THE COST OF STUDYING IN CANADA

Compared to many countries, studying in Canada is very affordable. You will likely need between C$20,000 and C$30,000 annually to cover tuition. This range is an average only and will vary according to the institution and program in which you are enrolled. The costs for housing, food and other living expenses will depend on your location and your own needs, but C$15,000 annually is not an uncommon estimate.

Tuition

Tuition fees for international students vary across provinces and programs. The table below shows the weighted average tuition fees (in Canadian dollars) for full-time foreign students, by field of study.

 

2019-20 International Tuition Fees by Field of Study *

Field of study grouping

Undergraduate

Graduate

Education

$20,875

$15,764

Visual and performing arts, and communications technologies

$25,127

$14,737

Humanities

$28,676

$13,667

Social and behavioural sciences

$27,647

$15,032

Law, legal professions and studies

$33,192

$17,237

Business management and public administration

$26,680

$24,693

Executive MBA

Not available

$66,665

Regular MBA

Not available

$38,950

Physical and life sciences and technologies $31,536 $15,421
 Mathematics, computer and information sciences $33,012 $16,647
Engineering

$33,703

$19,301

Architecture

$26,457

$23,992

Agriculture, natural resources and conservation

$26,208

$14,452

Dentistry

$56,621

$22,472

Medicine

$32,450

Not available

Nursing

$21,922

$16,168

Optometry

Not available

$14,014

Pharmacy

$40,960

$12,876

Veterinary medicine

$63,323

$10,099

Other health, parks, recreation and fitness

$24,626

$18,551

Personal, protective and transportation services

$20,332

Not available

*weighted average tuition fees by field of study in Canadian dollars.
Source: Statistics Canada. Tuition and Living Accommodations Costs

Do remember that the costs associated with attending university go beyond tuition fees. You must also budget for items such as books, living expenses and housing.

University of Saskatchewan-Students standing in front of campus buildingCitizenship and Immigration Canada mandates that you prove you have enough money to meet your financial needs while studying in Canada before you start. So it’s important to begin sorting out your finances – and looking into the possibility of obtaining a scholarship to help fund your education – early on.

Housing

Most universities offer on-campus residences for students, some of them specifically for scholars from abroad. But acceptance at a Canadian school does not automatically mean you can get a room in residence. Students must apply separately for on-campus housing, and its cost varies across institutions and will depend on whether or not you want a private room or a meal plan, for example.

Some international students choose to live off-campus in an apartment. Rent for a typical two-bedroom apartment in Canada averages $1,577 per month*, but varies depending on the city or neighbourhood and the type of accommodation. As a renter, you may also need to pay additional monthly costs for utilities such as electricity, home phone, Internet and cable television, as well as personal expenses and renter’s insurance. Some students share apartments or entire houses in order to reduce their housing costs, or they rent rooms in private houses, sometimes also paying for use of the kitchen.
*Source: CMHC (Fall 2019)

Most universities can provide assistance with finding housing, both on and off campus, and answer questions through their housing office or student services.

Transportation

Depending on where you live, you may be able to walk or bike to campus. Many students, particularly those in larger cities, choose public transportation: buses, subways, commuter trains or ferries. One-way public transit fares typically cost a few dollars, and monthly passes range from about $80 to $150, although many transit providers offer student discounts.

Health insurance

All international students in Canada must have health insurance, and the medical coverage that’s available varies from province to province. Alberta, British Columbia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Saskatchewan cover international students under their provincial health care plans, but coverage generally depends on the length of your stay.

Dalhousie University-two students on computers at a tableHowever, international students planning to study in Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island or Quebec must arrange for private health insurance.

You can find out more details about health coverage through the university websites and those of the provin­cial ministries of health.

Cost calculator

To help calculate your overall expenses and estimate the cost of living in Canada, try Step 1-2-3, a useful cost calculator for students at educanada.ca.