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Admission Information

This page provides definitions of the terms used in the admissions process.

Admission to a Program

Applicants must meet admission requirements in order to be considered eligible for admission to a program. Meeting minimum admission requirements does not guarantee admission into a program.

Program Requirements

The subject requirement(s) and supplemental requirements as identified by each program.

Subject Requirements

The specific subjects required for admission. Note: Co-op courses do not meet admission requirements and are not used in the calculation of academic strength.

Supplemental Requirements

Include, but are not limited to, mandatory information meetings, portfolios, interviews, resumes and questionnaires.

Academic Strength

Academic strength is calculated by averaging the submitted marks of required subjects. If more than one mark is received for a required subject, the highest mark will be used in the calculation. 

Applicants with the highest academic strength are considered for admission or further applicant assessment. The minimum academic strength varies from year to year and acceptance to a program is dependent on the number of applications received, the academic strength of the applicants and the program capacity. During the selection process, marks may be reviewed on an individual basis. As a result, applicants with low grades in the required subjects may not be considered.

Note: For all certificate, diploma and advanced diploma programs, marks for required courses will be awarded a 10-mark bonus as follows:

Courses delivered through Conestoga College Preparatory Studies which have been deemed to be taught at the U, U/C or Advanced level will be awarded the 10-mark bonus as follows:

Bonus marks will NOT be applied to academic strength calculations for any degree or post-graduate programs.

Secondary School Full Disclosure

If a subject has been repeated, only the highest grade will be used in the calculation of academic strength.

Mid-term Grades

If mid-term marks from relevant subjects are available at the time admission decisions are made, they will be used in the calculation of the academic strength. In some cases, decisions will be delayed until a mid-term grade is received. Grade 11 marks from the relevant subjects may be used temporarily in the academic strength calculation until mid-term marks of the required level are available. Please see important information in "Oversubscribed Programs" below regarding the use of mid-term grades and Grade 11 marks when calculating academic strength in oversubscribed programs.

Further Applicant Assessment

Some programs require that applicants are assessed using other selection criteria. These may include such things as questionnaires, information meeting attendance, portfolios, specific skills demonstration and/or additional assessment of required subjects.

Pre-admissions Testing

Pre-Assessment Math, English, Biology and Chemistry Testing

If you do not meet the English, Mathematics, Chemistry and/or Biology requirements for the certificate or diploma program of your choice, you can write pre-admission assessments to determine your academic readiness for a program. Note: Pre-admission testing is not available for degree programs.

Testing is available in Mathematics, English, Chemistry and Biology only.

Health Occupations Aptitude Exam (HOAE)

Successful completion of the Health Occupations Aptitude Exam (HOAE) is required for admission to the Practical Nursing program. Only applicants meeting admission requirements and minimum academic strength are invited to write the HOAE. For more information, please see the Practical Nursing program page.

Offer of Acceptance

This letter is mailed when an applicant is accepted for admission to a program. An offer of acceptance will appear on the applicant’s application. Most offers of acceptance for fall semester programs are not mailed prior to the end of March. 

Confirmation of Acceptance

An offer of acceptance must be confirmed before the deadline indicated on the offer of acceptance letter or the applicant may lose the space in the program. Offers of acceptance should be confirmed online at or by contacting the Customer Contact Centre at 1-888-892-2228.

Conditional Offer of Acceptance

Conditional offers of acceptance may be made to applicants who are in the process of completing program-required courses. A conditional offer means a place in the program is being held, however, the offer must be confirmed before the deadline indicated on the letter. Selection benchmarks and all other conditions must be satisfied before the offer is finalized. Offers of acceptance will be rescinded if the Registrar does not receive final transcripts showing successful completion of the requirements before registration.

Wait List

A wait list is established when the number of acceptable applicants exceeds the number of spaces available in the program. As space becomes available in the program, confirmed wait list applicants are moved into the program based on academic strength and the date on which received the application. Please confirm your wait list offer on the Student Portal. If the wait list offer is conditional, the applicant should continue his or her studies in order to meet the program benchmarks and subsequently be qualified for admission into the program should an offer of admission be granted.

