Admissions Policies and Procedures
The policies in this document apply to all full-time programs offered by Seneca College in any location. The circumstances of an individual campus or a particular program may require supplementary interpretation or minor variation in procedure. This statement is current at time of publication. Where changes occur, Seneca will endeavour to give you as much advance notice as possible. The most up-to-date program information is available on the web at: senecacollege.ca/fulltime.
For Seneca's complete Academic Policy, please refer to: senecacollege.ca/academic-policy.
Program Cancellation Policy
For program changes, please refer to: senecacollege.ca/academic-policy/acpol-11.html.
How to Apply
- Applicants to the Ontario Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology must submit an electronic
application form through
- Telephone: (519) 763-4725
- Toll free: 1-888-892-2228
- ontariocolleges.ca receives and records applications and each student’s response to college offers of admission. A $95.00 fee must accompany the application.
- Applicants may select up to five program choices with no more than three choices at any one college.
- An applicant may accept only one offer of admission per term. The confirmation of acceptance must be directed to ontariocolleges.ca.
- For September 2015 applications from qualified applicants received by ontariocolleges.ca on February 1, 2015, and earlier receive equal consideration in application processing. Applications received after February 1, 2015, will be processed on a "first-come, first-served" basis (until programs are full), when all other admission conditions are considered equal.
- For programs shown in this publication as "Competitive Programs", apply before February 1, 2015 to ensure equal consideration.
- The earliest date Seneca may make an offer of admission is February 1, 2015.
- For programs starting in September 2015, Ontario applicants who applied before February 1, 2015 and who have received letters of acceptance, have until May 1, 2015, to inform ontariocolleges.ca whether or not they intend to accept an offer of admission. Details of this process will be sent with letters of acceptance.
- If final grades for prerequisite programs or courses are not available when offers are released, a Conditional Offer of Admission may be granted on the basis of mid-term grades or other completed courses (for example, Grade 11 final grades). A Conditional Offer of Admission is granted on the condition that Seneca receives proof of successful completion of all prerequisite courses and/or credentials, with appropriate grades, by the first day of scheduled classes.
Basic Admission Requirements
The basic admission requirement for postsecondary programs is either:
- the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (Grade 12), with the majority of senior credits at the college preparation, university preparation or university/college preparation levels; OR
- Mature Applicant Status (age 19 or older – refer to the section on Mature Applicant Status);
- degree programs require six Grade 12 credits at the university, university/college level;
- post-graduate programs require a college diploma, university degree or equivalent.
Questionnaires, essays, pretests, portfolios, and/or orientations may be established on a per program basis.
Offers of Admission and Ranking
All applications are assessed by our Admissions office, which is empowered to accept, defer or reject the admission of any applicant to a program. You will be advised of your offer of admission by an official letter from the Admissions Office.
Ranking of qualified applicants is a process used to determine offers of admission. Grades (and/or test score equivalencies) in required subjects, as well as any mandatory criteria used in the selection process will be used to determine ranking.
Applicants who meet the posted admission requirements are not guaranteed admission into a particular program. Admission to Seneca College is a competitive process.
Applicants whose ranking does not permit an offer of admission to the regular professional program may be recommended for additional study in academic preparatory courses or in an alternative program.
Home school applicants must apply at ontariocolleges.ca and then complete the Supplementary Application Form for Home-Schooled Applicants available on our website. This form documents the academic achievement of the home-schooled applicants. Seneca will consider applicants whose home-schooling is equivalent to the Ontario Secondary School Diploma, including any specific subject requirements as stated in this publication.
Many of Seneca's competitive programs have additional selection criteria in place. Home-schooled applicants will be subjected to the same evaluation as all other applicants to competitive programs.
Mature Student Status
Seneca College welcomes applications from adults who have made the decision to return to school.
For the purposes of admission, "Mature Student Status" pertains to applicants who do not have an Ontario Secondary School Diploma or equivalent but who have reached the age of 19 years on or before the beginning of their program of study.
