15 Cheapest Universities in Canada for International Students

Canada, a nation full of mountains and lakes, is one of the countries with the best life quality in the world. Universal publicly-funded healthcare, a diversified economy, and a rich culture with multiple aboriginal aspects are only a few of the reasons that make it great.

Higher education is also among those reasons. Universities are highly subsidized by the government and dozens of them have ranked among the best ones in the world because of their quality. This article will look at the cheapest universities in Canada for international students.

How is the Canadian higher education system?

Canada is divided into 10 provinces. There are also other areas called “territories”. Each province and territory has the right to shape its higher education system, set regulations, and make important decisions regarding universities. This is why certain aspects like admissions may vary from province to province.

In general, bachelor’s degree programs last from three to four years (depending on the major and type of degree), master’s degree programs last for two years, and doctorate degree programs last from three to six years.

Colleges offer short courses and grant vocational and professional diplomas and associate degrees. Universities are the only institutions accredited to grant bachelor, master, and doctorate degrees.

Canadian universities are known for being multicultural spaces. Besides international programs, many universities have special programs and fees for indigenous students. Actually, some of them have their own institutes and faculties of aboriginal studies.

And besides meeting people from other cultures, you’ll also meet people from other generations! Many universities promote education for senior citizens. Those who are 65 or more pay reduced fees or receive completely free education in Canada!


How can I Study in these Affordable Universities in Canada for international students?

This is one of the most asked questions by international students. As you probably know, this is a multi-step process that can’t be contained in this little section. We’ve provided a guide for you so that you know exactly what to do, including application requirements, application process, and student visa application process. If you want to know how to apply to these cheap universities in Canada, read Study in Canada for International Students article!


Can I study for free in Canada?

Although universities in Canada aren’t free, the answer is yes! You can study for free through scholarships and part-time jobs.

Student visas allow you to work up to 20 hours per week. During your breaks and vacations, you can work more than that. Universities offer job positions on-campus. Many of them are affiliated with companies and organizations to offer students internships and job positions.

International students are also eligible to receive scholarships through universities or private organizations. We suggest you carefully read the website of the universities you like. There are special scholarships and grants for students from certain countries. Through them, you can be exempted from paying a portion of your tuition or pay domestic tuition fees.

There are many ways that international students can study in Canada for free. If you are interested, read about How to Study in Canada for Free (9 Steps)!


How much are tuition fees for international students in Canada?

On average, tuition fees for international students go from USD 8,000 to USD 15,000 per academic year. These fees may increase at the most prestigious universities or for majors like medicine or engineering.

Public universities are subsidized for local students. This is why international students have to pay an international differential fee, which means tuition is two times higher for them.

You may notice that private universities are cheaper than public universities. This happens because everybody pays the same fees at private universities, regardless of nationality, and there are no subsidies from the government. Therefore, international students don’t have to pay what the government would have covered for Canadians at public institutions.


What is the cheapest university in Canada for international students?

The Memorial University of Newfoundland is currently the cheapest option for international students in Canada. Tuition fees are USD 8,150 per academic year. However, it is closely followed by St. Stephen’s University, Canadian Mennonite University, Athabasca University, and University College of the North. All of them still offer programs for less than USD 9,000 per year.

So, now let’s see which other universities have affordable tuition fees! Bear in mind that prices below only reflect tuition fees. Any other expenses (books, residence fees, meal plans, insurance, etc.) are not included. Additionally, prices are in USD but Canada’s currency is the Canadian dollar, so this is the currency in which prices are stated on their websites. CAD 100 is approximately USD 70.


Affordable Universities

Here are some of the universities that are in other countries!


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Cheap Universities in Canada

1. Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN)

Ranked between the 701st and 750th best universities in the QS World University Ranking, the Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN) is currently the cheapest university in Canada for international students. So, it is no surprise that they receive almost 3,000 international students each year!

This cheap university in Canada is divided into seven faculties, six schools, and more than 30 research centers. It is located in St. John’s but has four additional campuses, including one in England.

2. St. Stephen’s University (SSU)

St. Stephen’s University (SSU) is a private university located in a small town in New Brunswick. It offers four Bachelor of Arts in humanities, international studies, psychology, and community engagement. It also offers master’s degree programs in theology and culture, and different diplomas and certificates.

Its campus is located in an antique mansion. They receive around 30 new students each year and offer many opportunities to study abroad.

3. Canadian Mennonite University (CMU)

The next cheapest university in Canada on our list is the Canadian Mennonite University (CMU), a Christian private university located in the province of Manitoba. It is divided into five schools that offer more than 20 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.


