TAR Global Placement Consulting

Level of Study in Canada

Canada is one of the world’s top education performers and is the top OECD country in spending per student on public postsecondary education. Students score high on international tests reflecting the dedication each jurisdiction has on the quality of our education system.

In Canada, post-secondary education is the responsibility of provincial and territorial governments, and in each province and territory there are laws, policies and procedures that govern the operation of education institutions.

The basic structures of provincial and territorial education systems across Canada are similar. Each has 3 tiers:

  • elementary,
  • secondary, and
  • postsecondary;

All provide universal, free elementary and secondary schooling for Canadian students.

Each jurisdiction has its own quality assurance mechanisms that are used in combination to ensure quality in the country’s wide range of post-secondary institutions. This ensures Canada’s academic credentials continue to be valued worldwide.

Elementary education

Canada’s elementary schools follow a government curriculum and employ government certified teachers, ensuring a high level of quality and a focus on individual student needs Students may choose from public or private school options.

Elementary schools are grades 1 – 6 in all provinces and territories.

Secondary education

Secondary schools also follow a government curriculum, they maintain the quality and tradition of teaching experienced in elementary schools thereby ensuring continuity in knowledge and development. This successful environment is highly acclaimed as school students excel in science, reading, and mathematics: Canadian students have consistently been among the top 5 academic performers in the world and number 1 among English speaking countries according to the OECD PISA studies in reading, mathematics and science.

In addition to the high quality of teaching Canadian schools provide students with a nurturing environment through student services and pedagogical services such as; counselling, academic and professional advisers, community involvement, second language support, special needs learning, tutorial sessions and extracurricular activities.

Secondary schools are grades 7 - 12 in most provinces, with the exception of Quebec where secondary school runs from grades 7 - 11.
The school year runs from September - June.

Canadian high school diplomas are recognized by colleges and universities worldwide.

English as a Second Language (ESL) or French as a Second Language (FSL) courses are available to support international students.
Schools are the responsibility of the ministry or department of education in each province and territory.

All schools must register with and meet the curriculum and graduation requirements set by the Ministry of Education for that province/territory.

Public schools:

Offer co-educational day programs.
Homestay programs are available for international students.

Tuition and homestay fees range from CAD 10,500 to CAD 23,000

Private schools:

Independently funded.
Co-educational, or boys only, or girls only.
Smaller class sizes and lower teacher-student ratios.

Full boarding or homestay programs available for international students.

Annual fees for a boarding school education in Canada (including tuition, room and board) range from CAD 35,000 to CAD 65,000 per year, depending on the institution.

The legal status of private schools varies across Canada as each province or territory is responsible for the regulatory environment of schools in its jurisdiction.

NOTE: Most provinces and territories require private schools to be registered with their ministries of education, and must meet the curriculum and other standards set by their respective ministries; however, they may operate differently.

Post-Secondary Schools:

The college system:

Colleges work very closely with business and industry to ensure that their programs are relevant to the changing workplace and to the needs of employers. Canadian college programs offer diverse options in the technical and professional fields including: business, agriculture and agri-food, health, social services, broadcasting and journalism, hospitality management, design, technology, sciences, information technology, engineering, environment, languages, and arts.

Over 8,000 college programs at 135 public institutions offer credentials certificates, diplomas, university transfer programs, academic and applied degrees, and post-graduate diplomas, that are approved by provincial and territorial governments.
Programs vary in length from a few months to 4 years.

Practical programs are designed with potential employers that also offer work placements.

90% of college graduates, on average, obtain employment within 6 months of graduating.

93% of employers are satisfied with college graduates in Canada
Tuition fees range from CAD 5,500 to CAD 15,000 per year depending on the program.

Boarding or homestay and living costs are estimated at CAD 7,000 to CAD 13,000 per year.


Canadian universities prepare graduates with the ability to think critically, to be adaptive to emerging technologies, to become leaders in professional fields and to seek solutions in research. Whether you want to become a teacher, economist, artist or the world’s leading nanotechnologist, Canada’s university system will provide you with the choice that fits your interest.

From small liberal arts teaching schools to larger research-intensive universities you can begin your bachelor studies and continue to earn the highest qualification, a PhD. University research makes its mark in Canada and around the world.

Highly innovative research takes place in the fields of health, nanotechnology, biotechnology, high-performance computing, environmental technologies, nutraceuticals, and renewable fuels. More than one third of Canada’s research is conducted at Canadian universities – one of the highest rates of academic research among OECD and G8 countries.

Degrees follow the Bachelor/Master/Doctorate system and are equivalent to those in the U.S. and Commonwealth countries.

Levels of degrees:

Bachelor’s: generally three or four years of undergraduate study
Master’s: one or two years of study after the bachelor’s degree, including a thesis, practicum, or research paper or course-based
Doctoral: three years of study including a thesis, usually after the master’s degree

There are more than 15,000 undergraduate and graduate degree programs at 100 public and private not-for-profit universities and university-degree-level colleges.

There is access to cutting edge technology and research labs to support the vast choice of undergraduate and post-graduate programs, as well as professional designations, certificate and diploma courses, and short career-focused programs.

Opportunities for cooperative education and internships abound and international students can often work while they study.

Tuition fees range from CAD 7,000 to CAD 29,000 per year, depending on the program.

Language schools

Canada is a bilingual country, a community of immigrants and a world leader in English and French language training. A wide variety of programs will improve your fluency and capacity for further study, personal development or business training.

Private schools and colleges are dedicated to teaching English and French, often exclusively to international students and new immigrants.

Specialized language training is also available in subject areas like: business English, academic preparation, industry-specific language training, etc.
For tuition fees, the approximate cost is often CAD 315 per week.

Homestays are also a popular option and cost approximately CAD 900 per month.