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Admission FAQ

Getting to Know UCC

How do I know UCC is right for my son?
The first step in finding out more about UCC and whether it’s a good fit for your educational goals is to submit your email and receive Admission’s newsletter Blues News, to get a feel for student life and community goings-on. Once you’ve submitted the inquiry form, we can offer you many opportunities to visit us throughout the school year.
What are you looking for in an applicant?
We seek boys who together represent a broad range of experiences and backgrounds and who, with the support of their family, demonstrate the motivation to get involved in school life at UCC and beyond. In general, successful applicants show strengths in three different developmental areas:
ACADEMIC Your son is not expected to know everything. While we require a solid foundation in English literacy and numeracy, we also look for potential and a willingness to listen, learn and embrace a challenge.
• CO-CURRICULAR Your son has a spark. We look for a cross-section of talent – in arts, athletics and other co-curricular activities – and boys with potential to contribute to school life beyond the classroom.
• SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL Your son is an individual and part of a larger group. We look at social skills and overall self-regulation – inside and outside the classroom.Above all, we consider the whole boy.
How many students or teachers of any particular ethnic, religious, or sexual orientation are there?
The school does not track this information. Our community reflects the same diversity you find throughout Toronto.
What are the actual annual costs above and beyond tuition?
While tuition covers most curricular costs there are some incidental charges which are not covered. Please visit the Affording UCC page to get a better idea of what the total cost may be per year. PLEASE NOTE: these charges will vary from student to student.

Curricular Program

What is the philosophy behind all boys’ education?
Many studies have shown that the traditional co-ed classroom setting does not favour boys nor does it support their learning styles. At UCC, we believe in boys. Our faculty have become experts in boys’ education, through professional development opportunities and research conducted by our own Centre for Learning. To learn more about the benefits of an all-boys education, visit We Believe In Boys.
Do you offer X subject at X grade level?
For detailed information please visit the Prep Academics and Upper School Academics sections respectively.
What school or program do you recommend as preparation for UCC?
We do not recommend any one school or program for UCC prep. We admit a wide variety of boys from different educational backgrounds who meet UCC’s academic, co-curricular and social skills criteria. Parents should always choose a school based on “fit” — the school that will best meet the needs of their family.
What technology is used in the classroom?
UCC is a one-to-one laptop school starting in Year 4, with iPads regularly used in classrooms beginning in SK. Students receiving laptops each have a MacBook Pro (new versions this year!), and pay a $500 fee annually. Students receive the laptops loaded with all the programs required, plus there is a wonderful IT HelpDesk in case they run into problems. The vast majority of our classrooms have SmartBoards, and technology is strongly encouraged and used at UCC.
Can you accommodate students with learning differences?
When applying, we ask that you provide a current Psychological Educational Assessment so that we can assess your son’s needs and whether we can offer support.
Do you offer a Gifted program?
As the academic standards at UCC are already quite high, we do not offer a Gifted program.
Do you offer a French Immersion program?
We do not offer a French Immersion program at UCC, although French is taught as a second language in all grades. Students arriving into Year 6 and 7 are placed in one of three streams: Core Basic, Core Advanced and Extended. Most students will follow our Core French program at either the Basic or the Advanced level. Some students will be recommended for the Extended French program on the basis of a demonstrated strong background, fluency and skills in the language. At the Upper School, students need to study French for at least one year in Year 8. In Year 9 they can continue with French or choose Latin, Spanish or Mandarin and continue with this language until Year 12.
What are the expectations around English language proficiency? Does UCC have an ESL program?
At UCC, the language of instruction is English and therefore students need to demonstrate proficiency in English. UCC does not have a formal ESL program, however the Wernham & West Centre for Learning provides a great deal of support for boarding students. Over the years we have had boys arrive into the boarding program at UCC with varying levels of English.
How does UCC acknowledge Canada’s indigenous population in its programming?
Over the years UCC students have welcomed First Nations guest speakers, visited First Nations and Inuit communities, and discussed Indigenous Peoples and the issues they face in a variety of contexts. Here are some current examples of how UCC recognizes and pays respect to Canada’s indigenous population:
• In a Year 5 unit of inquiry around the central idea that “people have different perspectives that influence interactions,” students explore the features of indigenous societies.
• In Year 7 history and geography, the relationship between European explorers and indigenous societies is a main topic of discussion.
• In Year 8 and Year 9 English, students participate in an exchange with Manitoba high school students where written pieces focusing on personal experiences are shared and used to start a dialogue about First Nations history, identity, and culture.
• In Year 11 Language and Literature, students learn about residential schools through documentaries, editorials, poems, political cartoons, testimonials, and newspaper articles.
• UCC’s Amnesty International club raises awareness for missing and murdered indigenous women and girls.
• At both the Prep and Upper Schools, an Acknowledgement of Traditional Land is read aloud at the beginning of special assemblies and events.
Where do students go after graduation?
Students work with our University Counselling Office (UCO) to learn about schools and programs that best fit their educational goals. The UCO assists students to put together applications, prepare for entrance requirements and decide ultimately which school will be their ideal match. Every year, we have a number of students who choose to attend prominent schools in the United States and around the world.
How many graduates receive university offers?
All of our graduates receive offers to university or college, partly on the strength of the internationally recognized IB Diploma.


