In Canada, college and a university are two different things. Universities focus on academic and professional programs, like history or psychology. Colleges have career training and trades programs, like hospitality or IT.
What is a College?
Colleges offer training in the trades and in applied fields. Generally, they are more career-oriented than universities. This means colleges focus more on hands-on training.
Colleges have full and part-time studies. Most colleges in Ontario offer three kinds of certification:
- Certificate - takes 1 year to complete when studying full time
- Diploma - takes 2-3 years to complete when studying full time
- Bachelor degrees in applied fields - takes 3-4 years of full-time study
What is a University?
Universities have academic and professional programs, like history or law. Universities offer:
- Undergraduate (Bachelor’s) degree - takes about 3 years to complete. If you are interested in going on to graduate school, you can take an extra year and get a Bachelor’s Honours Degree. You can also combine two subject areas and do a “double major” (e.g. Bachelor of Arts in History and Sociology)
- Master’s degree – takes between 1-2 years to complete.
- Doctoral (PhD) degree – takes 4-6 years to complete
- Professional program (Law, Medicine, Dentistry) – takes about 4 years to complete. In some cases, you can apply for these programs after 2 or 3 years of undergraduate study.
If you're currenlty in a College or University and want to transfer, you need to know a few things before you start.