Canada

Why study a PhD in Canada

Browse all PhD programmes in Canada

  • Sep-Jun Academic Year
  • 13 Listed Institutes
  • 200000 Int. Students
  • 1015000 Students
  • 36626083 Population

Study in Canada

While you obsessively stare at pictures of Justin Trudeau (don’t deny it!), you may as well see whether Canada is actually a place you can study abroad in. The Great White North and the super friendly upstairs neighbors to the U.S., Canada is known for its maple syrup, the Niagara Falls, and their excellent ice hockey teams.

Studying in Canada has become an appealing option for international students. Not only is it one of the safest places to go to in the world; Canada (and particularly major cities like Toronto and Vancouver) also has a wealth of cultural diversity that is truly inviting to foreign students from everywhere in the world.

Why Study in Canada

1. Canada takes education seriously

Did you know that Canada is the world’s most educated country? In fact, over half of its residents have university degrees. It must be pretty interesting to be a student there, eh?

2. Canadian universities are among the best education institutions

Some of the top international universities and colleges are located in Canada, and students from all over the world have come to join the biggest names in their field.

Experts in Journalism, Politics, Medicine, and Technology got their start at universities like the University of Toronto and McGill University; and you’ll have the chance to work alongside some of the sharpest minds in the world.

3. Flexibility through education variety

Canada offers an interesting variety of higher education institutions: universities, colleges, polytechnics, and cégeps (vocational schools). Depending on the goals you have, or what you’re looking for, you may want to select the institutional model that fits your needs.

4. Highly regarded diplomas

Canadian college and university graduates are highly-valued on the job market, and people who study there have been able to find great jobs in any field they’re interested in.

5. Canadian culture embraces diversity

No matter who you are, where you come from, or what you want to study, Canadians are ready to welcome you warmly. The North American country invests a lot of effort to ensure international students are safe, treated fairly, and happy to take part in the Canadian education and lifestyle.

Which universities and colleges to attend in Canada

If you were to see all of the top university rankings lists, you’d see a strong presence of Canadian universities in all of the top 100 lists. Below we’ll run through some of our favorite highlights:

What is it like to study in Canada?

Canadian higher education is known for being quite casual, and students at the university level are given quite a level of flexibility with regard to attendance, course requirements, and assignments.

However, students still have to abide by the classroom rules set by their individual instructors, and understand what the expectations are for each course.

Generally, degree courses are discussion-based, seminar-style classes, where it’s a smaller group of students debating or questioning different topics. You’ll also find the normal lecture-style classes, especially for topics that have a lot of students (Computer Science, Medicine, Business, etc.). The way courses are structured really depends upon the content or the subject being taught.

What to study in Canada

In Canada, you’ll enter a giant buffet of subjects to select from. Universities in every major city in all of the provinces offer degrees in a wide range of Master’s and Bachelor’s degree subjects – from Art History to Neuroscience, to Accounting and Software Engineering. To narrow down this panoply, here are some that you can consider:

Major cities in Canada

Although Canada is a huge country, geographically speaking, most of its inhabitants live toward the southernmost region of the country. Some of the biggest cities in the country are also home to major universities and institutions:

How to apply

Each university in Canada has its own system on their website that allows future students to apply for and enrol in their degree programmes. So, once you select the university of your choice, you can go through their application and submit your materials there.

Here are some of the basic requirements you’ll need for every application:

  • A scan of your diploma (high school or Bachelor’s degree)
  • A transcript/record of your previous courses
  • A scan of your passport
  • Your CV
  • Testing scores
  • Evidence of scholarship or funding
  • Letters of recommendation (between 2-3)
  • Portfolio and/or writing samples

Helpful ways to make sure you qualify for a Canadian university

Take Preparation Courses

These kinds of courses enable degree-seeking students to get an extra educational boost just before they start their Master’s degree or other post-graduate degree programmes. Try a pre-M.B.A., pre-Law, or pre-Medicine programme, as well as any other foundation or preparation courses that will allow you to study in the degree programme of your choice.

Improve your English through an English-language prep course

If you’re attending a Bachelor’s, Master’s degree or Ph.D. in Canada, you will need to prove that your language skills are good enough to participate in the classes and understand the lectures. These courses will also prepare you for any of the English-language tests that universities require.

English-language tests

To apply to study in Canada, you’ll need to provide proof you have a diploma for your English proficiency. 

The certificates generally accepted by the universities in Canada are:

Still, you should always check on your university’s website, just to be sure what the exact requirements are.

