Terms and definitions

Admission information

This page provides definitions of the terms used in the admissions process.

Applicants must meet admission requirements in order to be considered eligible for admission to a program. Meeting minimum admission requirements does not guarantee admission into a program.

The subject requirement(s) and supplemental requirements as identified by each program.

The specific subjects required for admission. Note: Co-op courses do not meet admission requirements and are not used in the calculation of academic strength.

Include, but are not limited to, mandatory information meetings, portfolios, interviews, resumes and questionnaires.

Academic strength is calculated by averaging the submitted marks of required subjects. If more than one mark is received for a required subject, the highest mark will be used in the calculation.

Applicants with the highest academic strength are considered for admission or further applicant assessment. The minimum academic strength varies from year to year and acceptance to a program is dependent on the number of applications received, the academic strength of the applicants and the program capacity. During the selection process, marks may be reviewed on an individual basis. As a result, applicants with low grades in the required subjects may not be considered.

Note: For all certificate, diploma and advanced diploma programs, marks for required courses will be awarded a 10-mark bonus as follows:

  • Any U Level high school course
  • Any U/C or M level high school course
  • Any high school courses at the advanced level from the old Ontario curriculum - Advanced Level, OAC
  • Any post-secondary course delivered through recognized institutions

Courses delivered through Conestoga College Preparatory Studies which have been deemed to be taught at the U, U/C or Advanced level will be awarded the 10-mark bonus as follows:

  • Preparatory Chemistry
  • Preparatory Physics
  • Preparatory Biology

Bonus marks will NOT be applied to academic strength calculations for any degree or post-graduate programs.

If a subject has been repeated, only the highest grade will be used in the calculation of academic strength.

If mid-term marks from relevant subjects are available at the time admission decisions are made, they will be used in the calculation of the academic strength. In some cases, decisions will be delayed until a mid-term grade is received. Grade 11 marks from the relevant subjects may be used temporarily in the academic strength calculation until mid-term marks of the required level are available. Please see important information in "Oversubscribed Programs" below regarding the use of mid-term grades and Grade 11 marks when calculating academic strength in oversubscribed programs.

Some programs require that applicants are assessed using other selection criteria. These may include such things as questionnaires, information meeting attendance, portfolios, specific skills demonstration and/or additional assessment of required subjects.

Pre-Assessment Math, English, Biology and Chemistry Testing

If you do not meet the English, Mathematics, Chemistry and/or Biology requirements for the certificate or diploma program of your choice, you can write pre-admission assessments to determine your academic readiness for a program. Note: Pre-admission testing is not available for degree programs.

Testing is available in Mathematics, English, Chemistry and Biology only.

Health Occupations Aptitude Exam (HOAE)

Successful completion of the Health Occupations Aptitude Exam (HOAE) is required for admission to the Practical Nursing program. Only applicants meeting admission requirements and minimum academic strength are invited to write the HOAE. For more information, please see the Practical Nursing program page.

This letter is mailed when an applicant is accepted for admission to a program. An offer of acceptance will appear on the applicant’s ontariocolleges.ca application. Most offers of acceptance for fall semester programs are not mailed prior to the end of March.

An offer of acceptance must be confirmed before the deadline indicated on the offer of acceptance letter or the applicant may lose the space in the program. Offers of acceptance should be confirmed online at www.ontariocolleges.ca or by contacting the ontariocolleges.ca Customer Contact Centre at 1-888-892-2228.

Conditional offers of acceptance may be made to applicants who are in the process of completing program-required courses. A conditional offer means a place in the program is being held, however, the offer must be confirmed before the deadline indicated on the letter. Selection benchmarks and all other conditions must be satisfied before the offer is finalized. Offers of acceptance will be rescinded if the Registrar does not receive final transcripts showing successful completion of the requirements before registration.

A wait list is established when the number of acceptable applicants exceeds the number of spaces available in the program. As space becomes available in the program, confirmed wait list applicants are moved into the program based on academic strength and the date on which ontariocolleges.ca received the application. Wait list confirmations must be mailed directly to the College.

If the wait list offer is conditional, the applicant should continue his or her studies in order to meet the program benchmarks and subsequently be qualified for admission into the program should an offer of admission be granted.

Some programs require students to have certain medical and health criteria. Confirmed applicants receive a package of information by mail or email. Students must submit completed forms by the deadline indicated and meet all medical criteria. These are necessary for clinical/field placement. Failure to meet criteria could result in cancellation of the admission offer.

Applicants must be able to receive instruction and respond in English (except for English Language Studies applicants).

