Canada follows an education system, quite distinct from the rest of the world. Browse through this piece to find all information about the Canadian educational structure.

Education System in Canada

World-class language education, scholarships as a springboard to success, feel-at-home classrooms - come experience student life in a land of possibilities. By enrolling yourself as a student in a Canadian university, you would be adding a distinguished academic degree to your list of qualifications, which is highly respected and recognized round the globe. Canada offers you just what you want, in terms of course. Right from aerospace engineering to zoology, you have a plethora of specializations to choose from, in either French or English, or even in a mix of both languages. A country offering magnificent and incredible views of skyscrapers, heritage homes, coastlines, and countryside landscapes, inspiration for achieving your much-desired dreams falls in perfect place. However, the education system is managed by each separate provincial government through different ministries of education, existing there. Canada is categorized into ten provinces and three territories, each one having its own distinct methods of organizing education. Nevertheless, there are some generalizations that unite Canadian education. Given here is the universal educational system followed in Canada.
Elementary Education
Similar to other countries, attending preschool is not mandatory in Canada as well. Further, you can find many private institutions indulged in providing playschool and preschool education. Generally, school in Canada begins at the age of 4 or 5 years with kindergarten. Even kindergarten is voluntary, which may or may not be attended by children. Compulsory education starts from grade 1 until grade 6, termed as elementary school. Thereafter, students graduate to middle school or junior high school for 2 years. Provinces where middle school does not exist, elementary education extends till grade 8. In Quebec, grades 1-6 are considered elementary school, following which students right away move to secondary/high school.
Secondary School
After the successful completion of middle school, students enter secondary school, often known as high school, for grades 9 through 12, though this may vary from province to province. In regions where schools run middle school and junior high school, grades 7 and 8 are also included in secondary school. Say, for instance, high school covers grades 7 to 11 in Quebec, after which students go to CEGEP (Collège d'enseignement général et professionnel or College of General and Vocational Education) before applying to universities.
Post Secondary Education
Postsecondary education in Canada is offered by four different kinds of educational institutions, namely, universities, university colleges, community colleges or technical institutes, and career colleges. Depending upon the course and degree, under graduation can take 3-5 years for completion. Every academic year is divided into two semesters, running between September and May. However, institutions may also follow the trimester system, with admissions taking place in January and/or May as well as in September.
Basically public funded, Canadian universities offer high levels of education at relatively lower tuition fee, for foreign students. A wide range of programs and degrees are offered by universities, right from undergraduate to doctoral level. They also provide certificate and professional degrees.
University Colleges
Both degree and professional diploma/certificate programs are offered by such institutions. Since they fall under the administration of the university system, students can expect strong support in terms of services, classes, and campus environment. University colleges also honor students with degree/diploma programs as well as university transfer programs.
Community Colleges & Technical Institutes
Mostly diplomas and certificates are granted by these colleges, instead of degrees. They offer several advantages, some of them being small classes, off-campus course studying, and a high interaction with teachers. Students get an opportunity of tasting the industry as these institutes highly focus on training and assist in making arrangements for the same.
Career Colleges
As the name suggests, these institutes emphasize largely on job oriented programs, to help the students develop practical skills and enhance their knowledge. As such, specializations are offered pertaining to the professional skills acquired by a particular student. Even though there are private educational institutions, but the standards and quality of the programs offered are made sure of. Besides, they are approved and regulated by education authorities and accreditation bodies, which make it more convenient for increasing number of students taking admission.
Graduate Education
After the students complete their under graduation and earn their bachelor’s degree, they become eligible for pursuing master’s degree. Graduate degrees are a level higher than undergraduate degrees and require at least 1 or 2 years for completion. While a one-year program is a course-based program, the two-year program is a research-based complete program.
Doctoral Education
To pursue a doctoral program, Canadian universities look for extremely talented and proficient students who are willing to stay committed towards the research and excel at academics. Only students who have completed their master’s degree and research papers with flying results can apply for doctoral programs. Although the minimum length of the doctoral program in 3 years, this is often not possible and extends up till 4 years.
Different types of degrees and certificates are awarded to students on completion of various courses and programs. Certificates are presented to students who successfully complete programs of one-year duration, usually offered at colleges. A diploma, on the other hand, is awarded on certain criteria of completing one or two years of study, at colleges. Undergraduate or bachelor’s program runs for four years of full-time study, resulting in the earning of a bachelor’s degree. Successful completion of one or two years, post a bachelor’s degree, awards students with a graduate, post graduate, or master’s degree. A minimum study of three years at a university or university college makes a student eligible for earning a doctoral degree or PhD, after receiving a master’s degree.

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