Entering college or university in Manitoba? Here are the steps you should take

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Post-secondary education in Canada is the tertiary level of education. It is the next level after completion of high school (or secondary education).

In some countries, it may be called college or university level. Take note though that the terms “college” and “university” are not interchangeable in Canada. Colleges focus more on career training and the trades while universities are geared toward academic and professional programs.

Colleges offer hands-on training for courses you can take full-time or part-time. They have:

  • Certificate courses (takes one year to complete, full-time)
  • Diploma (2-3 years, full time)
  • Bachelor degrees in applied fields (3-4 years, full-time)

Meanwhile, universities offer:

  • Undergraduate degrees (3-4 years, full-time)
  • Master’s degree (requires a fourth year “honours degree”. Takes 1-2 years)
  • Doctoral PhD degree (requires a Masters Degree. Takes 4-6 years)
  • Professional program (law, medicine, dentistry – takes 4 years and can be taken after completing 2-3 years of undergraduate studies).

If you or your child is set on taking post-secondary education, then congratulations! Expect the next few years of your life to be an exciting journey of discovery and learning. Manitoba boasts of five public universities, three colleges (two English-language and one French), four religious denominational post-secondary institutions, and a technical institute (Manitoba Institute of Technology, MITT). Except for MITT, all have degree-granting authority.

You also have a world of options! There are undergraduate (bachelor) and graduate (master and doctoral) degrees for more than 90 disciplines. You can also opt for certificate and diploma, apprenticeship, professional and technical programs. You can even take the online route through eCampus Manitoba. It has all online programming offered by post-secondary educational institutions in Manitoba.

(For more facts about post-secondary education in Manitoba, read 6 Facts you need to know about post-secondary education in Manitoba).

If you graduated from secondary or high school from your home country, or are already in the college/university level, the following is a checklist of the steps you need to take to enter post-secondary level in Manitoba:

  1. Decide what program/path you want to take

    You will have a lot to evaluate at this point. Aside from making sure which discipline you want to study, you will need to decide on the kind of program fits you and your educational/career goals. Then comes the practical considerations: the cost of the program, which educational institution, location, and other options. It would be good to have the professional support of a guidance counsellor or a teacher in your high school. Also read: Choosing your college or university wisely for more tips.

  2. Check admission requirements

  3. There is no single guideline to be followed for admission requirements. Requirements vary from program to program and on the institution. Basic requirements would be proof of completion of secondary education (high school) such as transcripts and proof of high school completion (diplomas, degrees, certificates). Have these documents translated to English or French by a certified translator. You will also need English Language Proficiency Test records. Other requirements could be:

    • Successful completion of admissions/entrance qualification examinations
    • Certificates/letters as proof of professional experience if you have work experience (i.e. letters of reference, employment certificate, etc.)

    Some institutions can have special provisions for persons who continue to be enrolled in secondary school (who are often less than 18 years of age), as well as for mature applicants (persons who are at least 21 years of age) who do not meet direct entrance requirements. Also, evaluation of course credits for those who have already taken college/university courses back home will, again, depend on the institution and the program.

    If you are already here in Manitoba, it is best to consult directly with the admissions officer or academic counsellor of the specific program and institution you are interested in. To have an idea of admission requirements, check these pages:



  4. Gather necessary documents before coming to Canada

    Make sure you have original and photocopies of essential documents. If your records are in a language other than English or French, you will have to get them translated. Acquire the services of a professional translator. Some institutions require an affidavit to make sure that documents have been translated accurately and have not been tampered with. Follow the requirements to the letter. If you have questions, course them directly to the admissions officer or academic counsellor of the educational institution.

Source: The Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials (CICIC.ca)

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Community Resources

The government ministry in charge of post-secondary education in Manitoba is Manitoba Advanced Education.

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