Applying to University in 2020-21: The Deadlines Your Students Need to Know 

We've updated our applications calendar so that you and your students are ready for the most important international university deadlines for the 2020-21 academic year.

As the new academic year begins, so does university application season!

Whatever stage your students are at in their university application journey, it's safe to say that this year will be filled with more of the following: 

  • A multitude of application deadlines for universities and courses in countries all over the world.
  • The release of key essay prompts and questions for the 2020-21 application cycle.
  • A variety of final exams, coursework and standardised tests.

There are a lot of dates for your diary, so here’s our updated round-up of the key dates and milestones for 2020-21, with links to useful resources to help you plan your year in guidance.

This year, we’ve also included some additional late application and spring entry deadlines, in case you have 2020 graduating students who have had their plans changed or delayed due to COVID-19.

Download your free BridgeU calendar

Stay up to date with the deadlines that matter through 2020-21 with our international applications calendar. 

August 2020

August marks two key milestones for the most popular destination countries, the US and the UK.

While many US universities open for 2021 applicants during August, in the UK it’s time to focus on 2020 graduates - as many UK universities closely align their decision-making with the publication of A-Level results in the middle of the month.

August 1st

???????? On August 1st, Common App opens its doors for 2020-21 applicants. Students can now create their account, add colleges, and start work on their essays and applications.

August 13th

???????? A-Level results are published today, meaning that students will find out whether they have gained entry to universities where they have a conditional offer. This year, there might be some additional stress for students as A-Level exams were cancelled due to COVID-19, and the results instead rely on teacher assessments, mock and predicted grades.

If students don’t achieve the necessary grades to get into their chosen course, then they can enter what is known as Clearing, and apply to other universities.

Students have until October to add Clearing choices to their list, and for universities to make their decisions.

August 29th

???????? For any international students looking to take the SAT admissions test, this is the first of several anticipated test dates for the 2020-21 academic year.

September 2020

September is a watershed month for university admissions in a number of countries. If everything has gone well, your 2019-20 students will hopefully be on their way to the university of their choice. If they have been unsuccessful, then they may be considering alternative university destinations, or re-applying in the next year.

In many countries, it will now be the turn of the next cohort of students to start gearing up for applying to potential post-secondary destinations.

September 15th

???????? This is a popular deadline day for 2020 graduating students applying to French universities, if they want to start in the spring semester.

September 17th

???????? For students taking the UCAT exam to study Medicine in the UK, registration to take the test will close today.

September 21st

???????? The absolute final day for any UK university applications for 2020 entry. UCAS stipulates that any applications must reach them by 6pm (UK time).

Also in September...

🇪🇸 For students who hope to apply to university in Spain, this is the final chance to apply for degree courses beginning in the autumn/fall semester (starting in October). 

???????? If you have students with any aspirations to study a medicine, dentistry or veterinary degree in the UK in September 2020, then they will need to have begun work on their UCAS Personal Statement by the beginning of September.

???????? Students applying to Oxford or Cambridge must also be preparing their UCAS applications.

???????? Likewise, students who are applying to US universities and are thinking about Early Decision/Early Action deadlines should be thinking about their Common App, Coalition and supplemental essays where relevant.

???????? Universities in Australia will be taking applications for entry to university in February, with many application deadlines culminating October-December.

October 2020

For students applying in the 2020-21 application cycle, October is the first major deadline for students applying to the UK.

October 1st

???????? This is the UCAS Conservatoires deadline for music courses. Applications must reach UCAS by 6pm (UK time).

October 15th

???????? For students applying to the UK, the first of the major application deadlines for 2020-21 arrives today. As we mentioned above, Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary degrees, as well as Oxford and Cambridge, ask that students submit their applications in October.

This means that all aspects of the UCAS application – Personal Statement, school reference and student’s university choices- need to be sent to UCAS by this date.

October 20th

???????? For any of your 2020 graduating students who are applying to UK universities through Clearing, this is the final day that UCAS are accepting applications.

Also in October...

???????? Universities in Australia will be taking applications for February, with many application deadlines culminating October-December.

