Having a Bachelor’s degree has become a basic definition of education these days. But for those who want to cross that and grab a Masters degree, studying abroad is always the first option. Masters has its benefits like good job offers and better pay at the end of it. We all know that the US is a hub of universities open for foreign students. Very few of us are aware of options outside the USA. 

Looking outside the USA, studying in Canada is one of the best options if you are looking for a Master’s degree in a reputed university and also without the burden of huge loans.

Canada is one of the countries that also offers extraordinary education for a much lesser budget overall. Now, if you are talking about getting enrolled in the top 10 universities in the US, you need an unbelievably high and competitive portfolio and marks respectively. If you have an impressive enough portfolio, then the US universities are the go-to option for you. But, if you are looking for a decent university, let’s call them mid-ranked ones. Then, Canada has better options as some of the Canadian top universities are so much better than the mid-ranked US colleges. 

Also, the cost of education is almost half of that compared to US universities. Living costs may vary but lies in a decent price range. Hence, Canada can be one of the best options for Masters if you are looking for a decent university across the globe.

Top Universities in Canada

According to QS World University Rankings 2020, here are the top 10 universities in Canada:

Canada RankGlobal RankUniversity
1=29 University of Toronto
2=35McGill University
351University of British Columbia
4113University of Alberta
5137Université de Montréal
6=140McMaster University


7=173University of Waterloo 
8211Western University
233University of Calgary 
10=239Queen’s University

Now let us walk down to the top 10 universities in for MS in Canada.

1. McGill University

The main campus is located in downtown Montreal, and the second campus located in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, this university is affiliated with Association of American universities and also to Global University Leaders Forum (GULF). With 12 Nobel laureates as alumni, this university is considered one of the best Canadian universities for MS.

2. University of Toronto

The University of Toronto is one of the oldest universities built for higher education in the colony of Upper Canada back in 1827. It has 2 satellite campuses and has the history of being the birthplace of insulin and stem cell, and the first sighting of the practical electron microscope, the identification of the first black hole Cygnus X-1 and many more such inventions and discoveries. This is undoubtedly one of the best universities to finish your post-graduation from.

3. University of British Columbia

This public research university has two campuses based in Vancouver and Kelowna, British Columbia. It is also home to the world’s largest cyclotron. It bears a library with 9.9 million volumes among its 21 branches. It has the triumph of cultivating 8 Nobel laureates, 71 Rhodes scholars and 65 Olympians and much more. Being established in 1908, the UBC is considered the oldest university for higher education in Canada.

4. University of Alberta

Also a public research university established in 1980, located in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada is considered as a Comprehensive Academic and Research University (CARU). This means that the graduate programs offered by the university have higher concentration and values for research. The university is spread over 5 different campuses. Research plays an important role in Masters and universities should encourage their students to research. Alberta is one such place with 200 acres of campus where students can excel.

5. Universite de Montreal

Commonly known as UnDeM, this university is located in Montreal, Quebec, Canada was established in 1878. This offers almost 13 faculties over 60+ departments. It also holds a huge number of alumni over so many years of quality education. This university stands in the top 5 best universities in Canada. 

6. University of Waterloo

Located in Waterloo, Canada, this university established in 1956 is a member of U15, a group of research-intensive universities in Canada. It is popular for its co-operative education programs allowing students to integrate their programs with some work experience. This campus is also home to 3 satellite campuses and four affiliated university colleges.

7. McMaster University

Known as Mac, the university is located in Hamilton, Canada. The university operates on this problem- based approach to learning which itself is called “The McMaster model”. It operates in 6 different faculties. It is also home to various cabinet ministers, Noble laureates, scientists and also Hollywood actors. 

8. University of Calgary

Located in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, the University of Calgary  was established in 1908. The university has over 85 research institutes, 14 different faculties and 55 departments. It includes alumni like James Gosling, Garrett Camp and Stephen Harper- the former Prime Minister of Canada, and many other reputed personalities. Approximately $360.5 million has been sponsored by the university for research purposes. That makes this one of the finest universities in Canada to graduate from.

9. University of Western Ontario

Established in 1878, the UWO was named as the western university in 2012. It’s located in London, Ontario, Canada. With annual research funding of around $240 million, and an international reputation for success, western ranks as one of the Top Canadian research-intensive universities. It also homes so many Nobel Laureates, Rhodes Scholars and much more.

10. Queen’s University at Kingston

Located in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, this university was established in 1841. It is divided into 10 different faculties.It has a campus of over 99 acres. The university is a home for around 131,000 alumni all across the globe. It has many notable Alumni like Elon Musk, Alfred Bader, NASA astronaut Andrew J Feustel and many more.

So, now we know the top universities of Canada, let us see how one can enrol in any one of them.

Eligibility for MS in Canada (Educational qualification) 

Generally, this is standard for almost all Canadian universities. Applicants are highly recommended to verify the credential requirements before applying.

 1. Basic education qualification 

Most universities put up a requirement of a minimum of 16 years of basic education. That includes 4 years of Undergraduate Program. Though certain universities also accept 3 years UG students, two of them are the University of British Columbia and York University. (Do check as per your requirement before applying)

2. Minimum CGPA

The universities are strict with this one as they expect a minimum of 3 out of 4 when it comes to CGPA. Certain top universities have such strict criteria for the students to apply for the university. Although most of the universities focus on the 3rd and 4th year results only. But to be on the safer side, it is suggested that you maintain an average CGPA of 3 throughout the graduation.