Applicants with transcripts from institutions where the language of instruction is not English who are applying to:

  • all graduate certificate programs (except TESL*)
  • applied degree programs
  • Food Processing Technician (Optional Co-op) (Effective Fall 2019 start)
  • Hearing Instrument Specialist diploma program
  • Journalism (Effective Fall 2020 start)
  • Practical Nursing diploma program
  • Public Relations diploma program
  • Respiratory Therapy advanced diploma program

must demonstrate English language proficiency with a minimum test score on one of the following language proficiency tests or equivalent scores from another internationally recognized English language test:

  • IELTS overall band of 6.5 with no band less than 6.0 
    • For the Hearing Instrument Specialist program, applicants must have an overall band of 6.5 with no band less than 6.0 except the speaking band which must be 8.0.
    • For Technical Communications, applicants must have an overall band of 7.0, a writing band no less than 6.5, and no band less than 6.0.
  • TOEFL iBT 88
  • CAEL 70, no sub-test band score less than 60
  • PTE Academic 58
  • Conestoga English Language Test (CELT) Band 6
  • Duolingo English Test** minimum score of 115

For all other diploma and certificate programs, applicants with transcripts from institutions where the language of instruction is not English must demonstrate English language proficiency with a minimum test score on one of the following language proficiency tests or equivalent scores from another internationally recognized English language test:

  • IELTS overall band of 6 with no band less than 5.5
  • TOEFL iBT 80
  • CAEL 70 with minimum 60 writing, no sub-test band score less than 30
  • PTE Academic 51
  • Conestoga English Language Test (CELT) Band 5
  • Duolingo English Test** minimum score of 105
*See Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) admission requirements for language proficiency scores.

** Note: to assist applicants facing challenges obtaining English language testing as a result of COVID-19, the Duolingo test has been temporarily included as an acceptable test to demonstrate English language proficiency.

Where eligible applicants exceed the number of program spaces, priority order for consideration is: (a) Ontario permanent residents, (b) permanent residents of other Canadian provinces/territories, (c) and applicants from other countries.

A program is considered oversubscribed when the number of qualified applicants exceeds the number of offers being sent. Most oversubscribed programs do not accept applications later than February 1. Many oversubscribed programs are full after the first round of admission decisions is made. This means that admission decisions are based on the marks available in early February. This may be a combination of final grades in required courses, mid-term grades in required courses, or marks from relevant Grade 11 courses. If the program is full prior to the college receiving second semester mid-term grades, we will NOT re-calculate the academic strength based on the second semester grades. However, we will use available second semester grades to determine the position on the wait list of applicants who have received a wait list offer.

  • Electrical Engineering Technician - Industrial (Co-op)
  • Nursing – B.Sc.N. (McMaster)
  • Diploma Registered Practical Nurse to B.Sc.N. (McMaster)
  • Paramedic
  • Powerline Technician (Co-op)
  • Practical Nursing
  • Pre-Health Sciences Pathway to Advanced Diplomas and Degrees
  • Respiratory Therapy

Students living outside of Ontario are not eligible for oversubscribed programs.

A mature student is one who is 19 years of age or older as of the first day of classes without an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD), or equivalent. If you possess an OSSD, regardless of your age or number of years out of high school, you will be considered on the basis of your OSSD and mature student status does not apply. If specific subject requirements are indicated, all applicants must possess those subject requirements regardless of whether they are applying as mature students; however, college, university and upgrading equivalencies may be used if applicants do not possess the appropriate subject requirements or wish to improve their grades.

Mature students must demonstrate their potential to work at the post-secondary level in one of two ways:

  • by successfully completing equivalency testing in English and/or mathematics; or
  • by completing a program of academic upgrading at a level appropriate to the program of choice.

Applicants who have been out of high school for several years should contact our academic upgrading office to assess, review and refresh academic skills to be well-prepared for success at the post-secondary level. Participating in academic upgrading also provides applicants with the opportunity to increase their marks for competitive college programs. The college offers several ways for applicants to enhance their basic skills and improve their chances for admission on either a full-time or part-time basis. The Academic and Career Entrance certificate (ACE) is recognized as a Grade 12 equivalent for the purpose of admission at all Ontario Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology for apprenticeship training and by many major employers. For program and course information, contact the College Information Centre at 519-748-5220, ext. 3656.

