Although Canada is considered one of the most attractive study destinations for international students, funding is still a concern for many students planning to study in this country.

The good news is that with so many scholarship opportunities provided by the Government of Canada, private universities, and other organizations, living costs have been reduced or eliminated for many international elites and students.

Elite students and those with the necessary academic qualifications can hope to study in Canada with a diverse range of Canadian scholarships.

This article will explain the types of scholarships, prerequisites, and conditions for obtaining a scholarship in Canada. So, stay tuned for more.

Types of Canadian Scholarships

Canadian public and private organizations and higher education institutions provide scholarships to students who intend to continue their education and research in the country. Because of that, there are several types of Canadian scholarships. In this section, we are going to introduce the types of scholarships in Canada briefly.

Canadian Scholarships can be divided into three main groups: Government Scholarships, Non-Government Scholarships, and University Scholarships.

What are the conditions and features of each of these scholarships? In the following sections, we are going to explain each of these scholarships in Canada.

Canadian Scholarships; Government Scholarships

1. Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship

This scholarship is for international and distinguished doctoral students. The value of this scholarship is $ 70,000 per year (including taxes). The Banting Fellowship Scholarship is awarded for two years for postdoctoral research in health, natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities.

The Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship Scholarship aims to attract and retain top Canadian and international postdoctoral talents.

2. Canada Graduate Scholarships – Master’s program

 CGSM is awarded to Canadian graduates and even doctoral students at Canadian universities. Three major Canadian bodies administer the scholarship: the Canadian Institute for Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), and the Humanities and Social Sciences Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).

One of the prerequisites for applying for a CGSM Scholarship is to have Canadian citizenship or permanent residence in Canada.

The validity of this scholarship is 12 months, and the value of this Canadian scholarship is equivalent to 17,500 CAD.

3. IDRC Research Awards

This scholarship is for international students from developing countries in Southeast Asia (ASEAN member countries). Research Awards Scholarships are awarded to graduate and doctoral research students studying at a Canadian university.

4. NSERC Graduate Scholarship

This scholarship is awarded to outstanding students majoring in natural sciences or engineering at the master and doctoral levels. NSERC funds this scholarship.

5. Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships

This scholarship is also for international doctoral students. The duration of this scholarship is three years, and its annual amount is $ 50,000. The Veneer Scholarship is awarded annually to 200 students who intend to study for a doctorate at the Universities of Toronto, British Columbia, Waterloo, Alberta, and 100 other Canadian universities.

Essential conditions for winning a Vanier Scholarship in Canada:

  • Have a strong resume (proof of leadership skills, research ability) and have excellent grades in engineering, natural sciences, health, social sciences, or humanities.
  • Applicants have the opportunity to choose one of the universities and submit their diplomas from July to November.
  • This scholarship is non-renewable.
  • The deadline for submitting documents and submitting an application is November 1.
  • The payment process starts from May 1 to September 1 or January.

6. Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS)

Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS) offers 22 merit-based scholarships to students in all disciplines of academic study. The Province of Ontario awards this scholarship to graduate and doctoral students.

The value of the Ontario Graduate Scholarship is USD 3,775 per term. Selections are based on factors like academic excellence, research potential, leadership skills, etc.

7. The Ontario Trillium Ontario (OTS)

The Ontario Trillium Scholarship (OTS) program is a provincially funded initiative to attract the best qualified international students to Ontario for Ph.D. studies.

Please be noticed that this program is suspended until further notice.

Canadian Scholarships; Non-Governmental Scholarships:

Specific organizations, funds, and trusts offer scholarships to international students in Canada. Some of the popular ones are listed below:

1. Anne Vallee Scholarship (AVEF)

The Anne Vallee Ecological Fund (AVEF) offers two $1,500 scholarships to support students registered in animal research at the master or doctoral level in a Quebec or British Columbia University.

The AVEF focuses on supporting field research in animal ecology concerning the impact of human activities such as forestry, industry, agriculture, and fishing.

