Even though Canadian universities attract hundreds of thousands of applications each year, acceptance rates for the few “elite” programs are much lower and can be harder to get into. The toughest undergrad program receives around 3,500 applications annually but only accepts about 160 students.
Based on acceptance rates and entrance averages, Dorward and University Hub co-CEO Joel Nicholson sheds light on the top five most difficult undergrad programs to be accepted in Canada.
5. Mechanical Engineering, McGill University:
McGill’s mechanical engineering program has a top six admissions average minimum for the program of 95%. Applicants have to have taken a minimum of six pre-university courses, but four of these courses must be taken at the fourth-year University-preparation courses level.
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4. Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) | Sauder School of Business, University of British Columbia:
UBC’s four-year Bachelor of Commerce program gets 4,500 applications each year, but only accepts six percent of applicants. The acceptance average for this hard to get into program last year was 92.2%. Queen’s Commerce program is also one of the hardest business programs to get into, but has a nine percent acceptance rate compared to UBC BCom’s six percent.
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3. Engineering Science, University of Toronto:
The minimum average required for consideration into this program was 91% in 2015. Dorward says the University of Toronto also weighs extracurriculars, whereas with McGill Engineering it’s purely grade-based.
2. Software Engineering, University of Waterloo:
Waterloo’s Software Engineering program is considered to be one of the most sought-after engineering programs in North America. Even if a student has between a 90 – 95% average, they only have a 10% chance of getting in to the program this year. In addition, along with grade averages, Waterloo takes into consideration the Admission Information Form (AIF) which is filled out by students.
Bill Gates once praised Waterloo students for their innovative thinking, particularly in science, engineering and other fields. Justin Trudeau recently gave a speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos and made reference to the high reputation of engineering students at Waterloo.
1. Bachelor of Health Sciences, McMaster University:
The minimum average to be considered this year is 90%, and students are also required to fill out a supplementary application, which are rated considerably in the application process.
It’s common for students with an average of 95% to get rejected for this program. 3,500 people apply each year while the accepted number of students in class is only 160. This makes the acceptance rate around 4.5 percent.
Bachelor of Commerce, Queen’s School of Business:
Similar to McMaster Health Science, they weigh extracurriculars very heavily. The cutoff average is 87% with an acceptance rate of nine percent.
As for the importance given to the candidates’ choice of high school, it depends on the university. While public schools don’t make much of a difference, it isn’t uncommon for certain private school students to get an additional boost during the admission process.
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