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Considering a Masters in Canada? The country’s reputation for friendliness, pristine wilderness and world-class universities has led to Canada becoming one of the world’s most popular destinations for international postgraduates, with numbers rising steadily each year.

If you’d like to know more about studying a Masters in Canada, this page covers essential information on Canadian universities, applications and postgraduate programmes. Alternatively, you can take a look at our guides to fees and funding in Canada as well as study permits and postgraduate life in Canada. We’re also keeping an eye on the effect of coronavirus on students in Canada.

Postgraduate opportunities in Canada – what’s on offer for 2022?

Home to over 200,000 international students, Canada is a major global player in higher education. Its popularity with overseas students comes as no surprise – famously tolerant and with several genuinely world-class universities, Canada makes a lot of sense for postgraduates seeking an outstanding country in which to study a Masters.


Here are some of the best reasons to think about a Masters in Canada this year:

  • International outlook – Over 200 nationalities are represented by the student body in Canada, and Canadian society is one of the most diverse in the world.
  • Investment in education – Tertiary education in Canada enjoys high levels of government spending, putting it near the top of OECD countries in terms of state backing for higher education.
  • Bilingualism – With two official languages (English and French) and a multicultural population, Canada offers the chance to learn a new language or to improve your existing skills.
  • Post-Masters opportunities – If you’re keen to stay in Canada after finishing your studies, you might be eligible for a post-graduation work permit, allowing you to work in the country for the same duration as your programme.
  • Quality of life – The standard of living in Canada is extremely high, and the nation as a whole is a safe and stable environment in which to study.
Masters Study in Canada – Key Details
Oldest UniversityUniversité Laval (1663)
International Students279,168
Course Length1-2 years
Average FeesCAD $20,120 (USD $16,270)
Academic YearS

Canadian universities

Canadian institutions educate around 1.4 million students annually. They perform 40% of Canada’s research and development, and represent a total turnover of CAD $38 billion, generating economic wealth in communities across Canada.

The Canadian higher education sector is characterised by its diversity; Canadian universities vary greatly in size, history and their portfolio of programmes and specialisms.


Provinces and territories are responsible for all levels of education, including universities and higher education. There is no federal ministry of education or formal accreditation system.

Universities tend to subscribe to provincial government charters and quality assurance frameworks as well as using the resources provided by the Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials to ensure that Canadian qualifications are recognised worldwide. There are also many organisations that accredit professional programmes in subjects like Law and Engineering.

Throughout Canada’s 13 provinces and territories, there are 96 universities. These are mainly public universities but private institutions exist and are accredited by the province’s authorities. Universities Canada maintains a list of Canadian higher education institutions by province.

Canadian university cities

Canada is the second largest nation in the world by landmass, and its terrain is appropriately varied. From densely-populated urban areas in Southern Ontario to the Arctic tundra and the lush rainforests of Pacific Northwest, Canada offers boundless possibilities for travel.

Within this enormous country, there are plenty of vibrant university towns. From glitzy Toronto and bohemian Montreal to outdoorsy Vancouver, you’re spoilt for choice.

Canadian university rankings

Canada has a world-class reputation for higher education, and this is reflected by the performance of its institutions in the three main global ranking tables. Seven Canadian universities feature among the top 150 in the world, according to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings.

For more information, read our guide to Canadian postgraduate rankings.

UniversityTHE 2022QS 2022ARWU 2021
University of Toronto=182622
University of British Columbia374642
McGill University44=2767
McMaster University=8014092
University of Montreal=88111101-150
University of Alberta125126101-150
University of Ottawa=162230201-300
University of Calgary201-

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