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Requirements to Study in the UK, Canada & US for Nigerian Students

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Are you curious about the requirements for Nigerian students to study in the UK, Canada, and US? Here's a guide to help make the process easier. The procedure for admissions may differ from what you're used to, and it may also vary between schools in these countries. So, if you have particular queries, be sure to consult the university to which you are applying. Meanwhile, you can follow the steps below to get started.

If you're applying for Master's degree programs, don't forget that you'll need to craft a high quality Personal Statement for Masters as part of the process.


  • Requirements to Study in UK for Nigerian Students
  • Accepting the Offer of Admission
  • Application Deadlines
  • Requirements to Study in US for Nigerian Students
  • Essential tips for Nigerian applicants
  • Now, let's get into the details.

    Requirements to Study in Canada for Nigerian Students

    Requirements to Study in the UK, Canada and US for Nigerian Students

    The entrance criteria for Canadian universities differ based on your level of education and the institution you've selected. If you wish to study in Canada from Nigeria, the following is the typical procedure for making your dream a reality:

    Get the Required Documents Ready

    A letter of motivation, a recommendation letter, and a portfolio of past work, if relevant, are among the fundamental documentation that is typically needed by all colleges. Universities will also demand documentation of past study completion. To fulfill this need, provide an official transcript from your secondary school if you're starting a bachelor's degree, or from your prior institution if you're pursuing a master's degree or higher. If you are not a natural English speaker, you may additionally be required to pass an English proficiency exam.

    Here is a full list of documents that will be required for undergraduate and postgraduate students to study in Canada.

    Confirm the Exact Admission Requirements

    Specific documents may be required depending on the university. For detailed admission criteria, always visit the university website, and if you have any concerns, contact the appropriate university office. In Canada, the university to which you are applying handles applications and admissions. Prospective students are encouraged to apply to many programs and colleges at the same time.

    Submit Your Application

    The majority of university applications in Canada are submitted using an online application system. Application forms are accessible on particular university websites and are frequently accompanied by an application fee. After completing the application form, attach or prepare to submit the required papers to the institution.

    Get Your Tuition Fees Ready

    Admissions decisions are frequently revealed before the conclusion of the spring semester. If you attend a private institution, you will typically be required to pay tuition for the first semester. Otherwise, the institution where you will study will send you an official letter of admission, admission confirmation for visa reasons, and other useful information as regards studying in Canada.

    Apply for a Visa

    You should begin the visa application procedure as soon as you are accepted into a Canadian university. Do not delay because the process might take up to sixty days and necessitates the submission of numerous crucial papers. Students from countries other than Canada will be denied entry and stay in Canada if they do not have the necessary visa. We urge applicants to start the process at least a year in advance. This gives you plenty of time to prepare and transition from one phase to the next.

    Also, see the 10 Best Canadian Universities For African Students to Study in Canada!

    Requirements to Study in UK for Nigerian Students

    Entry requirements for UK universities for Nigerians

    General Requirements

    Nigerian students are expected to satisfy the admission criteria for undergraduate degrees in the United Kingdom. These may vary depending on the institution. They include:

    • Although this is subject to the discretion of each university, an internationally recognized English language qualification, such as IELTS or equivalent, SSCE (WAEC) English C6 or above, is typically accepted.
    • At least, three GCE A-level passes at grade C or higher, and five GCSE/IGCSE passes at grade C or higher, including English and Math, plus similar qualifications such as African WAECs. - Six passes in grades one through six, including Math and English.
    • To qualify for the International Foundation Programme, you must have a Senior School Certificate (SSCE), West African Senior School Certificate (WAEC), or NECO with a Grade B or C in at least 5 subjects.
    • A year of undergraduate study at a recognized Nigerian university with a CGPA of around 3.5 out of 5 may also be accepted.

    It is important to verify with each university's admissions department to see if your credential is recognized. A completed international Foundation year (IFY) curriculum with the appropriate academic level, such as a course at Oxbridge School, Lagos, would be considered for admission to universities that are members of the Northern Consortium (NCUK). Other Nigerian institutions may provide a foundation course with direct entrance to a UK undergraduate program.

    Supporting Documents for Nigerian Students

    • Academic transcripts and certifications are required.
    • Any remaining exams 
    • Evidence of English proficiency
    • two letters of recommendation (academic and professional)
    • Personal statement explaining your motivation for applying
    • A photocopy of your passport's ID page
    • One current color passport photograph
    • If you are under the age of 18, you’ll be required to provide your contact information as well as the address of your parent or guardian.

    You will be required to submit your undergraduate application via UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service), online or through the university's application form.

     UK Postgraduate Programme Requirements

    Many British institutions offer two program start dates in September and January, with durations ranging from 12 to 16 months. Applications can be done on the official website of your chosen institute. You can also do this by filling out a standard application form, which is available online at most universities.

    Supporting Documents For Nigerian Postgraduate Students

    • Grades for qualifications received: Upper Second Class Bachelor's degree (UK 2:1 degree) from a recognized Nigerian university with a CGPA of 3.5 or higher.
    • With some universities a Lower Second Class Bachelor degree (UK 2:2 degree) is acceptable, while others will expect you to have completed some postgraduate level studies.
    • Any exams you're waiting on
    • Your English proficiency score (PTE Academic, Cambridge Advanced, IELTS, or other tests as set out by your preferred university)
    • A declaration of purpose (usually between 500 to 700 words depending on the programme requirement)
    • Two letters of recommendation (academic and professional)
    • CV demonstrating relevant work experience
    • Your address, a photographic ID, and a passport-sized picture are required.

