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Education System - Canada

Education System in Canada

Education in Canada is under the complete jurisdiction of the provinces and territories and as such, there is no federal education system in Canada. At the post-secondary level, institutions are divided into community colleges and universities.

Post secondary education is offered by four types of educational institutions:

  1. Universities
  2. University Colleges
  3. Community Colleges/Technical Institutes
  4. Career Colleges


Canadian universities are largely public funded, and, as a result, offer consistently high quality education at lower tuition rates for international students than their counterparts in competing countries.   They offer a broad range of courses and degrees from undergraduate to doctorate and also certificate and professional degrees.

University Colleges

As a component of the Canadian university system, university colleges offer students a choice of either academic oriented university degree programmes or the more practical-oriented college diplomas and certificates.   As a part of the Canadian college system, university colleges are distinguished by their strong student support services, small classes and strong campus environments.  They also offer combined degree/diploma programmes and university transfer programmes.

Community colleges and technical institutes

They typically have a more vocational-related curricula, with small classes, off-campus course offerings, a greater ratio of laboratory space to class room space, and an interactive teaching style.  The uniqueness of Canadian colleges lies in the combination of employer-centered curricula.   These institutes have the primary function of responding to the training needs of business, industry, and public service sectors.  Most colleges and technical institutes offer diplomas and certificates rather than degrees, however, more and more now grant degrees and applied degrees.

Technical / Career College

This is a privately owned and operated school with the main objective of preparing students for the job market after a short period of instruction.  The emphasis at career colleges is on practical skills over a broad range of programmes.  They specialize in such areas as business, computers, and secretarial skills.  Although privately owned, these institutes are provincially approved and regulated, ensuring that programmes standards and quality are maintained.

The academic year usually starts in September and ends in May, and is normally divided into two semesters.  Some institutes operate on a semester or trimester system and admit students in January and/or May as well as September.  Many institutes offer a limited number of courses and special programmes during the summer session.

Most schools require qualifications comparable to a Canadian Bachelor’s (Honours) degree (Four Year Degree Program). That means a minimum of 16 years of formal education. In the Indian context, it implies qualifying in a professional four-year degree like engineering or other such courses.

For Doctorate programs, most universities require a Master’s degree in that subject. In a few exceptional cases like a good undergraduate engineering degree, they may offer a direct admission to a Doctorate course.


    • PBT: 580-600 min.
    • CBT: 237-250 min.
  • Some universities will require GRE Score (1200-1500)

Three year Graduates

If you have completed a three-year degree program in India, the advisable plan of action to maximize eligibility for Canadian graduate schools is to apply for a Post Graduate degree here in India. A one-year university affiliated program will make up for the fourth year of a Canadian Undergraduate degree.

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