Canadian Pre-University (CPU)

If you are considering what's your next step after secondary school, here's what you need to know about Canadian Pre-University (CPU)!
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Jaideep Patel
Publisher for the Malaysia and Singapore offices of GTI Media Asia.


The first thing you should know about the Canadian Pre-University (CPU) is that universities and colleges offer 2 types of courses namely:

  • International Canadian Pre-University (ICPU)
  • Canadian International Matriculation Programme (CIMP)

Secondly, you should know that whichever CPU course you take, you will be given the same qualification: the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) which is awarded to Canadian students who successfully complete the 12thgrade (or final year)of high school.


The duration of a CPU (either ICPU or CIMP) is anywhere from 12 months to 15 months long.


There are multiple intakes for the CPU course each year, depending on the college or university of your choice. Most private institutions typically offer intakes in January, March, July and/or September.

Structure & assessment

Akin to other pre-university courses, the CPU has a 70% coursework and 30% final exams weightage. You will be graded on the individual subjects you take, as well as on your projects, lab work and other assignments.

On top of the grades given to you via your coursework and final exams, all CPU students are required to complete the following:

  • Ontario School Secondary Literacy Test (OSSLT)
  • Community Service (based on a number of approved hours)


You will need to take a total of 6 subjects including English.

Some of the subjects offered in the CPU are:

  • Advanced Functions
  • Analysing Current Economic Issues
  • Biology
  • Business Leadership: Management Fundamentals
  • Calculus and Vectors
  • Canadian and International Law
  • Canadian and International Politics
  • Challenge and Change in Society
  • Chemistry
  • Computer Science
  • Dance
  • Dramatic Arts
  • Earth and Space Science
  • English 4U
  • English 4C
  • Exercise Science
  • Financial Accounting Principles
  • International Business Fundamentals
  • Interdisciplinary Studies*
  • Mathematics of Data Management
  • Media Arts
  • Physics
  • The Writer’s Craft
  • World History: The West and the World
  • World Issues: A Geographical Analysis
* Mandatory for Malaysian students

Expert tips

  • Research on the many private universities that offer the CPU!
  • Ask yourself if you are ready to be hands-on because the CPU emphasises on coursework!
  • Learn more about how the individual subjects can be helpful to you!

It is RIGHT for you if…

  • You like coursework-based learning
  • You can handle 6 subjects
  • You are motivated by participating in community service 

It is WRONG for you if…

  • You prefer to be assessed based on final exams
  • You don’t like to speak or present in public
  • You have a poor command of English and don’t plan to improve