Living in Canada

Let's take a closer look at the average tuition and living expenses in Canada:

Average university tuition fees in Canada

In Canada, the fees vary based on your level, university, discipline, and country of origin. Private universities are more expensive than public ones, but overall, tuition fees for international students range between:

  • 1,000–30,000 CAD/year for Bachelor's degrees
  • 1,000–65,000 CAD/year for Master's degrees

Cost of Living in Canada

Compared to the rest of the world, Canada can be rather pricey. Especially in major cities, you may find that transportation and food have higher price stickers than most other countries.

You should prepare at least 800–1,500 CAD per month for most cities. In Vancouver or Calgary, living costs can reach 2,000 CAD per month.

Here’s a breakdown of some of the average costs for various things in Canada:

  • Rent (private apartment): 650–1,200 CAD/month
  • Utilities: 230–270 CAD/month
  • Pair of jeans: 64 CAD
  • Monthly transportation card/ticket: 97 CAD
  • Bottle of wine: 15 CAD
  • Loaf of bread: 2.90 CAD
  • Milk: 2.50 CAD
  • Ticket to the cinema: 14 CAD

About Canada

Fun Facts about Canada

  • After Russia, Canada is the second largest country in the world in terms of land mass.
  • Canada has more lakes than the rest of the world’s lakes combined. Plenty of opportunities to go for a swim!
  • The Blackberry Smartphone is developed in Waterloo, Ontario.
  • Canada is home to approximately 55,000 different insect species.
  • Canada has a prison for polar bears who break into people’s homes.

Find PhDs Degrees in Canada

Recent international policies promote international university cooperation and student exchange between countries worldwide. High-quality study and PhD degrees are made more available to students in order to create a global educational network, achievable through student and staff mobility. Career and research oriented programmes support international student development.

University cooperation enables students study worldwide, for instance in Australia, Asia, Europe and the United States and provides ways of recognizing previous degrees. Different study options offer appropriate alternatives to students, depending on their preferred mode of study.

Many study programmes in Australia, Asia, Europe and North America are English-taught. The most popular international student destinations include the following countries: Australia, Belgium, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, the United States, and more. However, these are not the only countries offering English-taught education. The rest of the world is full of endless study choices, from highly ranked to smaller, more specialized, universities.

PhD (postgraduate) Degrees

If you want further education beyond the undergraduate level or if you want more personal development or a career in academia, you could obtain a PhD degree. PhD degrees are postgraduate programmes that usually follow a Master's, MPhil or MRes, but there might be additional requirements depending on the university. Students are required to do their own research in a chosen topic. With the help of a supervisor, you develop knowledge and analytical skills in a specific or multidisciplinary field and you carry out independent research. The duration of a PhD degree differs per country and institution. Sometimes your own research is accompanied by work for the department such as giving seminars or small group teaching.

PhD students are required to study on campus under close supervision, but there are universities that accept students enrolled into a part-time distance education PhD degree. Studying on campus can also be full-time as well as part-time, in which case the part-time variant is normally twice as long as the full-time study.

