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US vs Canada for MS: Which is Better for Indian Students?

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Yocket Editorial Team
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The US and Canada are the two most sought-after countries for students wishing to study MS abroad. However, the question remains: US vs. Canada for MS—which one is better? Master's programs in both countries are well recognized. Students must understand the major differences before choosing between them. This blog compares MS programs in the US and Canada. Here, we explore factors like education quality, course structure, admission requirements, application process, tuition fees, living costs, top universities, specializations, job prospects, and pathways to residency.

Choosing a school in either the USA or Canada for your master’s degree involves considering factors like quality, prices, laws, and job opportunities. Fortunately, Yocket Premium offers an exclusive guide designed to help you make the best choice for your academic and career goals. Our study-abroad experts help students thoroughly analyze the program similarities, visa processes, job chances, and more, ensuring you have all the information you need to make an informed choice.

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Table of Contents

Why Choose US or Canada for Masters?

We’ll get into the talk of US vs. Canada for masters, but before that, let’s take a quick look at why these countries are so popular for MS classes.

  • When we talk about masters and STEM classes in particular, no other country can beat the United States. The excellent study centers, thorough curriculum, bigger choice of majors, and job chances are some of the factors that contribute to its success as a top location for MS. Moreover, getting a degree from top-ranked US universities opens the door to numerous job possibilities.
  • Canada is also considered one of the best MS locations for students. The number of foreign students in Canada has been growing over the years,owing to its academic success and widely praised education system. Affordability and thorough study are two very important factors that make Canada a good choice to pursue MS.
  • Apart from this, top-quality schools and a friendly immigrant policy all add to the country’s attraction. While some countries are raising hurdles, Canada is rolling out the red carpet to foreign students, showing its commitment to education and an openness to immigrants.

Suggested: UK vs USA- Which is Better to Study Abroad?

US vs Canada: Quality of Education

The first factor to consider in deciding Canada vs. the USA for masters is comparing the quality of education.

  • The US is world-renowned for its quality of education. This makes it one of the most preferred destinations for MS students abroad, especially in the STEM fields. The country has a strong reputation for highest standards of teaching, research, technology, and innovation. This makes it an ideal spot for students with a research bent. Not only this, but some of the most influential tech and research universities in the world are located in the US.
  • Canada is being increasingly seen as one of the top MS destinations. The MS degree obtained from a Canadian university is acknowledged worldwide as being one of the best. Canada’s quality of education in both thesis and non-thesis master's programs is extremely research-oriented.

Key takeaway: Although the US has the best quality education for Masters programs, Canada is slowly catching up.

Suggested: How to Choose Your University in US for MS?

US vs Canada: MS Course Structure

Any student who is considering Canada vs. the USA for MS must first understand the course structure. A student who wants to pursue a Master’s degree in the USA or Canada has to go through a rigorous schedule. Here is a look at the course structure in the 2 countries.

An important thing to remember here is that these attributes may differ between courses and institutions.

MS Course Structure in US

MS Course Structure in Canada

1.5-2 years

(May take up to 3–6 years for some courses.)

1-2 years

(There could be additional internships.)

Course- Based or Thesis-Based

Course- Based or Thesis-Based

Requires about 30-36 credit hours

Requires about 36 credit hours

Regular assessments and training programs

Interactive teaching such as site visits, projects and group work ‘co-operative education option’.

Students can also opt for Co-operative education programmes, paid experience in placements

Academic Year: September to June

Academic Year: September to April

Key takeaway: The curriculum structure for MS programs in the US and Canada are quite similar, with very few differences.

Suggested: All about MS in Canada

US vs Canada: Admission Requirements for Indian Students

The admission requirements for masters change for every course and university in Canada and the US.

While the requirements for master's programs are quite similar in both countries, there are a few differences here and there.

MS Admission Requirements in US

MS Admission Requirements in Canada

3 to 4 years of a bachelor’s degree

1st Class in Bachelor's degree (4 Years)

Minimum GPA – 2.50 to 3.50

TOEFL -78 to 100

GMAT / GRE

Minimum GPA - 3.0 or above

TOEFL- 88-100

IELTS (Overall 6.5 to 7.5 with no sections less than 6.0 or 6.5)

GMAT / GRE

  • Application Essays / Statement of Purpose
  • Academic transcripts
  • 2-3 Letters of Recommendation
  • Extracurricular activities

F-1 Student Visa

Study Permit

Key takeaway: Studying in Canada requires a better education profile, while US universities focus on an overall student profile, including academic and extracurricular aspects.

Suggested: All about the Education System in Canada

US vs Canada: Application Process

In both the US and Canada, the admission and application process for master’s courses is quite similar. However, the main point of difference lies in what is needed with the application form.

