Masters (MS) in Canada – Costs, Top universities, Eligibility requirements

Masters (MS) in CanadaCanada is the second most popular education destination for Indian students eager to expand their knowledge in a global setting. There are 263,855 international students in Canada, as of 2015. A large chunk of that number constitutes the Indian student population.

With nearly 45,000 Indian students, Canada is now the second most popular degree hotspot, right after US. And with more than 3.5% (~ 1.17 million) Canadian population with Indian origin, you will never feel quite so out of touch with the familiar desi comforts. (Read Guide to MS for International Students)

MS/Masters in Canada – The Basics

In this article, we will cover the basics of getting into an MS or Masters degree in Canada. This is just to get your feet wet. The particulars of relevant information related to which programs, which Universities, and the finer details will depend on your research and investigation.

There are 13 provinces with some of the best Universities in the world, in Canada. Each is equipped with talented faculty, optimum facilities and all the necessary resources needed for the best training for all students from all over the world.

Canada also has a relatively straightforward means of transitioning from a student status to that of employment, after graduation, thus making it easily possible for recent graduates to look into permanent residency with a viable employment to back it up.

Here is a snippet into the number of international students in the various fields, in 2013 and 2014.

Field of Study Number of International Students in 2013 Number of International Students in 2014
Business, management and public administration 17,679 18,957
Personal improvement and leisure 1,104 936
Education 819 846
Visual and performing arts, and communications technologies 1,338 1,497
Humanities 4,419 5,994
Social and behavioral sciences and law 5,421 5,982
Physical and life sciences and technologies 2,247 2,589
Mathematics, computer and information sciences 2,892 3,006
Architecture, engineering and related technologies 6,900 8,502
Agriculture, natural resources and conservation 741 891
Health and related fields 2,190 2,409
Personal, protective and transportation services 711 921
Other instructional and leisure 456 618

Source: Statistics Canada, CANSIM Table 477-0020

The best ranking universities in Canada

Canada has some of the top Universities in the world. Though the rankings may differ from field to field, the overall QS World University Rankings from 2016, shows the cumulative impact of research, alumni, faculty, resources, etc.

University Canada Ranking World Ranking
McGill University 1 30
University of Toronto 2 32
University of British Columbia 3 45
University of Alberta 4 94
Universite de Montreal 5 126
McMaster University 6 149
University of Waterloo 7 152
University of Calgary 8 196
The University of Western Ontario 9 198
Queen’s University at Kingston 10 223


Application Requirements

The very basic requirement is the expected one – an excellent academic record. However the caveat to consider is the language of instruction. Canadian Universities may require you to qualify an English or French language proficiency test.

While most courses are taught in English, some French may just be thrown your way depending on the province you are in, Quebec for instance. So you can qualify either one of these standardized tests – TOEFL with an average in the vicinity of 90 for internet based test among the top rankers, The Canadian Academic English Language Assessment Test (CAEL), CanTest or IELTS.

However, with an Indian undergraduate degree you may be exempt from providing proof of the knowledge of A,B,Cs (as per McGill University proficiency exemptions).

For French, you may need to clear Test d’évaluation de français (TEF) or Diplôme d’études en langue française (DELF). But it is highly likely that most STEM or non language specific degrees will be imparted in English.

Besides testing your communicative prowess, Canada immigration may require you to apply for a Study Permit based on your selection to a Canadian University. This permit is only required if the study duration is greater than 6 months. For less, you may get away with just a temporary visa such as a tourist visa.

The application requirements, costs, tuition, and deadlines are a factor of many parameters. Listing each requirement is not possible in the scope of this article. However, we have gathered some relevant data on weighted average of tuition fees, by field, for all international graduate students in all Canadian Universities.

Also tabulated are the individual application fees and a general sense of cost of living for each of the listed top ranking universities.

