Masters In Canada; Fees, MS Application Process & Deadlines

Canada is not only popular for its picturesque lakes and mountain ranges but also for affordable higher education leading to many international masters aspirants choosing Canada over the US. The country has seen an exponential rise in international student which is set to increase in the near future, bolstered by Canada’s handling of post-graduation work permit rules, high quality of living and excellent employment rates. Moreover, given its close proximity to the USA which is the dream destination for every other student who wishes to both graduate or undergraduate study which ultimately gives Canada more visibility.

What makes Canada a popular study abroad destination?, well for one Canada is much cheaper than the US when it comes to higher education which is due to the fact that much of its funding comes from the government itself instead of relying private funding. Another important game changer is the streamlined student friendly visa process making an extremely student friendly by reducing the processing time required and the necessary paperwork. With the ongoing political scenario in several countries, Canada’s ease of visa and immigration plus affordable health care, ease of getting a work permit after graduation and the affordable living costs.

Canada is home to more than 96 universities including some of the big players like University of Toronto, University of Waterloo, McGill University and University of British Columbia. As of 2017 nearly 8% of Canada’s population which is about 2.96 million people are considering a postgraduate degree as opposed to just 5.4% in 2007. As far as the international students go, the figures have more than doubled from 87,798 in 2008 to whooping 530,540 at the end of 2020. This trajectory of Canada’s encouraging education stats indicate a growing awareness about the importance of higher education not mention the government’s proactive approach aimed at making education affordable and accessible to those from low-income families as well as those from tribal areas.

Canadian institutions educated around 1.7 million students annually and they performed 40% of Canada’s research which represented a turn over of 35 billion Canadian dollars, generating economic wealth in communities across Canada. The most popular and sought-after courses of study in Canada include computer science, civil engineering and construction, public health, finance human resource management, mechanical engineering, pharmaceutical engineering, electrical engineering, psychology and chemical engineering with significant percentages of incoming international students applying for courses in STEM i.e. science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Top 10 Canadian universities Global Ranking

1. University of Toronto 18
2. McGill university 33
3. University of British Columbia 47
4. University of Alberta 109
5. McMaster University 146
6. Universite de Montreal 149
7. University of Waterloo 163
8. Western University 214
9. University of Calgary 229
10. Queen’s University 239

The University of Toronto is ranked 18th in the world for its academic reputation while McGill boasts of the best scope of its percentage of international students welcoming them from over 150 countries. Meanwhile, the University of British Columbia located in picturesque Vancouver is home to eight Nobel Prize winners and 71 Rhodes Scholars.

The next step is to find out the admission intakes and their respective deadlines. Canada has two kinds of admission intakes- fall and spring. For the fall intake, classes commence from the month of September and from the spring intake, the classes commence from the month of January. However, there are few differences between two intakes, for example roster of courses offered during the fall intake is much higher than what’s offered during spring. Admissions provided during the spring intake is much lower. Consequently the class size of the spring intake is much smaller than that of the fall intake.

Application timeline for the Fall intake

August to September, finish shortlisting six to twelve universities that you are interested in based on independent research. By September and November, start taking the exams required for admissions such as GRE, GMAT, TOEFL or IELTS. This will give you sufficient time to study adequately for any exams you would be taking. November to December, take cognizance of the application deadlines which are usually around November to December so you need to prepare your application package including transcripts, test scores, essays and letters of recommendation and ensure you made it well as before the deadlines.

Between January to April, this is the period in which you will hear back from universities on their application decisions. Once accepted you will be given a deadline within which you have to confirm your place and make an admissions deposit. Between April to July, this is the period you will apply for student loans if required and begin applying for your visas.

Admission requirements for studying in Canada

Compared to the US, the Canadian applications process is fairly straightforward. For example, not all universities in Canada require a GRE, however many of them prefer having a GRE score on your profile. By and large, the admission decisions are based on
application essays and your score in TOEFL and IELTS. A total IBD score of 100 and above is usually preferred and if you’re taking an IELTS then a band score of 7.5 and above will be preferred.

Here are some more requirements that you need to look into;

1. Statement of purpose

The SOP is probably one of the most crucial aspects of your application because it’s a snapshot of your goals, achievements and aspirations. Most university departments would set their own word limit, however it’s usually no more than five hundred words.

2. Letter of recommendation

This is an assessment of your potential and dedication to your discipline, as a minimum you’ll be required to provide at least two letters.

3. Research Portfolio

As a fresh undergraduate, you are not really expected to have a lot of research experience, but if you do then make sure you mentioned that in your statement of purpose. Research is typically uncommon in the undergraduate level so having that would actually help you stand out among your peers with similar credentials.

4. Work experience

This is not something that you’re expected to have and it’s not a mandatory requirement but university life is considered to be like an ivory tower where students are provided with this cushy comfortable living experience away from all the realities of life. Work experience on the other hand is an excellent way to gain some valuable insights in the world we actually live in.

If you have work experience, that’s definitely going to bolster your chances and if you have relevant work experience with program you’re applying for then that’s going to do wonders for you especially if you have an average academic profile compared to the rest or even if you have a lower GPA.

How to find scholarships in Canada

Fully funded Bachelor and Masters scholarships at McGill university, Canada