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The basics
Canada: Student Finances - Must read

How much do tuition fees in Canada cost?

Canada remains a hugely popular destination for international students. There are many reasons for this, including the cost of tuition fees. We explore.

Tuition fees in Canada

For international students researching their dream study destination, one of the most key elements to consider is finances. Tuition fees are renowned for being the biggest annual expenditure for most students. But if you’ve heard about the high costs of studying in the USA, you’ll be relieved to hear this does not apply to their Canadian neighbours.


Trying to compare course fees between Canadian universities, however, can be a complex process. We’ve researched for you, compiling all the relevant information into one helpful place.


All costs in this article are provided in US dollars, with a conversion rate of 1 USD: 1.3 CAD at the time of writing.


What do tuition fees cover?


Tuition fees in Canada may be charged by the course or tailored to the individual student and charged by the unit. This all depends on the university you’re applying to. In general, however, you can expect Canadian tuition fees to cover:


  • lectures, seminars, and tutorials
  • access to university libraries
  • access to course-related facilities and equipment, e.g. laboratories and studios


Different universities may also include things like computer access and examinations within their tuition fees. Be sure to check this before you apply.


Tuition fees do not cover student supplies (e.g. textbooks or stationery) or living expenses (e.g. rent, travel or bills). For more information about these, have a look at our guide to the living costs in Canada.


Understanding tuition fees

When calculating the price of tuition fees in Canada, there are some key points that you need to remember. Let’s take a look.


Academic institution

Tuition fees vary significantly between institutions. Universities that are placed higher in world rankings will usually charge more for their qualifications. You can check out the Times Higher Education World University Rankings and the QS World University Rankings for more.


Geographic location

Tuition fees can vary appreciably between provinces with Newfoundland and Labrador typically offering the cheapest and Ontario the most expensive.


Type of qualification

Often, tuition fees for postgraduate degrees are more costly per year than they are at the undergraduate level.


Subject studied

Typically, studying a STEM degree will cost more than arts or humanities degrees. Medical and veterinary sciences are usually much more expensive than other degrees.


Course length

Don’t forget to consider the length of your course. As tuition fees are not usually charged as a one-off payment, the longer your course takes, the more expensive it will be. Undergraduate degrees in Canada are typically three to four years long.


Method of learning

Remember that online learning is an option. It’s often considerably cheaper than traditional methods of study. Similarly, at the postgraduate level, research-based courses will be cheaper than those that are taught.


Years abroad

If your course offers a year abroad, the tuition fees for that year may be different to other years.


How much are international undergraduate tuition fees in Canada?


Overseas undergraduate tuition fees at a US university can cost anywhere between USD 10,000 to USD 96,000 per year.


We know it can be hard to work out what this means for your studies. And to make things even more confusing, Canadian universities may opt to charge by the unit or as a set termly amount.


In our first table, you can see the cost of overseas undergraduate tuition fees (per year) at five of Canada’s top universities. These fees are for full-time courses starting in the 2022/2023 academic year.


Typical Canadian international undergraduate tuition fees per year


Average fees [USD]

(note: some courses may fall outside this range)

University of Toronto

USD 31,954 - USD 95,338*

McGill University

USD 16,158 - USD 54,320

University of British Columbia

USD 32,925 - USD 58,787

University of Alberta

USD 21,185 - USD 70,036*

McMaster University

USD 28,194 - USD 38,497

*fees at the higher end of these ranges represent the more costly years of study in medicine and dentistry


Want to get an idea of tuition fees for some of the most popular undergraduate courses in Canada? Our next table details some of these.


