Most university agriculture and bio-resource degree or diploma programs are competitive and require specific admission criteria. Typically, applicants require high school graduation with an average of at least 60% in five Grade 12 university preparatory subjects, including English, pre-calculus math (or 70% in academic math), two other science requirements (generally from chemistry, biology, physics, geology, geometry) and several Grade 12 electives. Entry requirements depend on the institution and the particular program; some Canadian programs allow direct-entry from high school, while entrance to others (such as the combined BSc/Bachelor of Education programs) requires prior university studies. A completed prior degree with a grade point average (GPA) of 2.5 or above may be required for some particular degree programs.
For all of these university agriculture and bio-resource programs, possession of the minimum entrance requirements does not guarantee admission. Experience may be required for some specializations such as equine and dairy. International applicants who are otherwise qualified but do not have the appropriate physics, chemistry and/or math courses may be admitted with the requirement that they take the relevant non-credit introductory studies course(s) in their first year before registering in the degree level counterpart(s). University degrees generally follow the fall/ winter semester schedule, with intakes in September and January. International students should apply directly to the institution or using the appropriate provincial application centre where relevant, and should expect to pay a non-refundable application fee of anywhere between $25-$100 as specified by the institution.
Community colleges generally offer open admission in which students are admitted on a first-come first-served basis. However, admission to most community college agricultural and bio-resource programs requires high school completion with a passing grade in English and math, and may include other science courses. Agriculture and bio-resource programs at the career college level generally require Grade 12 completion and some may only require Grade 10, depending on the institution and the program.
Career colleges also differ in that some offer continuous enrolment with programs starting every month; others operate on a more traditional semester system with a fall and/ or winter intake. Many career colleges therefore have no cut-off dates for admission and instead process applications all year round. Others have specific deadlines after which applications are no longer considered. Both community colleges and career colleges with internal scholarships and bursaries may encourage early application in order to qualify for these awards and financial assistance. At this level as well, application consists of an official application form (usually downloaded), a fee, transcripts, and any of the additional requirements mentioned above.