    Accepting the Offer of Admission

    If you have finished your schooling and satisfied all of the admission requirements, you will be offered an unconditional offer. Otherwise, you will be sent a conditional offer. After receiving your completed application and supporting papers, they make a decision within 10-15 working days. If you accept the offer, you must confirm your acceptance as well as pay the registration and tuition costs or deposit.

    Application deadlines

     Nigerian students must apply for a Tier 4 student visa to study in the UK, as well as pay the tuition and satisfy the financial requirements. Once you have received an unconditional offer and CAS, you can apply for a visa three months before the commencement of your study (no more than 6 months after receiving it). When applying in Abuja, Nigeria, the processing time is around 10 days at the moment. Many institutions have a strong Nigerian student population and representative offices in Nigeria that can help speed up the application process.

    Requirements to Study in US for Nigerian Students

     Requirements to Study in US for Nigerians

    The entrance criteria for universities in the United States differ based on your level of education and the institution you've selected. If you wish to study in the US from Nigeria, here is the typical procedure for making your dream a reality:

    US Undergraduate Programme Requirements

    Nigerian students must pass standardized examinations in order to be admitted to undergraduate programs in the United States.

    IELTS, TOEFL, the PTE, and MELAB are all English Language Ability exams. If you are accepted into a SEVP-certified US university or college degree program, you may not need to enroll in a separate Intensive English Programme (IEP).

    Standardized Admissions Tests

    If you want to apply to a college or university in Nigeria, you should be prepared to take the SAT (multiple-choice exam of mathematics and English). Prepare to also take the ACT (multiple-choice test of Reading, English, science reasoning, and Mathematics, with an optional writing component).

    US Postgraduate Programme Requirements

    Over 1000 universities in America offer postgraduate master's and doctorate degree programs to Nigerian students. The usual application deadline is January 1st, with specific dates for the last chance to take the SAT and ACT examinations. You can also choose a ‘single choice early action' option before November 1st. This will allow you to get admitted sooner. You will also be able to compare your results to those of other institutions before making a final selection. Every school's internal deadlines are posted on their website. It is a good idea to double-check them so you don't lose out on a year at your preferred university!

    Standardised Admission Tests

    • Dental Admission Testing Programme (DAT) for dental schools
    •  Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
    • Optometry Admission Testing Program (OAT)
    • Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT)
    • Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) for liberal arts, science, mathematics
    • Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) for business schools and study for MBA programmes.
    • Law School Admission Testing Programme (LSAT) for law schools

     Credential assessment is commonly utilized by colleges in the United States. It provides three forms of verification: course by course, document by document, and professional job experience. There are several agencies concerned with credential evaluation in the United States, and Nigerian students should prepare a basic checklist before choosing one.

    Tip: Use the materials provided on each test page and remember to pay the costs, which typically vary from $22.50 to $160 and are subject to change each year. 

    Supporting Documents (US)

    The list of supporting papers for undergraduate and postgraduate programs in the United States may vary depending on the university's profile and criteria. Check the list with your future university's International Admissions Office:

    • Completed application, including a CV
    • Application fee (usually between $50 and $70, with certain exceptions)
    • Academic documents for each secondary institution attended, including official transcripts and certified English translations (if applicable).
    • School reports and teacher evaluations
    • Standardized test results
    • Two academic letters of recommendation
    • Test of English Proficiency
    • Completed Form of Financial Certification
    • Bank letter issued within the last three months highlighting the appropriate amount of funds for the first year of studies and living costs
    • Optional items (artwork or scientific research)
    • Depending on the subject and program, two or three essays are required.

    Application Essentials

    When you are accepted into a SEVP program, the school will provide you with an I-20 paper record of your information, which you will need to pay the I-901 SEVIS Fee. These are some of the most important papers that students rely on when applying for a US visa once they have been admitted to school. Learn more about studying in the United States from international students like yourself, and prepare for your once-in-a-lifetime university experience in America.

    Additional Tips For Nigerian Students

    • Investigate any schools that may be of interest to you, including ones that appear to be less well-known. The United States has around 2,000 four-year institutions, although schools renowned worldwide, such as the Ivy League in the Northeast, tend to attract a larger pool of international candidates.
    • Contact the international student adviser at each university to ask information about their unique application process and to talk with students about their experiences.
    • Typically, a list of typical application papers may be obtained on the university's website, so be prepared to send all letters of recommendation, transcripts, test scores, and coursework.
    • GPA, standardized test scores, courses, teacher and counselor recommendations, essays, community service, and extracurricular activities are all factors considered by admissions offices at US colleges.
    • Determine which examinations to take and complete all registration procedures in your own country. International students are frequently required to take the SAT, ACT, and an English proficiency exam (TOEFL or IELTS). The GRE, MCAT, GMAT, or LSAT may be required for graduate schools.
    • Plan on using the Common Application, an online application that is accepted by over 450 undergraduate colleges.
    • Determine if you want to apply Early Decision or Early Action, and then check to see whether the university provides such an admissions process. If you are unfamiliar, applications for Early Action or Early Decision are due in November, and you will be notified in December or January if you are approved.
    • Determine whether your transcripts or school curriculum must be officiated. Because curricula vary by nation, a college may ask you to send your transcripts to a credential examiner, who will interpret the document to meet US requirements.
    • Even if you are accepted, the procedure does not end there. Nigerian and other international students must apply for an F-1 student visa. Consult your country's US embassy for assistance, and be prepared to show your acceptance letter and proof of eligibility for non-immigrant students from a US institution.

    You will require a valid passport from the Federal Republic of Nigeria as well as a visa from the government of the United States to visit the United States for study purposes. The American Embassy in Nigeria will give you a student visa when you have been formally admitted to a college or institution. Follow the American Embassy's guidelines to the letter. It will improve your chances of receiving your visa promptly.

    Now, take a look at: Study Abroad Guide: All You Need to Know as an African Student

    All the best!

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