What level and program of study will you choose?

The following are the various level of university and college studies in Canada.

Undergraduate Degree

  • Follows completion of high school
  • Programs are usually 3 to 5 years
  • Subject areas often include subjects such as Business, General Sciences, Engineering, the Arts, or Humanities.
  • Eligible for work part-time during your studies
  • Spouse of student also eligible for work permit
  • Eligible to stay and work in Canada after completing your studies up to 3 years (depending on length of studies)

Admission into a college diploma program requires a completed senior secondary program (equivalent to the same in Canada).

College or University Diploma

  • Two years minimum (up to 4 years)
  • Trades and technical or vocational careers
  • Often with a co-op internship component or other apprenticeship options

Admission into a college diploma program requires a completed senior secondary program (equivalent to the same in Canada).

Certificate Programs

  • Usually less than 1 year studying in a single subject
  • Aim of a certificate is to give post-secondary students the skills and knowledge for an entry-level vocation.

Associate Degree

  • Usually 2 years
  • Foundational undergraduate program in an area such as Sciences or Arts
  • Allows students to begin their studies at one college or university and transfer into 3rd-year coursework at a university

Master’s Degree

  • Approximately 1 to 3 years
  • highly-specialized post-graduate study
  • offered by universities and tend to build on previous study areas explored at the Bachelor’s level.

Admission into Master’s degree programs in Canada require completion of a Bachelor’s degree.

Doctorate Degree

  • Approximately 4 to 6 years
  • Comprehensive coursework followed by a dissertation or thesis.



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