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Admissions Policy

Area Responsible for Administration: Registrar’s Office
Approval Authorities: Academic College Council
Academic Deans
Senior Executive Committee
Approval Date: May 17, 2018
Revision History: New
Review Timeline: Every 5 Years


To provide a framework for admission to Seneca’s full-time postsecondary programs, including Ontario College certificates, diplomas, advanced diplomas, degrees and graduate certificates.


This policy applies to all applicants to Seneca and includes all full-time postsecondary Seneca programs.

Key Definitions

Academic year

Three terms of study beginning in September and concluding in August of the following year.


An individual unit of instruction offered at a postsecondary institution.

Full-time postsecondary program

A sequence of courses leading to an Ontario college credential offered in two-to-eight prescribed groupings.

Mature student status

An individual applying to a certificate, diploma or advanced diploma program has reached, or will reach, the age of 19 years on or before the start of the program to which they applied.

Mature applicant

A mature student applying to a postsecondary program.

Ontario college credential

A credential awarded upon successful completion of a certificate, diploma, advanced diploma, degree or graduate certificate program that meets the minimum requirements articulated in the Framework for Programs of Instruction Minister’s Binding Policy Directive.

Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD)

A provincially recognized credential earned on successful completion of secondary school requirements established by the Ministry of Education. Also known as a Secondary School Graduation Diploma (SSGD) or a Secondary School Honours Graduation Diploma (SSHGD).


A course that must be completed before taking a course.


1. General

1.1 Seneca reserves the right to restrict enrolment in a program and/or suspend a program intake where sufficient enrolment is not attained prior to the start of classes. When Seneca has taken a decision to suspend a program to which applicants have been admitted, applicants will be notified in writing.

1.2 Generally, there are three full-time postsecondary admit terms: fall, winter and spring.

2. Admission Requirements

2.1 In accordance with the Admissions Criteria Minister’s Binding Policy Directive, an applicant must meet one of the following requirements to be considered for admission to a program:

  • Hold an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent
  • Have mature student status
  • Possess a lesser minimum admission requirement for the specific program as established by Seneca’s Board of Governors.

2.2 In addition to the admission requirement stated in section 2.1 of this policy, an applicant must meet the following requirements established on a program-specific basis:

  • Successful completion of prerequisites
    • For certificate, diploma and advanced diploma programs, prerequisites must be taken at the college, university or university/college preparation level or equivalent
    • For degree programs, prerequisites must be taken at the university or university/college preparation level, and the applicant must have achieved a minimum final grade of 65 per cent
  • For degree programs, successful completion of a minimum of six university and/or university/college preparation level courses in Grade 12, with a minimum average of 65 per cent
  • For graduate certificate programs, possess an Ontario college diploma or degree, a university degree or equivalent
  • Possess language proficiency appropriate to the credential level
  • Successful completion of any other requirements, such as specific courses, portfolios, tests, auditions, certifications, credentials or specialized fields of study.

2.3 Meeting minimum admission requirements for a program does not guarantee an offer of admission to that program.

2.4 Seneca shall make publicly available admission criteria established on a program-specific.

3. Mature Applicants

3.1 Mature applications to certificate, diploma and advanced diploma programs must reach, or will be reaching, the age of 19 by the start of the program to which they applied.

3.2 Mature applications to degree programs must reach, or will be reaching, the age of 21 by the start of the program to which they applied.

3.3 Mature applicants should disclose all previous postsecondary transcripts, which may be used in admission decisions.

3.4 Mature applicants to apprenticeship or diploma-apprenticeship programs require an OSSD, General Education Development certificate or equivalent.

3.5 Mature applicants must meet all program-specific admission requirements.

3.6 Mature applicants to certificate, diploma, and advanced diploma programs who are unable to provide transcripts showing program-specific academic requirements may be permitted to complete pre-admission English and/or mathematics tests to demonstrate proficiency in those subjects.

4. Applicant Selection

4.1 Applications received by February 1 prior to the academic year in which a program begins are given equal consideration.

4.2 Applications received after February 1 are considered on a first come first served basis if space remains in the program.

4.3 Qualified applicants will be selected to receive an offer of admission based on the following priority:

  1. Residents of Ontario
  2. Residents of Canada
  3. All other applicants.

If a program is oversubscribed after the above residency prioritization, qualified applicants will be ranked according to predetermined, measurable, program-specific criteria.

5. Admissions Decisions

5.1 Applications are assessed by the Registrar’s Office, which, on behalf of Seneca, accepts, refuses or defers the admission of applicants to programs.

5.2 Applicants will be advised of Seneca’s decision in writing by the Registrar’s Office.

5.3 Admission to a Seneca program means that a student is admitted to that program only and for the admit term specified only.

5.4 Admission to one program is not a guarantee of admission to another program or of admission to the same program in a subsequent semester.

6. Conditional Admission

6.1 Applicants who provide proof of enrolment in courses and/or programs that will satisfy the admission requirements of a program may receive a conditional offer of admission to the program.

6.2 Applicants will be advised of the conditions of admission in writing.

6.3 Applicants who do not meet the conditions of admission prior to the start of classes will be removed from the program.

6.4 It is the responsibility of the applicant to provide final transcripts showing successful completion of the required courses and/or programs prior to the start of classes.

7. Admission Equivalencies

7.1 Academic transcripts from other provinces and/or countries may be considered as equivalents to the admission requirements of a program.

7.2 The Registrar’s Office may require translations and/or evaluations of documents from non-Canadian institutions by recognized evaluation services. The evaluation service must authenticate the documents and recommend the comparability of the education earned outside of Canada to the Canadian education system.

7.3 For programs of study where a previous postsecondary credential is required, Seneca may consider granting an equivalency for significant partial completion of a credential, partial completion of a credential and related work experience, or significant related work experience.

8. Admission Decision Review

8.1 Seneca shall provide a method of reviewing admission decisions, specifically refusals, for any full-time postsecondary program. This method would not include admission decisions related to part-time courses or programs that register on a first-come, first-served basis.

8.2 Upon request, the Registrar’s Office will provide an applicant with further explanation of the reason for a decision to refuse admission.

8.3 If an applicant is not satisfied with the explanation for the refusal of admission decision provided by the Registrar’s Office, they may request a formal review or appeal, in writing, to the Registrar, or designate, within 30 days of the admission decision.

8.4 Admission appeals must be based on procedural error or unfairness of admission process. Admission appeals cannot be based on stringency or nature of admission requirements.

8.5 Admission appeals that are received less than five days prior to the start of classes will only be considered for the next available intake of the program.

Supporting Documentation

  • None

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