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Your Guide to how many backlogs are allowed in Canada

Studying in Canada is nothing short of a dream for many international students. International students prepare for many months to get admission to the university or college of their choice in Canada. This process can be particularly challenging for international students who have incomplete grades or backlogs. However, worry not, there are a lot of educational institutes in Canada that have flexible admission processes and admit candidates who have a backlog on their academic transcript. In this article, we will discuss how many backlogs are allowed in Canada while highlighting some of the best colleges in Canada that accept backlogs:

What is a backlog?

A backlog is a course that you failed to pass successfully on your first attempt. Students get backlogs for all kinds of reasons. Even if you fail to appear for the examination, it is considered a backlog. Some common reasons for getting a backlog include medical issues, personal problems, health-related concerns, and failure to prepare, among others. However, no matter what your reason is, you need to ensure that you clear all your previous backlogs depending on how many backlogs are allowed in Canada. Generally, backlogs are marked on academic transcripts.

Can students with backlogs apply to study in Canada?

Most academic institutes in Canada tend to accept students who have incomplete grades or backlogs. International students can illustrate the reason behind their backlog in their statement of purpose to show the admissions committee their commitment to their education. Generally, colleges in Canada accept international students who have backlogs as long as they maintain a good GPA overall in their previous educational courses. It is often best to reach out to the college admission committee of the institute that you want to attend and get information on their particular requirements for international students who have backlogs.

What are some of the best Canadian colleges that accept backlogs?

Here are some of the best educational institutes in Canada that accept international students who have backlogs. 

Seneca College

Seneca College is a world-renowned college in Canada. It is one of the largest academic institutes in the country, and it provides students with a wide variety of courses in different domains and industries. The college also has a relaxed admission policy, and the admissions committee considers offering international students enrollments with incomplete grades or backlogs. However, international students with considerable academic gaps might be advised to take some more programs or finish a transitional program before they are admitted to the course of their choice.

Centennial College

Centennial College is one of the most popular institutes in Canada. This educational organization provides different courses across diverse fields, such as media, healthcare, engineering, and business. Centennial College also considers offering admission to international students who still need to complete grades or backlogs. However, the college requires international students to meet the minimum academic requirements for the course that they wish to attend.

George Brown College

George Brown College is a considerable academy located in the city of Toronto. The college provides courses in different areas, such as hospitality, management, finance, technology, and business. George Brown College also has an adaptable admission policy, and the admission committee might evaluate international students as prospective candidates with incomplete grades or backlogs. However, international students who have considerable academic gaps might be directed to opt for some additional courses or finish a bridging course before their regular course starts or before they are offered admission into the program of their choice.

Sheridan College

Sheridan College is a renowned college based out of Ontario. The college provides various programs in interesting domains such as game design, film, animation, and other courses. Sheridan College might evaluate applications from international students with incomplete grades or backlogs. However, generally, the admissions committee considers international students who are eligible under the requirements set by the institute for the course that they want to attend.

Fanshawe College

Fanshawe College is an extensive educational institute based in London, Ontario. This college offers international students admission in different disciplines such as technology, healthcare, and business. The Fanshawe College might even contemplate applications from international students who still need to complete grades or backlogs, considering that they qualify as per the minimum admission eligibility criteria for their preferred program.

How many backlogs are allowed in Canada?

Canadian colleges and universities have become increasingly favored among international students. This is mainly due to their multicultural environment, friendly people, affordable tuition fees and standard of living, and high-quality education. One of the most typical concerns for international students who want to study in Canada is the maximum number of backlogs or incomplete courses that can be accepted. Canadian academic institutes usually do not have a ceiling number of the backlogs that will be accepted for applicants. However, each course, college, and university that you want to attend may have its own eligibility criteria for international students. Each program typically has its own admission policies, and it is crucial for prospective international student candidates to do their research and comprehend the particular admission requirements for the course that they want to pursue.

How important are backlogs when considering international students for admission?

Typically, colleges and academic institutes in Canada evaluate the overall performance and academic record of the international student. They holistically go through the entire admissions profile. This means that as an applicant, your entire profile will be thoroughly evaluated by the entire admissions committee. When considering backlogs or incomplete grades, even though the number of backlogs might be taken into account by the admissions committee, it is definitely not the only factor that determines admission. International students can use other parts of their application, such as the statement of purpose, to illustrate the reasons behind their backlog. Generally, the admissions board at Canadian educational institutes considers extracurricular activities, letters of recommendation, statements of purpose, personal essays, standardized test scores, competitive exam scores, and academic transcripts to evaluate a prospective student before making their decision.

How can international students improve their chances of admission if they have a large number of backlogs?

Even though the number of backlogs is not the sole criterion for admission in Canadian academic organizations, it is also essential to consider that if you have a large number of backlogs, it may affect your chances. Generally, most courses and programs in Canadian universities are quite competitive. Competitive programs are difficult to get into due to the large number of candidates looking for admission. In such cases, admission committees tend to prefer applicants that are more qualified than the rest. In these cases, admission boards might prioritize applicants that showcase a substantial academic record and showcase their proficiency to thrive in the course. It is generally recommended for international students who have a considerable number of backlogs to retake some subjects and courses. It is also advised to enroll in a foundational course before you apply to a highly competitive program. Enrolling in a foundational, basic, and transitional course will not only greatly enhance your academic record but also showcase your commitment to your education. It can also prepare you with the skill sets you need to succeed in the program that you want to pursue.


Many international students have backlogs for a lot of different reasons. However, it is important not to get discouraged by them and to pursue your dreams of studying in Canada. Canadian institutes consider applicants with backlogs. You can use your statement of purpose or personal essay to explain your backlogs. Some academic organizations also require students to finish a transitional course before joining their program. Contact the best Canada visa consultant for other relevant information on backlogs and Canadian education.


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