Tuition fees in Canada
Universities in Canada set their own fees, and these vary depending on several factors: what program you’re studying, whether you are an international or home student, and whether you’re studying at undergraduate or postgraduate level. According to the latest report from Statistics Canada, tuition fees in Canada fell by an average of 5.3 percent for undergraduate domestic students and rose by 7.6 percent for international undergraduates in 2019/2020.
If you’re a Canadian citizen studying in Canada, you can expect to pay an average of CA$6,463 per year for an undergraduate degree, and CA$7,056 per year for a graduate degree.
Undergraduate tuition fees in Canada
According to Statistics Canada, the average tuition fees for undergraduate international students in 2019/20 are CA$29714 (~US$22,500) per year. humanities courses tend to be cheaper(averaging $5,542), while subjects such as engineering and medicine are among the more expensive (an average of CA$21,717 (~US$16,446) for dentistry and $14,162 (~US$10,724) for Medicine . Fees for business and management courses are lower than the national average, at CA$6,827 (~US$5,170) per year.
Postgraduate tuition fees in Canada
If you want to study at postgraduate level, the tuition fees are generally lower, and again vary depending on your program. Statistics Canada puts the average postgraduate tuition fee for international students at CA$17,744 in 2019/20, which is approximately US$13,437; a four percent increase from the previous year.
As is the case worldwide, executive MBA programs are generally the most expensive, averaging around CA$56,328 (~US$42,657), while regular MBAs cost CA$27,397 (~US$20,747) on average. (You can read more about studying an MBA in Canada here).
To find out more, get your free online copy of the QS Top Grad School Guide, including a dedicated section about postgraduate study in Canada.
Cost of living in Canada
Although Canadian student visa requirements say you must have at least CA$10,000 (~US$7,570) (or CA$11,000/~US$8,300 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.
The Université de Montréal estimates students will need a total of CA$14,700 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. According to the 2019 Mercer Cost of Living Survey, Toronto was the most expensive Canadian city to live in, closely followed by Vancouver, with rent particularly high in both cities.
The three main types of student accommodation (homestay, university accommodation and private accommodation) vary considerably in costs, with students paying around CA$3,000-7,500 (~US$2,271 – 5,680) for on-campus accommodation each year. Private shared accommodation can cost around CA$8,400 (~US$6,361) per year plus bills. University accommodation is often cheaper, with some universities offering meal plans to allow you to purchase food from the university’s food outlets.
Here are some examples of average living costs in Canada, taken from Numbeo in October 2019:
- Eating out at a restaurant: CA$16 per person (~US$12)
- One-way ticket on local public transport: CA$3 (~US$2.27)
- Loaf of bread: CA$2.86 (~US$2.17)
- Cinema ticket: CA$13.50 (~US$10.22)
- Monthly gym fee: CA$48.25 (~US$36.54)
You will need to purchase compulsory health insurance while studying in Canada. This will cost approximately CA$600-800 (~US$455-607) per year. You should also budget for extra costs, such as warm winter clothing if you don’t already have any.