[Skip to Content]
HWDSB Building


A+ A-

What is college?

Colleges in Ontario offer a comprehensive program of career-oriented, postsecondary education and training to assist students in finding and keeping employment. Ontario’s 24 colleges offer 900 programs that provide students with professional expertise that open the door to rewarding careers in many of today’s most in-demand fields. 

Colleges tend to be more directly career-oriented than universities. This means they offer practical or hands-on training. Generally, a certificate program is 1 year or less, and a diploma program is 2 or 3 years. Colleges also have pre-trades and apprenticeship training, language training and skills upgrading. 

What do I need to get in?

Admission requirements vary between specific colleges and programs. In most cases, an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent is required. Graduate Certificate programs require a prior college or university certificate, diploma or degree for admission. In addition, colleges may establish program-specific admission requirements. Specific requirements can be found the Ontario Colleges website. 

To fully understand the differences between the many program pathways at college please refer to the types of Post-Secondary Programs document below or search the following categories of programs available across Ontario: 

 Types of Post Secondary Programs of Study

Certificate programs  Diploma programs  Advanced Diploma programs 
Degree programs  Graduate Certificate programs  Co-op programs with required co-op components 

How do I apply to college?

OCAS is the application service for all Ontario Colleges. Instructions for applying to college can be found on their site, as well as deadlines for applications. All programs open registration in early October for the following September but several highly competitive programs have specific deadlines for applications. The Equal Consideration deadline is February 1, but many programs keep registration open until all the seats have been filled. 

Are there programs that pair University and College together?

Yes, these are called Collaborative programs and they pair the learning and experience of University and College. Check these links to learn more about these exciting programs: 

Collaborative Program search (OUAC) 

Collaborative Program search (OCAS) 

Where do I find information on Indigenous Institutions?

The Indigenous Institutes Consortium represents seven indigenous-owned and controlled education and training institutions across Ontario. 

If I completed my English credit in the “essentials” pathway, what programs can I apply to at college?

There are several post-secondary courses of study if you completed English at the “E” level. The following are some examples of courses available at Mohawk College: 

Career Pathways 

Art and Design 


Human Services Foundation 







Updated on Tuesday, February 22, 2022.
Back to the top