Discover other countries

Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a very popular study destination. Internationals choose this beautiful country because Dutch universities are some of the best in Europe, the living standards are high, foreigners are always welcome, and you get to live in one of the happiest and safest countries in the world. The Netherlands is also renowned for innovative technologies and engineering solutions, which is reflected in the wide range of Engineering degrees offered by universities. English is spoken by around 90% of Dutch citizens, so forget about language barriers. Also, bike lanes and the “cycling culture” will help you to stay fit and healthy, and there are diverse job opportunities and internships for international students.
Czech Republic
Czech Republic
In the Czech Republic, you will enjoy top-quality education and research, especially in subjects like Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The number of English-taught degrees offered by Czech universities is constantly growing. This is a response to the numerous international students attracted by academic opportunities and great living standards at reasonable costs. The Czech Republic is among the safest countries in the world, according to the Global Peace Index, and it allows you to travel around Europe easily. While out of class, you can visit local attractions like the Prague Castle, St. Vitus Cathedral, the local spas, and hot water springs, etc.
Finland
Finland
Finland is an excellent choice for all internationals and especially for EU/EEA students who can study at local public universities for free. The beautiful Nordic country has one of the best education systems in the world and ranks among the safest and happiest nations in the world. You can also choose from over 400 English-taught programmes. In your spare time, you can explore the breathtaking Finnish nature and landscapes, as well as the numerous lakes that give the country the nickname ‘The Land of a Thousand Lakes.’ From here, you can easily travel to neighbouring countries like Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Russia, or Estonia.
Ireland
Ireland
Ireland is among the top countries in the world in terms of quality of life, peace, safety, and development. It represents an appealing blend of beautiful landscapes, English-speaking environments, and a strong, welcoming, and rich culture — of which the Irish people are very proud. International students also enjoy the full support of Irish universities, which hire and train staff that are able to help with accommodation, studies, visa details, or any other challenge.
Norway
Norway
Norway is a paradise for anyone who wants to study abroad for free. Public universities don’t charge any tuition fees. This policy applies to all international students, regardless of their nationality. The academic standard is very high, and professors are easy to approach, always willing to go the extra mile for their students. Additionally, classes are organised in small groups, which further improves learning and cooperation. You can choose from a wide range of English-taught programmes, and you don’t need to worry about language barriers outside of classes either, because most Norwegians speak English as a second language. Internationals should find it easy to adapt to Norway’s society, which is based on equality and fair opportunities — reflected both in the legal system and in people’s behaviour.
Sweden
Sweden
Sweden is a very ambitious, eco-friendly, and visionary country. For example, by 2040, it aims to produce all its energy from renewable sources. Universities play an important role in achieving development goals, thanks to their world-class research facilities. If you’re from the EU/EEA, you can study at public universities for free. As a student, you will discover and easily adopt the three main values of Swedish society: freedom, equality, and sustainability. These values are reflected in every aspect of the local society, and you’ll quickly learn to appreciate them. Language barriers are also almost non-existent since around 80% of Swedes speak English.
Switzerland
Switzerland
Switzerland has one of the most advanced free-market economies, which is reflected in the high living standards and the satisfaction of people living here. In terms of higher education, Swiss universities are constantly ranked among the best in Europe, and they shine in areas like Business, Tourism, Culinary Arts, and Engineering. When compared to Western universities, tuition fees in Switzerland are affordable, and all studies — especially PhD programmes — are world-class. You’ll have the opportunity to develop in a multilingual environment and try learning international languages like German, French, or Italian. If you settle down here, the unemployment rates are low, and salaries are well above the European average.
United Kingdom
United Kingdom
Universities in the UK are some of the most highly regarded in the world, and for good reasons. Some of the world's most highly regarded research takes place in British universities, which are regularly featured in international rankings. While studying in the UK, you will be able to develop in a highly multicultural environment with high chances of pursuing lucrative careers after graduation. The teaching in the UK is designed to encourage new idea generation, encouraging individual research and group cooperation, through class discussions and creative assignments.
Canada
Canada
Canada is one of the most popular study destinations in the world due to its high focus on the quality of its universities and its emphasis on attracting international students who can later immigrate. Canadians are very welcoming to international students and they invest a lot into making sure students are safe, treated fairly, and enjoy their stay in the country. Study in one of the strongest economies in the world while enjoying a high living standard and a flexible study environment. Classes have smaller student groups ensuring everyone gets the attention they need, and encouraging group assignments and debates.
United States
United States
The United States is home to some of the most prestigious universities and colleges in the world. With over 150 universities featured in international rankings, the U.S. has some of the best business schools, medical schools, and engineering schools. Universities and colleges in the U.S. are well known for academic flexibility and ways to customize your study experience with optional studies and extracurricular activities. Depending on where you will be studying, you will be able to visit iconic places like the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, Goldengate Bridge, The Grand Canyon, Mount Rushmore, Disney's Magic Kingdom Park, and much more.
Israel
Israel
Israel attracts international students through high standards of education and a wide range of English-taught degrees. Local universities shine in areas like Technology, Sciences, Business, and Entrepreneurship. In fact, Israel is a renowned land of innovation, having earned itself the nickname ‘Start-Up Nation’. While living and studying here, you will discover a wonderful culture developed throughout 4,000 years of history; different cultural influences are noticeable everywhere, especially in Israeli food, art, and history. In major cities, English is widely spoken, so communication shouldn’t be a problem. In your spare time, you can visit one of the over 400 nature reserves and 80 national parks.
Australia
Australia
By studying in Australia you will take advantage of the great student environment both inside and outside classrooms. In addition to some of the best business and engineering schools in the world, you will be able to explore a greatly developed country that still retains its wild side with its warm climate, beautiful beaches, and the Great Outback, with over 500 national parks. Many Australian universities provide internships and work placements, preparing students early on for the job market.

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