The True Cost of a Bachelor’s Degree in Canada: Breaking it Down



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Average Cost of an Undergraduate Degree in Canada

The average cost of an undergraduate degree in Canada is relative per type of student – international student/Canadian Student. Aside from having a reputation for one of the best education systems in the world, Canada is one of the go-to destinations for students around the globe as it offers a diverse variety of experiences and prospects for students.

Experiences ranging from its vast expanses to its multicultural cities, its serene environment, and natural beauty, are not left out. Canada currently ranks 3rd globally in international student attraction with a record of 642,00 international students. 

Studying in Canada

Undergraduate degrees in Canada usually take three-four years to complete, depending on the institution. These institutions are managed by each provincial government of where they are located in Canada. Quebec, Ontario, and British Columbia are among the most sought-after location for internationals in Canada, as they house most of the major institutions in Canada.

Studying in Canada is less expensive than in other countries like the US, UK, and Australia. And the average cost of an undergraduate degree in Canada varies per institution. According to the World University Rankings compiled by THE (Time Higher Education), Canada currently has over 30 universities listed among the best academic institutions globally. 

Student Permit and Visa 

To study in Canada, you will need to obtain a student permit/visa as an international student. A student permit/visa costs an average of 232.95 CAD, and applying before you travel to Canada is advisable.

You’ll be required to provide the following documents for the application process:

  • Acceptance letter from the university
  • Valid passport
  • Travel document 
  • Proof of finances
  • English Proficiency
  • A translated copy of your transcript

Average Cost of University in Canada For International Students

The average cost of an undergraduate degree in Canada usually varies depending on the institution in Canada. Mostly the fees are set based on the program you’re enrolled in and if you are an international student. Also, the average cost of university in Canada for international students varies on the grants and financial assistance you get.

Tuition fees at Canadian universities are quite expensive, but at the same time, they are lower than tuition from countries like the United Kingdom (UK), the United State of America (USA), or Australia. There are no fixed prices for undergraduate studies, tuition fee varies yearly, and there are also noticeable differences in the fees depending on the city or degree you are enrolled in. Newfoundland universities have been found to have the lowest tuition fees.

According to the recent update by Statistics Canada, there have been a few changes to the fees required of students to pay. Currently, the tuition fees required of a Canadian student have declined by an average of 5.3%, while for international students, there is an upsurge of 7.6%.

This simply means that as a Canadian student, you’ll be required to pay an average cost of 6,463 CAD yearly. And as an international student, the average tuition fee you’ll be required to pay is 29714 CAD yearly.

Average Cost per Course

Generally, the average cost of an undergraduate degree in Canada ranges from 550 – 30,000 CAD yearly. Courses like Medicine, Engineering, and Social Sciences are among Canada’s most expensive study courses.

If you’re enrolled in any of these courses, expect to pay an average of 21,717 CAD for Dentistry and 14,162-10,724 CAD for Medicine. For students enrolled in Humanities courses, their fees are a bit lesser.

For Humanities courses, you’ll be required to pay an average of 5,542 CAD yearly for tuition. Surprisingly, business and management course fees are cheaper than the national average. The average fees for these courses are around 550 – 56,00 CAD yearly.

Other courses’ tuition fees are:

  • 1,0225 – 56,000 CAD yearly for Social Sciences
  • 1,535 – 55,500 CAD yearly for Computer Science & IT
  • 1,350 – 55,000 CAD yearly for Engineering & Technology
  • 1,780 – 53,000 CAD yearly for Natural Sciences

Scholarship and Funding

For international students who are having difficulties paying their fees, they can apply for funding or scholarship to support their studies. There are several scholarships open to international undergraduate students seeking to study in Canada. Among them are:

Average Cost of Masters in Canada For International Students

On average, tuition range from 1,075 – 65,00 CAD per year for International master’s students in Canada. Courses like Business, Engineering, Law, and Computer Sciences are more expensive than other courses.

For Social Sciences courses, the tuition ranges from 2,150 – 37,000 CAD yearly, while for Medicine & Health, the tuition fees are around 2,150 – 58,300 CAD yearly. Courses like Computer Sciences & IT and Engineering & Technology are in the same price range of 2,150 – 52,500 CAD yearly, while Business & Management is around 2,150 – 52,700 CAD yearly.

As with undergraduate students, several funding/scholarship prospects are available for international master’s students in Canada.

Canadian Universities with Low Tuition Fees for International Students

Canada is a prominent destination for international students due to its low tuition fees, ease of living, and prominent universities compared to some countries. For international students searching for affordable undergraduate degrees, below are some low tuition fee universities in Canada for international undergraduate students:

  • Brandon University

This institution is located in the city of Brandon, Manitoba, and the average tuition fee is around 7,203 CAD yearly.