November 2020

November is another early application deadline, this time for students who are submitting applications for the US. Meanwhile, UK students who have submitted their UCAS applications to Oxford and Cambridge can expect to be notified as to whether they’ve been invited for an interview.

November 1st

???????? November 1st is one of two Early Decision and Action deadlines for students applying to the United States.

Because Early Decision applications are binding, students working towards the November Early Decision deadline must have done the necessary research and preparation prior to submitting. November is one of the first of two major Early Decision deadlines – Early Decision II deadlines are early in 2020.

Note that this year, some universities are considering cancelling Early Action applications due to COVID-19. At the time of writing, only Princeton has confirmed that this will be the case, but it’s worth your students checking the website of their chosen university before working towards an Early Decision application

November 4th

???????? This is the new date to take the BMAT test, used by some UK and international universities for entry to study a medical degree. The test usually takes place in October but this year was rescheduled due to COVID-19.

November 15th

???????? This is the second of the two Early Decision/Early Action deadlines for students applying in the USA.

As we mentioned above, some universities are considering cancelling early applications due to the current situation, so make sure you check in advance.

The rest of November…

???????? November 1st to November 30th is the application window for students applying to college through the University of California state system.

???????? Expect this month to be another busy one for students applying for the February intake at a range of Australian universities. Depending on the institution, some students can also start to receive Confirmation of Enrolment letters if their application has been successful.

???????? UK Oxbridge applicants can expect to begin receiving invitations to interview in November, and interviews will continue to be held through December and into early January. It’s worth noting that this year, both Oxford and Cambridge are planning to conduct video interviews instead of inviting students to interview in person.

Students sitting IB exams in November will be working hard this month. At the time of writing these exams are going ahead as planned, but the IBO website is publishing any updates on its website.

December 2020

December 1st

🇪🇸 If you have any students who are submitting applications to Spanish universities, then the first week of December is the final deadline for commencing a degree course in February 2021.

December 17th

Today is results day for any students who took IB exams in November.

The rest of December...

???????????????? For US and UK applicants, students should be finalising their applications over the Christmas/winter break, in preparation for meeting January deadlines.

???????? Interviews for Oxbridge applicants in your school will continue through December.

???????? A number of Norwegian universities may close their university applications in December, so students should check universities’ entry requirements carefully.

???????? For those students applying to Australia, a number of notable universities will most likely have their deadlines this month.

January 2021

It’s safe to say 2021 hits the ground running. January is the month with the highest volume of application deadlines for some of the most popular university countries in the world.

Specifically, applications to study at university in the UK, United States, Canada, Hong Kong and in various EU countries are due before the end of January.

January 1st

???????? US university applications due for students applying through Regular Decision. A number of highly ranked US universities will also have deadlines on January 2nd, January 3rd, January 5th and January 10th

Notable US university deadlines around this period include Harvard, Brown, Cornell, Georgetown, Amherst College, Princeton, Stanford, as well as a number of state universities.

January 15th

???????????????????????? This is a significant deadline for a number of universities, including UK universities (through the UCAS system), and some US and Canadian institutions.

In the US, this includes a number of state universities such as Florida, Oregon, Denver, Delaware and Georgia.

If you’re an international applicant looking to study in Canada, then McGill, Sherbrooke and University of Columbia have deadlines on January 15th.

???????? This is also the deadline for applications to Swedish universities.

???????? January 15th is also deadline day for universities in the Netherlands for programmes which fall under ‘numerus fixus’ – these are courses with a limited number of places available.

???????? For 2020 graduating students applying to German universities, this is also the deadline to apply for March entry.

January 17th...

???????? French universities require their students to have submitted their DAP – “Demande d’Admission Préalable” (a request for admission for students of nationalities outside the EU). French university applications are accepted until April.

The rest of January...

???????? Students applying to university in Finland have until the end of the month to finish their applications.

???????????????? A number of institutions in Hong Kong and Canada also have deadlines this month.

???????? UCAS applicants to Oxford and Cambridge can also expect to receive decisions on their applications by the end of January.

