Higher education in Canada is not cheap. Unless you have the brains to land a big scholarship, you’ll need to pay thousands of dollars a year for your education. That being said, Canada has over 80 universities spread across the country, and the cost of your education can be greatly affected by which institution you choose.


The average cost of undergraduate tuition for Canadians studying at Canadian universities was $4,917 in 2009/2010; however, university funding is a provincial responsibility, so tuition rates vary greatly from province to province. With tuition starting at $1,968 per year, Quebec is by far the cheapest province in which to study. Unfortunately, only residents of Quebec pay these low fees. Canadians from other provinces pay about $5,500 per year. McGill University and Concordia University, both in Montreal, are the main English-speaking universities in Quebec.

After Quebec, the cheapest provinces for undergraduate tuition are Newfoundland and Manitoba. Unlike Quebec, these provinces charge the same fees to all Canadian residents. The average tuition in Newfoundland is $2,619 per year and in Manitoba it is $3,377 per year. Memorial University is the only university in Newfoundland and the main universities in Manitoba are the University of Winnipeg, University of Manitoba and Brandon University.

International Students

Provincial governments in Canada heavily subsidize the tuition fees of Canadian residents, but this does not apply to non-Canadian students. The undergraduate fees for international students are considerably higher than those for Canadians, but these fees still vary from province to province. The cheapest international tuition fees offered by a major, English-speaking university in Canada are at Brandon University in Manitoba, with tuition of $5,705 per year. The next cheapest are Memorial University in Newfoundland, with international tuition of $8,800 per year and the University of Prince Edward Island, with $9,710 per year.

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Graduate School

Graduate school fees for both Canadian and international students differ from undergraduate tuition fees. The average tuition for a Canadian graduate student was $6,008 in 2009/2010. Like undergraduate tuition, graduate fees vary from province to province. The cheapest province in 2009/2010 was Quebec, with average tuition of $2,316. Quebec was followed by Newfoundland, with $2,443 per year and Prince Edward Island, with $2,786 per year.


The major in which you study can also affect the cost of tuition. On average in Canada, education had the lowest undergraduate major cost, at $3,783 in 2009/2010. After education, the cheapest undergraduate majors were social sciences, at $4,399 and humanities, at $4,501.

About the Author

Richard Long is an English teacher in Toronto, Canada and has been writing for over five years. He has had work published in "Geist" and "Speak2Me" magazines and is currently completing a certificate in technical communication from George Brown College.