuition and ancillary fees.

Applicants with Foreign Credentials

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.

6.2 Waiting Lists

Realistic waiting lists will be established and maintained up to the end of the registration period for highly competitive programs. The Registrar's Office will inform applicants, upon request, of their relative position on the waiting list.

6.3 Admission Appeal

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

6.4 Re-Admission

When a student has separated from his/her program by withdrawal, termination or expulsion for more than one year and wishes to return to that program, he/she must reapply through the Ontario College Application Service (OCAS).

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) In the case of expulsion for disciplinary reasons, the terms of re-admission will require approval from the College as outlined in the termination notice, as per the appropriate policies.

6.5 Communications

Formal communications issued by the College in response to admission and strategic enrolment management will originate from the Office of the Registrar or their designate to ensure that the information provided will be definitive and consistent.


7. Policy Revision Date

7.1 Revision Date

March 2017

7.2 Responsibility

The Registrar will be responsible for reviewing this policy every three years or as required.


8. Attachments


9. Specific Links

Appendix A - Exemptions from International Student Tuition Fees

P1.1 International students who qualify for exemption from paying international student tuition fees must have valid status (e.g., permanent resident, protected person, convention refugee) entitling them to exemption and permits and/or documents which are current during the academic period for which they have sought exemption. International students who do not meet these criteria must pay established international student tuition fees.

In cases where a permit will expire part way through the semester, the student must pay the international student tuition fees unless he/she receives an extension before the semester starts.

P1.2 Although the following students are not considered automatically eligible for exemption from international student tuition fees, Mohawk College may choose to waive, in full or in part, the international student tuition fees:

  • International students holding scholarships or awards from international agencies or foundations
  • Students who are sponsored and financially assisted by one of the following agencies:
    • Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade; Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA);
    • Foundations registered as charitable organizations either in Canada or in another industrialized country;
    • United Nations or any of its affiliated financial aid agencies such as the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), etc.; or
    • Other international financing/funding agencies such as the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the Caribbean Development Bank, the African Development Bank, etc.

Since enrolment of these students is not eligible for funding through the general purpose operating grant, senior College staff will make decisions on an individual basis concerning waiving of international student fees.

Attachment 5 - 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]
Web site: 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
Web site: 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]
Web site: ICAS

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