Medical Criteria

Some programs require students to have certain medical and health criteria. Confirmed applicants receive a package of information by mail or email. Students must submit completed forms by the deadline indicated and meet all medical criteria. These are necessary for clinical/field placement. Failure to meet criteria could result in cancellation of the admission offer.


Applicants must be able to receive instruction and respond in English (except for English Language Studies applicants).

Applicants with transcripts from institutions where the language of instruction is not English who are applying to:

must demonstrate English language proficiency with a minimum test score on one of the following language proficiency tests or equivalent scores from another internationally recognized English language test:

For all other diploma and certificate programs, applicants with transcripts from institutions where the language of instruction is not English must demonstrate English language proficiency with a minimum test score on one of the following language proficiency tests or equivalent scores from another internationally recognized English language test:

*See Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) admission requirements for language proficiency scores.

** Note: to assist applicants facing challenges obtaining English language testing as a result of COVID-19, the Duolingo test has been temporarily included as an acceptable test to demonstrate English language proficiency for the Spring 2020, Fall 2020 and Winter 2021 intakes.

Priority for Consideration

Where eligible applicants exceed the number of program spaces, priority order for consideration is: (a) Ontario permanent residents, (b) permanent residents of other Canadian provinces/territories, (c) and applicants from other countries.

Oversubscribed Programs

A program is considered oversubscribed when the number of qualified applicants exceeds the number of offers being sent. Most oversubscribed programs do not accept applications later than February 1. Many oversubscribed programs are full after the first round of admission decisions is made. This means that admission decisions are based on the marks available in early February. This may be a combination of final grades in required courses, mid-term grades in required courses, or marks from relevant Grade 11 courses. If the program is full prior to the college receiving second semester mid-term grades, we will NOT re-calculate the academic strength based on the second semester grades. However, we will use available second semester grades to determine the position on the wait list of applicants who have received a wait list offer.

Students living outside of Ontario are not eligible for oversubscribed programs.

Mature Student Status

A mature student is one who is 19 years of age or older as of the first day of classes without an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD), or equivalent. If you possess an OSSD, regardless of your age or number of years out of high school, you will be considered on the basis of your OSSD and mature student status does not apply. If specific subject requirements are indicated, all applicants must possess those subject requirements regardless of whether they are applying as mature students; however, college, university and upgrading equivalencies may be used if applicants do not possess the appropriate subject requirements or wish to improve their grades. 

Mature students must demonstrate their potential to work at the post-secondary level in one of two ways:

Applicants who have been out of high school for several years should contact our academic upgrading office to assess, review and refresh academic skills to be well-prepared for success at the post-secondary level. Participating in academic upgrading also provides applicants with the opportunity to increase their marks for competitive college programs. The college offers several ways for applicants to enhance their basic skills and improve their chances for admission on either a full-time or part-time basis. The Academic and Career Entrance certificate (ACE) is recognized as a Grade 12 equivalent for the purpose of admission at all Ontario Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology for apprenticeship training and by many major employers. For program and course information, contact the College Information Centre at 519-748-5220, ext. 3656.

Home-schooled Applicants

Conestoga welcomes applications from home-schooled applicants. Home-schooled applicants must meet the appropriate admission requirements, including subject requirements and any other college or program-specific criteria. Home-schooled applicants must provide the appropriate pre-requisite courses on official transcripts from an accredited Ontario school and meet the required admission average(s). Where appropriate, the home-schooled applicant may present test results to meet specific subject requirements. Home-schooled applicants may obtain an Academic and Career Entrance certificate (ACE) through the School of Career and Academic Access by successfully completing the required courses.

Readmission to a Program

Students are required to apply for readmission when they have been absent from their program for one semester or longer unless an Intention Form has been completed (returning students only), or when the student has withdrawn or been discontinued. Upon readmission, students are placed into the current program of study which determines graduation requirements. Students are subject to the college and program policies and procedures in place at the time of readmission.

The application for readmission will be reviewed by the Academic team based on space eligibility, academic eligibility, and the student’s progress related to re-admission requirements. Depending on the reason for interruption of studies, this review may include but is not limited to an interview and examination of any of the following:

Students applying for readmission to Level/Semester 1 must do so through Students applying for readmission to a level beyond Level/Semester 1 must do so using the Program Application Form. Applicable fees will be charged.

For additional information, refer to the Re-admission Procedure found at