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Complete Guide to Know About Education System in Canada

Yocket Editorial Team

The government of Canada, the world's second-largest country, considers education to be a top concern. The federal, provincial, and municipal governments all fund and operate the education system in Canada. Because the public education system and curriculum are under the sovereignty of each province, there are some minor variances between them, such as the minimum and maximum age of students and the sorts of programs available. So, if you’re planning to study in Canada, here are the following details about higher education system in Canada.


How Does the Education System in Canada Work?

Pre-primary education, primary education, secondary education, and post-secondary or tertiary education are the four main phases of the education system  in Canada.

Except for Ontario and New Brunswick, all provinces in Canada provide compulsory schooling for pupils up to the age of 16. In Ontario and New Brunswick, compulsory attendance is 18 years old. The majority of Canadian school systems include 12 grades, with the exception of Quebec's system, which has 11 classes.

Education Stages


Pre- School Education

It is the initial stage of education in Canada offered to children who are at the age of 4 to 5 years. It is offered by either private, public or federal schools, depending upon your choice.

Primary Education

It is mandatory Canada’s education for children starting from grade 1 to grade 6. The primary education covers subjects such as Math’s, English language, Reading, Science, Music and many others.

Secondary Education

The secondary education also referred as high school; this level of education begins from Grade 9 to Grade 12. The primary aim of this stage is to support students and prepare them for the next step of education, with the effort of courses expected to increase significantly.

Post- Secondary Education

The post-secondary institutions grant vocational certificates, diplomas, and associate's degrees. Degrees can be gained in an extensive diversity of subjects in a structure starting with bachelor’s degree, then master’s degree and lastly a PhD degree as the higher education system in Canada.

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Higher Education System in Canada

After graduating from high school, a student can apply to colleges or universities. In Canada, colleges are often technical, applied arts, or applied science schools that offer vocational certifications, diplomas, and associate degrees to graduates. Some students attend college to prepare for a certain trade. They can explore job opportunities in Canada after receiving a diploma or certificate.

Let’s take an overview the higher education system in Canada:




Associate Degree

2 Years

Equal to first two years of a 4 – years bachelor’s degree

Certificates & Diplomas

1 to 2 Years

Vocational and job-oriented programs, mainly technical

Bachelor’s Degree

3 to 4 Years

It is an undergraduate degree offered to international students. The duration of the course depends on the province and the type of program chosen by a student.

Usually, course last for 4 years in Canada except 3 years in Quebec.

Bachelor’s Honors Degree

4 Years

It requires getting a precise GPA or credits, a major or a specialist program

Postgraduate Diploma

1 to 2 Years

A post bachelor degree qualification

Master’s degree (Thesis)

1 to 2 Years

It is referred to as research masters; it requires compulsory submission of thesis for valuation and course completion

Master’s degree (non-Thesis)

1 to 2 Years

It is a taught masters degree, not requiring thesis submission

Doctorate or PhD

4 to 7 Years

It is awarded when students complete the thesis and successfully protect their work before a panel of facility members

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Grading System in Canada

When an international student applies for a higher education system in Canada, there is a diverse grading system followed across the country. It varies according to the area you are in, the university you have enrolled in, or the education you have opted for.

The grading system followed in Canada can range from a 4.0 grading scale to a 9.0 grading scale. Also, a student will find variations and combination of numerical scores, alphabetical grades and% being followed in each university or region.

Note: Does any province in Canada differ from the standard system?

While the education system is fairly typical in other Canadian provinces, Quebec follows a slightly distinct path. Rather than staying in high school until grade 12, as is the case in most countries, students graduate in grade 11 and then continue their studies at Cegep, a higher education institution. This two-year curriculum is designed to allow students to test the waters in terms of career options while also easing the move to university.

The rest of the world may learn a thing or two from Canada's world-class educational system, which treats everyone fairly, looks after all of its residents, and ensures that everyone receives the education they deserve. This high success rate and cherishing student life in Canada is due to its extremely feasible and welcoming environment!


Frequently asked Questions about Education system in Canada

Ques. Is education expensive in Canada?

Ans. As compared to other countries, education in Canada is affordable. A student may need to pay between 20,000 CAD and 30,000 CAD yearly to cover tuition fees. It is an average cost and it may vary according to the institution and program you are enrolled.


Ques. Which masters should I do in Canada?

Ans. There are various popular courses in Canada for master’s program such as Engineering, Nursing, MBA, International Relations, Data Science, Management and many others.


Ques. Can International students who are pursuing masters in Canada work part time?

 Ans. Yes, International students can work up to 20 hours a week during course sessions. Also, they may work full time during summer breaks.


Ques. How long can international student stay in Canada after graduation?

Ans. In Canada, international student can work up to three years after graduating. Also, after working in Canada for one-year, international graduates may be qualified to apply for a permanent residency.

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