Masters (MS) in Canada

Source: Statistics Canada, CANSIM Table 477-0024

Cost in Indian Rupees and Canadian Dollars

University Application Fees (Approx.) Average living cost (Rent + Food) per month
McGill University C$ 110
INR 5,500
C$ 1300 + C$ 430
INR 65,000 + INR 21,500
University of Toronto C$ 90
INR 4,500
C$ 750 – 1000 + C$ 350
INR 37,500 – 50,000 + INR 17,500
University of British Columbia C$ 162
INR 8,100
C$ 750 + C$ 400
INR 37,500 + INR 20,000
University of Alberta C$ 100
INR 5,000
C$ 500 – 700 + C$ 400
INR 25,000 – 35,000 + INR 20,000
Universite´ de Montreal C$ 94
INR 4,700
C$ 400 + C$ 430
INR 20,000 + INR 21,500
McMaster University C$ 85
INR 4,250
C$ 600 – 800 + C$ 300
INR 30,000 – 40,000 + INR 15,000
University of Waterloo C$ 100
INR 5,000
C$ 500 – 1300 + C$ 450
INR 25,000 – 65,000 + INR 22,500
University of Calgary C$ 150
INR 7,500
C$ 600 + C$ 400
INR 30,000 + INR 20,000
The University of Western Ontario C$ 100
INR 5,000
C$ 600 + C$ 420
INR 30,000 + INR 21,000
Queen’s University at Kingston C$ 105
INR 5,250
C$ 750-1,300 + C$ 370
INR 37,500 – 65,000 + INR 18,500

* C$ 100 = INR 5,000
Source: Graduate Admissions Page of Individual Universities, (Food Prices)

Scholarships and Funding

Though studying costs in Canada are relatively lower than the US, it still becomes a steep venture for most Indian students. Fikar not as there are many scholarships available to international students as well.

The Government of Canada, through the Department of Foreign Affairs Trade and Development, offers multiple fellowships as listed in the table below.

Fellowship Program Funded By
Canadian Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarship Government of Canada
IDRC Research Awards International Development Research Centre
Mitacs Elevate Mitacs
Mitacs Globalink Research Internship Mitacs
Mitacs Step Mitacs
Sauvé Scholars Program Jeanne Sauve Youth Foundation

Besides the Government fellowships, the individual universities also provide funding opportunities. For instance, the University of British Columbia offers an International Tuition Award and the Universite´ de Montreal has a way to offer tuition fee waiver to foreign students.

In all, if you can manage any one of these scholarships or a way to the heart of a student loan officer, you will be all set to manage the financing of your study in Canada.

Canada has a multicultural society with ample resources to support both the intellectual and social education of young talents. And if you have the requisite passion for pursuing a Masters in Canada, the system is more than equipped to help you achieve your goals with significant returns for all your investments now (Read Average Salary in Canada after an MS Degree).

So go ahead and research your field of interest, locate your future university and educate yourself with all the requirements that can make your MS dream come true.

Good luck!

Read these related posts:
Canada student visa requirements and process
Average Salary after MS in USA, Canada and Australia
Best MBA in Canada for international students
MBA in Canada vs India decision for Healthcare marketing applicant
MBA after 35 in Canada with Scholarship with low GMAT score

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  1. Simran says:

    Hy this is simran … i have done bba from india.. i want to do mba from canada and i am pursing ilets these days … i dnt have any experence and gmat score… is it good r a good choose to go for mba from canada…?

  2. Dhruval says:

    Hi i want to do mba from canada in good university please let me i have done bcom and company secretary please tell me whether i will have to study one more year to full fill the criteria of 16 yeras or will it do

  3. dia says:

    hello sir..i am 12th passing medical student and i wanted to move abroad after the completion of 12th grade but if i couldn’t able to go be cause i am not from affluent family and i think chances are less as i was thinking of availing study loan but problem arises i will be the one who has to pay back loan..and right now i am not sure about my field.Well i am thinking if i do bsc nursing from india can i get direct job in rich places like Ny or Canada? well if chances are maybe less than i am also thinking of doing bca or bba and get a mba degree abroad?which will be better going for bsc nurisng or bca or bba? can i change my field into business line?

  4. Abdulrafiu Musa Imam says:

    Please which of the schools in Canada is the cheapest for MBA study for international students considering the following:
    1. student are allowed to work while in school.
    2. Students can have access to loan to cater for their study expenses.
    3. Availability of scholarship.
    4. Getting good job after completing the MBA study

  5. Sameer Kamat says:

    @Simran: It is best to get a few years of experience first before applying to MBA programs.

    @Dhruval: There are programs in Canada that accept 15 years of education as well. Check the official sites to read up on their policies.

    @Dia: It is too early for you to worry about higher education. Focus on completing your basic graduation. And keep reading up more on what is required to go abroad.

    @Abdulrafiu: The lower you go in the rankings, the cheaper it is. However, you’d also be sacrificing quality as well as the chances of getting a good job after graduating, so don’t focus purely on the fees.

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