How to Apply for Scholarship in Canada for Masters Students

Pursuing a master’s degree in Canada is a dream for many international students. The combination of world-class institutions and a vibrant cultural scene makes Canada an irresistible destination for higher studies.


But what about the cost? Scholarships can be a significant relief. This guide will answer your burning questions about securing a scholarship for your master’s degree in Canada.


Apply For Scholarship in Canada For Masters

All You Need to Know about Master’s Degree Scholarships in Canada

Canada hosts a plethora of universities offering various scholarships aimed specifically at master’s students. When it comes to higher education, Canada is a top-tier destination that attracts thousands of international students each year, particularly those seeking to undertake their master’s degrees.

With its globally recognized institutions, diverse research opportunities, and inclusive culture, the appeal is clear. But, one common concern among prospective students is the cost. This is where master’s degree scholarships in Canada come into play.

How Much GPA is Required for Scholarship in Canada?

GPA requirements can vary across scholarships and universities. Generally, a GPA of 3.0 (out of 4.0) or above is seen as competitive for many scholarships. However, top-tier institutions or highly competitive scholarships may expect a GPA closer to 3.7 or 4.0.

How to Apply for Scholarships in Canada for Master’s Students:

  • Research Early: Begin your research at least a year before you plan to start your master’s. This gives you ample time to identify scholarship opportunities and gather necessary documents.
  • Understand the Criteria: Each scholarship has its own set of criteria. While some might prioritize academic excellence, others might emphasize leadership or community involvement.
  • Prepare Documents: Most scholarships require academic transcripts, reference letters, a Statement of Purpose (SoP), and a CV or resume.
  • Write a Stellar SoP: A compelling SoP can make a difference. Clearly outline your academic achievements, research interests, and why you chose Canada for your master’s.
  • Apply: Follow the specific application guidelines provided by the university or scholarship provider.
  • Stay Updated: After application, ensure you keep an eye on your email and the scholarship portal for updates or additional requirements.

How to Get Funding for a Master’s Degree in Canada

In Canada, while the quality of higher education is world-class, it can come with substantial costs. Fortunately, there are multiple avenues through which students, both domestic and international, can secure funding for their Master’s program. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you navigate the process:

1. Scholarships:

  • Government-sponsored Scholarships: The Canadian government offers several scholarships for international students. Some popular options include the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships and the Canada Graduate Scholarships.
  • University-specific Scholarships: Most Canadian universities have scholarship programs for their students. These can be merit-based, need-based, or specific to a particular program or department.
  • External Scholarships: Numerous organizations and foundations offer scholarships to students based on various criteria, such as academic achievement, community involvement, or specific research interests.

2. Grants and Bursaries:

Unlike scholarships, which are often merit-based, grants and bursaries are usually need-based. These do not need to be repaid. Check out the Canadian government’s student aid website or individual provincial websites for more information on available options.

3. Research and Teaching Assistantships:

Many graduate students in Canada fund their studies by working as research or teaching assistants. These positions not only cover a portion (or sometimes all) of the tuition but also provide valuable professional experience.

4. Student Loans:

  • Government Loans: The Canadian government, both at the federal and provincial levels, offers student loans. These loans have relatively low interest rates and flexible repayment terms.
  • Private Loans: Banks and other financial institutions in Canada also provide student loans. While they might have higher interest rates than government loans, they can be an option for those who don’t qualify for government funding.

5. Work Opportunities:

  • On-campus Jobs: Many universities have job opportunities on campus, ranging from positions in the library to the university’s administrative offices.
  • Co-op Programs: Some Master’s programs in Canada include co-op terms, allowing students to gain industry experience and earn money.
  • Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP): After completing their studies, graduates can work in Canada for up to three years, helping them recover their educational investment.

6. External Sponsorships:

Some students secure sponsorships from organizations, businesses, or governments in their home country. These sponsors cover tuition in exchange for the student’s commitment to return and work for a specified period.

7. Crowdfunding:

Platforms like GoFundMe or Kickstarter allow students to raise money for their education. While this method isn’t conventional, with a compelling story and a wide network, it can be a viable option.

How Much Scholarship Can I Get in Canada for Masters?

The scholarship amount can range widely. While some scholarships offer a stipend covering full tuition, others might provide a one-time award ranging from CAD $1,000 to CAD $15,000 or more.

Is Master’s Program Free in Canada?

Before diving into the details of scholarships, it’s crucial to address a common question: Is a Master’s program free in Canada? The straightforward answer is no.

While Canada offers competitive tuition rates, especially when compared to the U.S., students are still required to pay tuition and associated fees. However, the silver lining is that Canada boasts numerous scholarship opportunities for both domestic and international students, making it feasible to receive a high-quality education without incurring a hefty debt.

How Much Masters Cost in Canada?

The cost for a master’s degree in Canada can range between CAD $16,000 to CAD $37,000 per year, depending on the program and university. This fee excludes living expenses.


Canada is a prime destination for master’s aspirants from around the world. While the costs can be daunting, the plethora of scholarships available makes it accessible for many. By starting early, doing thorough research, and preparing a compelling application, your dream of pursuing a master’s in Canada can become an affordable reality.


Can I get a scholarship with a 2.5 GPA in Canada?

While a 2.5 GPA might be lower for many scholarships, some institutions or programs might have more holistic criteria, considering aspects beyond academics.

Do Canadian scholarships cover living expenses?

Some fully-funded scholarships might cover living expenses, but not all do. It’s essential to read the scholarship details thoroughly.

How competitive are master’s scholarships in Canada?

The competitiveness varies based on the scholarship and program. Highly prestigious scholarships or those at top-tier institutions can be very competitive.

When is the best time to apply for master’s scholarships in Canada?

Typically, the best time is during the fall, a year before you intend to start your program. However, deadlines can vary based on the scholarship.

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