  • Universite de Saint-Boniface

Located in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Universite de Saint-Boniface is a French-language public school. It is an affiliated institution with the University of Manitoba. The average tuition fee for international students is 7,482 CAD yearly. The institution offers a Bachelor’s degree in Arts, Translation, Science, Nursing, Business, and Education.

  • University of Guelph

This institution is a comprehensive public research institution located in Guelph, Ontario, Canada. The institution offers a Bachelor’s degree from 5 colleges, including Arts, Biological Sciences, Social & Applied Human Sciences, Business & Economics.

The average tuition fee is 9, 730 CAD yearly. The university also offers special assistance to international students like visa application, housing, English language study, and also access to an advisor.

  • Canadian Mennonite University

This is an Anabaptist institution situated in Winnipeg, Manitoba. They offer a 3 – 4 years BA, BSC, BBA, and Master’s Programs, and their tuition fee is 10,003 CAD.

  • Memorial University of Newfoundland

Also known as Memorial University or MUN, the Memorial University of Newfoundland is an institution with four satellite campuses based in St. John’s, Newfoundland. Memorial University has over 100 programs that offer diploma, undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate certificates. The institution also offers online courses. 

The average cost for an undergraduate degree for international students in this institution is 11,460 CAD yearly. The institution offers international students specific services like student advising, international student groups, and an internationalization office.

Student Cost of Living

While budgeting for the average cost of an undergraduate degree in Canada, it is also important to value the cost of living as an international student in Canada. Generally, the cost of living in Canada is a bit above average, but this comes with a guaranteed high-quality life.

If you are a student in places like Quebec, Montreal, and Ottawa, you will need an average of 800 -1,500 CAD monthly as living expenses. While in places like Vancouver and Calgary, the most expensive cities in Canada, you will require about 2,000 CAD monthly.

International Student Accommodation

There are several accommodation options available to international students in Canada. Where you decide to stay depends on your budget. Usually, prices vary according to the type of accommodation you choose and your location.

Also, while looking out for accommodation, you might want to consider some of your housing preferences. The major housing options available for students in Canada include:

  • Arranged homestay

The institution organizes family homes to welcome international students to stay for the school year. Homestays are quite popular for international students coming to study in Canada.

With homestay, you will be given a furnished room, home-cooked meals, participate in family activities, and cost around 400 – 800 CAD monthly. Homestay accommodation is a home away from home.

  • Dormitory

These are accommodations close to the school. They are usually well-furnished aside from the kitchen and bathrooms shared with other students. These accommodations are also shared according to gender.

In some dormitories, meal plans are included in the room’s cost. The dormitory price ranges from 3,000 CAD – 7,500 CAD yearly. A dormitory is a sure way to be more involved in campus activities and meet other students.

  • Rent/Shared Apartment

Private/shared apartment is another option open to international students, although depending on the location of the apartment, the rent can be quite expensive, especially in major cities. To lessen the burden of the fee, you can choose to share your accommodation with other students.

Some institutions in Canada offer their students off-campus housing services. These accommodations are usually affordable and close to the school. Also, they can help you find roommates. 

A rented apartment usually comes in the form of a self-contained unit with bedrooms, bathrooms, and a kitchen. A shared accommodation costs an average of 250 – 700 CAD monthly, while a suite costs about 400 – 1500 CAD monthly.

A rented apartment or studio apartment comes with an additional fee for basic utilities like heating, electricity, water, and garbage for 150 CAD monthly and 50 – 70 CAD monthly for internet service.

Transportation and Food Cost

Feeding is quite inexpensive. Groceries from local supermarkets like Canadian Superstore, Walmart, and No Frills cost about 300 CAD monthly. Occasional eating out in restaurants costs about 10 – 25 CAD, while a three-course meal for two in an average restaurant costs about 50 – 65 CAD.

For international students aged between 18 – 25, they are entitled to a discount when purchasing the monthly transport pass. A one-way ticket costs 3 CAD, while the total price for a month is 90 CAD. Taxis fares range between 2 – 6 CAD per KM.

With a little budgeting and planning, life as an international student in Canada is not that difficult.

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Kareena Maya

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Kareena Maya is a freelance writer focused on the personal finance and travel spaces. He frequently writes about credit cards, banking, student loans, insurance, travel rewards and more. His work has been featured in publications such as Forbes Advisor, Bankrate, Credit Karma, Finance Buzz, The Ascent and Student Loan Planner.

Kareena Maya is a freelance writer focused on the personal finance and travel spaces. He frequently writes about credit cards, banking, student loans, insurance, travel rewards and more. His work has been featured in publications such as Forbes Advisor, Bankrate, Credit Karma, Finance Buzz, The Ascent and Student Loan Planner.