Canadian universities consider marks, but US schools may need papers like SOPs and reference letters for admission.

Admission Process in US

Admission Process in Canada

  • Choose your master’s course
  •  Find a college or university of your choice
  •  Submit your completed application along with requirements like transcripts, essays, SOPs, etc. for individual institutions.
  •  Wait for a response
  •  Accept and start the F1 visa application
  • Choose your master’s course
  •  Find a college or university of your choice
  •  Fill in the application for each of the institutions along with the required documents
  •  Wait for a response
  •  Accept and begin the application for a study permit

Key takeaways: The admission process is simpler in Canada when compared to the US.

Suggested: All about Intakes and Deadlines in Canada

MS in US vs Canada: Tuition Fees for Indian Students

If we talk about Canada vs. the USA for MS, we must also take the cost aspect into consideration. The US is known for its relatively expensive fee structure, which is also the reason for its infamous student loan problem. In Canada, on the other hand, the cost of pursuing masters is relatively less when compared to the US.

It is important to know that the amount of tuition fees varies between universities and programs. Given below is a comparison between tuition fees for MS and MBA programs in the two countries:

Program

Tuition fees in US per year

(in USD)

Tuition fees in Canada per year

(in CAD)

MS

$20,000 - $45,000

$10,000 - $35,000

MBA

$32,000- $1,10,000

$16,000 - $80,000

Key takeaway: Cost of Canadian institutions for MS are much more affordable compared to US universities for MS and other graduate level programs.

Suggested: Cost of Living in the US

MS in USA vs Canada: Cost of Living

Talking about the cost aspect further, let us also compare the cost of living for a student pursuing a master's in the two countries. These add a substantial amount to the overall expenses. Considering this and the factor above, we see that the total expenses of studying in Canada are relatively lower than in the US.

Here is a tentative look at these costs:

Expenses

Cost of living per year in USA (in USD)

Cost of living per year in Canada (in CAD)

On-campus Accommodation

5,304-8,161

2,300-6,000

Private Accommodation

6,000-14,000

6,000-7,200

Public Transport

1,200

760-1,100

Entertainment

2,000

1,400

Internet

360-720

480

Books and Supplies

1,170

100

Household & other Bills

600

630

Key takeaway: The average cost of living in Canada is lower compared to the US.

US vs Canada: Top Universities in Each Country

Talking about the cost aspect further, let us also compare the cost of living for a student pursuing a master's in the two countries. These add a substantial amount to the overall expenses. Considering this and the factor above, we see that the total expenses of studying in Canada are relatively lower than in the US.

Here is a tentative look at these costs:

Expenses

Cost of living per year in USA (in USD)

Cost of living per year in Canada (in CAD)

On-campus Accommodation

5,304-8,161

2,300-6,000

Private Accommodation

6,000-14,000

6,000-7,200

Public Transport

1,200

760-1,100

Entertainment

2,000

1,400

Internet

360-720

480

Books and Supplies

1,170

100

Household & other Bills

600

630

Key takeaway: The average cost of living in Canada is lower compared to the US.

Masters in US vs Canada: Top Universities

When comparing MS in Canada vs. MS in the USA, a look at the top universities provides a good point of comparison. Some of the best universities for MS in the world are located in the US and Canada. However, the US leads in terms of ranking when compared with Canada. According to the World QS Rankings 2021, the following are the top universities in the United States and Canada.

Top 5 Universities in the US for MS

University

Popular Programs

QS World University Rankings 2024

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

  • MS in Finance
  • MS in Computer Science
  • MS in Business Analytics

1

Stanford University

  • MS in Computer Science
  • MS in Management Science
  • MS in Data Science

5

Harvard University

  • MS in Computational Science and Engineering
  • MS in Computer Science
  • MS in Data Science

4

California Institute of Technology

  • MS in Mechanical Engineering
  • MS in Aeronautics
  • MS In Electrical Engineering

15

Princeton University

  • MS in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
  • MS in Computer Science
  • MS in Chemical and Biological Engineering

17

Top Universities in Canada for MS

University

Popular Programs

QS World University Ranking 2024

University of Toronto

  • MS in Computer Science
  • MS in Applied Computing
  • MS Pharmaceutical Sciences

21

McGill University

  • MS in Civil Engineering
  • MS in Computer Science
  • Ms in Mechanical Engineering

30

University of British Columbia

  • MS in Computer Science
  • MS in Chemical and Biological Engineering
  • MS in Pharmaceutical Sciences

34

University de Montreal

  • MS in Management
  • MS in Finance
  • MS in Data Science and Business Analytics

141

McMaster University

  • MS in Computer Science
  • MS in Nursing

189

Key takeaway: For masters level programs and MS courses, US universities have much better worldwide rankings compared to Canadian universities.

