PG Diploma vs Masters Degree in Canada

PG Diploma vs Masters Degree in Canada

Tn AryalSun Nov 14 2021

More often than not, international students will stumble upon a common query when it comes to studying in Canada- PG Diploma or Master degree? 

Post Graduate Diploma and Master degree are the graduate courses which are from 1 -3 years long. While a master degree is a rather old degree and almost every student is familiar with it, postgraduate diplomas are comparatively new degrees. 

Canada is particularly famous for Postgraduate certificates and diplomas and it has a number of dedicated public colleges offering this program in Canada. 

Students who are seeking Canada for further studies after a bachelor degree often compare between these courses. 

Both PG Diploma and Master degree have their share of benefits, however which one is best suited for you?

Worry not, in this article, you will learn in detail about PG Diploma vs Master Degree in Canada. As a result, you can decide this for yourself. 

PG Diploma or Master Degree in Canada- Which one is better?

When comparing these 2 degrees, it’s more about which is more fitted for you. For students who are inclined towards research and thesis, a master degree (thesis) based is a better option for you. 

However, you need to have an overall strong portfolio and academic profile to apply for masters in Canada. 

PG Diploma, on the other hand, are a vocational program that is intended to provide necessary practical skills to students for getting jobs in Canada. 

Upon graduation, the pass out of master degree is more preferred than the pass outs of diploma. Additionally, the salary of master graduates is generally higher than the salary of PG Diploma holders. 

If we have to answer in a short, master degrees are considered better and competitive in Canada. 

PG Diploma vs Master Degree in Canada: Tuition Fees

Postgraduate diplomas are also available as postgraduate certificates in Canada. One of the reasons behind the huge demand for PG diplomas in Canada is its affordability. 

While studying masters in Canada is more affordable than in other countries like Australia, USA and New Zealand, it can still get more expensive for international students. 

PG Diploma are cheaper compared to masters in Canada

Degree type

Approximate Annual fees range (in CAD)

PG Diploma fees 

14,000- 22,000

Master degree fees

15,000- 50,000

PG Diploma vs Master Degree in Canada: Eligibility Criteria

Comparing Metric

PG Diploma

Master Degree

Bachelor degree

3-4 year Bachelor degree

Atleast 4 years Canadian Bachelor degree or its international equivalent

GPA/ Grade

A minimum of 2.5 GPA or 55% in Bachelors

A minimum of 3.0 GPA or 70% in bachelor. 

Work Experience

Not required

(2 years+)

Required for MBA, management and finance, data science, computer science, Education, Nursing program etc.

Cut-off English Proficiency Scores

A minimum of 6.0 in IELTS With a minimum of 6.0 in each field and equivalent in other tests

A Minimum of 6.5-7.5 with a minimum of 6.5 in each section and equivalent in other tests. 

Aptitude test (GRE/GMAT)

Not Required

Required in some programs. 

Boosts profile of students. 

Letter of Recommendaitons (LOR)

Not Required

1-3 LOR is asked

Additional tests/ interviews/ essays

Not Required

Some masters require this. 

PG Diploma vs Master Degree in Canada: PR point of view

In the past (and now as well), international students with either of Postgraduate diploma or master degree have obtained Permanent Residency (PR) in Canada. 

Getting a PR in Canada is independent of whether you do master or not. 

Upon completion of your degree in Canada, you will get 1-3 years of post-study work permit depending on the length of your degree. For instance, for a program that is 1 year long or shorter, you will get a work permit for `1 year. For programs that are longer than 1 year, you will get 3 years of work permit. 

After completing a masters or postgraduate certificate in Canada, if you manage to find and work for 1 year in the field of your study, you can apply for permanent residency in Canada. 

 A Master degree in Canada is generally 1-3 years long. On the other hand, postgraduate diplomas are 1 year to 2 years long. 

Top Universities for Master Degree in Canada

These are some of the best universities in Canada according to QS World University Rankings. 

Top Universities in Canada

QS World University ranking 2021

University of Toronto


McGill University


University of British Columbia


University of Montreal


University of Alberta


McMaster University


University of Waterloo


Western University


University of Calgary


University of Ottawa


Top Colleges and Universities for PG Diploma in Canada

  1. York University
  2. Humber college
  3. Conestoga college
  4. Fanshawe college
  5. Lambton college
  6. Seneca college
  7. Centennial college
  8. Langara college
  9. Cambrian college
  10. Canadore college
  11. Georgian college

These are some of the best colleges in Canada for International Students. 

Click here to get a comprehensive idea on “Study in Canada for international students.


  • Can International Students get PR in Canada with PG Diploma? 

Yes, international students have and can get a Permanent Residency in Canada with a PG Diploma.

  • Can I do a Masters degree in Canada after my PG Diploma?

Yes, you can do a master degree after PG Diploma in Canada, 

  • How Long is PG Diploma in Canada? 

PG Diploma is generally 1-2 years long in Canada. 

  • What is a better 1 year or 2 years PG Diploma?

Both 1 and 2 year PG diplomas are useful. But Since the 2-year pg diploma will provide you with 3 years work permit, a 2-year diploma is considered better. 

  • Can I get placement after my master degree in Canada? 

Some master program in Canada comes with internship or placement, however the same cannot be said about every master degree in Canada. 

  • Can I get a Placement after PG Diploma in Canada? 

Yes, you can get a placement after PG Diploma in Canada but this might not always be the case. Depending upon the college and program, you might get 2 months to 6 months of placement in Canada. 

Related Posts :


What is IELTS?

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is the world's most popular high-stakes English language proficiency test for study, work and migration.
Aditee NeupaneTue Mar 09 2021

IELTS for further studies: Everything you need to know

IELTS is the most basic requirement of countless universities and colleges in Australia, the UK, Canada, the USA and many more.
Karuna KarkiFri Apr 23 2021