Canada is home to more than 640,000 international students. This volume is not surprising, given that the country is famous for its world-class universities, high quality of life, and safety and security.

Just like many foreign enrollees, you too can complete your studies in Canada – without spending a lot of money. As long as you go to any of these affordable universities in Canada, you can receive quality Canadian education at lower costs.

Affordable Schools in Canada for International Students

1. Newfoundland and Labrador’s University

Newfoundland and Labrador’s University, also known as the Memorial University of Newfoundland or MUN, is the cheapest university in Canada for international students. It was founded in 1925 in memory of First World War veterans. To date, it is one of the biggest institutions in Atlantic Canada – and the only one to service Newfoundland and Labrador.

MUN has 7 faculties in the Arts, Education, Medicine, Engineering, Business, Nursing, and Science. It also has 6 schools in the fields of Pharmacy, Music, Human Kinetics, Social Work, Recreation, and Graduate Studies.

Due to its affordable tuition, MUN has seen an influx of students from all around the globe. To date, 20% of its enrollees come from over 100 countries.

2. University of Manitoba

The University of Manitoba or U of M is a public research university with campuses in Fort Garry and Bannatyne. Opened in 1877, it is historically known as the first educational institution in Western Canada.

U of M offers its numerous programs through the schools of Agriculture, Environment, Rehabilitation Science, Architecture, Art, Education, Engineering, Kinesiology, Science, Social Work, Human Ecology, Business, Music, and Graduate Studies.

3. Concordia University

Next on our list of cheap universities in Canada for international students is Concordia University. It is a comprehensive public educational institution in the French-speaking region of Montreal, Quebec. Although this is the case, it primarily uses English as the medium for instruction.

Formed as a merger between Loyola College and George Williams University, Concordia is categorized into the faculties of Fine Arts, Arts & Science, Engineering & Computer Science, Business, and Graduate Studies.

As one of the top-rated universities in Canada, Concordia is well-known for its prestigious John Molson School of Business.

4. McGill University

Founded in 1821, McGill University is a public research institution named after founder James McGill. It has campuses in downtown Montreal and Montreal Island.

Known to levy the highest grade for admission, the university offers 300+ programs through the faculties of Agriculture, Arts, Dentistry, Education, Engineering, Law, Management, Medicine, Music, Religious Studies, Science, and Continuing Education.

McGill is known to have one of the most diverse student populations. It has become an attractive destination amongst many foreigners, as McGill is recognized as one of the top 3 universities in Canada – and one of the top 50 in the entire world.

5. Toronto Metropolitan University

Located in downtown Toronto is another one of Canada’s cheapest public research universities, Toronto Metropolitan University. It was established in 1948 as the Ryerson Institute of Technology before it was given the university title in 1993.

Apart from housing the largest business school in the country – the Ted Rogers School of Management – it also specializes in the fields of the Arts, Communication & Design, Community Services, Engineering & Architecture, Science, and Continuing Education.

Compared to most Canadian universities, Ryerson has the smallest community of international students. They only amount to 5% of the school’s 34,500+ students.

6. University of New Brunswick

The University of New Brunswick or UNB is an affordable university in Canada with campuses in Saint John and Fredericton. Founded in 1785, it is the oldest English-language Canadian university. It is also one of the oldest in North America, having been established by seven loyalists who left the US after the American Revolution.

UNB offers 75 bachelor’s degrees – and graduate programs spread across 30 fields. These include the Arts, Business, Computer Science, Engineering, Forestry, Kinesiology, Law, Leadership Studies, Nursing, and Science.

7. University of Alberta

The University of Alberta or U of A is a public educational institution situated in Edmonton, Alberta. It first opened its doors in the year 1908 through the efforts of Premier Alexander Cameron Rutherford and University President Henry Marshall Tory.

U of A has faculties in the fields of Agriculture, Business, Arts, Education, Engineering, Graduate Studies, Law, Medicine & Dentistry, Native Studies, Nursing, Pharmacy, Kinesiology, Rehabilitation Medicine, Public Health, and Science.