Applicants have the opportunity to choose one of the universities from April to September and submit their documents and application. The deadline for submitting papers and applications is September 20.

The answer to the scholarship application will be sent to the applicants by e-mail in mid-March. The payment process starts from April to October.

2. Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Scholarships

The scholarship is awarded to international students (preferably students from developing countries) who intend to pursue a doctoral degree in the humanities or social sciences or are first/second year students in these fields.

The scholarships provide up to $60,000 per scholar for up to three years.

Canadian Scholarships: University Scholarships:

Now it’s time to talk about the Canadian University Scholarships:

1. Research Assistant scholarships

RAs are hired by faculty members (usually your supervisor) to assist with a research project directly related to your research. RA scholarships are common in primarily research-oriented universities. This type of research grant is paid to the student by the professor through research work.

In this type of fund, priority is given to doctoral students. Still, graduate students can also have a high chance of obtaining a research assistant position by establishing proper and principled communication with professors and having sufficient research experience.

A research assistant is the professor’s, right-hand man. He helps the professor by attending laboratories, building laboratory equipment, attending conferences and seminars, writing an article, or editing a book.

2. Teaching Assistant

Usually, in addition to the classes, each professor has other activities to do. Most professors select an assistant to attend classes. The duties of a training assistant or TA include: proofreading, teaching a lab lesson, taking an exam, and assisting with lecture preparation.

Choosing a teaching assistant is up to the professor. If a student achieves an A grade in a course or is at an excellent level, his or her chances of being selected usually increase. Most students with a high academic level are selected for this position.


RA and TA scholarships are only available to full-time master and doctoral students.

3. Domestic Entrance Scholarships

A one-year domestic entrance admission scholarship may be given to newly admitted domestic graduate students (Canadian citizens, permanent residents, landed immigrants). To be considered for a domestic entrance scholarship, applicants need an admission GPA of 10.5 or higher and must register full-time at the university.

The scholarship is worth $ 2,000 for master’s students and $ 3,000 for Ph.D. students.

4. Merit Scholarships

These scholarships are based on the academic grades of your previous degree and are available for top-quality students. The value of this scholarship varies from $ 1,000 to $ 12,000.

Donor–Funded Awards

This Canadian scholarship is awarded based on financial needs, specific research areas, and individual academic excellence. The value of this Canadian scholarship is up to $ 20,000.

Requirements for Scholarship in Canada

Scholarships are one way international students can help finance their studies in Canada, but it should be noted that the opportunity for a Canadian scholarship is minimal for international students.

Due to the advantages of studying in Canada, such as the high quality of education, the possibility of student work, and obtaining a work visa after studying in Canada, the competition for a Canadian scholarship is very high.

The requirements for a Canadian scholarship for a master’s or doctoral degree vary depending on the field of study, the university, the department, and the applicant.

To get any scholarship in Canada as an international student, one has to fulfill specific criteria. Though for each scholarship that you wish to benefit from, the overall eligibility will vary, but some general requirements that international students must keep in mind are:

  • Academic excellence: Applicants for scholarships to study in Canada must ensure that they have good academic scores. Most of the scholarships are merit-based, which means financial support will be offered to deserving students.
  • Language Proficiency: Since most international students do not have English as their first language, having better language skills or proficiency scores on exams like IELTS/TOEFL enhances your chances of getting a scholarship to study in Canada.

Besides those two critical factors, the conditions for obtaining a Canadian scholarship are as follows:

The student must apply for a scholarship by submitting the application form and sending all the necessary documents. After reviewing the academic records and evaluating factors such as transcripts, grade point average, language level, resume, published articles, and other issues, the university will notify the applicant of the possibility of receiving a scholarship via e-mail.