Conestoga welcomes applications from home-schooled applicants. Home-schooled applicants must meet the appropriate admission requirements, including subject requirements and any other college or program-specific criteria. Home-schooled applicants must provide the appropriate pre-requisite courses on official transcripts from an accredited Ontario school and meet the required admission average(s). Where appropriate, the home-schooled applicant may present test results to meet specific subject requirements. Home-schooled applicants may obtain an Academic and Career Entrance certificate (ACE) through the School of Career and Academic Access by successfully completing the required courses.

Students are required to apply for readmission when they have been absent from their program for one term or longer, or when the student has withdrawn or been discontinued. Upon readmission, students are placed into the current program of study which determines graduation requirements. Students are subject to the college and program policies and procedures in place at the time of readmission.

The application for readmission will be reviewed by the Academic team based on space eligibility, academic eligibility, and the student’s progress related to readmission requirements. Depending on the reason for interruption of studies, this review may include, but is not limited to, an interview and examination of any of the following:

  • Health records and current health assessment
  • Transcripts – All post-secondary transcripts must be submitted
  • Diagnostic and/or academic testing
  • Documents related to any self-directed learning activity that has occurred since interruption of studies

Students applying for readmission to Level/Term 1 must do so through ontariocolleges.ca. Students applying for readmission to a level beyond Level/Term 1 must do so using the Program Application Form. Applicable fees will be charged.

For more information, refer to the Readmission Procedure (pdf).

Student records information

Student records officers are located in the Office of the Registrar and are responsible for processing all activities pertaining to the student’s record. Please contact this office at studentrecords@conestogac.on.ca if you have any inquiries regarding registration and achievement.

Under current provincial law, a student’s records are considered confidential and will be released to a third party only upon the written authorization of the student or by exception as noted under the Release of Information section of the Guide. Information collected in student records will be used to administer the programs and activities of the college. While student records are the property of the college, students have the right to view their own records upon request. Student records may include personal, academic and non-academic information (for example, identification photographs).

Refers to the collection of data dealing with an individual who is associated with a program or course of study at the college. Most of the data is categorized as academic, personal and/or financial and is maintained by the registrar’s office. The Official College Record for each student is a permanent record consisting minimally of the student’s name, student number, personal data, achievement, and academic decisions and should be maintained for a minimum of 55 years.

Consists of academic activity (program/course registration, achievement, transfer credits and academic standing) at the College.

Consists of biographical data and may include previous educational achievements such as secondary school records. Please ensure that the address in the registrar's system is the correct one for mailing purposes. Students can update their address and social insurance number through the Student Portal. To make changes to formal information (legal name change and date of birth) in the student record, please complete the Personal Information Change Form (pdf). To request a preferred name or preferred gender change, please complete the Student Preferred Name and/or Gender Change Request Form (pdf).

Forms should be submitted via email to StudentRecords@conestogac.on.ca.

Consists of financial transactions with the College relating specifically to tuition and incidental fees.

The student is personally responsible for the completeness and accuracy of their student record, which is maintained by the Registrar’s Office. This includes mailing address, personal data and achievement. It is also the responsibility of the student to ensure that their program requirements are being met.

Registration information

Attendance expectations should be clarified with each teacher and should be informed of the reasons for any absences that may occur.

A full-time student is one enrolled for at least 70 per cent of the hours, or 66 2/3 per cent of the courses in the current session/level of the program design. Students not meeting these criteria are considered part-time. Course changes may affect the student's status, which is determined each session by the registrar’s office and may impact OSAP eligibility.

Course Hours

Full-time courses at Conestoga are typically delivered during the following hours:

  • Monday to Thursday, 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM
  • Friday, 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM

In some instances, classes will be scheduled outside of this time frame to accommodate course, program and college requirements.

Exemption/Credit Transfer is granted to students who have previously achieved the learning outcomes at Conestoga College or another post-secondary institution and have proven that they have comparable or equivalent learning.

The maximum credit allowed through Credit Transfer and credits obtained through Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) is 75 percent of the program credits for diploma and certificate programs and 50 percent of program credits for degree programs. Therefore, at least 25 percent of the program credits for diploma and certificate programs and 50 percent for degree programs must be taken under the direct supervision of Conestoga College faculty.

To apply: The registered student submits a Credit Transfer Request through the Student Portal, including the required documents. Applications sent via email will not be considered. Once a decision is made, students will be notified through their Conestoga email account. For more information about credit transfers and how to apply, visit Credit Transfer.

Note:

  • Requests for credit transfer may take several weeks to review; therefore, students are encouraged to submit their Credit Transfer Request and all supporting documents prior to the start of the semester.
  • Approval of an exemption will affect scheduling and may affect fees and OSAP eligibility.
  • When a student moves from one Conestoga College program to another and where course numbers/codes are identical or equivalent, automatic credit is given if course passing grades are met. The course grade from the original course will stand.
  • All exemptions can be viewed on the Student Portal (on the “My Grades” tab select ‘View Achievement Report’).