???????? If you have students who applied to a US university through Early Decision, then several institutions will be sending out notifications across January.

February 2021

February brings more global university deadlines, especially for a large majority of US and Canadian institutions. Highlights in February include:

February 1st and 15th

???????? These are two more dates where large numbers of US universities require prospective students to submit their final applications. Specifically, there are deadlines for a number of private and state institutions, including Ohio State and University of Michigan.

???????? February 1st & 15th are also deadline days for a number of Canadian universities.

???????? Students wishing to study in Ireland need to submit their applications by February 1st.

February 25th

???????? UCAS Extra opens in the UK. This allows students who have received no offers from their initial five choices to apply for a further course. UCAS Extra is open until July.

February 28th

???????? Teachers and counselors with students applying to Canadian universities be aware – this is another notable deadline day.

March 2021

March 1st

???????????????? Many US and Canadian universities have deadlines on this day.

???????? March 1st is also deadline day for EU/EEA students looking to apply for university in Norway.

March 15th

???????? If you have students applying for a Bachelor’s programme in Denmark, then this is the final day to submit applications.

The rest of March...

???????? Students who have applied to university in the UK can expect to receive most of their offers this month (if they met the 15th January deadline).

???????? Similarly, if you have students applying to US universities, they can expect to start hearing back from their chosen destinations starting in March.

???????? For students applying to university in Singapore, several Singapore institutions have final deadlines this month.

April 2021

April 1st

???????????????? Once again, the first of the month is a popular deadline day for a number of US and Canadian universities.

???????? ???????? It’s also a popular deadline for universities in France and the Netherlands. It’s worth bearing in mind that many Dutch universities have extended their deadlines due to COVID-19, so remember to check their websites.

The rest of April...

???????? April will also see results from US applications continuing to roll in.

???????? For your students who may wish to apply for July entry to an Australian university, April and May are the two months where they should be finalising their applications.

???????? Applications open for students wishing to study in Latvia. The majority of Latvian universities are accepting applications through to June.

May 2021

May 1st

???????? If your students received their offers for a UK university by 31st March, then May 1st is their deadline for accepting these offers.

???????? Any late paper applications for students applying in Ireland must be sent by today.

???????? Another common deadline for students applying to the Netherlands. Regardless whether the application deadline for their chosen university has been delayed, all students must have set up their StudieLink account by this date.

May 2nd

???????? Another important milestone for your UK students – all UK universities should have replied to students who submitted their applications before the 15th January deadline.

The rest of May...

For those of you teaching the IB curriculum, IB summer exams continue throughout the month of May.

June 2021

June 1st

🇪🇸 The first week of June is the deadline for students who are applying for a university in Spain.

???????? German university applications also open for October entry.

June 30th

???????? This is an important cut off date for students applying through UCAS. If students apply to any university after this date, UCAS will automatically put these applications into Clearing.

The rest of June...

???????? June is the month wherein most A-Level exams are sat.

???????????????????????? For European university applications, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are three countries with final deadlines across June.

July 2021

July 4th

???????? For students who may have chosen to apply to a UK university through UCAS Extra (see February), this is the last day that UCAS will accept submissions.

July 5th

If your students took IB exams in the May session, then their results are released today. This is a crucial time for IB students, as these results of course affect students’ eligibility for their chosen universities and courses. IB students are able to access their results a day later, on the 6th July.

July 15th

???????? If your students are applying in Germany, then this is the final deadline for submission.

July: Useful Links

Don’t forget to keep checking our website as we publish more in-depth guides to the some of the different national university systems, as well as a whole host of hints and tips to help you prepare your students as they research and apply to universities all over the world.

If you want an instant, easy to use reference guide to all the major university deadlines in 2020-21, download your free BridgeU calendar below. 

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Very resourceful site. Thank you so much.

Edward Karugaba
Friday 28th August 2020


Myriam Polo de Molina
Saturday 26th September 2020

Thanks for this blog, which helps the students that how and when they for the admissions.

Sam Saini
Friday 16th October 2020