Frequently Asked Questions
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All applicants to a CEGEP, for any given DEC program, must have the Quebec Secondary School Diploma or equivalent.
In addition to the above basic admission requirements, some programs have other requirements and/or pre-requisites. For further information, please see Program Pre-requisites.
Specific pre-requisites of Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics or Physical Science can be taken at a CEGEP, Continuing Education, or an adult education centre. Please note that students cannot use the courses taken at a CEGEP to complete their Diploma of Secondary Studies.
If you are currently in high school, please contact your Guidance Counselor as soon as possible to be able to complete the pre-requisites of the program of your choice.
If you completed high school studies IN Canada BUT NOT IN Quebec:
Applicants with secondary school education from a province other than Quebec will qualify for basic CÉGEP entry with the successful completion of:
Alberta: Grade 11 (67-100 credits)
British Columbia: Grade 11
Manitoba: Grade 11 (minimum 13 credits )
New Brunswick: Grade 11 (minimum 12 or 13 credits, depending on regime)
Newfoundland: Grade 11 (minimum 24 credits)
Nova Scotia: Grade 11 (minimum 12 credits)
Ontario: Secondary School Diploma Grade 11 (minimum 22 credits) NB: as of 2002: Grade 11 completed, with at least 22 credits; prior to 2002: grade 12 completed with OSSD or OSD.
Prince Edward Island: Grade 11 (minimum 12 credits)
Saskatchewan: Grade 11 (minimum 16 credits)
You must provide copies of all final and in-progress transcripts from Grade 10 (grade X) onwards, as well as a copy of any diplomas obtained. If admitted, you will be required to provide an official transcript of grades as issued by the provincial authority.
Please note that testing in specific program pre-requisites (English, French, Math, Science, Chemistry or Physics) may be required to assess the level of applicants’ qualifications. Testing takes place at Dawson College in Montreal, Quebec, during the months of April or May for Fall Admissions, and in November or December for Winter Admissions. Applicants are advised by email from the Admissions Office, of test dates should testing be required. Failing to attend a testing request will disqualify an applicant.
If you completed high school studies OUTSIDE Canada:
Applicants presenting academic credentials from outside Canada are required either
- to obtain and submit an official attestation of equivalence from the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Diversité et de l’Inclusion, MIDI – formerly MICC (for details, see MIDI)
- OR to pay an additional non-refundable fee of $50.00 for the evaluation of their secondary school credentials
Applicants must provide copies of all final and in-progress transcripts from the last 2 years of high school, including all final matriculation examination scores, as well as a copy of any diplomas obtained. If admitted, you will be required to provide an official transcript of grades as issued by the government authority. Only certified copies of original documents or original documents are accepted. Applicants must include secondary school documents even if they have completed a higher level of education.
If an applicant has previously attended a college or a university, he/she must declare this in the application and have an official transcript sent directly to Dawson College by the Registrar of that institution.
All applicants applying from outside Quebec whose mother tongue or whose language of instruction at their secondary school was NOT English should submit the result of either
- the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language). The minimum accepted score is 61 for Internet based, 175 for Computer based or 500 for Paper based. Information concerning this test can be obtained on the internet at www.toefl.org
- OR the IELTS (International English Language Testing System). The minimum accepted overall score is 6.0 on the IELTS 9-band scale. Information concerning this test can be obtained on the internet at www.ielts.org
Please note that these scores are valid for a period of two years from the date of the exam.
Applicants applying from within Quebec whose mother tongue is not English or whose academic records show no evidence of English being the language of instruction, are NOT required to submit TOEFL or IELTS results. These applicants may instead be contacted for language testing as described below.
All documents submitted in a language other than English or French, must be accompanied by an official translation into English or French, translated by a certified translator.
Please note that testing in specific program pre-requisites (English, French, Math, Science, Chemistry or Physics) may be required to assess the level of applicants’ qualifications. Testing takes place at Dawson College in Montreal, during the months of April or May for Fall Admissions, and in November or December for Winter Admissions. Applicants are advised by email from the Admissions Office, of test dates should testing be required. Failing to attend a testing request will disqualify an applicant.
A pre-university DEC program is a two-year program, geared more towards students who intend to pursue further studies in university in a comparable or related undergraduate program. In general, pre-university programs are more theory-based than technical programs, and are offered at both fall and winter sessions.
A technical DEC program is a three-year program, geared more towards students who wish to enter the job market right after the completion of their DEC. Technical programs are also referred to as career programs, and generally provide students with practical hands-on competencies, in preparation for a career in a given discipline. New admissions to technical programs take place only during the Fall of each academic year (i.e. no 1st semester applications can be submitted for the winter session).
Full-time students enrolled in a program are exempt from course fees, i.e. benefit from a tuition-free course registration. To be considered a full-time student in a given semester, a course load of 180 course-hours or a minimum of four courses is required.
