Canadian Universities Accepting Backlogs

Canadian Universities Accepting Backlogs

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Updated on Feb 1, 2023 00:03 IST

Canadian Universities Accepting Backlogs

Canadian Universities generally do not accept backlogs as the country's admission process is purely academic-centric. The country has many reputed institutions that grab international students’ attention, such as Dalhousie University and Lakehead University. Such universities do not entertain applications with any backlog records. However, there is scope for exception in very few universities.

What is a Backlog?

In simple words, you get a backlog when you have not passed the exam of a particular subject on the first attempt. The backlog can be cleared when you re-appear for the exam of that subject. Once you complete the program from the university, you will be given a backlog certificate that will specify the number of cleared and uncleared backlogs. In case, you have cleared the exam for all subjects, then you will not get a backlog certificate. However, a zero backlog certificate may be required for admission to colleges accepting backlogs in Canada.

Check: Do Backlogs Matter?

Factors Affecting Backlog Acceptance in Canada

If you have a history of backlogs, you need to understand that factors like your overall academic performance and scores of standardised tests make a huge impact on the chances of your profile acceptance. Since all the Canadian universities give preference to strong candidatures, the universities that accept backlog would majorly consider the following factors:

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Effect of Overall Academic Performance on Backlog Acceptance

This is one of the most important factors that Canadian universities consider in order to evaluate a student’s potential. Hence, a high GPA and good academic profile will help you take admission to Canadian universities accepting backlogs.

Check: What is a Backlog Certificate?

Effect of Score in Standardised Exams on Backlog Acceptance

The GRE score and TOEFL score, which act as an eligibility criterion for applying to universities abroad, are of utmost importance. If the score is good enough to beat the other applications, there is always room for exceptions.

Effect of Courses/Subjects of Backlogs

Another factor that Canadian universities consider is the subject with a backlog. The universities check whether the backlog is directly related to your choice of program or not. If you have a backlog in a major subject related to the program, then it might cause a problem. However, if the backlog is in a minor subject that is less relevant to your core subject, then it will not have that much impact on your application. Suppose, if you are applying to Computer Science, while you had a backlog in a major subject such as Programming Languages then the chances of rejection would be higher

Effect of Time Taken to Clear Backlogs / Repeated Backlogs

The universities in Canada count the number of subjects as the number of backlogs, the number of attempts would also matter if the backlog subjects were major ones. Under any circumstances, you are required to submit a Backlog Certificate, which shows the subjects you had to reappear and also the number of attempts you took to clear that subject. If you have taken multiple attempts to clear a backlog in the same subject, then it will show a lack of interest and will affect your application even though backlogs are accepted in Canada.

Status of Backlogs at the time of admission

The top universities reject the applications of students who have backlogs. Therefore, it is advised to keep a backlog certificate with clear status at the time of admission.

Check: Sample Backlog Certificate

How many backlogs are allowed in Canada?

Usually, 5 backlogs are accepted in Canada. It is only after approval from the admissions department, the universities or colleges in Canada can accept a maximum of 10 backlogs.

Effect of the reason behind Backlogs

There may be two reasons for a backlog to occur, one being absenteeism and another low grade. Let us consider both the reasons separately:

Low Grades: Scoring less in the exam would depict a weak profile in that subject. If you have a record of score low in any subject throughout your academic programme (in which you also had a backlog), it may not be in favour of your candidature. Especially, if the subject of the backlog is a major one. Also, if this score makes your overall CGPA a low one, then that is a problem. Nevertheless, if you were able to score so well in the re-appear exam that it helped you maintain a good overall score, then the backlog may not be a problem.

Absenteeism: The sad part is that absenteeism due to any reason is counted as a backlog. Absenteeism may be again due to two reasons:

  1. Medical Reasons: Suppose you were due to health/medical issues (maybe you were sick or had an accidental encounter), your college would have required a medical certificate to prove the same. Similarly, you would need to prove the same to the AdCom of universities abroad, if they are convinced about considering your backlog reason to be a genuine one.
  2. Family or Travel: Having a family emergency or travelling to someplace may be another reason for absenteeism. However, travel may make you look less sincere towards your studies. No university wants to entertain the profile of a student who prefers to travel over appearing for an external exam. There better a good reason behind that travel which made you miss a semester/annual examination.