Can I apply for a different grade level other than the one determined by birth year?
It is our usual practice to admit students based on year of birth. Exceptions may be made following a review of all admission requirements in cases where a student has been accelerated or kept back a year.
What are the chances of getting in?
The typical application ratio for our entry years is 3:1, so for every three applications we receive we only have room to admit one student.
How does admission at limited-entry levels work?
When space exists at a limited-entry level following re-enrolment of current students in March, we review all completed candidate files and select two or three boys per available space for an assessment and interview. We understand that many families, including some legacy and sibling families, may be disappointed not to hear from us. Our main goal is admitting the best students while managing the expectations of possible outcomes for all families.
Do you admit students mid-year?
We don’t admit students mid-year, but there are other neighbouring schools that do. See Our Kids’ list of schools with mid-year entry for more information.
How and when do I reapply?
Every year in September we contact families who are eligible to reapply with updated admission information. Families then need to resubmit the online application form and include the most recent final report card. We will provide eligible families with a fee waiver code so they don’t need to pay an additional application fee.
How do I know my son’s application is complete?
Once you submit your online application, you can log back into your account to view the status of required materials. Please allow at least two business days for your materials to be processed and marked as received on your checklist.
What if my son has been home-schooled?
If the applicant has been home-schooled, we require proof that the boy does not attend school (i.e. a letter of acknowledgement from the school board that the child has been excused from school attendance) in lieu of report cards. Please note that in some cases we may request additional material in order to supplement an applicant’s file.
How do you determine who is selected for an interview?
We base our decision to interview selected candidates on the information provided in the application form and the strength of their report cards. We look at all information provided to gain a basic understanding of the student’s abilities in academics, extra-curricular activities and behaviour. Selected candidates must demonstrate good work habits and proficiency in both English and mathematics. In some cases, we wait for test results to determine if an applicant meets our baseline academic criteria.
Can I send supplementary documents beyond the required report cards?
We understand that sometimes report cards don’t tell the whole story. Once you’ve submitted your application and the required documents, please contact your admission representative to discuss submitting any additional documents. In terms of co-curricular achievement, we gain a better understanding of any arts or athletics involvement through the interview. If you would like to bring additional documents as evidence of co-curricular achievement to your interview, they will be added to your file at that time.
What additional requirements are there for international families?
Visit the Canadian government’s Study In Canada information site to determine whether or not your son will require a student visa.
What if I’m unable to attend an interview in person due to distance?
An in-person visit and interview is highly recommended for eligible candidates. If that is not possible, we can conduct an interview for selected candidates via Skype or phone.
What is the SSAT?
The Secondary School Admission Test (SSAT) is a standardized entrance test used by many schools in North America, administered by the SSAT Board. All applicants to Year 7 and up are required to write the SSAT as part of the admission process to UCC.
When should my son write the SSAT?
We encourage all applicants to Year 7 and above to register to write the SSAT as soon as possible. Day applicants must register to write the test before December 31 of the application year, so that we can factor results into our February decisions. Please note that local sittings fill up quickly, and regular registration closes three weeks prior to each test date with late registrations subject to additional fees. To search for test dates and locations, visit and enter your Country and/or Province. Remember to include UCC (7858) as a score recipient when you register so that we receive test results in a timely manner.
Should my son study for the SSAT?
While we do not encourage any special tutoring for the SSAT, we do suggest applicants use the resources available through the SSAT Practice Portal to practice before writing the test.
