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A Guide to Graduate Education in Canada


For some, a masters study might be the next step after their bachelor’s degree. Or perhaps you’ve been working for a while now and are looking into a master to advance your career. Whatever the case, Canada has some fantastic options for graduate studies, including both masters and Ph.D. programs. Below, see our guide to graduate education in Canada to learn all about it.

What are graduate degrees?

So, perhaps you’ve never thought about graduate studies or are just unsure of what it is. So, graduate education typically involves masters and Ph.D. degrees. First off, students should get a master’s degree. Generally, masters programs are 1-2 years long and consist of between 36-54 semester credits. During this degree, you’ll take courses, but you’ll also spend time working on a research project. Also, in terms of the research and your thesis, you’ll have some guidance from a supervisor. Additionally, if you wish to continue your graduate studies from here, you can apply to a Ph. D. program. This program is more research-intensive and is your gateway to becoming a prof.

Admission requirements

In terms of admission requirements, the key piece is that you have to already possess a bachelor’s degree. Besides that, international students need to prove that they are competent in English. So, if your native language isn’t English, you’ll usually need to submit additional documents as proof. Also, you’ll need to prove that you can cover all the expenses associated with graduate studies, this includes tuition and living costs. In Canada, you generally need to prove that you have $10, 000 available for each year of study.

Canadian study permits

You must have a study permit to do a graduate program in Canada. Also, for more info, see our article on study permits.

Costs for graduate studies

Please see below for Annual international graduate tuition fees  by field of study.

Geography Level of study 2018 / 2019
Canada (map) Dollars (per a year)
International graduate 16,497
Newfoundland and Labrador (map) International graduate 4,087
Prince Edward Island (map) International graduate 11,905
Nova Scotia (map) International graduate 18,907
New Brunswick (map) International graduate 11,593
Quebec (map) International graduate 15,392
Ontario (map) International graduate 21,686
Manitoba (map) International graduate 10,995
Saskatchewan (map) International graduate 6,032
Alberta (map) International graduate 11,804
British Columbia (map) International graduate 16,988

Funding for graduate studies

In terms of funding, there’s a couple of ways you can get it in Canada. First, the more desirable option is through scholarships for international students. Scholarships are offered by both the Canadian government and through universities. So, in terms of government scholarships, you can find a list of them here along with application info. But, in terms of individual universities, check out their websites to find out more about their funding options. The next option is to work part-time while studying. International students in a full-time master program are allowed to work for 20 hours a week while studying. Also, during semesters that they have off, such as summer, they can work full-time.

Getting a Ph.D.

If you’ve already done a master’s degree, you may want to enroll in a Ph. D. program! These programs are about research, and you’ll need to submit a research topic as well as your supervisor’s name. Generally, programs of this nature are 4-6 years long. They’re a great option for those who love research and want to work in academia!

For international students wishing to take their studies further, there are many options. For example, getting a master’s or Ph.D. degree might be just what you need to kickstart your new career. It’s also a great choice for those looking to work in academia and research. So, using our guide to graduate education in Canada, get on your way to a valuable graduate degree program!

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