Suggested: What to do After Getting an Admit?

MS in US vs Canada: Specialisations

When comparing MS in Canada vs. MS in the USA, a student must acquaint herself/himself with the best Masters programs in the US and Canada.

Here’s a look at these:

US

Canada

  • Computer Science
  • Electronics
  • Biotechnology
  • Engineering
  • Life Sciences
  • Data Science
  • Business Management
  • Physiotherapy
  • Mathematics & Computer Sciences
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Physical & Life Sciences
  • Healthcare
  • Finance
  • Human Resource Management
  • Pharmacy
  • Engineering

Key takeaways: Both the US and Canada provide a range of MS programs. However, they differ when compared on which ones are the top MS fields.

Suggested: All about Research and Teaching Assistantships in USA

MS in US vs Canada: Employment Opportunities

A lot of students prefer working in the same country after their masters program is over. This not only helps them gain relevant experience but also helps them gain exposure.

The US offers one of the highest-paid jobs. It is home to a large number of tech companies, including Google, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, etc., that provide ample job opportunities for graduates.

Canada also offers a number of job opportunities as more and more big tech companies are opening their offices in the country. However, the average salary in Canada is relatively low.

Job Opportunities for MS Graduates in US

Job Opportunities for MS Graduates in Canada

Graduates can opt for OPT, optional practical training 12-month temporary work permit

in a company related to the field of their study.

Graduates from eligible Canadian Designated Learning Institutions (DLIs) can secure a 3-year Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP)

Top high-paying domains for masters include Business and Management, Nursing, Chemical Engineering, Computer Science & IT and Electrical Engineering advertising, finance

Top high-paying domains for masters include country include Architecture, Engineering, Hospitality and Tourism, Data Science, Computer Science & IT, and Marketing

Average salary of MS Graduates is 70,000 USD

Average salary of MS Graduates is 40,000 CAD

Key takeaway: The job opportunities in Canada are lower and average salaries for MS graduates is higher in the US. However, in Canada, getting a post study work permit is easier.

Suggested: Highest Paying Jobs in the USA!

MS in US vs Canada: Permanent Residency

Permanent residency can be obtained in both the US and Canada. However, the process varies in terms of ease and time. In the US, the process is long and slow. A student needs to reside in the USA for at least 5 years with employment to be eligible.

In Canada, it is relatively easier, and you can apply for PR. Students can apply for permanent residency in continuation of their post study work permit.

PR in US

PR in Canada

One option is a Green Card. You can also ask your company to sponsor you. It is called employer sponsorship. The company shall fill EB-2 or EB-3 basis your employment status.

There are many ways of finding permanent residency in Canada such as Express Entry, Provincial nominees among many others.

Key takeaway:  In the US, citizenship can be obtained after 5 years of residence through employment. In Canada, one of the PR options called Canadian Experience Class allows international graduates to become permanent residents after 1 year of skilled occupation.

Suggested: Canada PR Rules Updated!

Student Life in Canada vs in US

Last but definitely not least, when discussing which is better for MS: the US or Canada?, one attribute that needs to be discussed is student life. Both countries are quite similar in terms of student life experiences.

  • Student life in the US is considered to be one of the best in the world. A student will experience true diversity in the US, as students here come from various parts of the world. Most students here also enjoy their life on campus, food, and nightlife.
  • Canada too has plenty of experiences to offer its international students. Since the immigration rates are pretty high, you get a chance to peek into an amazing blend of cultures. The only aspect where Canada takes a hit is the harsh winters, which might get difficult for students to bear.

Key takeaways: Both the US and Canada provide immense opportunities for students to grow and learn from their university experiences.

Suggested: How to Settle in the USA?

From the Desk of Yocket

Therefore, considering all the parameters discussed above, it is safe to state that both the US and Canada present wonderful opportunities to graduates. Your choice completely depends on what you want from your MS program. If you are looking for affordable MS options, Canada is the best choice, but if you wish to pursue masters at top universities in the world, the USA is definitely the way to go. So, make sure you consider every aspect before taking the final call.

Ready to confidently choose your ideal MS program in the US or Canada? Upgrade to Yocket Premium for an in-depth guide and personalized support throughout your application journey. Visit Yocket to unlock your dream MS today!

Frequently Asked Questions about MS in US vs Canada for Indian Students

What are the major benefits of studying in USA for Indian students?

What are some top universities in USA for MS?

Is education better in Canada or US?

What is the international student population in USA?

Are universities in USA highly ranked?

Which is better: MS in US vs MS in Canada?

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