What minimum score do you require on the SSAT?
There is no minimum score requirement. We evaluate the SSAT results along with other admission criteria to gain a big-picture view of the applicant.
How can we prepare for the SK family visit, or the entrance tests for Year 3, 5 and 6?
Applicants to entry level grades who are invited to the school for a family visit or in-house test are provided information in advance of their arrival, including evaluation criteria and some sample questions. Generally speaking, all testing is age-appropriate and the Year 3, 5 and 6 tests have timed sections in math, reading comprehension as well as a short writing sample. Again, we do not encourage any test preparation — it’s important for us to know what the boy knows, and doesn’t know, in order to set him up for success.
Are families with a connection to UCC given preference?
The College is committed to honouring relationships with legacy families and applicants with siblings attending the school. Sons, grandsons and nephews of alumni (whom we call Old Boys) and siblings will be interviewed but will go through the same process as all other applicants.
Can I apply after the deadline?
Late Day applications are accepted on an individual basis — contact the Office of Admission to inquire. This applies to both entry year and limited-entry year applications. Boarding applications are accepted from September to May. If you are interested in applying to Boarding after May, please contact the Office of Admission first to inquire about availability.
Can I apply for both day and boarding?
We can only accept one active application for any candidate. If you submit a day application to the Upper School and you do not receive an offer of admission in February, you may choose to submit a boarding application at that time. Please inquire as to your eligibility for the boarding program before submitting a boarding application by contacting Tricia Rankin at or 416-488-1125 ext. 2221.
I am an agent/consultant, can I apply on behalf of a family?
The account created when an application is submitted will live with one of the parents/guardians of the student through the admission process and after they become enrolled. Because our registration is all done online with legal requirements around agreements and payment of fees, we do require (as indicated on our New User Registration page) that this account belong to a parent or guardian of the applicant. That said, we do understand that many families hire agencies to complete the application on their behalf and we do wish to accommodate such situations as much as possible. Agents should create a separate account in the name of a parent/guardian and using an email address of a parent/guardian for each student, with a User ID that is also unique to each student. This way, the account is automatically linked to one of the parents for the purposes of registration. Agents can use the same password for each applicant to make it easier to track through the process and the parents can change the password at any time after registration. By entering the agent email address under Preferred Email on the application form, all primary communication regarding the applicant will be sent to the agent (regardless of the email address used to create the account). If the applicant receives an offer, it will also be sent to one of the parents.
Do you offer commission to recruitment agents?
Currently we have a very small number of agent agreements in place, in regions where we do not have consistent representation. In other regions where we already enjoy great interest, such as China, we do not offer any commission to agents. If you would like to inquire about an agent agreement, contact before beginning any application. We cannot offer commission to an agent for an application in process.

Safety and Transportation Concerns

Are UCC’s teachers Ontario certified?
We currently have 151 teaching staff at Upper Canada College, including Residential Assistants, Norval instructors and the Afterschool Program staff; 132 have the Ontario teaching certificate.
How do you ensure the suitability of staff and faculty to work with children?
UCC has a rigorous hiring process and a dedicated HR department to oversee it. Job applicants who are selected for an interview are questioned by several current staff members in the related department as well as a senior administrator. Once the successful candidate is chosen, reference checks are done with previous employers. If those meet our requirements, we require a previous satisfactory criminal reference and vulnerable sector check, and request a new one from the police. New checks take up to two months to process so we ask for a previous one as insurance.
Is there a bus my son can take to and from school?
We do not offer any busing or shuttle services. Some private transportation companies service UCC. These include Shuttle4Kids and KidsKoolTrans.