Students may add/drop courses through the Student Portal when timetables are made available. If a student is unable to make a course change(s) through the Student Portal, they can submit a Course Change Request Form found in the Student Portal, under the "Services" tab, "My Forms" sub-tab. Meet with your program coordinator if the option you need is inaccessible on the form.

  • Adding/dropping courses may affect a student's status (full-time/part-time). For students receiving financial aid, a status change may affect the student's entitlement and the student should consult with Student Financial Services for clarification.
  • Students who are on Academic Probation may have additional restrictions placed on course registration and changes to enrolment. Contact your program coordinator and/or the chair of your program if you have any questions.
  • A course may be repeated in the case of a failure or to improve competency, or to upgrade a mark. However, the original mark remains on the student record.

Students may add/drop elective courses through the Student Portal when timetables are made available. If a student is unable to make a course change(s) through the Student Portal, they can submit an ECC (Elective, COMM, CDEV) Course Change Request Form found in the Student Portal, under the "Services" tab, "My Forms" sub-tab. Email Genedfaq@conestogac.on.ca or visit the Liberal Studies Office in 2A139 if the option you need is inaccessible on the form.

  • Adding/dropping courses may affect a student's status (full-time/part-time). For students receiving financial aid, a status change may affect the student's entitlement and the student should consult with Student Financial Services for clarification.
  • Students who are on Academic Probation may have additional restrictions placed on course registration and changes to enrolment. Contact your program coordinator and/or the chair of your program if you have any questions.
  • A course may be repeated in the case of a failure or to improve competency, or to upgrade a mark. However, the original mark remains on the student record.

Audit status must be clearly specified at the time of registration in the course.

Students auditing a course are restricted solely to the role of observers in the class. They must not write examinations, have course evaluations performed for them, or make comments during class. A credit standing will not be granted for an audited course.

Permission to audit a course will not be granted until the number of students taking the course for credit is known. Priority will always go to students taking a course for credit. The student in a full-time program is required to follow the same process as adding a course.

  • Do you need a letter stating that you have been accepted, enrolled or that you have graduated?
  • Do you need a verification of enrolment letter for your Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP)?
  • Do you need a special or customized letter for an employer, day care or insurance company?
  • Do you have a document that requires an official Conestoga seal or stamp?

Read the information below to access the letter you need and the process and fee associated with it.

  1. Online (Free of Charge)

    To generate a letter free of charge, log on to your student portal and select the ‘Services’ tab then select “Print A Letter’.

    You will be presented with a drop down box with the four letter types:

    • Accepted and Confirmed Letter
      1. program title, start/end date, and session start/end date.
    • Currently Enrolled Letter
      1. program title, start date, full time status, program start/end date, session start/end date
    • Proof of Program Completion Letter
      1. program title, program start date/completion date
    • RESP – Verification of Enrolment
      1. program title, start date, co-op program, current start date, full-time status, program length, level entering and credential type
        1. Do not submit this letter to Conestoga, it must be submitted to the institution (e.g. bank) administering your RESP.

    NOTE: Online standard letters above cannot be modified to include additional or different information.

    Important Note Regarding Canada Pension Plan

    Canada Pension Plan (CPP) will accept the ‘Currently Enrolled’ letter. The letter must be dated after the start of the academic year. You must:

    1. Generate the letter after the start of the academic year/semester.
    2. Write “see attached" in Section B of the Declaration of Attendance at School or University.
      • The ‘Currently Enrolled Letter” replaces the signature required on the form.
    3. Submit both the form and the online letter to the government.
  2. Specialized or Custom Letter (Charges Apply)

    If the online letter service does not suffice, you may request a special or customized letter by completing and submitting the Completion of Letter Form with payment to the Registrar’s Office. You may request to have the letter mailed to you or pick it up in person. Please allow a minimum 24-48 hours for processing and be prepared to provide photo identification for your request.

  3. In Person or by Fax (Charges Apply)

    You may request a letter by completing and submitting the Completion of Letter Form with payment to the Registrar’s Office in person or send by fax to (519) 895-1097. Please allow a minimum 24-48 hours for processing and be prepared to provide photo identification for your request.

  4. Letter and Documentation Verification Request Form

    If you require a letter or form to be verified with the Conestoga stamp or seal, you must bring the document(s) to the Registrar’s Office in person for verification and for the stamp or seal to be affixed. Please allow a minimum 24-48 hours for processing and be prepared to provide photo identification for your request.