Typical Canadian annual international undergraduate tuition fees (by course)





Average fees [USD]


Health sciences and medicine

Business and management

Social sciences


University of Toronto

USD 48,846

USD 33,923 - USD 95,338

USD 45,631 - USD 52,908

USD 45,631

USD 45,631

McGill University

USD 42,607

USD 20,331 - USD 54,320

USD 48,995

USD 24,232

USD 24,232

University of British Columbia

USD 42,298

USD 32,988 - USD 58,787

USD 39,830 - USD 42,604

USD 33,916

USD 32,925

University of Alberta

USD 30,992

USD 21,185 - USD 70,036

USD 27,462

USD 23,146

USD 23,146

McMaster University

USD 35,711 - USD 38,497

USD 29,678 - USD 37,689

USD 31,755 - USD 34,233

USD 28,194 - USD 31,508

USD 29,678 - USD 33,166


With these two tables, hopefully, you can get a basic understanding of what you might expect to pay in tuition fees as an undergraduate in Canada. And of course, if you already know which universities you are interested in, you can request prospectuses for more information about courses and fees.



How much are international postgraduate tuition fees in Canada?


Overseas postgraduate tuition fees at a Canadian university vary widely but can cost anywhere between USD 4,000 to USD 77,000 per year. With so many postgraduate options available, it can be hard to make sense of the figures. So, we’ve put together some tables to help you understand how all these figures can be applied to your situation.


Typical Canadian international postgraduate tuition fees per year (or course length, where the full course is shorter than a year)



Average fees [USD]

(note: some courses may fall outside this range)

Postgraduate Diplomas/Certificates



University of Toronto

USD 7,908 - USD 31,492

USD 21,169 - USD 72,404

USD 4,777 - USD 61,446

McGill University

USD 4,155 - USD 15,385

USD 14,735 - USD 76,539

USD 13,225 - USD 36,015

University of British Columbia


USD 8,132 - USD 69,274

USD 6,653 - USD 38,755

University of Alberta

USD 4,388 - USD 6,355

USD 4,388 - USD 60,808

USD 6,826 - USD 70,036

McMaster University

USD 1,731 - USD 3,236

USD 8,091 - USD 66,154

USD 4,852 - USD 26,222


The next table shows the costs of some popular postgraduate course options at the same five universities. Remember, the range shown for each course may include options at every level of postgraduate study.


Typical Canadian annual international postgraduate tuition fee per year (or course length, where the full course is shorter than a year) by course type





Average fees [USD]


Health and medicine


Computer sciences and IT


University of Toronto

USD 49,792

USD 25,446 - USD 61,446

USD 72,404

USD 31,492

USD 32,000 - USD 45,631

McGill University

USD 14,735 - USD 20,778

USD 14,734 - USD 53,846

USD 76,539

USD 14,735 - USD 20,778

USD 14,735 - USD 20,778

University of British Columbia

USD 17,519 - USD 45,241

USD 17,952 - USD 38,755

USD 69,274

USD 38,187

USD 17,692

University of Alberta**

USD 30,992- USD 32,138

USD 6,905 - USD 70,036

USD 60,808

USD 7,313 - USD 9,415

USD 6,826 - USD 8,603 

McMaster University**

USD 1,731 - USD 34,650

USD 4,852 - USD 52,544

USD 66,154

USD 4,852 - USD 26,222

USD 4,852 - USD 26,222

* full course cost

** indicative only


Feeling a little more confident about what to expect? You can also download some university prospectuses and narrow down your university choices.


How do I pay my tuition fees in Canada?


In Canada, tuition fees are usually paid directly to the university in advance of each term. For universities which charge by the course, you should be able to budget the amount at the beginning of each academic year. Some universities charge by course units though, so in these cases, your tuition fees will be unique to the modules you choose to study. Be sure to check fee structures with your chosen university before you apply.


Did you know?


Many Canadian universities also require that students pay additional compulsory fees separate from their tuition fees. These may cover things like student services, unions, or course admin costs. The amounts of these fees vary, so check this with your prospective university.


Tuition fees usually rise each year in line with inflation. Be sure to account for this in your budgeting. Many universities offer scholarships and funding opportunities to international students. It’s worth checking to see if there’s one that might suit you.


Now that you know all you need to about the cost of tuition fees, why not learn about the application process for universities in Canada? You can also start searching for your ideal degree in Canada with our course matcher tool


Disclaimer: Whilst we’ve done all we can to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this article, be aware that these are guidelines and averages only. Costs may vary or change at any time, so be sure to verify fee structures with any prospective institutions.