Canada's Education System

Schools in Canada offer educational programmes for children aged five to seventeen or eighteen, from Kindergarten through grade 11 (in Quebec) or grade 12. School systems and grade groupings, on the other hand, differ among Canada's provinces:

  • Elementary schools educate children in kindergarten or grade one through grade four, five, six, seven, or eight.
  • Middle schools usually enrol students in grades 5, 6, 7, and 8, but the grades provided may vary by school and location.
  • Junior high schools serve as a bridge between elementary and high school for students in grades 7 through 9.
  • Except in Quebec, where high school encompasses grades 7 to 11, secondary schools (high schools) begin with grades 8, 9, or 10 to 12. Wherever it is available. Students can enrol in the International Baccalaureate Program or take AP courses. Elite athletic and artistic academy programmes are also becoming increasingly popular in public schools.
With the exception of kindergarten, which is half-day in some areas, a normal school day consists of five to six hours of class time. Although some schools offer a year-round programme, the academic year runs from September to June. International students studying in Canada's public elementary or secondary schools should expect to pay between $9,500 and $14,000 per year in tuition. Private or independent schools may charge a higher tuition, especially if they have a low student–teacher ratio or offer more advanced/specialized learning possibilities. Tuition and boarding fees for K-12 private or independent schools in Canada, for example, ranges from $45,500 to $65,000. Each college or institution set their own admission rules, academic and language preparatory requirements. Students can apply for admission to a post-secondary institution if they have completed their graduation requirements by the last year of secondary school. Students should check each post-secondary institution's entrance requirements, including language proficiency, before applying. Students have a variety of academic options after completing secondary school:
  • They have the option of attending colleges, universities, or technical schools.
  • They can enrol in diploma or certificate programmes, as well as full-fledged degree programmes.
  • They can start in one curriculum or type of post-secondary institution and then switch if their interests and ambitions change.
University and college semesters are generally:
  • First semester: early September to mid-December
  • Holiday break: mid-December to early January
  • Second semester: early January to early May
  • Summer holidays/Summer courses: May to August
Students seeking full degrees in Canada have started their post-secondary education at universities with undergraduate degrees, or bachelor's degrees, which take three to four years to complete full-time. They could then progress to graduate degrees—and master's possibly doctoral—or degrees in law or medicine (both of which require some level of prior undergraduate study), with admission contingent on high enough grades and/or other program-specific criteria, either immediately after successful completion of their "undergrad" degree or after working for a period of time.