  5. Attention International Students:

    Select the ‘Currently Enrolled’ letter for applications related to study permit extensions, Temporary Resident Visa’s, U.S. Visas etc. Once you have downloaded the letter, please email internationaloffice@conestogac.on.ca with your student number to request instructions related to Citizenship and Immigration Canada applications.

    • Please Note: If you need a letter related to working in Canada (off-campus, co-op, on-campus) and other Citizenship and Immigration Canada applications and information, please contact internationaloffice@conestogac.on.ca

All full-time students will require a ONE Card Student Photo ID. The ONE Card is used to gain access to the different services the college provides, such as but not limited to testing, printing and library resources, writing tests/exams, receiving course marks, access open computer labs, borrowing materials from the Library Resource Centre and to gain entry to the Recreation Centre. This card is normally issued in the student's first semester and students are expected to upload their photo.

  • The card is valid for their entire college enrolment
  • Please be prepared to show your ONE Card when accessing college services.
  • Additional information regarding the ONE Card may be found at ONE Card website.
  • Applicable fees will apply for a replacement card.

Part-time Studies (Day Courses) is not a program. However, it allows a student to register in courses that are normally part of a full-time program without being admitted or registered into that program. Not all courses are available through Part-time Studies and space may be limited in those that are. Registration is based on space availability in the course(s) and prerequisites (if applicable) being met.

An individual, who is not registered in a program and is interested in registering for a course delivered during the day, will be able to do so beginning the first week of classes if the course is available. Registration is based on space availability in the course(s) and prerequisites (if applicable) being met. Registration does not guarantee eventual acceptance or readmission into a full-time program and a student cannot graduate from Part-time Studies. Individuals may consider becoming a Part-time Studies (Day Courses) student for one of the following reasons:

  • To obtain credit for missed courses
  • To obtain credit for specific courses to apply to future post-secondary
  • To explore program-related courses prior to applying to a college program
  • To study courses for personal interest or to improve workplace skills

Registration for Part-time Studies (Day Courses) begins on the first day of classes through the Student Portal.

To register for courses, you may log in as a student or browse Continuing Education courses to confirm course availability. Part-time Studies students will be expected to pay for courses selected through the portal at time of registration.

An individual requesting registration for a course that is not available through their student portal and part of a full-time cohort program must:

  1. Complete the Part-time Studies (Day Courses) Registration Form (pdf)
  2. Email the completed form to the applicable academic area:
Academic area
Email form to:
Communication, CDEV, General Education, and Interdisciplinary elective courses
jmatthews@conestogac.on.ca
School of Business courses
businessschool@conestogac.on.ca
School of Community Services courses
kreiber@conestogac.on.ca
School of Health & Life Sciences courses
schoolofhealth@conestogac.on.ca
School of Interdisciplinary Studies courses
interdisciplinarystudies@conestogac.on.ca
School of Creative Industries courses
creativeindustries@conestogac.on.ca
School of Applied Computer Science and IT courses
itprograms@conestogac.on.ca
School of Engineering & Technology / Institute of Food Processing courses
jlarsen@conestogac.on.ca
School of Trades & Apprenticeship
jmcfarlane@conestogac.on.ca
School of Workforce Development courses workforcedevelopment@conestogac.on.ca

The academic team will review the request to determine eligibility for registration (prerequisites/corequisites/program standards-rules are met), that the course has capacity, and no timetable conflict exists.

If approved: the academic team will email the form to the Registrar’s Office for processing.
If denied: the academic coordinator/academic team will respond to the student via email and communicate rationale. (i.e. no space/course not offered/individual does not meet prerequisite/corequisite.)

The Enrolment Officers will add the invoice through held enrolment on the student portal and students will be given 72 hours to pay for the course(s). It is the student’s responsibility to check their portal for registration updates and complete the payment process.

Students who have not successfully completed all of the required courses for the term or the program may be eligible to complete work or write a supplemental assessment in order to complete the requirements of the level or program. Refer to your program handbook for specific details on eligibility or consult your program coordinator.

Student instructions for completing a Supplemental Request form (pdf)

Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition is a process that involves the recognition and assessment of formal, informal and non-formal or experiential learning acquired through employment, non-credit courses, independent study, conferences and seminars or volunteer activities.

For more information about the PLAR process please visit Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition.

To support physical distancing on campus, full-time courses at Conestoga may be delivered Monday to Sunday, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.