Canada Education System

Canada Education System

To study in Canada is to open up a gateway to an array of opportunities. Canada Education System is very inclusive and detailed to help students in their holistic development. With picturesque locations, cross-ethnic communities and some of the most elite universities in the world, the Canadian education system is highly rated across the globe. This was also visible in an OECD-conducted test where the North American country was named alongside Norway, Finland, and Singapore in top-performing education systems. Further, the affordable cost of studying in Canada makes it an unparalleled destination to study for international students as well. In this blog, we will shed light on the education system followed in Canada and its essential components.

Canada Education System

Canadian study levels include every education possibility that the world has. From pre-primary to PhD, Canadian schools teach everything in different streams. 

Study Level Duration Description
Secondary Schools Foundational- 12 Years This is the basic education
till class 12th where students
learn about different disciplines,
build holistic learning experiences 
Certificates and Diploma 6 months- 2 years These are the courses that are
available on vocational courses and
a have less weightage in academia
than bachelors degree
Bachelor’s Degree 3 to 4 years The bachelor’s degree is obtained
by students in different but concentrated disciplines. 
Bachelors’ Degree Honors 4 years This degree is obtained for
specialization in a single subject
Post-graduate Diploma 1-2 year Post bachelor diploma on
academic or vocational courses
Masters Degree 1-2 years Postgraduate specialization
on a particular subject or discipline
PhD 4-7 years A doctorate and research program
for students who write a dissertation
gaining expertise on a subject
Post-Doctoral Programs No time limit Research based program

Canada School System

Consisting of primary and secondary schooling, a student enrolled in the pre-higher Canada education system goes through the elementary phase which starts at a very young age of 4-6 (depending on the respective states) and extends up to class 12. Typically, the system makes no distinction between middle and high school. Further, many institutions offer students the option to graduate with an International Baccalaureate degree, a qualification treated equally throughout North America. 

Canadian University System

The Higher Studies In Canada follows the trimester’s system that divides the academic year into three sessions namely, the fall session (mid-September to December/January); Winter session (mid-January to April) and a summer session falling between the end of April to July. In general, Canadian universities offer the conventional bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees which are considered equivalent to degrees in the USA, UK, Australia and in European countries.

Also Read: MIM in Canada

Canada Education System: Types of Higher Education Institutions

To understand the Canada education system, it is important to go through the various categories of institutions, both public and private, which fulfill the educational needs of students. This list consists of technical institutes, language schools, and universities that witnesses huge enrollment not only from North American applicants but also internationally. 

  • Universities

Comparable to the institutions of higher education throughout the world, Canadian universities offer highly rated STEM courses as well as programs in Business and Management, Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities and Languages amongst others. The list of universities at the end of the article delineates a few highly rated ones in Canada.

  • University Colleges

An integral component of the Canada education system, university colleges offer a limited number of academic or applied sciences programs. In addition to that, these also run Second Language, university transfer, and bridge programs amongst others. This system of education is considered as an alternative to traditional universities.

  • Technical Institutes and Colleges

Focusing on professional learning and technical knowledge dissemination, these institutes and colleges offer short term programs in a specific area of study namely, IT, Hospitality, travel and tourism, Business, etc. The Association of Canadian Community Colleges is a leading, pan-Canada consortium of universities that includes a wide range of technical institutes.

  • Career Colleges

Another integral component of the Canada education system are career colleges. These tertiary institutes offer short-term training programs in film studies, computer/IT, entertainment, graphic design, animation, fashion designing, hospitality, and other related fields. Generally, career colleges are privately owned and are regulated by a competent Canadian body.

  • Languages Schools

Since English and French are the official languages of Canada with many states using french, languages schools help international students acculturate into Canada. They typically offer courses on English as a Second Language (ESL), French as a First Language (FSL), etc.

Top Universities in Canada

There are several universities whose courses you can consider if you are planning to study in Canada. In addition to the given educational institute’s, you can also read about the best colleges in Canada which follow the Canada education system.

Why study in Canada?

Canada comes out on top of all the many choices available to students for their overseas education. In fact, the number of international students going to this country has risen dramatically over the last decade. Given below are the Top 5 reasons to Study in Canada.

World Renowned Universities

Canadian private and government sector support research in a number of cutting-edge fields, including medicine, agriculture, computer technology, telecommunications, and environmental science. A study in Canada is internationally regarded as the Canadian universities put a lot of emphasis on research in post-secondary education and high academic standards.

Enjoy an excellent quality of life

According to QS World University Rankings, three Canadian cities, Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, made the list of the top 50 student cities. The ranking was based on several criteria, including affordability, the diversity of the student population, and employers’ perception of graduates on the job market.