3. GRE scores

You need to appear for GRE and in this case, different universities have different cut-offs. You need to focus on a good GRE score of 305 to 315 + out of 340 if you are looking for a good university.


In order to prove that you are comfortable with English and that you are skilled enough to survive in their Nation, you should clear IELTS or TOEFL. You should score a minimum of 6.5 to 7.0 in IELTS and a solid 90+ in TOEFL exams to prove your English proficiency. The above are the basic eligibility conditions to apply for MS in Canada.

Cost of Study for MS in Canada

Cost of Study in Canada, as mentioned earlier is half that of the US. The average fee per year would cost somewhere around 16,250 CAD to 28,650 CAD. Whereas the same in the US would cost around 30,000 USD to 45,000 USD on average. It can vary hugely depending on the university. There are a lot of scholarship opportunities to cut the education cost. It is discussed in the further sections below.

Cost of living in Canada

Lifestyle in Canada is as amazing as any other country. It provides you with options between expensive cities like Toronto, Vancouver, and Quebec, and plains and beautiful cities like British Columbia, etc. 

A student can survive within CAD 10000$ per year in suburban cities and it might get up to 1700$ per month too. As this might depend on how much one spends and their lifestyle, the above mentioned are just estimations.

Bonus: Part-time jobs and Scholarships for students:

Studying abroad always has it’s pros and cons. As a student it is very important to learn to be independent and responsible. You can start earning as a student, which will help you adapt to the work culture and to be more professional at the same time. On the other hand, scholarships are another best way to cut down on studying costs when abroad. You can score well and hence apply for different scholarships. 

Work: Working while studying can have its own benefits as mentioned above. Also, that you can open up to different things outside your campus and start exploring other opportunities and interests. You can work on or off-campus like in restaurants, hotels, cafes and many such places for over 20 hours a week without a work permit. But, a student needs to have the following things, 

  • Valid study permit
  • A student enrolled in a professional university with a post-graduation or secondary level course with a duration of at least 6 months
  • Have the SIN to work in Canada.

Scholarships: You can apply for scholarships if you are exceptionally good at something like studies, sports, music, etc. You should search for something that supports you and apply for that. Scholarships are helpful as they are basically rewards for the hard work you put in studying. There are many scholarships provided by universities. Some of them are:

  • Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship: This scholarship is offered to Doctoral students. Focuses on leadership skills, high standard of scholarly achievement in graduate studies in social sciences & humanities, natural sciences, engineering/health. It is a 3-year non-renewable scholarship.
  • Ontario Graduate Scholarship: It is an annual scholarship offered to students pursuing graduate studies in order to complete Master’s or PhD in any university in Ontario, Canada.
  • Ontario Trillium Scholarship: This is a scholarship offered to the PhD students. It is a 4 year renewable scholarship offered depending on the students academic performance.
  • University of Manitoba Graduate Fellowships and, etc.

 You can check these scholarships online and apply to those, with criteria that match yours.

Why study in Canada?

Overall, Canada is an amazing place for international students as the country supports international students with multiple scholarships and job opportunities. Both the government and universities have a lot of schemes for students flying abroad to study in Canada. Research is highly valued and any student with an exquisite idea come forward, the college does everything it can in its power to provide the student with technical and additional support. 

  1. Extra-curricular activities: Campuses also have cultural activities and a lot of sports events happening, making college life fun and enjoyable. These result in students getting a break from their usual study and research and participate in all sorts of extra-curricular activities. 
  2. Rich Culture: The country also has a diverse culture and ethnicity. This makes it more welcoming and also one of the safest places to be in. It accepts all sorts of groups and traditions making it more lovable. 
  3. Safety: The government and universities play an important role in the safety of the student. It involves health care, security and much more. Immigration is also made easy, as students can apply for a student visa and then extend it for two more years on a work basis. Later one can also apply for permanent residence here. Starting as a student one can gain a permanent Citizenship here in Canada.
  4. Weather and lifestyle: Canada is also famous for its beautiful landscapes and cities. There are so many places and tourist spots inside Canada, making the stay remarkable. Apart from the very cold winters that reach up to -10 degree sometimes, Canada is one of the best places to reside and study. 

No need to worry about overcrowded streets, extremely expensive rents and daily expenses. One can easily get a Master’s from Canada within a total budget of approximately 60000 CAD if planned properly. Half of this can be managed by the students by their part-time jobs and scholarships. 

The Canadian Visa is so much easier to obtain and is so much less hassle when compared to that of the US. With all these benefits Canada becomes one of the most student-friendly countries around the globe.

So, if you are planning to study in Canada, you can go out there and apply for it. 

1. Is GRE required for MS in Canada?

Yes, if you wish to pursue an MS in Canada, you need to appear the GRE for admission into a university.

2. What CGPA is needed for MS in Canda?

There is no specific criterion so as what CGPA is required for MS in Canada. However, a good CGPA or % along with other requirements will certainly help you in securing admission into the top universities.

3. Which is the cheapest University for Masters in Canada?

University of Northern British Columbia, the University of Calgary and Simon Fraser University are a few of the cheap universities for a Master’s degree in Canada.

You can achieve anything, as long as you have the passion, the drive and the focus on it.

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