Know About the Types of Post-Secondary Schools In Canada

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Are you considering post-secondary education in Canada? If so, it is a good idea to understand Canada’s education system and the types of education institutions that Canada has. This will help you plan your study pathway in Canada, journey through it without any hiccups and benefit from getting the best from the Canadian education system.

There are many benefits to studying in Canada. Canadian post-secondary education is recognized globally and provides many opportunities to work with Canadian and global companies. However, to ensure that you benefit from this, you should understand the system; the programs offered by Canadian schools and find the best that fits your interests. It is crucial to choose the right education institution for a smooth passage to the workplace

An international student in Canada is issued a post-graduate work permit (PGWP) after completing studies and graduating. Here in this post, we have discussed PGWP in detail, its validity and how to ensure that you get it for the maximum period that it is allowed. Please read this post to learn more about PGWP and ensure that you get it for the full period allowed. With a work permit, a graduated international student can work in Canadian organizations. This provides an opportunity to gain Canadian work experience that strengthens your resume. Additionally, suppose you are looking to immigrate to Canada. In that case, this gives you an additional advantage, as Canadian work experience gets further points to the Express Entry application for Permanent Residency in Canada.

It is vital to ensure that you choose a recognized school to study. (click here for a list of officially recognized schools) These schools are recognized by different levels of governments for their quality and standard of education. Needless to say, graduating from any of these recognized schools will boost your chances in the job market.


A student is eligible to enrol in a post-secondary institution after completing high school, or 12th standard. Each school in Canada may have its own admission requirements and eligibility criteria. While some are general requirements, there may be program-specific eligibility criteria. The school you choose may ask to have your educational credentials assessed by a recognized assessment agency. Your chosen school would be able to tell you the kind of assessment they want as well as recommend an assessment agency

Besides, you have to demonstrate proficiency in English or French that are the official languages in Canada. To do this, you may have to take a langue test (language test) such as the IELTS for English.

Before you apply, talk to the student counsellor in the school you are interested in, get all the information, have your doubts cleared. Research programs and the application, admission process and the timelines well in advance of the application deadlines.

Types of Schools; the credentials they award

What are post secondary schools in Canada?

In Canada, there are three main types of post-secondary schools. They are the universities, colleges and institutes.

The recognized schools grant undergraduate degrees, postgraduate degrees, doctoral and post-doctoral credentials, diplomas and certificates.

Universities offer mainly degrees, but they also offer diplomas and certificates. They offer undergraduate degrees, which is typically a four-year program. Few degrees could be completed in three, and some that would take more than five years to complete.

A postgraduate degree or a master’s degree usually requires up to three more years of study. The most advanced degree that a university awards is a doctoral degree. This generally requires three-plus years of study. Both postgraduate and doctoral studies may involve research elements too.

Some professions, like medicine, veterinary, law etc., are regulated professions in Canada. Some may require a student to complete an internship, and most will require a licence to practice. If you are contemplating which program to choose, you could check out the National Occupation Classification (NOC). This is Canada’s official job classification system, which provides information about the types of jobs available in Canada. Apart from classifying each job, the system provides information such as the market demand for them. This will give you a clear idea about skills in demand. You could choose to study towards acquiring those skills and knowledge

There are also joint programs offered by some colleges jointly with universities that a student can take. Such programs have many advantages for international students. A college usually will have small class size check agents course here.

Colleges and institutes

There are career colleges, community colleges, colleges of applied arts or applied technology and institutes of technology or science and collèges d’enseignement général et professionnel in Quebec. Career colleges usually are private colleges.

These schools offer diploma, certificate and joint degree programs. Apart from a joint degree program and a university, some community colleges also award degrees in specific programs. Their programs usually are one to three years. The programs provide students with skills to work in particular jobs within many different fields. Such as marketing, business, computer and mechanical technologies, social services, health, trades and many others.

Academic Terms or Periods

Most schools follow two-academic terms per year, though most of them also offer summer courses. The main school year begins in September, with the first term ending in December. The second term starts in January and ends in April when the final exams are held.

There are multiple online resources to find a school that offers a program that you are interested in. Some of them are

How much does post-secondary education cost in Canada?

Tuition  fee in Canada varies vastly depending on whether it is a university, a community or a career college, as well as the program that you choose. In addition there is the living cost such as housing and food etc. You could consider the academic fee, as well as the cost of living in a particular city or a town while choosing a school.

International students are not eligible for student loans that are accessible to Canadian citizens and permanent residents. They however can explore bursaries and scholarships.

Though students are permitted to work even outside the campus,( unlike in the US), it is best not to consider this earning- as- a- student income while doing your budget.

If you are weighing between different countries to study, Canada is considered to be a good option in terms of the cost, as it has the lowest tuition rates compared to countries such as the United States United Kingdom, and Australia. The standard of education and living in Canada is high while the cost of it low.

In short, it is good for you to do research before choosing a school or program. Learn more about the Canadian system and become comfortable in exploring your opportunities. Spend time checking out the schools, programs and job opportunities in different fields, academic fees and the cost of living in a city. Be in touch with student counsellors to have all your doubts cleared before paying for your application. Remember a credential from a Canadian school will go a long way in strengthening your resume, be it for a job within Canada or outside. All the best!