An Exciting and Beautiful Place To Live

Everyone studying abroad should remember that there is a lot of life outside of campus, too. Whether you enjoy spending time or being active outdoors, or exploring nature and seeing an amazing assortment of wildlife interests you, even if you are an adventure lover, you don’t have to travel far in Canada to find it. It is a beautiful country where you can enjoy a lush coastline of British Columbia, the big skies of the prairies, the majestic Rocky Mountains of Alberta, St. Lawrence, and the rugged hills, the ‘maple sugar country’ in the Great Lakes and attractive coastline of the Atlantic Provinces. In Canada, there’s usually an eyeful of natural beauty.

Employment Opportunity

During studies, students are permitted to take up part-time jobs both on campus and off campus. No work permit is needed to work on campus and students are allowed to work up to 20 hours/week. There are a number of part-time jobs available off campus like jobs in Hotels, hostels, general labor, Tutor etc. After graduation, there is a vast number of employment opportunities related to the technical domain. Also, students with knowledge and skills get placements easily in top companies with their dream job. Job prospects are strong for international students.

Immigration Options

When you travel abroad to study, you usually get temporary status in the country you’re studying in. That status usually expires when your program ends, so you have to return home when you graduate.

Canada Education Ranking in the World

Canada has been considered as one of the best countries to study in. As per the recent rankings, Canada ranks among top 10 countries to study. 

  1. As per CEOWorld, Canada ranks #8 in the top countries in the world for education. Its quality index has been rated as 69.5 and opportunity index is 60.64. This ranking was on the basis of attributing a well-developed public education system, top-quality education and whether respondents would consider studying in the country. 
  2. US News ranked countries for their education and Canada ranked #3 in 2020. This ranking was based on attributing a well-developed public education system, top-quality education and whether respondents would consider studying in the country. Canada was just after the United States and the United Kingdom. 

Academic Year

Just like other foreign countries, Canada education system also has different intake seasons and months, and the admission process almost happens throughout the year. The winter session is divided into two intakes. The first winter intake is from September to December and the second intake is from January to April. Some universities offer special summer programs that are open between May to August. Few Canadian universities also admit students all year round. 

Teaching Standards

Canada is one of the top countries to study abroad. The teaching method and quality of education are incomparable. While most of the universities are focused on mugging up the theoretical knowledge, universities in Canada have a slightly different approach and different styles of teaching. From elementary to higher education studies in Canada, the courses are a unique blend of conceptual learning methods and applied constructive methods. With the help of learning in labs gets real hands-on experience, tutorials help students in understanding the notions, guest speakers help in building network and internship opportunities give the industry exposure.

Cost of Study

If we compare the cost of study in UK, USA or any other developed country to Canada then Canada has far less cost of study. The courses in the field of arts, humanities, social sciences, literature are affordable and STEM courses are a bit expensive. Pursuing a popular and in-demand course MBA from Canada can cost CA$42,000. Other courses can cost between CA$7000 and CA$29,000 per year.


Canadian universities offer various scholarships to their international student body that can cover tuition fees, accommodation, travel expenses, and much more. The scholarships help students to be a part of their dream university without putting the burden on their bank balance. Some of the popular scholarships are listed below for undergraduate, postgraduate, and doctorate degrees:

  • Canadian Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan
  • Shastri Indo – Canadian Institute
  • Ontario Graduate Scholarship Program
  • Ontario Trillium Scholarship
  • University of Manitoba Graduate Fellowship
  •  University of Calgary Graduate Awards and Scholarships
  • UBC Graduate Global Leadership Fellowships 
  • Trudeau Foundation Scholarships


Where is Canada ranked in education?

Canada education system is the third-best education system in the world.

Is education in Canada free?

Canada education system provides free basic education to its residents and provides various scholarships to international students.

Which country has the better education system USA or Canada?

Both have their pros and cons, USA education system offers the latest technology and systems whereas Canada education System has a better post-course completion prospectus.

Does Canada accept degrees from other countries?

Yes, Canada accepts degrees from other countries.

Is UK better than Canada?

UK is home to the best-ranked universities in the world but the Canada education system has affordable tuition fees and living expenses.

Is studying in Canada worth it?

Canada Education system is considered one the best globally, degrees accepted worldwide to the overall low cost of tuition fees with compromising the quality of education are one of the reasons Canada degrees are worth it.

Hopefully, this article served as a guide for you to understand the Canada education system. If you are looking to study, work or settle in Canada but are not sure about how to get started with it then the expert counselors at Leverage Edu can assist you in the application process so that you can take the right step towards kickstarting your career. 

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