RA and TA scholarships are only available to full-time master and doctoral students.


every course you find will give you a pathway to post study visa

Required documents for a Canadian scholarship

When you’re applying for a scholarship, you have to check the granting institution’s website to make sure you provide all the needed documents. However, there are common documents that most of the institutions require from scholarship applicants, such as:

  • Completed scholarship application form
  • Copy of your academic transcripts/diplomas
  • Copy of main pages of passport and ID card (valid for at least six months)
  • Academic motivation letter (brief and valuable in the amount of 400-600 words)
  • Study Recommendation letter.
  • Provide a certificate from one of the Canada-approved language tests (IELTS or TOEFL Academic)
  • Some institutions may also require some additional documents, such as an essay and a medical report.
  • High scores in international exams, including GRE, GPA, ACT, and SAT, can increase your chances of winning a scholarship.

Undergraduate Scholarship in Canada

It is very difficult to get a scholarship for a bachelor’s degree in Canada compared to other degrees. The conditions for receiving a Canadian scholarship for a bachelor’s degree are that the student must first immigrate to Canada to study and then apply for a scholarship from the university after spending one or two semesters.

Applicants must have a diploma, a minimum IELTS score of 6.5, and a high GPA. If a person has a letter of recommendation from his professors and can offer a good motivation letter, he will have a higher chance of receiving a scholarship.

Master degree scholarship in Canada

One of the most common questions asked by international students planning to pursue a master’s degree is how to get a Canadian scholarship?

Canadian scholarship opportunities for international students are limited; therefore, obtaining a scholarship for a master’s degree is hard. The conditions for receiving a scholarship for a master’s degree may vary depending on the field of study, the university, the department, and the applicant.

The Canadian Master’s Scholarship is mostly for research-based courses. During this period, the student is required to work on a project designated by the professor in return for the scholarship they receive. The Master’s Degree Scholarship in Canada is approximately 14,000 CAD.

Ph.D. scholarship in Canada

Funding for tuition and student life is often a concern for many people planning to study in Canada. That is why many people are thinking about getting a scholarship in Canada from the very beginning. Fortunately, there are many scholarships available for doctoral studies.

In addition to all the conditions mentioned in the bachelor’s and master’s degrees, the applicant must have a minimum IELTS score of 7. Finding a Ph.D. supervisor is very effective in obtaining full funding.

 Doctoral scholarships in Canada are slightly different from other scholarships. Scholarships offered at this level are provided as teaching and research assistants. Depending on the type of scholarship, the student is obliged to participate in teaching or conducting research activities at the university and receive an amount as a scholarship.

Since the doctorate is research-oriented, the student must have a high level of language skills and show that their research work can be helpful for the university and the country by presenting a preliminary plan or proposal and the supervisor’s approval.

These scholarships are usually worth between C$ 18,000 and C$ 12,000. By receiving these scholarships, students can cover part of their tuition fees.

In Canada, several scholarships can help reduce student tuition fees. Full-funded scholarships cover all tuition and other living costs, and part-fund scholarships cover part of the tuition.

 Scholarships in Canada are very limited, competitive, and often for postgraduate (master, doctoral, and postdoctoral) levels. Most scholarships only cover university tuition, and other costs are covered by the student themself. So if you are looking for a free scholarship in Canada, you have to find a fully-funded scholarship. In the next section, we are going to introduce some of the fully funded scholarships in Canada.

Fully funded scholarships in Canada for international students

Canada is home to world-class universities and colleges, and many of them offer scholarships to international students to help them finance their studies in Canada. Some of the scholarships in Canada are fully funded, which means they would cover all of your costs while studying.

The following are some of the best scholarships in Canada for international students:

1. Lester B. Pearson International Scholarship Program at University of Toronto

The Lester B. Pearson International Scholarships is for secondary school students. The scholarship is offered at the University of Toronto and covers tuition, books, incidental fees, and full residence support.

2. York University Global Leader of Tomorrow Scholarships

The York University scholarship is a full-tuition scholarship to outstanding international students going in for undergraduate studies. The scholarship is worth 20,000 CAD for four years.

