Canada Education System

Education in Canada is under the complete jurisdiction of the provinces and territories (States). There is no Federal (Central) education system in Canada. In keeping with the national commitment to education, public education in Canada is free up to secondary school (12th Std) in all the provinces. At the post-secondary level, institutions are divided into community colleges and universities. A significant number of university graduates attend college upon completion of their degree in order to acquire vocational skills for employment.

Types of Certification

Certificate: Is a qualification awarded upon successful completion of a program which is usually one year in length.

Diploma: Is a qualification awarded on the basis of one or two years of successful study.

Advanced Diploma:  Is a 3 years program some of which may lead to a Bachelor’s Degree.

Bachelor Degrees:  Are awarded by Universities/ University Colleges/ Community Colleges after four years of full-time study and lead to graduate level studies.

Post Graduate Diplomas / Certificates: It leads to a Master’s Degree. These programs have work terms which provide full-time opportunities to gain practical experience along with theoretical studies. A typical co-op term lasts 12 to 17 weeks. The prerequisite to participate in these programs is a Bachelors Degree of 3 or 4 years duration.

Master Degree: Is an option for Bachelor Degree. Graduates who have an interest in further learning and research and for those who want to broaden their career possibilities. It is for 2 years duration and can be pursued after 4 years Bachelors or 3 years Bachelors & a 1 year Post Graduate Diploma from Canada.

Doctorate or Ph.D.: Is a degree ranking above the Master’s Degree and generally requires four to seven years to complete.

Co-operative Work Term

Co-operative is a work term provided as part and parcel of the course curriculum. It provides an excellent opportunity for students to gain first-hand practical experience related to the field of specialization. Students can gain on-the-job experience while continuing to study. Co-operative provides full-time opportunities that last for 12 to 17 weeks.

Co-Operative work programs, combine courses in many subjects with relevant work, giving students an invaluable head start with their careers. This assists International students in connecting with the Canadian job market and developing a network with the Canadian companies.


The degrees & diplomas from Canadian Institutions are among the most widely recognized in the world. The education system in Canada encompasses both public funded & private institutions. Students have a diverse choice of 90 Universities & 175 Community Colleges offering a wide array of programs. While pursuing their studies, the students, are allowed to work for the first 6 months on-campus and thereafter off-campus. A student can earn more from vocational & Technology courses than normal degrees.

Post-secondary Education is Offered by four types of Educational institutions:

Technical/ Career Colleges: These are privately owned and operated with the main objective of preparing students for the job market after a short period of instruction. The emphasis at career colleges is on practical skills over a broad range of programs.

Community Colleges & Technical Institutes:

They typically have a more career-oriented, practical/ technical related curriculum, with small classes, off-campus course offerings, a greater ratio of laboratory space to classroom space, and an interactive teaching style.

University Colleges:  As a component of the Canadian University system, University Colleges offer students a choice of either academically oriented university degree programs or the more practical-oriented college diplomas and certificates.

Universities: Canadian Universities are largely publicly funded and as a result, offer consistently high-quality education at lower tuition rates for International students than their counterparts in competing countries. They offer a broad range of courses and degrees from Undergraduate to Doctorate and also certificate and professional degrees. Class sizes in universities are generally large.

Grade Point Average (GPA)

The average grade achieved by a student during the course of an educational program is calculated on various scales depending on the Institution. (eg: Generally the student may be evaluated a  4-point scale or a 9 point scale).

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