Post-Graduate Diploma and Masters in Canada 2022

Most International Students tend to be confused about the post-graduate diploma and Masters’s Program in Canada 2022. This post tends to explain the meaning and difference between post-graduate diploma and Masters Program in Canada 2022, what it takes to apply for one, and their importance.

post-graduate diploma and Masters Program in Canada 2021

Post-graduate diploma and Masters Program in Canada 2022


There are 3 types of Postgraduate programs available in Canada namely:

1- Thesis based programs
2- Course-based Master’s programs
3- Post-graduate/Graduate Diploma

I will proceed with the evaluation of the three post-graduate programs beginning with the first enlisted PG program till the third to give more emphasis on the Post-graduate diploma vs Masters in Canada


Thesis-based master’s programs aim to train students to conduct independent research; hence these programs are designed with courses followed by a thesis. Universities offer these programs.


This program usually includes a higher number of courses than a thesis-based program. But there will be no thesis. Universities also offer these programs.


This is a qualification, usually vocational, that focuses on acquiring an actual skill set and practical knowledge in a chosen field. Offered mainly by colleges and few Universities.

Explicitly, I would make known by elaboration the distinction between postgraduate diploma and master’s program

What is the Postgraduate Diploma?

A Postgraduate Diploma in Canada also known as a Graduate Diploma, are programs offered to students that have completed their undergraduate studies. A PG Diploma’s duration is of one or two years (maximum). It can be further divided into two or four semesters depending on the university.

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A master’s degree is the first level of graduate study. To apply for a master’s degree you usually must already hold an undergraduate degree (a bachelor’s degree).

A master’s degree typically requires a year and one-half to two years of full-time study.

To earn a master’s degree you usually need to complete from 36 to 54-semester credits of study (or 60 to 90 quarter-credits). This equals 12 to 18 college courses. Most master’s degrees are awarded by public or state universities such as Carleton University


Master’s degree tuition rates vary greatly, from a low of about $8,000 to a high of close to $300,000 for the most expensive brick-and-mortar programs.  Most students take out loans to complete a master’s degree. Online programs tend to be more modestly priced but still vary.


Considering whether or not to pursue a master’s degree can be complex. This article will give you an idea of all the factors you should consider before you enroll in a master’s degree program. The general trends are that more people are getting master’s degrees, more professions are requiring a master’s, and more programs are available online. Completed in about two years fulltime, or three to five years part-time, a master’s degree does not take as much time as an undergraduate degree. The cost of a degree can vary widely, and depending on the salary premium in your field for the master’s, a degree can be a good investment in your future earnings.

No matter your chosen profession, there are likely master’s degree programs to advance your career. But why would you need one? These days, it can be very beneficial to have a master’s degree so you can compete for jobs with higher salaries and more responsibility. While some professions make it mandatory to have a master’s degree, other professions may not require it. Even if your profession does not require a master’s degree, there may be a wage differential for workers that would make the degree worth the time, effort, and money.

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Now the question is what to choose?
The answer is self-explanatory after going through the comparison in the next slide.


1. Duration

The particular time interval of the PG diploma is 1 to 2 years depending on the program.
The course-based master’s programs are 1.5 to 2 years whereas thesis-based masters are around two years duration.

2. The tuition fee for Post-Graduate Diploma vs Masters in Canada

In general fees for PG Diploma courses are lesser than the Master programs; mainly because their duration is shorter.

However, this is not always true. The fee for two years PG Diploma can be higher than two-year master programs. They are several Universities in Canada with low tuition fee for master programs. (for example, Regina)

It is a myth that the PG diploma is always cheaper than master programs.
Tuition Fee depends on the University and selected program. For example, the Master of Arts has a lesser fee than the Master of Architecture. Similarly, the University of Manitoba has a lesser fee than the University of British Columbia or the University of Toronto.

The tuition fee for the PG diploma is around 10,000 to 30,000 CAD depending on the program and offering institute.

Admission requirements (Grades) for Post-Graduate Diploma

A student with average grades (less than 60 %) can choose a postgraduate diploma unless otherwise, the CV is too good.
A student with good grades and CV (I mean a technical paper or work experience), I recommend going for the thesis-based master program or at least a course-based master program.
A Master’s degree is always valuable than a PG diploma.
Normally educational consultants in your home country ask you to apply for a PG diploma than a master’s program because they get 10 to 15 % of the tuition fee that you pay to the college.

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Supervisor approval before the admission:

PG Diploma and the course-based master program do not need a supervisor acceptance before you make the application to the master’s program.
For the thesis-based master program, the student needs to write to the professor with their CV and research interests, and get their acceptance before actually making the application online.


The post-study work permit depends on the duration of your Postgraduate study program. In general, as the PG diploma duration is around one year students get the 1-year post-study work permit.

For master programs, the students get up to 3 years of post-study work permit.

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