Higher Education and Degree Programs in Canada

Post secondary institutions in Canada provide degrees, diplomas and certificates, depending on the nature of the institutions and the duration of the course of studies. At universities and university colleges, there is an emphasis on degree programs. Besides, some colleges provide applied degrees as well. At all other institutions, the focus is on diploma and certificate programs.

Following are the Higher Education-Degree programs offered in Canada:

Diploma and Advanced Diploma Program

Diploma and Advanced Diploma programs in Canada are a one or two-years of study in a specific field or discipline. Such programs teach theory and practical skills in a broad scope of technological and/or management functions and roles.

Associate Degree

Associate degree programs follow year 12 or equivalent. It is of two years, a higher education qualification offering an exit point at the sub-degree level, or a fully articulated pathway into a Bachelor Degree.

Undergraduate Degree

Students at the baccalaureate or bachelor's level are known as undergraduates. Successful completion of the secondary school program is the normal requirement for admission to undergraduate study.
  • Bachelor’s Degree: The bachelor degree is the base university qualification. Bachelor degrees provide initial preparation for professional careers and postgraduate study and involve a minimum of three- four years of full-time study depending on the province and whether the program is general or specialized.

  • Bachelor’s Honours Degree: Honours may require an optional additional year of study (usually research based) following a three-year degree or may be awarded for academic achievement in degrees of four or more years.

Post Graduate Degree

  • Masters Degree: The purpose of Masters Degree is to qualify individuals who apply an advanced body of knowledge in a range of contexts for research and scholarship and as a pathway for further learning. It is designed to enhance your professional skills or help you get a richer discernment of a specific area of knowledge. There are three main forms of Masters Degrees within the Masters Degree qualification type: the Masters Degree (Research), the Masters Degree (Coursework) and the Masters Degree (Extended). A master's degree in Canada typically requires two years of study after successful completion of an honours baccalaureate.

  • Masters Degree (Research): consists of research and a thesis.

  • Masters Degree (Coursework): consists of coursework, project work and research.

  • Masters Degree (Extended): involves work-based projects.

Research Degree- Doctoral degree

The Doctoral Degree is the highest award offered by Canadian universities. It is for graduates who want to investigate and contribute knowledge in a particular academic discipline. Doctoral degrees recognize a considerable original contribution to a given field in the shape of new knowledge or the adaptation, application and interpretation of living knowledge. There are two forms of Doctoral Degree: the Doctoral Degree (Research) and the Doctoral Degree (Professional). A minimum of three years and up to seven years of study and research, as well as a dissertation, are the normal requirements for a doctorate. The degree is generally known as a Ph.D.; however, doctoral degrees in Canada may additionally be granted in particular fields of study such as music (D.Mus.) or law (LLD).
  • Research doctorate (PhD): These consist primarily of supervised research resulting in the culmination of a dissertation.

  • Professional doctorate: These combine coursework and research for professionals desiring to advance their knowledge in their domain without the research commitment of a PhD.
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