Students enrolled in a program and pursuing one or two courses during the summer session are not likely to qualify for full-time status, and will be charged course fees during that session.
Independent students, i.e. students who are not enrolled in any given program but are registered in credit courses, must pay their course fees, regardless of the number of course-hours or courses they are registered in.
The deadline to submit an application for a DEC program is March 1st for the fall Day session, and November 1st for the winter session. Please ensure that your application and payment is submitted by the deadline. Applications received before or by the deadline are given first priority for admissions to programs, provided they meet all the admission requirements.
Through your application center account you will see the status of your application. Once the application deadline has passed, updates are provided to you by selecting the VIEW button on your application summary page. On this page you can:
- View admission choices;
- Determine if an application is complete and has been received;
- view whether a decision has been rendered;
- view and download decision letters; admission letters are NOT mailed
- confirm an acceptance (only if admitted);
- view the confirmation status (only if admitted);
- view and download important admission documents (only if admitted).
Bill 96, adopted by Quebec’s National Assembly in May 2022, brings significant amendments to the Charter of the French Language, commonly known as Bill 101. Certain aspects of the Bill affect English-language CEGEPs.
Many prospective parents and students understandably have questions about how Bill 96 may affect admissions and academics at Dawson College in Fall 2023 and in the future.
The information contained here is accurate as of the date of publication and is subject to change. This FAQ page will be updated regularly to provide information to the community.
In order to understand Bill 96 and its implications for CEGEPs, it is important to understand what a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) to receive education in English is. Under Quebec law, only certain citizens meeting defined criteria have the right to attend publicly funded English-language schools and hold a COE. Conversely, those without a COE must attend French-language schools in Quebec, with very few exceptions. At the CEGEP level, students with and without a COE may pursue their studies in English, but their status will determine different course and graduation requirements.
At the moment, the Ministry of Education defines the criteria. A detailed description is available on the Ministry’s website : http://www.education.gouv.qc.ca/en/parents-and-guardians/instruction-in-english/eligibility/
More information is also available on Quebec’s EducaLoi website: https://educaloi.qc.ca/en/capsules/access-to-english-schools-in-quebec/#:~:text=1.,and%20sisters%20of%20these%20children.
- The law sets limits on the total number of students English-language colleges can accept.
- The law requires English-language colleges to prioritize the admissions of students with COEs to study in English. This section of the law will be applied for students who start their CEGEP studies in Winter 2024.
- In addition, students without COEs attending English-language colleges will need to pass the Épreuve Uniforme de Français (EUF) (French exit examination) to obtain their DCS. This section of the law will be applied for students who start their CEGEP studies in Fall 2023.
- The law also states that all students in English-language colleges (whether they hold a COE or not) must take and pass three of their program courses (specific education or general education) in French. Those who hold a COE but who do not have the required knowledge of French will be permitted to take three additional courses of French language instead. This section of the law will be applied for students who start their CEGEP studies in Fall 2024.
If a student has already attended an English elementary or high school in Quebec, then they should have already received their Certificate of Eligibility.
If you do not already have your Certificate of Eligibility, Dawson will be granted access to the government’s education records to see which applicants have eligibility under Bill 96, so you do not need to submit a copy with your application.
It is important to underline that for Fall 2023 applications, admissions priorities will not change as this section of the law will come into effect only in Winter 2024
Details on how the law will be applied in this regard are currently being discussed internally and with the Ministry of Higher Education. Regardless of how the law will be applied, English-language CEGEPs will still have space to admit those without a COE who wish to pursue their CEGEP studies in English.
Only those without a COE will need to pass the Épreuve Uniforme de Français (EUF) or French Exit Examination. Those without a COE whose French is too weak to succeed in passing the test will need to take mise à niveau courses to upgrade their level of French. In addition, it is possible that some additional courses will need to be added and existing courses be replaced in order to add the required competencies for writing the French Exit Examination.
Conversely, those with a Certificate of Eligibility will not need to write the French Exit Examination but still need to complete the English Exit Examination as is currently the case.
It is important to underline that these particular requirements under the law will only be applied to students admitted in Fall 2024 and beyond, and therefore will not apply to the Fall 2023 and Winter 2024 incoming cohorts of students, nor to students who are already enrolled at the College.
Dawson is currently assessing which of its courses could be offered in French (possibilities include complementary courses, humanities or specific education courses). Under the law the courses cannot be in the language of instruction, French as a second language or Physical Education.
For those with a Certificate of Eligibility whose French is not strong enough, the College may substitute three courses in French for three courses of French language. The way in which the College will assess each student’s level of French is yet to be determined.
Dawson already has many supports in place to practise and improve French, including CLÉO (Centre de langue écrite et orale), a free French tutoring service offered to all Dawson College students, as well as credit and non-credit French language courses offered in Continuing Education. The College will look at strengthening this support in light of the changes to the law.