8. University of British Columbia

Founded in 1908, the University of British Columbia (UBC) is the province’s oldest higher education institution. With branches in Vancouver and Kelowna, it is the alma mater of many famous Canadians – including current prime minister Justin Trudeau.

This cheap university in Canada for international students has different faculties in every branch. Its Vancouver campus, for one, is home to the departments of Applied Science, Arts, Dentistry, Education, Forestry, Land & Food Systems, Medicine, Pharmacy, and Science.

UBC is the Canadian university to have the highest percentage of international students. To date, 32% of its 53,000+ students represent various countries across the globe. As expected, many foreign enrollees are drawn to UBC due to its prestige as one of the top universities in Canada.

9. University of Ottawa

Also known as the U of O, the University of Ottawa is the largest bilingual educational institution in the world. This cheap university in Canada is located in Ontario, where it was founded in 1848 as the College of Bytown.

Its undergraduate and graduate programs are overseen by 10 faculties specializing in the Arts, Education, Engineering, Health Science, Law (Civil and Common), Medicine, Science, Social Science, and Management.

10. University of Toronto

Founded in 1827 as King’s College, the University of Toronto (U of T) is the oldest higher education institution in Ontario. It’s also the highest-ranked Canadian university in the World Rankings at number 18, 16 notches ahead of the next-in-line University of British Columbia.

U of T is divided into several faculties, including the Arts & Science, Applied Science & Engineering, Architecture, Music, Forestry, Information, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Dentistry, Kinesiology, Public Health, Law, Management, Public Policy, Education, Social Work, and Theology.

FAQS About Studying in Canada

What Are the General Requirements to Study in Canada?

The basic requirement to take a Bachelor’s or Bachelor’s Honors degree is a high school diploma. Likewise, Master’s degree applicants need a Bachelor’s degree to be admitted. A transcript of records is also required, apart from other documents such as work experience and GRE/GMAT results (for Master’s applicants). Depending on the university, proficiency in English or French is also needed.

Check Also: Canada Programs for International Students

Why Are Schools in Canada Popular Among International Students?

First, international students are attracted to the high rankings of Canadian universities and colleges. Universities such as the University of Toronto, McGill University, McMaster University, and the University of British Columbia rival the Ivy League and prestigious universities in the United Kingdom.

Also, these universities offer great scholarships to international students unlike some of the universities in the US! You can check the University of TorontoMcGill University, and the University of British Columbia for more information about these scholarships.

Second, international students wish to study in Canada because of its beautiful nature. This country is known for its beauty and scenic views.

Since places like Vancouver, Quebec, and Nova Scotia are famous tourist attractions, many international students wish to study in Canada to sightsee and view the beautiful and magnificent nature.

Third, Canadian universities and colleges offer Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Ph.D. programs with affordable tuition. Also, professional degrees such as MBA and Medical doctors can be obtained at much lower costs compared to other countries.

If I Can’t Afford to Pay the Tuition Fees, Is It Possible for Me to Study in Canada?

This is a question that many international students ask. If you can’t afford to pay the tuition fees, it is still possible for you to study in Canada.

We’ve compiled a guide on How International Students Can Study in Canada for Free. There are several ways that are covered by the article, and we highly recommend you to look at it especially if you can’t pay these fees.

Do these Affordable Universities in Canada Offer Scholarships?

Yes! These affordable universities also offer scholarships for international students. With the affordable tuition fees coupled with scholarships, you will definitely be able to reduce your costs significantly.

To see the complete list, visit the Canada Scholarships Page!


We hope that this article on cheap universities in Canada was helpful. To know more information like this, check out the Canada Programs for International Students!

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hi! I am Hyun, and I am the founder at Global Scholarships. I've received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College and a $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for my undergraduate degree and was offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. You can read more about my scholarship journey here. If you are interested, you can follow me on Linkedin where I regularly write about scholarship opportunities.

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