Undergraduate Studies

Canada uses the term “Bachelors Degree” to denote completion of three – five years of undergraduate study in a given subject (such as Economics or Education). Nearly all students work through their undergraduate degree in a minimum of four years. To gain acceptance, students apply with a completed senior secondary degree and seek entry into two main fields, Arts (for completion of a Bachelor of Arts or BA) or Sciences (BSC). Once accepted, students are free to register for classes and work towards eventual specialization in one of the main study areas. That specialization is called a major. Some students also do a minor, which can be in a completely unrelated field. 

While first year university involves taking certain foundation courses towards a major, in many cases students are free to explore a number of “elective” credits, which give them exposure to a broader number of academic subjects. Over the remaining three years, students must complete requirements to complete their degree. With a sufficiently high grade point average and a completed credential can then apply for a post-graduate degree, a post-graduate work permit, and in some cases, Canadian immigration (permanent residency).

Post-Graduate Studies

Post Graduate Studies at a University describes coursework completed towards a Master’s degree or PhD. There are three types of graduate degrees. It’s important to distinguish between these types. The first is a course-based master’s degree: This requires successful completion of specific graduate- level courses and is typically one or two years in duration. The second is called a Research-Based Master’s Degree, which requires completion of both graduate-level courses and a thesis and is typically two years in duration. Graduate students usually choose a thesis topic in consultation with a graduate supervisor, although many universities require a statement of research interests as part of the application process. The final category is the doctorate or PhD degree. This requires completion of original research and defense of a thesis that makes a substantial contribution to the chosen field of study. A doctorate degree usually requires two or three years of full-time residency, although it is common to require more time for directed research and writing to complete the thesis portion.

The University Experience

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