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Introduction to Canada's Degree and Certificate Types (with Cover)

Many people know that there are many advantages of studying in Canada, but they do not have a clear understanding of the Canadian higher education system and degree system. Let's follow along to learn more about the Canadian higher education system and the degree system.

Canadian higher education institutions are divided into university, university college, college, career college.

The vast majority of Canadian universities are public universities, and undergraduate programs generally take 3 to 4 years. A master's degree can only be applied for after obtaining a bachelor's degree, which generally takes 1 to 2 years; it usually takes 3 years to study for a doctoral degree. The academic system of full-time universities is not exactly the same. Some universities have two semesters a year: September to December is the autumn semester, January to April is the spring semester; while some universities have the spring and summer semester from May to August.

Colleges and career colleges focus on cultivating applicable professional and technical talents, with a general term of 1 to 3 years. This type of school generally provides college diplomas and various certificates, and does not issue degrees, but you can choose some courses that can be transferred to university in the future. The length of schooling is 1 to 2 years. After finishing school, you can transfer to the second and third grades of regular universities to continue their undergraduate courses.

Canadian degrees and certificates mainly include the following types:

Diploma certificates are generally issued by colleges and institutes. The length of schooling is mostly 2-3 years. After graduation, students can transfer some of their credits to other regular universities for further study or continue to study post-diploma in the college.


Bachelor degree certificate, generally issued by a university or a university college. The length of schooling is 3-4 years, and you can get a general bachelor degree or an honorary degree. The study time for an honorary degree is usually longer than ordinary Bachelor's degree, the learning content contains scientific research elements, and the course credit setting is also different from ordinary bachelor's degree.


Master's degree certificate, generally 2-4 years, the length of time depends on the number of courses taken and whether there are requirements for thesis. Generally, the Master of Arts or Master of Science takes a relatively long time, usually to do a thesis and obtain a degree after passing the defense, while the professional master's time is relatively short, such as computer, master of business, etc., generally about one and a half years.


The Doctor of Philosophy certificate usually lasts for 3-5 years. Generally, the research work is led by a tutor, and students of individual subjects will also take some related courses, but the main focus is on thesis. Finally, the degree will be obtained after having successfully defended their dissertations.