Home Latest Articles Cost of studying in Canada

Cost of studying in Canada

by Chetna Vasishth


Canada consistently ranks within the top 10 of the United Nations’ list of the “best places to live in the world” – and According to The QS World Ranking it is also arguably one of the best places to study. And has become increasingly welcoming of international students in the recent times.


In this article we will talk about the costs of studying in Canada for international students under the following heads

  1. Undergraduate tuition fee and Graduate Tuition Fee broken down
    1. For different Fields of study
    2. Across major provinces in Canada
  2. Cost of living
  3. Lowest Cost Universities in Canada and Average tuition fee of the top ranked universities
  4. Comparison of Costs with USA, UK, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore

One distinctive element of higher education in Canada in that each of the 10 provinces is responsible for its own education system, rather than the Canadian government as a whole. This means the system can vary, depending on which province you choose to study in.

Just as a note, typically, Undergraduate degrees in Canada can take either three or four years to complete, depending on the university.

Postgraduate degrees last between one and three years, depending on the type of degree.

Undergraduate tuition fees in Canada

The average tuition fees for international students in 2017/18 was CA$25,000 = Rs. 14,00,000) per year. Looking at the subject wise break up of tuition fee per year – (all figures are in Canadian Dollars). Looking at a subject wise break up –

  1. Humanities, Arts, Social sciences, agriculture – CAD 22,000 to CAD 26,000
  2. Architecture – CAD 25,000
  3. Law – CAD 30,000
  4. Physical sciences, computer science, math, engineering – CAD 30,000
  5. Business administration – CAD 26,000

Postgraduate tuition fees in Canada

The tuition fees for grad school is generally lower, the average for 2017/18 is CA$16,000 = Rs. 9,00,000)

Looking at the subject wise break up of tuition fee per year – (all figures are in Canadian Dollars)

  1. Humanities, Arts, Social sciences, agriculture – CAD 13,000 to CAD 14,000
  2. Architecture – CAD 24,000
  3. Law – CAD 16,000
  4. Physical sciences, computer science, math, engineering – CAD 15,000 – 18,000
  5. Business administration – CAD 26,000
  6. Regular MBA – CAD 40,000
  7. Executive MBA – CAD 60,000
  8. Medicine, Pharmacy, Dentistry, Veterinary Medicine – CAD10,000 to CAD 21,000

As is the case worldwide, executive MBA programs are generally the most expensive. For example, enrolling in the Kellogg-Schulich Executive MBA at the Schulich School of Business in Toronto will set you back $115,000 for an 18-month course.

An Executive MBA (EMBA) is a fully-fledged MBA degree, but geared towards working professionals who prefer not to enroll in full-time classes. As this is a part-time degree, the average program can last up to 24 months.

As regards medicine, not all faculties of medicine accept applications from foreign students and it is highly competitive and extremely difficult for international students to secure admission to a medical school in Canada. However, scholarships are generous and once you secure admission it will be very affordable. Most often you are required to return to your home country after completion of the program.

Region wise Data

The three top universities in Canada are McGill University in Montreal (Quebec), University of Toronto in Ontario and University of British Columbia in Vancouver. Incidentally, these are also the most popular student destinations

Looking at the average costs of undergrad and grad tuitions in these regions

Ontario is the most expensive with

average undergrad tuition fee of 35,000 per year and

average grad school tuition fee of 22,000.

Quebec –

average undergrad tuition fee of 22,000 per year and

average grad school tuition fee of 15,000.

British Columbia

average undergrad tuition fee of 25,000 per year and

average grad school tuition fee of 17,000.

The lowest cost province in Canada is New Foundland and Labrador with

average undergrad tuition fee of 12,000 per year and

average grad school tuition fee of 4,000.

Cost of living in Canada

Although Canadian student visa requirements say you must have at least CA$10,000 (or CA$11,000 if studying in Quebec) on top of your tuition fees, you’ll likely need to budget much more than this for your living expenses. Your living costs will vary considerably depending on your location and spending habits, with large cities generally more expensive to live in.

Estimates of living expenses in Montreal are about of CA$15,000 per year including housing, food, accommodation, books and course supplies, phone costs and miscellaneous expenses.

Similarly, the University of British Columbia, located in Vancouver, estimates living costs of CA$15,500 per year, not including mandatory health insurance, which is CA$864 per year under the BC Health Plan. (Vancouver has been named the most expensive Canadian city to live in, particularly in terms of rent.)

It’s also a good idea to budget for extra costs, such as warm winter clothing if you don’t already have any.

Student visa and application fees

To study in Canada, you will need to obtain a Canadian study permit, which serves as a student visa for the duration of your stay. Visa application costs are about CA$150

Fees to apply to universities in Canada will vary and is approx. CAD 100- 120. You may be able to get this fee waived if you are an international student from a developing country.

So looking at overall costs (working on the average numbers)

Most affordable universities in Canada

Tuition fee between $5,000 and $12,000

  1. Dominican University College
  2. Brandon University
  3. Universite de Saint-Bonaface
  4. Canadian Menno-night University
  5. Memorial University Of Newfoundland
  6. Southern Alberta Institute of Technology
  7. The Kings University College
  8. Athabasca University
  9. Canadian Mennonite University
  10. Université de Moncton
  11. Saint Paul University
  12. Universite’ Saint- Anne
  13. Mount Royal University
  14. The University of Winnipeg
  15. Concordia University of Edmonton

Tuition fees at top-ranked universities

Here is a list of average tuition fees at the top-ranked Canadian universities:

  1. University of Toronto – 30 – 45
  2. University of British Columbia –36-49.
  3. McGill University – 16-45

[table id=1 /]

Assuming 5 applications Rs. 33,000

Broad comparison with USA, UK, Australia and New Zealand undergraduate programs

[table id=2 /]


Related Videos

Leave a Comment