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.

Why MS 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 comes forward, the college does everything it can in its power to provide the student with technical and additional support.  

1. World-class Universities:

Canada is home to some of the top Universities of the world like the University of Toronto, University of Waterloo, McGill University and many others. The Canadian Universities boast of a world-class education. Equipped with excellent faculty as well as other facilities, Canadian universities strive to provide their students with the best education. This makes Canada a top destination for pursuing an MS.

2. Affordable:

Another plus point of pursuing an MS in Canada is the affordability. The tuition fees, as well as the cost of living in Canada, are quite affordable as compared to the other top destinations like the US or the UK.

3. 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. 

4. 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. 

5. 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.

6. 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.

Top Universities in Canada

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

Canada Rank Global Rank University
1 =29  University of Toronto
2 =35 McGill University
3 51 University of British Columbia
4 113 University of Alberta
5 137 Université de Montréal
6 =140 McMaster University


7 =173 University of Waterloo 
8 211 Western University
233 University of Calgary 
10 =239 Queen’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 the 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 enroll 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.

First, let’s take a look at how much it’ll cost you to pursue an MS in Canada:

  • Tuition fees for MS in Canada: Depending upon the University and the course that you get admitted to, tuition fees for MS in Canada can range in between CAD 8,284 (INR 4.5 lacs) to CAD 35,064 (INR 19 lacs) annually. However, you can always apply for scholarships in order to get an aid in paying your tuition fees.
  • Stationery and Textbooks: On a yearly basis, you can expect to spend around CAD 500 (INR 27,139) on stationery and textbooks. 

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.

Now, let us take a look at the living costs in Canada.

  • Accommodation: Again, depending upon the city you choose to live in, on-campus accommodation will cost you anywhere between CAD 600 to CAD 950 a month. For an on-campus stay, most universities offer students an additional meal plan. If you take a meal plan, it should cost you a few hundred Canadian dollars a month. If you decide on residing off-campus, the monthly rent will cost you around CAD 750 and these costs can go up as high as CAD 2000 depending upon the locality you choose to reside in. These costs can be curbed if you decide to opt for shared accommodation with another student or live in a homestay/ dormitory.
  • Groceries: For the groceries, you can expect to spend around CAD 200 to CAD 300 a month.
  • Transportation: The most preferred modes of transportation for students in Canada are either the bus or the metro. Monthly bus or metro passes should cost you around CAD 80 to CAD 110 a month.
  • Mobile plan: On average, you can expect to spend CAD 30 on a mobile recharge plan.
  • Entertainment: Entertainment plays an important part in every student’s life. Here is you much you can expect to pay for the following:
    • A meal outside: A meal at a restaurant should cost you anywhere around CAD 10 (INR 543) to CAD 15 (INR 815).
    • A 3-course meal: If you wish to go to a fancier restaurant and have a 3-course meal, it should cost you CAD 65 (INR 3530) and above.
    • Movie tickets: A movie ticket in Canada costs around CAD 12.5 (INR 679).

If you plan your entertainment expenses properly, this shouldn’t cost you more than CAD  50 to CAD 100 a month.

Type of Expense

Min Cost (Yearly) Max Cost (Yearly)
Tuition fees CAD 8,284 (INR 4.5 lacs)

CAD 35,064 (INR 19 lacs)

Stationery and textbooks

CAD 500 (INR 27,156)

CAD 500 (INR 27,156)


CAD 7200 (INR 3,91,054)

CAD 24000 (INR 13,03,515)


CAD 2400 (INR 1,30,351)

CAD 3600 (INR 1,95,527)


CAD 960 (INR 52,140)

CAD 1320 (71,693)

Mobile Plan CAD 360 (INR 19,552)

CAD 360 (INR 19,552)


CAD 600 (INR 32,587)

CAD 1200 (INR 65,175)

Total (with tuition fees)

CAD 20,304 (INR 11,02,863)

CAD 66,044 (INR 35,87,056)

Total (without tuition fees) CAD 12,020 (INR 6,52,584)

CAD 30,980 (INR 16,81,953)

In the above table, we have considered the minimum and maximum of everything. Your exact expenses can range anything in between the minimum and maximum. However, on a monthly basis, you can expect to spend a minimum of CAD 1000 (INR 54,291) and a maximum of CAD 2,581(INR 1,40,126)  on living costs. These are estimates and how much you actually need to spend depends on various factors such as your lifestyle, the locality you live in, etc. 

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 for MS in Canada:

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 a Master’s or Ph.D. in any university in Ontario, Canada.
  • Ontario Trillium Scholarship: This is a scholarship offered to Ph.D. students. It is a 4-year renewable scholarship offered depending on the student’s academic performance.
  • University of Manitoba Graduate Fellowships and, etc.

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

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

How to apply for MS in Canada?

1. Select Universities:

The first step towards application for MS in Canada would be University selection. Select a few universities that you are interested in and that offer your course of choice and list them down. 

2. Check the Universities’ eligibility criteria and deadlines:

After you have shortlisted some universities, check what their deadlines and eligibility requirements are. Write these down next to the Universities’ names.

3. Register for entrance tests:

The next thing that you’d require to do for an MS in Canada is to appear the eligibility examinations. You need to appear for GRE and either TOEFL or IELTS to prove your English proficiency. Register yourself for these examinations and begin your preparations.

4. Get your SOP and LORs ready:

In order to study in foreign universities, you also need to submit a Statement of Purpose (SOP) and 2-3 Letters of Recommendation (LORs). Start working on your SOP and get strong LORs from your professors or employer (if you have work experience).

5. Apply: 

The last step, finally, is to apply to your desired universities. For the application, you will need:

  • All your academic transcripts
  • Your GRE and TOEFL/ IELTS scores
  • SOP
  • LOR

Get all these documents ready and submit your applications. The Universities that you are applying to might also ask for some additional documents. SO, check properly whether anything else is required too.

You also need to apply for a scholarship when you apply to the University. So, also keep that in mind when you submit your applications.

Some FAQs on MS in Canada:

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 to 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.

4. Is Canada good for MS?

Yes, Canada is definitely a great option to consider for an MS. It has some of the best universities in the world along with great faculty and high quality of education.

5. What are the best universities for MS in Canada?

Some of the best universities for MS in Canada are: University of Toronto, McGill University, University of Alberta, University of British Columbia, University of Waterloo, etc.

6. Can I apply for a scholarship for MS in Canada?

Yes, there are various scholarships that international students can avail of for MS in Canada.

7. Is GRE enough for MS in Canada?

Along with GRE, you also need to appear either TOEFL or IELTS to be eligible for Canadian universities.

8. What is the minimum CGPA required for MS in Canada?

There is no requirement as such on what your CGPS should be for MS in Canada. Universities look at your overall profile while granting admissions. However, a higher CGPA can certainly help.

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