In both cases, the university may or may not consider your candidature a weak one.

Do backlogs affect the Canada visa? Read Do Backlogs affect the chances of a Visa Approval? to get more insight into the same.

Does Backlog affect admission in Canada

When taking admission to foreign universities, not just the academic record of an applicant is taken into account. But, various other scores in standardized tests like IELTS, TOEFL, PTE, and GRE are also considered. On top of this, SOP, LORs, and work experience are also given weightage at the time of admission at foreign universities. However, it is true that backlogs affect admission in Canada, especially, when you have to apply to the top universities in Canada.

  • The top Canadian universities like the University of Toronto, University of Ottawa, and McGill University do not see backlogs in an appropriate manner. However, if you have 1 or 2 backlogs with an excellent overall academic profile and resume, you may have a chance to take admission.
  • The backlogs are going to impact admissions if the backlog is in an important subject and if the number of attempts to clear the exam is high.

Effect of Active Backlogs

Canadian universities are strict about accepting backlogs. Hence, it is essential to clear all the backlogs before filing any university application. You cannot apply with active backlogs.

Check out how the backlogs affect university admission and how they are counted in different countries.

Also, see how the backlogs affect the chances of a visa application.

Colleges Accepting Backlogs in Canada

The list of colleges accepting backlogs in Canada is not very long. However, if you have exceptional academic records, you will be accepted for admission to the universities. Given below is the list of Canada universities accepting backlogs.


Backlogs Accepted

George Brown College

Maximum 6-8

Conestoga College

Maximum 5

Centennial College

Maximum 7

Lambton College

Maximum 4 to 8

Fanshawe College

Maximum 8

Wilfried Laurier University


Royal Roads University

Maximum 5

Check out the list of universities that accept backlogs in other countries:

For further guidance, it is recommended that you connect with the Shiksha Counselling Team for free. Learn how the Shiksha counsellors evaluate profiles of study abroad aspirants.

FAQs on Canadian Universities Accepting Backlogs

Q. Do Canadian colleges accept backlogs?

A. Generally, Canadian universities have stringent rules about the academic record and backlogs of students. However, there are some universities where backlogs are accepted in Canada.

Q. Will I be able to study in Canada with backlogs?

A. Yes, there are few universities in Canada that accept backlogs. Canadian universities accept a maximum of 5 backlogs with a minimum average of 70% in your previous academic qualification. It is important to have a good overall academic score in order to take admission in Canadian universities.

Q. How many backlogs are allowed in Canada?

A. Generally, Canadian colleges accept 5 backlogs.

Q. How many backlogs does George Brown College accept?

A. George Brown College accepts a maximum of 6-8 backlogs.

Q. Are 20 backlogs accepted in Canada?

A. A maximum of 5 backlogs are usually accepted in Canadian universities. However, after approval from the admissions department, colleges in Canada can accept a maximum of 10 backlogs.

Q. List the colleges accepting backlogs in Canada.

A. Some of the Canadian colleges accepting backlogs are Conestoga College, Centennial College, Lambton College, George Brown College, etc
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a year ago

hey hi iam mohana and iam planing for pg i have 11 backlogs am i eligible

Reply to Mohanapriya



a year ago

Hi Shrishti, student who has completed 2 semester of MBBS in India is eligible or not to get admission in Canadian Medical college to complete 3rd or Final MBBS course.

Reply to Kedar


somsubhra danda

2 years ago

I had 5 backlogs and 70% what kind of college can I get madam??

Reply to somsubhra danda


film duniya

2 years ago

Hello, i have 3 subjects backlogs but no. Of attempts is 5 as I cleared a foundation course in 3 attempts. My cgpa is 7.7 can I get admission for masters program in canada

Reply to film duniya


Akash Jassal

2 years ago

hey , i have 9 backlogs in my B. Tech IT degree (all clear now) having percentage 72%. can i get admission in any University for master program . IELTS score - 7 bands

Reply to Akash Jassal

As mentioned above, only a select few universities accept 5+ backlogs.