Can I Do Masters in Canada With 2.2 or 3rd Class Degree

Can I do masters in Canada with a second class lower or third class degree? This is a very common question graduates who want to further their studies in Canada often ask. Getting into the university, most students set their target to graduate with either a first-class or a second class upper degree.

However, for some reason, they end up with either a 2.2 or a 3rd class degree. Now, there is the prospect of furthering to obtain a postgraduate degree in Canada. But the common question is whether your class of degree is accepted in Canada.

If you’re an international student, you might be wondering if your class of degree will be accepted in a Canadian university.


Why Masters Degree From Canada

Canada is one of the most popular study destinations in the world. Canada offers high quality, research-oriented education which is recognized worldwide. In fact, it is best to say that Canada is safe, secure, healthy, multicultural and welcoming for international students.

Canada is regarded as one of the best countries to live in. Every year thousands of international students apply to study at Canadian universities. Many Canadian universities are ranked in the top 100 worldwide.


But the big question is whether you can actually do your masters in a Canadian university with a second class lower degree. However, before we go into addressing your question, you need to understand the Canadian grading system for undergraduate degrees.

Canada Grading System for Undergraduate Degrees

The Canadian university grading system is quite unique because it is region dependent. The Canadian grading systems are a combination of percentages, GPAs (Grade Point Average) and letter grades. This leaves a very big question as to what grade you fall in.

To get admission into a masters program in Canada, you need to have a minimum grade of 60% or standing of Second Class (Upper Division) in your undergraduate.

But the question is how do you know you’ve made a 60%? You can use to guide below to calculate your CGPA.

UM ScaleGrading Scale
A+85-100% (First Class)
A70-84% (First Class)
B+65-69% (Second Class, Upper Division)
B60-64% (Second Class, Upper Division)
C+55-59% (Second Class, Lower Division)
C50-54% (Second Class, Lower Division)
D45-49% (Pass)
F0-44% (Fail)

Some institutions may allow 40-44% as a Pass Class. Such a score would be equivalent to a D grade.

As earlier mentioned, some universities in Canada use the 4.0 or 4.5 grading scale. However, we’ll show you how to convert from one grading scale to the other.

To convert from a 4.0 scale to a 4.5 scale, first calculate the GPA on a 4.0 scale, and then convert to a 4.5 scale for the International Graduate Student Entrance Scholarship (IGSES) and International Graduate Student Scholarship (IGSS) using the following calculation:

Calculated GPA =x

Can I Do Masters With A Second Class Lower Degree in Canada?

Back to the big question, can one do master with a 2.2, 3rd class or even pass degree in Canada? Well, the answer is simply NO. However, with our later research, we have come to know that some colleges actually offer masters program for candidates with HND, 2.2 and 3rd class degree.

For a candidate to be eligible to do masters in Canada, you must have obtained a good first degree with at least a second class upper (2.1) in your field of study. However, with your second class lower degree (2.2) most Canadian universities will require you to do a PGD before you start your master’s program.

It will be difficult to get admission into a master’s program at a Canadian university with an aggregate score lower than 60%. Canadian universities focus a lot of academics than competitive exams like GRE.

Entry Requirements for Masters Degrees in Canada

Before considering doing your masters in Canada, you need to ensure that you meet the entry admission requirements. Postgraduate admissions guidelines vary by course and university but are very flexible. Below is a typical entry requirement for a Masters in Canada.

  • An undergraduate degree in a relevant subject – For a start, you’ll be expected to have a minimum GPA (often a 3.0/4.0 or its international equivalent) for your undergraduate degree. Depending on your subject area, you may be asked to provide a graduate entry test score such as a Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) or Graduate Record Examination (GRE).
  • Language proficiency – If English isn’t your first language, you’ll need to display a certain ability level, usually through a language test such as TOEFL or IELTS. Similar requirements will apply in French if you apply for a bilingual programme or a course delivered entirely in French.
  • Professional experience – Some postgraduate programmes may require you to have some professional experience (this is usually the case for PGCEs and Masters in Social Work)
  • Entrance exams – These are only required in certain subject areas and qualifications, including some MBAs

How to Apply for Masters in Canada With a Second Class Degree?

The application process is similar to that of other countries. You’ll have to submit the following as part of your application:

  • A completed application form, which is often submitted online
  • A certified copy of your qualifications and transcripts
  • curriculum vitae
  • Proof of English and/or French proficiency, depending on the programme that you are applying for and the province.
  • References or recommendation letters
  • Letter of motivation or personal statement

For international students who’ve completed post-secondary education outside of Canada, you might have to undergo an evaluation to determine the Canadian equivalent of your qualification and to verify the academic document that you’ve submitted.

You’ll have to pay an international credential evaluation fee unless you already have a third-party international credential evaluation report.

Your application will generally be assessed by a central office to ensure you meet all the minimum entry requirements. It is then sent to the faculty/school, which will assess the academic quality and suitability of your application for your programme of choice.

If you’re successful, you’ll receive a letter of admission, which you’ll need to be able to apply for a visa or scholarship (if relevant) and to complete your enrolment before registration.


Universities in Canada that You Can Apply for a Masters Program

Colleges in Canada that Accept HND, 2.2 and 3rd Class Degree for Masters

  • College of New Caledonia
  • North Atlantic College
  • Lethbridge College
  • New Brunswick Community College
  • Niagara College
  • Humber College
  • Seneca College
  • Algonquin College
  • Camosun
  • Lambton College

This is not an exclusive list of universities and colleges in Canada. As earlier mentioned, Canadian universities only accept a 2.1 degree, equivalent to 60% for a master’s program. However, if your application is considered, you’ll have to do a PGD before switchings to your MSc program. On the other hand, you can also apply to colleges that accept a 2.2 or 3rd class degree.

Furthermore, your chances of getting admitted depend on so many factors including, your preferred course, the university, the strength of your personal statement, your reference letter and others.


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