For postsecondary diploma programs, applicants with Mature Student Status do not require an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD). However, where there are prerequisite courses, such as English, mathematics, biology, physics or chemistry, for a program, applicants with Mature Student Status must provide proof of the required credits.
In some instances, Mature Applicants may be allowed to write the Mature Applicant pre-admission test in English and/or Mathematics in lieu of having these Ontario secondary school credits or their equivalent. Applicants should confirm with the Admissions Office if writing the English and/or Mathematics entrance test is permitted for their desired program and should also confirm with the Admissions Office if upgrading courses are acceptable substitutions for Ontario secondary school credits.
It is important to apply as soon as possible if you are applying with Mature Student Status. By applying early, if it is determined that you do not have the necessary skills for admission to a postsecondary program, you may be able to complete the required upgrading before your program starts. These upgrading programs are offered both at Seneca College and at other adult educational centres in full-time or part-time formats.
The purpose of testing is to determine if you have the skills and aptitude to succeed in the program(s) of your choice. Once you have submitted an application, Seneca will notify you of the date, time and location of your test. Additional information such as the length of tests, what materials to bring, and brief test descriptions will be included. The Pre-Admission Test fee is $55.00.
If you are in an academic upgrading program and will have upgraded to a Grade 12 equivalent level by the start of your program, it may not be necessary for you to write the Mature Applicant test(s). Please contact the Admissions Office for further direction.
For questions or additional information about the following, please contact the Seneca College Admissions Office at (416) 491-5050, ext. 22840 or email at email@example.com.
Please see detailed information regarding English Proficiency here.
Equivalent Admission Requirements
Academic standing from other provinces and other countries recognized by the College as equivalent to an OSSD will be considered for admission. Generally, the standards are as follows:
A valid Secondary School Graduation Diploma at the General Level, or equivalent, for the following provinces: Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Quebec and Saskatchewan;
- United States of America – Grade 12 (A minimum of 16 units of credit at the Secondary School level, at least four credits of which are in English);
- All other applicants will be considered on an individual basis;
- Degree programs may have additional requirements.
For more information on credentials that may be accepted, please review the Academic Policy, Section 4.1.
Academic Qualifications from Other Countries
Seneca will consider applications for admission from those who have gained equivalent educational qualifications abroad. An international document evaluation may be required. Please contact the Admissions Office for further direction.
Admission Decision Review Process
It is the policy of Seneca College to provide a method of reviewing a decision to deny a prospective student admission to any full-time program conducted by Seneca. This policy does not include part-time courses, programs which register on a first–come, first–served basis or programs where the denial of admission is due to the program being closed.
In the normal course of operations, a decision to accept or reject your application for admission to Seneca College shall be sent to you in writing, whether or not a previous verbal decision has been given. In the case of a rejection, a brief written explanation of the reason(s) for rejection will be included.
The Admissions Office will provide further explanation of the reason for rejection if requested by you. If you are not satisfied with the explanation or request a review of the admission decision, the following procedure will apply.
You must apply to the Registrar, in writing, for a review of the non–acceptance decision within 30 days of the date of the written decision.
- The Registrar will acknowledge your application, in writing, and appoint an Admission Review Panel consisting of the Registrar; the Associate Registrar, Admissions; the Chair of the program in question and, where applicable, the Program Co-ordinator.
- The Registrar will arrange a date for a meeting of the Panel and notify you within 15 days of the receipt of your written request.
- You may make representation to the Panel, either verbally or in writing (with reasons), or both; no counsel or other agent may attend or represent you.
- The Panel will notify you in writing with reasons for the decision.
Note: The decision of the Panel is final and binding. Should the Review Panel find in favour of you, and the pertinent program no longer has seats available, alternatives will be investigated. Under no circumstances will a student already admitted to Seneca College be disadvantaged, on behalf of another, by the findings of the Review Panel.
In some instances, where you fail to meet certain admission criteria for a program of study, Admissions has discretionary power to recommend probationary admission to a diploma or certificate program. If you are a probationary student you may be required to withdraw from Seneca College should you fail to meet the probationary requirements.
