Canadian Universities and Colleges

The Difference


Universities offer degree granting programs that range from Anthropology to Engineering. Most programs take three to four years to complete for a full-time student. You can earn three types of degrees: bachelor’s degree, master’s degree (more advanced and requires an undergraduate degree), and doctoral degree (most advanced and requires a master’s degree). Graduates of regulated professions (ex: medicine, law, education) have to complete internships and pass standard exams before they can be licensed to work in their field.

First year classes are often large in size, but become smaller when you start courses that are more tailored toward your degree.

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Colleges usually offer certificate programs which take one year or less, and diploma programs which can take two to three years. Areas of study can range from business to health. Some colleges also have pre-trades and apprenticeship programs that include hands-on training.

Classes are often smaller than at University.
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Trade Schools

Trade schools usually focus around a job-specific educational format, skill-based learning, and specialized career offerings. For example, construction, electrical, plumbing, etc. Once you enroll in a trade school, you will immediately start with classes that are based solely on the training needed to help you succeed in your future career. While traditional colleges begin with one to two years of general education classes, these types of courses are not part of a trade school program.

Classes are usually small for more one on one instruction and supervision. Often you are with the same students and the same group of instructors for your whole program.

Info from: My College Guide

Searching for the right school for you

How to search:
If you know what program you want to do, for example, Education, you can use any one of these websites to find out what schools have that program. Then it is up to you to narrow down where you want to live, research the reputation of the school and the program, and look at extra-curricular or other programs they have that may be of interest to you, example an intramural  program, art club.

If you are looking to start with more general studies, find a school that has the criteria you are looking for. Use the filters and search bars to help you find your perfect school.