Universities Accepting Backlogs in Canada

5 minute read
Universities Accepting Backlogs in Canada

Planning to study abroad is stressful on its own but not meeting the requirements for your desired course is just disheartening. Backlogs are viewed differently by every university and often universities look at the overall academic profile of every applicant. So, if you wish to study in Canada and have a few backlogs in your academic record, there are many universities that accept students with backlogs on certain conditions. In this blog, we are going to cover all the relevant information you need about backlogs, how you can apply with them and a list of Canadian universities accepting backlogs.

Related: Universities Accepting Backlogs in New Zealand

What is Backlog?

If you wish to study in Canada then you must know that some of the best Canadian Universities have very stringent rules about the academic record of students and backlogs in an application may have a negative impact on the overall admission process. Now you may wonder; what is a backlog? A Backlog is simply defined as a subject you did not clear in your first attempt and must appear for in the next semester in order to obtain your degree. Backlogs can be a result of absenteeism, poor performance, medical issues, personal obligation or exam stress.

There are two ways of counting backlogs:

  • The common and universally accepted way is to count the number of exams you failed as the number of backlogs in an academic year. For instance, if you were unable to clear 5 exams in your overall academic history then it is counted as 5 backlogs regardless of the number of attempts it took to clear the exams.
  • Some countries like Australia and Germany view backlogs as the number of attempts used while clearing an exam. For instance, if you have 5 exams you failed to clear and used only 1 attempt each to clear those exams then the number of backlogs are 5.

Foreign universities require students to submit a backlog certificate along with other relevant documents. A backlog certificate provides details about your backlogs and is issued by your academic institution. 

Check Out: Universities Accepting Backlogs in Australia

Do Backlogs Affect Admissions in Canada?

Admissions are not solely dependent on your academic record; foreign universities consider the scores of standardised tests of IELTS, TOEFL, PTE, GRE; your SOP, LORs and work experience before making any decision. However, backlogs can have a huge impact on your application when applying to Canada, especially when it comes to top universities in Canada. Let’s look at some specific reasons:

  • Top Canadian universities like the University of Ottawa, University of Toronto or McGill University do not look at backlogs in a favourable light but if you have 1 or 2 backlogs with an excellent overall academic profile (above 70%) and resume, you may stand a good chance. 
  • Chances of admission are harder if the number of backlogs is high so try to work on your standardised tests, overall academic performance, work experience and statement of purpose to improve your chances.
  • Backlogs are likely to affect admissions profoundly if the backlog is an important subject in your applied course structure and if the number of attempts to clear the exam is alarmingly high.  

Know All About PG Diploma vs Masters in Canada

Universities Accepting Backlogs in Canada

While some Canadian Universities have a very strict policy regarding backlogs, you will find a number of lenient universities that will consider your applications if you meet the eligibility criteria. Here is a list of universities in Canada that accept backlogs:

Universities Acceptable Number of Backlogs
Cape Breton University 0 – 5 backlogs
Royal Roads University 0 – 5 backlogs
Concordia University of Edmonton 0 – 5 backlogs
Conestoga College, Ontario 0 – 5 backlogs
Yorkville University 5 – 10 backlogs
Thompson University 5 – 10 backlogs
Wilfrid Laurier University 5 – 10 backlogs

Backlogs for PG Diploma and SPP Colleges in Canada
All those candidates with more than 10 backlogs and less than 50% in their overall academic transcript are eligible for PG diploma courses at universities and SPP colleges in Canada.

How does a Backlog Affect your Academic Journey?

The subjects that have backlogs affect your admission process in any university abroad. Every university around the world holds academic scores as the primary criterion for admission. However, there are various universities in Canada that can overlook backlogs if it is in a subject that you are not applying for. For example, if you have a backlog in Biology and you plan to apply for a medical course, your chances of rejection will be higher. 

Effect of the Attempts Taken for Clearing a Backlog

Apart from the number of backlogs, the university also looks at the number of attempts taken to clear a backlog. It is mandatory for students to submit their backlog certification to the university during admission. This helps the university know the subjects and the number of attempts you took to reappear for a paper. It is preferable that students do not have repeated backlogs as it can weaken your application.

Effect of the Reason Behind a Backlog

There are two main reasons that lead to backlogs in subjects. Absenteeism and low grades.

  • Absenteeism: Students who have a bad attendance record also receive backlogs. However, if the student has been ill, they must provide a medical certificate to the university to prove their bad health condition. If a student has been travelling due to genuine reason, they must mention the reason in writing. However, the latter reason is seldom given consideration when it comes to choosing candidates for admission. 
  • Low Grade: Scoring low in the main subjects of the course you are applying for can lessen your chances of being selected. If you have an external reason (bad psychological health, unexpected or traumatic loss, etc.) mention it in writing. It can help the university know about the reason. If the student manages to score well on the second attempt and has a good CGPA overall, then they can be considered.

Please note: Canadian universities do not accept active backlogs under any circumstances.

Admission Criteria in Canada

The admission criteria for most universities in Canada are the same even for candidates with backlogs; they all require certain relevant documents such as:

Bonus: Universities Accepting Backlogs in other Countries

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Backlogs can be daunting but do not let them stop you from pursuing your dream course and college. There are many universities you can consider across the world that accept applications with backlogs. If you have doubts regarding the admission process then get in touch with Leverage Edu! Book a free session today!

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