3. University of British Columbia’s International Leader of Tomorrow

This award recognizes international students who demonstrate top academic achievement, involvement in student affairs, leadership skills, and community service. The scholarship covers a student’s cost of tuition, fees, and living costs.

4. Margaret McNamara Educational Grants for Women

This scholarship awards numerous scholarships to women every year. About $15,000 Education grants are given every year to women from developing and middle-income countries who, after obtaining their degree, agree to return to or remain in their countries or other developing countries and work to improve the lives of women and children.

5. Quebec Government Scholarships

The Quebec government offers scholarships and grants for doctoral research to international students. The scholarship plans to encourage international students to begin or pursue doctoral studies in Québec and provide financial support to leading international Ph.D. candidates in the natural sciences, mathematics, and engineering fields.

6. Francophonie Scholarship Program (CFSP) for Francophonie Developing Countries

This Scholarship by the Canadian Government offers international students from French-speaking countries admission for university studies leading to a master’s and doctoral degree, or for technical and vocational training, or short-term internships. This scholarship covers all costs.

7. Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships Program

This prestigious scholarship is worth $50,000 per year for three years and is available to both Canadian and international Ph.D. students studying at Canadian universities.

8. University of Winnipeg President’s Scholarships

Every year, University of Winnipeg scholarships are given to international students entering any of the university’s divisions for the first time from Undergraduate, Graduate, Collegiate, Professional, Applied and Continuing Education (PACE) to the English Language Program (ELP). The award is a partial tuition waiver of 3500 CAD.

Universities in Canada that offer scholarships for international students

Pursuing higher education in a foreign country requires a lot of investment. International students typically fund their higher education expenses through family sponsorship or student loans.  But many international students are unaware that there are several scholarships available to cover some if not all of the financial burden. 

The following are the list of some scholarships of Canadian universities for international students:

  • University of Winnipeg Manitoba Graduate Scheme (UWMGS)
  • Pierre Arbour Foundation – Scholarship for Master and Doctoral level study in Computer Science and Engineering
  • Armand and Denise LA Barge Graduate Scholarship in Multiculturalism
  • University Provost’s Scholarship Program for Graduate Study
  • University of Waterloo International Student Entrance Scholarship
  • General Undergraduate Scholarships:
  • International and U.S. Admission Scholarships and Awards
  • Provost International Fellowship
  • University of Saskatchewan International Excellence Awards
  • International Major Entrance Scholarship
  • University of Toronto Scholars Program
  • International Undergraduate Student Entrance Scholarships
  • International President’s Entrance Scholarships
  • The Memorial University of Newfoundland International Entrance Scholarship

Scholarship in Canada without IELTS

Many people may be interested in studying in Canada with a scholarship but have not obtained IELTS for various reasons. They want to know if it is possible to get a scholarship without IELTS and other English proficiency certificates.

The short answer is that all Canadian universities require an IELTS Academic score of 6.5 or equivalent in the CAEL, CELPIP, and TOEFL iBT exams to enter their courses. But if you have studied in an institution where the primary language of studies was English, you are not liable to submit your IELTS or TOEFL exam. Here is the list of institutions that offer scholarships without IELTS or TOEFL to International Students.

  • Brock University
  • Carleton University
  • University of Winnipeg
  • University of Regina
  • Commemoration University
  • Concordia University

These universities accept students based on the fact that they have attained their previous degree in English.

Concluding statements

Canada is one of the countries with a robust education system, and that is why it is one of the most popular countries in the world for education. The cost-effectiveness of studying in Canada and the quality of education, and the ease of living in Canada have led to increased international students each year. But many students need financial support, and they can’t afford the tuition and other costs of living in Canada. For these students, scholarship is the solution.

But the question is, how can we get a scholarship in Canadian universities? Unfortunately, if you don’t have enough information and start this process without planning and knowledge, you will certainly not reach a positive result.

Our experienced and committed team in SmartApply is ready to respond and provide any advice regarding scholarships in Canada.

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