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Québec Canadian Education System

The province of Quebec is a popular destination for French students for several reasons:


  • Cultural proximity,
  • The opportunity to study in French,
  • Reduced tuition fees…


Québec is a top destination, but with its specificities – here is a brief overview of the possibilities that await you in the “Belle Province”

Quebec’s educational system

Studies in Quebec can be summarised in one word: flexible.

Similar to the universities in the English-speaking provinces, the universities/colleges in Quebec work with a similar “à la Carte” system allowing for majors and minors, if desired, to study several fields of study within the same programme. Therefore, it is quite possible to do a Bachelor in Management with a minor in sociology!

You can also opt for a cumulative programme that allows you to join several short programmes in various fields and to complete a Bachelors degree (or “baccalauréat” in French-speaking universities in Quebec).

So, whatever your desires and your training objectives, it will always be possible to find the right situation for you in Quebec!

The Quebec system also makes it possible to adapt and control its workload.

In the French system, the progression of the studies consists of: a 3-year Bachelors and a 2-year Masters. However in Quebec the courses are not cut out in years but in credits. Each course is assigned a certain number of credits, and it is these credits that you will “buy” each semester. Therefore, you can choose the number of courses you want according to the workload that suits you.

The Degrees in Quebecois

Thanks to the France-Quebec agreement, there is an affiliation between the degrees in France and those in Quebec. Some similarities have been implemented to facilitate exchanges and cooperation between the France and French Canada.

One of the notable benefits of this agreement is the access to undergraduate studies (Bachelors/Baccalaureate) for French students. Normally, it is imperative to have completed 13 years of schooling to be able to study an undergraduate programme in Quebec, but the French system only amounts for 12 years at the end of high school. However, thanks to the cooperation agreements, all the students who validate a French Bac can commence a Bachelors degree in Quebec without having to undergo a year of preparation. It saves ample time and money!

The Universities in Quebec

There are fifteen universities in Quebec that offer Bachelor, Master and Doctoral degrees.

Three of these universities are English-speaking: McGill University, Concordia University and Bishop’s University.

All other institutions are francophone.

Each of these universities has its own history and areas of expertise: McGill is renowned for its science and medical science programmes whereas Concordia is known for its film and business programmes. It is therefore very important to learn more about each of these institutions to be sure to make the best choice. It may seem difficult upstream, but our consultants are here to help you and accompany you through this crucial chapter in your life.


CEGEPs are higher education institutions offering two types of training: pre-university and technical DECs.

Students in Quebec graduate from high school at the age of 16. Before joining a university programme, they must therefore go to CEGEP to validate a pre-university degree. This is a 2-year program where you can specialize in 3 different ways:

  • Nature Sciences
  • Social science
  • Arts, Literature and Communication

This training provides the minimum for French students seeing as the Bac equates to a pre-university degree.

CEGEPs also offer professional training called technical DEC. Comparable to BTS/DUT, these are 3-year programs aimed at finding a job. However, it is possible to do a technical DEC and then integrate a university.

There are DECs in many fields: trade, graphic design, accounting, computer science, biology, education, engineering etc.

Therefore, if you are looking for technical/professional training, with an emphasis on the practical aspect, the CEGEP is for you!

The Selection

The selection of students in Quebec is according to application and each university has its entry requirements. Some universities and programmes will require an application with an average of 12/20 to enter, others 16/20. It is therefore very important to know about the selectivity of institutions and programmes.

For English-speaking universities, the level of English will also be a determining factor. It will be necessary to pass the IELTS or the TOEFL and to obtain the equivalent of a level C1 (6.5 at the IELTS or 90 at the TOEFL).

If your level of English does not quite match the requirements, be aware that universities may offer refresher sessions before the start of your programme. You can also consider a language school for intensive English courses.

The Academic Year

Universities in Quebec generally offer two main periods of entry: a fall entry in September (fall term) and an entry in January (winter term). These are two independent entries and your programme will not be shortened if you opt for January.

Tuition fees

This is probably one of the reasons why most French students want to study in Quebec: tuition fees are reduced for any student who is a French national.

Thanks to the France-Quebec agreement, the French pay the same fees as Canadian non-Quebec students. This means it will cost about $ 8,000 to do a Bachelor’s degree in Quebec as a French national.

This agreement goes further, since it guarantees us the same tuition fees as Quebecers for courses in CEGEP and Master’s degrees. It will take about $ 2,000 for a graduate programme and about $300 for a CEGEP course!

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