The Most Affordable Universities in Canada for International Students in 2024

Canada, consistently ranked high for quality of life and education, is a dream destination for international students. While Canadian universities offer a world-class education, costs can be a concern. The good news is there are plenty of affordable options! This guide explores 20 of the cheapest universities in Canada for international students in 2024, providing estimated costs and program highlights.

Finding the Right Fit: Cost Considerations

University tuition fees in Canada vary depending on the institution, program chosen, and your level of study (undergraduate or graduate). Remember, these figures typically only reflect tuition and may not include additional mandatory fees, living expenses, and health insurance. It’s crucial to factor in all costs when making your decision.

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Top 20 Affordable Universities for International Students

  1. University of Alberta: Located in Edmonton, Alberta, this top-ranked university boasts over 200 undergraduate programs and 500 graduate programs. Undergraduate tuition ranges from $29,192.40 (BEd Adult Education) to $51,156.18 (Law, Juris Doctor).
  2. University of Saskatchewan: Situated in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, this research university offers over 80 programs across various disciplines. Undergraduate program fees range from $19,895 (Pharmacy) to $122,778 (Dentistry – DMD).
  3. University of Calgary: A leading public research university in Calgary, Alberta, UCalgary offers over 250 programs. Undergraduate program costs vary, with the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine being the most affordable at $10,672.31.
  4. University of Ottawa: A bilingual (English-French) public research university in Ottawa, Ontario, uOttawa welcomes students from over 145 countries. Undergraduate tuition fees depend on the program and the number of units enrolled in. Costs range from $21,262.54 (Education) to $31,582.15 (Civil Engineering) per term.
  5. University of Winnipeg: Renowned for its small class sizes and superior learning environment, this university in Winnipeg, Manitoba, attracts over 1,000 international students. The estimated tuition and fees for undergraduate international students range from $16,245 (Arts-Low) to $20,599.50 (Business) for a full course load.
  6. Brandon University: A regional university in Brandon, Manitoba, Brandon University offers undergraduate, graduate, pre-professional, and certificate programs. The estimated first-year cost for international students is approximately $35,000, including tuition, books, on-campus residence with a meal plan, and health insurance.
  7. University of Guelph: A top comprehensive university in Guelph, Ontario, it features over 80 undergraduate programs and a wide range of graduate programs. Undergraduate international student expenses range from $50,214 to $72,703 per year, depending on the program.
  8. University of Regina: Established in 1974, this mid-sized public research university in Regina, Saskatchewan, offers 120 undergraduate and 78 graduate programs. The total cost for five standard undergraduate classes ranges from $11,845.20 (Arts) to $13,888.95 (Business Administration) for the Fall 2023 schedule.
  9. Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN): The only university in Newfoundland and Labrador, MUN offers over 300 programs. Tuition and fees for two semesters of a bachelor’s degree program for new international students at St. John’s Campus total $20,790 (Fall 2023).
  10. Carleton University: A research and teaching institution in Ottawa, Ontario, Carleton University offers undergraduate and graduate programs in various fields. Estimated yearly tuition and living costs range from $48,081 to $65,950 (on-campus) and $45,296 to $68,965 (off-campus).

Beyond the Top 10: More Affordable Options

The Most Affordable Universities in Canada for International Students in 2024
  1. Simon Fraser University: A public research university in Greater Vancouver, BC, SFU offers undergraduate and graduate programs with estimated total costs of $24,801 and $11,452, respectively, for international students.
  2. Concordia University: Located in Montreal, Quebec, Concordia University is known for its diverse and innovative programs. Estimated costs for one year of full-time undergraduate studies range from $22,899 to $32,120, depending on the chosen degree. Popular programs include Communication Studies, Education, English Language and Literature, Accounting and Finance, Linguistics, Psychology, and Sociology.
  3. University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC): One of Canada’s best small research-intensive universities, UNBC has five campuses. Tuition and fees for undergraduate international students are $25,812.42 (full-time), while graduate students pay $10,993.48 (full-time) for tuition, fees, and books. Programs include Arts, Commerce, Education, Health Sciences, Science, Applied Science, Nursing, Planning, and Social Work. Popular courses include Business, Sport Science, Biomedical Engineering, and Agricultural Sciences.
  4. Canadian Mennonite University (CMU): A private Mennonite university in Winnipeg, Manitoba, CMU offers comprehensive liberal arts university programming with accredited bachelor’s and graduate degrees. Tuition fees for undergraduate and graduate international students enrolled in a 3-credit-hour course (including health insurance) are $2,745 and $2,810.63, respectively.
  5. University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI): The only university in Prince Edward Island, UPEI offers undergraduate, professional, and graduate programs. Depending on the chosen faculty and courses, undergraduate international student tuition costs can range from $14,838 to $74,804. Costs include tuition and international fees but not other fees, student union fees, and program fees.
  6. Dalhousie University: A research-intensive university founded in 1818, Dalhousie University is located in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Estimated costs for undergraduate programs range from $16,503.83 (Veterinary Technology) to $49,998.43 (Nursing) for one year. Graduate programs range from $12,382.42 (Computer Science – Doctorate) to $34,964.41 (Engineering – Master).
  7. Cape Breton University (CBU): A public co-educational undergraduate university in Sydney, Nova Scotia, CBU offers comprehensive programs in diverse fields. The education costs for an international student taking ten undergraduate-level courses per academic year range from $19,474.30 to $20,137.30. The costs include tuition, international differential fees, an international medical plan, and other fees.
  8. Dominican University College (DUC): A private bilingual research university specializing in philosophy and theology, DUC is located in Ottawa, Ontario. Unfortunately, as of January 3, 2023, DUC has suspended new admissions to all its programs. Tuition fees for international students for the academic year 2022-2023 were $14,440 per year for a full-time undergraduate and $21,660 per year for a full-time graduate student.
  9. Université de Saint-Boniface (USB): A French-language public university in Winnipeg, Manitoba, USB offers university degrees and technical and professional programs. The estimated cost of full-time studies per year at USB for international applicants outside Canada ranges from $10,570 to $16,850. This includes books and materials and medical insurance.
  10. Vancouver Island University (VIU): A public university with four campuses on Vancouver Island, VIU offers over 120 programs for undergraduate and graduate degrees, vocational and trades certificates, and diplomas. International tuition and fees depend on the specific program and choice of accommodation. Using the VIU cost calculator, the estimated cost for Business Administration (Bachelor) is $24,372 for the first year, which includes tuition, student fees, and books.
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Beyond Cost: Scholarships and Financial Aid

While tuition fees are a significant factor, remember to explore scholarship and financial aid opportunities. Many Canadian universities offer scholarships specifically for international students, helping to offset costs. Be sure to research scholarships offered by your chosen university and explore external scholarship opportunities.

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