4. Athabasca University

Located in the province of Alberta, Athabasca University specializes in the distance and online education. It is actually one of the first universities that offered this type of education. It started to develop distance programs in the ’70s.

It has five faculties of health disciplines, science and technology, humanities and social sciences, business, and graduate students. All of their programs are taught online and offer highly flexible schedules, giving you the opportunity of applying at any time of the year.


5. University College of the North (UCN)

Established in 2004, the origins of the University College of the North (UCN) can be traced back to 1966 when it was a vocational center. With 2,400 students, UCN is located in the province of Manitoba where it has 2 campuses and over 10 regional centers.

This cheap university in Canada has five faculties of trades and technology, education, arts and science, business, and health. These offer 40 degree and non-degree programs.


6. Booth University College

Booth University College is located in Manitoba and is another Christian private institution. It is affiliated with the Salvation Army, a Christian international organization, which is why they offer many opportunities to study a few semesters in other countries.

It offers programs in the fields of humanities, business, social work, and social sciences.


7. Kingswood University

For those who are interested in getting a religion-related degree and are affiliated with the Christian church, Kingswood University specializes in offering this kind of education. It grants undergraduate and post-graduate degrees in the areas of theology, evangelism and compassion ministry, ministry, and Christian school education.

It has two campuses located in New Brunswick that include multiple student residences and several sports facilities.


8. University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI)

The only university in the province of Prince Edward Island is the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI), a public university whose origins can be traced back to 1804.

It has seven faculties of business, sustainable design engineering, science, nursing, veterinary medicine, arts, and education. UPEI also has three student residences, a sports complex, and a research institute.

Most programs at UPEI cost between USD 9,650 and USD 16,650 per year. The only exception is for programs in the fields of health, which cost up to USD 47,200.


9. Atlantic School of Theology (AST)

As suggested by its name, the Atlantic School of Theology (AST) offers graduate degrees in the field of religion to both religious and non-religious students. It is a public university located in the province of Nova Scotia. It offers a Master of Arts in Religious Studies and Theology and a Master of Divinity.

This affordable Canadian university also focuses on performing research at its centers.


10. Brandon University

Originally founded as a college in 1889, Brandon University is located in Manitoba and is a public institution. With 3,000 students approx., Brandon University mostly offers undergraduate programs.

It has five faculties of education, arts, science, graduate studies, and health science. It also has five research centers and a school of music, which is known as one of the best in Canada. The faculty of graduate studies offers five master’s degree programs.

11. University of Manitoba

The largest university in the province of Manitoba is the University of Manitoba, with almost 30,000 students and several education buildings throughout the region besides its main campus. It is ranked between the 601st and the 650th best universities according to the QS World University Ranking.

It has 24 faculties that offer programs in the areas of architecture, arts, science, education, humanities, ecology, etc. It is well-known for its faculty of medicine that has over 15 research institutes and 27 departments.

12. University of Winnipeg

One of the cheapest universities in Canada, the University of Winnipeg came to life after the merger of different colleges, the oldest of them founded in 1871. It has six colleges of education, arts, science, kinesiology and applied health, graduate studies, and business and economics.

Also, the university has three colleges, 12 research centers and institutes, an anthropology museum, an art gallery, and multiple student residences. Although this is primarily an undergraduate university, it offers eight master’s degree programs.

13. Alberta University of the Arts (AUArts)

Originally founded as an institute of art in 1926, the Alberta University of the Arts (AUArts) is a public university that grants degrees in different fields of arts and design, which include photography, print media, visual communication, ceramics, etc.

Its campus includes over 10 galleries for exhibiting student work within and outside the university.

14. Tyndale University

Tyndale University is a Christian private higher education institution that was founded over a century ago. It grants undergraduate degrees in education, religious education, business administration, philosophy, history, religious studies, English, and many more.

Graduate studies are offered at the Seminary. These studies include master’s degree programs in theology, theological studies, divinity, and a doctor of ministry. They also offer different religion-related diplomas and certificates.

15. St. Thomas University (STU)

Located in New Brunswick, St. Thomas University (STU) is a public Catholic university with 1,900 students. STU focuses on undergraduate education and its degree programs include multiple bachelors of arts, social work, education, and applied arts in more than 30 areas.

STU is well known for its programs in criminology, human rights, journalism, and communication, and public policy. Some of these fields are covered at its research center.

This university is affiliated with the University of New Brunswick (UNB) because they share certain facilities. Although they are completely separated and autonomous institutions, you’ll be able to take some courses at UNB as part of your program at STU.

I hope that this article on studying was helpful! If you are interested, visit the Canada Scholarships Page!