Education System in Canada

Education System in Canada

Education System in Canada
Sailesh Sitaula

Are you considering pursuing your education in Canada? Look no further! This complete guide will provide all the information you need about Canada's education system. From primary education to post-secondary institutions, we've got you covered. So, let's dive right in and explore Canada's diverse and enriching educational landscape.

A Brief Overview of the Canadian Education System

Before delving into the specifics, let's start with an overview. Canada boasts a highly regarded education system emphasising quality, inclusivity, and innovation. The system comprises primary and secondary education, followed by post-secondary education, including colleges, universities, and vocational institutions.

How Does the Education System in Canada Work?

The four major phases of the Canadian education system are pre-primary, primary, secondary, and post-secondary or higher education.

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Except for Ontario and New Brunswick, all provinces in Canada require students to attend school until the age of 16. In Ontario and New Brunswick, obligatory attendance starts at 18. Except for Quebec's system, which includes 11 classes, most Canadian educational systems have 12 grades.

Pre-School Education: In Canada, it is the first stage of schooling for children aged 4 to 5 years. It is available through private, public, or government schools, depending on your preference.

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Primary Education: Primary education is compulsory for children in grades one through six in Canada. Primary education includes arithmetic, English, reading, science, and music.

Secondary Education: Secondary education, commonly known as high school, is a level of education that runs from Grade 9 to Grade 12. The major goal of this stage is to assist and prepare students for the next level of study, with course effort expected to increase dramatically.

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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 a bachelor’s degree, then a master’s degree and lastly, a PhD degree as the higher education system in Canada.

Higher Education System in Canada

Students can apply to colleges or universities after high school graduation. Colleges in Canada are frequently technical, applied arts, or applied science schools that provide graduates with occupational certificates, diplomas, and associate degrees. Some students go to college to train for a certain trade. After getting a diploma or certificate, they can look for work in Canada.




Associate Degree

2 Years

Equal to the 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 course duration depends on the province and the type of program chosen by a student.

Usually, the course lasts four years in Canada except for three 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 master; it requires compulsory submission of thesis for valuation and course completion

Master’s degree (non-thesis)

1 to 2 Years

It is a taught master's 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.

Grading System in Canada

When an overseas student applies to a higher education system in Canada, the country has a diversified grading system. It varies depending on where you live, your university, and your chosen degree.

The grading system used in Canada can range from a 4.0 to a 9.0 grading scale. In addition, each university or area has its modifications and mixes of numerical scores, alphabetical grades, and percentages.

The rest of the world may learn from Canada's world-class educational system, which treats everyone fairly, cares for all its people, and guarantees everyone the education they deserve. This high success rate and enjoyment of student life in Canada can be attributed to the incredibly feasible and inviting atmosphere!

FAQs about the Education System in Canada

How much does education cost in Canada?

The cost of education in Canada varies depending on the level of study, the institution, and the program. Tuition fees for international students are generally higher than those for domestic students. 

On average, undergraduate international students can expect to pay between $20,000 and $40,000 annually, while graduate programs can range from $15,000 to $35,000 annually.

Are there opportunities for scholarships in Canada?

Canadian institutions offer various scholarships and financial aid options for domestic and international students. Scholarships are awarded based on academic merit, extracurricular achievements, leadership potential, and other criteria. Researching the scholarship opportunities provided by your chosen institution and exploring external scholarship programs is advisable.

Can international students work while studying in Canada?

Yes, international students in Canada are eligible to work part-time during their studies. The Canadian government allows international students to work up to 20 hours per week off-campus while classes are in session and full-time during scheduled breaks. Working part-time helps students with their finances and provides valuable work experience and exposure to the Canadian job market.

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How can I obtain a study permit to study in Canada?

You must obtain a study permit to study in Canada as an international student. The application process involves proof of acceptance from a designated learning institution, demonstrating the financial capability to support yourself, and meeting other requirements set by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). Starting the application process well before your intended program start date is crucial.

Is healthcare available for international students in Canada?

Most provinces and territories in Canada provide healthcare coverage for international students through provincial health insurance plans. However, coverage may vary depending on the province, and there may be a waiting period before you become eligible.

Researching and understanding the healthcare options available in the province where you plan to study is important.

What are the employment prospects for international students in Canada?

Canada offers excellent employment prospects for international students after graduation. The Canadian government provides various pathways, such as the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP), which allows international graduates to work in Canada for up to three years.

Furthermore, the country's robust economy and diverse industries provide ample job opportunities in various sectors.


In conclusion, the education system in Canada offers a wealth of opportunities for both domestic and international students. Canada prioritises quality education, inclusivity, and innovation from primary education to post-secondary institutions. 

By exploring the diverse range of programs and institutions, considering scholarships and financial aid options, and understanding the admission process, you can embark on a rewarding educational journey in the Great White North.

Remember, thorough research and careful planning are crucial when considering studying in Canada. So, take advantage of Canada's Complete Guide to Know About Education System and make informed decisions to shape your educational future.

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