Priority of Admission
In accordance with provincial guidelines, you will be admitted to Seneca College in the following order of preference:
- Resident of Ontario
- Resident of other provinces and territories in Canada
- Other applicants
Seneca College may request proof of current citizenship status. All Permanent Residents will be required to submit a copy of their Permanent Resident Card.
An Offer of Admission to a program of study at Seneca College is an offer for that program and semester only. Admission to a program or to a specific semester of a program is not a guarantee of subsequent admission to another program or semester of study.
Re–Admission to a Previous Program of Study
Students who have withdrawn from Seneca College for one or more full semesters and who wish to return to their previous program must apply at ontariocolleges.ca. Re-admission is not guaranteed and is subject to current admission requirements and ranking for oversubscribed programs. Upon readmission to a program, a student must meet the most current course requirements for graduation
Admission to New Program of Study
Students who have completed or are completing a full-time program at Seneca College and who wish to begin semester one of a new program, must apply at ontariocolleges.ca. Some exceptions may apply. Contact the Seneca Admissions Office for details.
Transferring Programs from Within Seneca
Current students who wish to transfer to Semester two or higher of a Seneca program may complete a Transfer Form available at the Registrar’s Office. Applications to transfer between programs will be reviewed by the associated academic area.
Transferring From another Postsecondary Institution
Students from other postsecondary institutions who wish to transfer to Semester two or higher of a Seneca program must apply at ontariocolleges.ca. Applications to transfer to Seneca programs will be reviewed by the associated academic area.
If accepted to an advanced semester at Seneca, please be advised that some courses may be considered "prerequisites" for subsequent courses and must be completed in a specific order.
Please visit the Degree and Credit Transfer Office website.
Prior Learning Assessment (PLA)
Students who have significant experiential learning acquired from employment, independent study or life experience may apply for Prior Learning Assessment (PLA). To qualify, the experiential learning must be equivalent to the learning outcomes of a specific Seneca course. The method of assessment will vary according to the subject matter being assessed. College credit will be awarded when the documented/demonstrated learning is deemed to be equivalent to a Seneca subject offering.
To determine candidacy for PLA and to find out possible methods for assessment, contact the academic program coordinator listed by program in the Seneca College Website: senecacollege.ca/fulltime/programs.html.
There is an assessment fee for each subject in which a student is seeking credit through PLA.
In order to allow sufficient time for processing, students are urged to apply for PLA by the following dates. Assessment does not begin until the PLA fee is paid.
- June 1 for subjects beginning in the fall semester
- December 1 for subjects beginning in the winter semester
- March 1 for subjects beginning in the summer semester
Submitted Documents Policy
Because of the large volume of applications, Seneca College is unable to store, retrieve or return documents that were submitted previously. You may be required to re-submit documents if you decide to re-apply at a future date outside of the academic-year cycle of your original application.
Students admitted to certificate, diploma or degree programs at Seneca College will be assessed in one or more skill areas including English and Mathematics. The results are used for appropriate academic placement including English subject placement, mathematics subject placement and redirection. Subject placements are required for timetable development and production. The results also provide a basis for advisement of students and research into student success. Both paper and pencil, and computerized tests are used. For more information about Skills Assessment, contact the Newnham Test Centre at (416) 491–5050, ext. 22717.
Following admission to Seneca, all students in diploma and certificate programs are tested for English proficiency. Based on the results of these tests, students are placed in one of three English streams:
English for Academic Purposes (EAP200/300 – 6 hrs/wk):
The postsecondary program course load is reduced in the first semester to enable students to participate in this English subject. As a result, students can expect to spend at least one additional semester at Seneca to complete their program.
Developmental English (EAC149 – 4 hrs/wk):
One additional preparatory English subject may be required prior to commencing College English.
Communicating Across Contexts (COM101 – 3 hrs/wk):
This is the standard first–semester, postsecondary English and is the prerequisite for all English credit subjects at Seneca College.
If you are assessed at a level below College English then you will need to take additional courses which are not included in your tuition fees. This will result in an extra course fee(s) in a subsequent semester(s).