This is a guide is for international students who wish to undertake Postgraduate (Masters, Research and PhD) studies in Canada. If you wish to further your studies in Canada, then there are some things to know about studying in Canada which we will cover on this page.
Since 2004, Canada has been ranked amongst the top 10 countries in the Quality of Life Index by the United Nations. Canada is known for its excellent educational institutions, multiplicity of top quality education programs in various streams and an innovative economy that favours international students.
Canada is one of the safest countries for pursuing education. The country is bilingual with easy access to education and affordable living, a reason thousands of international students flock each year to study in Canada.
Reasons Why You Should Study in Canada
Canada has a high academic standard and rigorous quality controls which means a candidate will be gaining a top research skill and quality education that will be beneficial in the long run. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) ranks Canada Number 1 for its achievements in higher education.
A Canadian degree, diploma, certificate is globally recognized as being equivalent to those obtained from the United States, UK and other European countries.
A good number of Canadian universities are involved in international research partnerships to study and address major world issues.
Another important reason for studying in Canada is the “Walk Safe” programs that help people access public transportation during late hours.
Canada Education Structure
The Canadian higher education is the sole responsibility of provincial and territorial governments. In each province and territory, there are laws and policies governing the operation of post-secondary institutions.
In Canada, Postgraduate degrees last between one and three years. Masters degree program usually lasts for one year while PhD program last for three to five years.
Different types of higher education providers in Canada include; community colleges, technical schools, applied arts or applied science schools (which grants certificates, diplomas, associate’s degrees and bachelor’s degrees), or universities (which provide both undergraduate and postgraduate degrees).
How to Apply for Masters Program in Canada
If you want to further your studies in Canada for Master degree program, you will need to apply one year before the start date. Application for September intake starts by March. However, if you are applying for a popular or a research-based course, applying earlier boost your chances of gaining admission. There is also a second intake usually in January or February of each year.
There are two major requirements for international students applying to study in Canada; Language Proficiency and Sufficient Finances. Two major languages are spoken in Canada; English and French. The official language in the Québec province is French. Canadian universities offer courses in both languages. If you are not a native speaker, you will need to submit proof of proficiency in the language you intend to study in.
How to apply for PhD Program in Canada
PhD admission process in Canadian Universities differs depending on the Institution. However, there are some fundamental steps to take to apply for a PhD program. As an international student, you must decide on the PhD course you will like to apply for, identify your supervisor and chosen research topic. You may be required to write a personal statement outlining what you want to research.
You will need to apply online, providing the necessary documents including Language Proficiency results. Also, some Canadian universities may also need you to attend an admission interview.
Once accepted, proceed to apply for Canada study permit, which serves as your student visa for study. Check your university’s website for orientation advice.
Canada Student Visa
A study permit is not needed for short-term courses or programs of study that is six months or less. A student may enrol in short-term programs at any learning institution, regardless of whether or not it is designated.
If you are studying in Canada for a period longer than six months, you’ll need to apply for a Canadian study permit. The study permit acts like your visa for the duration of your study. Depending on your nationality, you may need to obtain a temporary residence permit. This can be processed at the same time as your study permit application.
General requirements for Canadian study permit.
- Evidence of acceptance from a university or educational institution in Canada.
- Proof of ability to pay tuition fees, living expenses and return fares to their home country.
- Satisfy health requirements.
Although there are other requirements needed for Canada student visa application. See a complete guide on how to apply for Canada student visa.
Tuition Fees in Canada
The average tuition fees in Canada are less expensive compared to other major study destinations (the US, UK and Australia), but still higher than most other countries.
Average tuition fees for a postgraduate degree program in Canada vary but are often between CA$10000 – $15000. Medicine and other research-related courses are more expensive.
Working and Living in Canada
- All full-time students with valid study permits are allowed to work part-time on or off campus for a maximum of 20 hours per week during university semesters and full-time during semester breaks. However, some courses do not permit students to work for more than 10 hours per week during term time – particularly if said student has been granted funding to study in Canada.
- A student may apply for the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWPP) after graduation. The PGWPP allows one to stay and gain valuable work experience for a maximum of three years. This post-graduation work experience helps you to qualify to apply for permanent residency in Canada via Express Entry.
- You will also need a Social Insurance Number to work in Canada and to receive any government services. The SIN application can be done at the local Service Canada Centre after arriving in Canada. To work in the French Province of Quebec, a Certificat d’acceptation du Québec (CAQ) may be needed from the Quebec government.
- However, some work positions do not need a work permit and do not need confirmation from the HRSDC.
- Living in Canada affords you the same living conditions in other Western countries, with a very high standard of living. However, it is relatively cheaper than other developed countries.
- The official Canadian currency is the Canadian Dollar.
Universities in Canada and their Locations
Below are some well-known universities in Canada which provide graduate /research-based degrees to international students.
- University of Alberta
- University of Calgary
- University of Lethbridge
- DeVry University
- Simon Fraser University (Burnaby/ Vancouver/ Surrey)
- University of British Columbia (Vancouver)
- University of Victoria
- Royal Roads University (Victoria)
- University of New Brunswick
- Universitie de Moncton (French)
- Dalhousie University
- Saint Mary’s University (Halifax)
- Algonquin College
- Brock University
- Carleton University (Ottawa)
- McMaster University (Hamilton)
- Mohawk College
- Queen’s University (Kingston and Herstmonceux)
- Ryerson University (Toronto)
- University of Guelph
- University of Ottawa
- University of Toronto
- University of Waterloo
- University of Western Ontario (London)
- University of Windsor
- York University (Toronto)
- Wilfrid Laurier University
- McGill University (English)
- Concordia University (English)
- University of Montreal (French)
- University of Manitoba
- University of Winnipeg
- Universite de Saint-Boniface
- Canadian Mennonite University