Universities in Canada

Canada is one of the world’s top destinations for a university education. Why not make it yours? After all, a degree from a Canadian university opens doors and unleashes endless possibilities.

World-class university education

It’s not surprising that so many international students choose Canada for their university studies. Canada is home to 11 of the top 250 universities in the world[1]. Our higher learning institutions range from small universities with intimate learning environments to large research-intensive universities with world-class reputations.

What’s more, our teaching faculty bring a global perspective to the classroom, 40% have at least one international degree[2]. Our graduates are recognized for their critical thinking, research as well as leadership skills across a wide range of programs.

The case for university in Canada

  1. Canada has exceptional quality and choice: 96 public universities offer 15,000 study programs.
  2. Our students rank top among English and French speaking countries[3].
  3. University studies from Canada are affordable, average costs for an undergraduate degree are CAD 25,180.
  4. Canada has 3 of the top 20 best student cities in the world: Montreal, Vancouver and Toronto[4].
  5. Students from around the world rank Canada the 2nd most welcoming country for international students[5].

Global leader in research and innovation

Interested in research? So are we! Our universities conduct research at one of the world’s highest rates. Canada’s thriving research culture exceeds the G7 average in terms of impact in the fields of clinical medicine; biology; information and communication technologies; agriculture; fisheries and forestry; earth and environmental sciences; and economics and business.

To put it into context, Canadian universities conducted CAD 13 billion in research and development (R&D), representing 40% of the total 2014 Canadian R&D[6]. Many have served as incubators for innovations including flat-screen technology, SMART boards, the BlackBerry and IMAX film.

Our teaching and research programs offer students opportunities to learn in cutting-edge technology and research laboratories.

Programs with endless possibilities

Canada’s 100+ public and private universities offer more than 15,000 programs at all levels and covering all fields of study:

  • Undergraduate and postgraduate programs
  • Professional designations
  • Certificate and diploma courses
  • Short career-focused programs
  • Co-operative education and internships

University degrees in Canada provide bachelor, master and doctorate (PhD) degrees that are equivalent to those in the United States and other Commonwealth countries, such as Australia and the United Kingdom.

Come learn with us—in English or French. The choice is yours. Some universities offer programs in both official languages. You may also choose to study online or via distance education.

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Cost of university in Canada

What could be better than earning a university degree in a beautiful country? Finding a reputable program that you can afford. Many quality universities are found in Canada’s smaller cities and towns where the cost of living is lower. At times, Canada’s larger cities are more affordable than many cities around the world.

Try our search tool to find your university program and calculate what it will cost you:

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You can also compare different schools and cities. You’ll see that the costs can vary from city to city and province to province, both for your tuition fees and living expenses. So, if you’re on a budget, we recommend searching a wide range of options to find the right university and community for you.

To give you an idea of the costs, we tested our search tool on a number of bachelor’s degree options across Canada. We found that tuition can range from CAD 1,800 per year to approximately CAD 20,000 per year for an undergraduate degree. The tool will also give you the estimated costs for books and supplies.

Similarly, the cost of accommodation, food and local transportation varies from city to city. Our search tool will give you a good idea of the cost you once you choose your school, however, we found that living expenses for one year averaged around CAD 12,000.

Scholarships to study in Canada

You may be eligible for a scholarship, fellowship or grant to study in Canada. The Government of Canada, our provinces and territories and many educational institutions offer funding for international students.

Find scholarships

7 steps to your study in Canada experience

  1. Choose your program of study and find out who offers it.
  2. Find and apply for scholarships.
  3. Apply to the Canadian universities that interest you most.
  4. Prepare your study in Canada budget.
  5. Get your study permit.
  6. Plan your new life in Canada.
  7. Review our Going to Canada checklist before you leave home.

Admission requirements and credits

Each university in Canada has its own requirements for admission and transferring credits from other institutions. To learn about admission requirements for the program you want to pursue, visit the website of the university you would like to attend. Contact the university directly to find out whether your existing credits can be applied toward that program. You may use our Search colleges & universities tool to locate their contact information.

To study at a Canadian university, you must provide proof of your English or French language capabilities, depending on the language you choose for your studies.


[1] QS World University Rankings, 2018.

[2] Statistics Canada, University and College Academic Staff System, 2010–11.

[3] Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Program for International Student Assessment (PISA).

[4] QS World University Rankings, 2017.

[5] Hobsons, Global International Student Survey, 2017.

[6] Statistics Canada, Gross Domestic Expenditures on R&D in Canada, 2016.