How Much Gap is Accepted for Study in Canada?

A study gap is the period a student spends not contributing in any kind of educational program. This may occur following high school graduation, during the transition from undergraduate to graduate school, or even following the completion of a postgraduate degree. Before continuing their studies throughout this year, students must decide to work, volunteer, travel, or follow other personal or professional interests. This article will discuss the several grounds for entry to study in Canada after a break of a particular number of years, as well as additional information for international students.

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How Much Gap Is Accepted For Study In Canada?

As per the institution and the courses they provide for study in Canada, the study gaps will differ accordingly. Check out the course-wise study gap accepted in Canada:

  • Undergraduate and Diploma Programs: Most of Canadian institutes and universities accept a study break of a minimum of two to three years.
  • Postgraduate Courses: Up to 5-8 years of study gap in Canada is normally accepted for master’s and doctoral programs.
  • In exceptional cases, certain universities might take long study breaks into consideration, mostly if the student is willing to provide valid reasons and necessary supporting documentation.

Reason Accepted In Canada for Study Gap

Overall, Canadian institutes and universities welcome students worldwide with gaps in their education providing the gaps are justified and supported by necessary documentation. Some common reasons that are accepted include:

  • Work Experience: Most students want to work after their graduation to gain some experience which helps the students to achieve professional growth with some new skills that help further in their careers. This reason is accepted in colleges and universities when students submit their proof of payslips and experience letters.
  • A Second Chance: Entrance tests are something that most students know about. Some people studied for tests for more than a year, but sadly, not all of them were able to pass. As a second chance, the students would rather go to school abroad to get a better education.
  • Financial Status: Generally speaking, studying abroad is more expensive. Not every student has that kind of money or financial status. It could take them a year or more to provide the required proof of funding.
  • Family Issues: Family is the first and most important thing in everyone’s life. So, family issues such as health problems regarding members of the family. Or, if there is only one member who must look after the family. This reason is quite considerable for the institutions since it is not a negligible issue.
  • Medical Issues: Students face situations like Health problems, accidents, and other medical issues that result in a year of inactivity for them. Colleges and universities will only let students take this kind of study gap if they can show proper medical certificates.
  • Skill Development: The majority of students nowadays are not content to settle for a degree or certification alone; they are actively seeking out opportunities to expand their skill sets through courses in digital marketing, graphic design, photography, etc. Educational institutions take this knowledge gap into account.

Pros and Cons of Taking a Gap Year

The table below shows the pros and cons of taking a year gap in study.

Opportunity to explore personal interests and discover new passionsPotential difficulty in transitioning back to an academic environment
Chance to gain real-world experience and develop practical skillsPossible delay in starting a career or earning potential
Time to reflect on future goals and make more informed decisions about education and career pathsPotential loss of academic momentum and knowledge
Potential to improve mental health and well-being through a break from the rigors of studyingConcerns about financial stability during the gap year
Opportunity to save money and fund future educational expensesPotential challenges in securing admission to desired programs after the gap year

Which Colleges in Canada Accept the Study Gap?

Students with study gaps can apply to several esteemed Canadian universities and colleges. The list of universities is stated below:

  • University of Toronto
  • University of British Columbia
  • University of Waterloo
  • Dalhousie University
  • University of Alberta
  • Simon Fraser University
  • McGill University
  • McMaster University
  • Ryerson University

These institutions generally have specific policies and requirements regarding the duration and reasons for the study gap, so it’s important for students to research the individual admission criteria of their desired programs.

In conclusion, Canada is mostly open to accepting students with study gaps, with the criteria that they deliver valid reasons and the necessary documentation as and when required. International students can increase their chances of effectively pursuing their educational desires in Canada by knowing about the common gap lengths approved and emerging a compelling reason.


Yes, you can apply for a study visa in Canada even after a 10-year gap. However, you will need to provide a strong validation for the gap and prove your commitment to following higher education in Canada.

To defend your study gap, you should offer a detailed explanation in your cover letter or statement of purpose. Highlight any creative activities you engaged in during the gap, such as work experience, skill development, or personal growth. Focus on how these skills have fortified you for the program you want to pursue in Canada.

No, the study gap duration accepted by Canadian universities and colleges can vary. While maximum institutions accept a gap of 2-3 years for undergraduate programs and 5-8 years for postgraduate programs, some might have more flexible policies or consider longer.