Students enter a bachelor's degree program in public administration directly from high school and must apply using their respective provincial application centre, if relevant, or directly to each institute. Applicants must submit proof of completion of a secondary school diploma, including, typically, English, mathematics, physics, and chemistry. The competitive grade point average (GPA) can change from year to year as it is based on the quality of the applicant pool and space available in the program. Most public administration schools select students by taking into consideration a wide range of criteria including marks, subjects taken, and supplementary information. Applicants should expect to pay a non-refundable application fee of anywhere between $25-$100 as specified by the institution.

Since most public administration schools have either two or three application deadlines/rounds, applying in the first round will increase an applicant's chances of admission, because there are more empty spots available. By the time the third round has commenced, many students have already been accepted, which lessens later applicants' chances considerably.

Community colleges offer open admission, in which students are admitted on a first-come, first-served basis. However, admission also requires that students submit proof of completion of a secondary school diploma along with acceptable performance in required subjects such as English, mathematics, physics and chemistry. In selecting applicants, the college may also ask an applicant for supplemental information. Typically students are admitted directly into the program.