College and University - What Is The Difference?

In Canada, college and a university are two different things. Universities focus on academic and professional programs, like history or psychology. Colleges have career training and trades programs, like hospitality or IT.

What is a College?

Colleges offer training in the trades and in applied fields. Generally, they are more career-oriented than universities. This means colleges focus more on hands-on training.
Colleges have full and part-time studies. Most colleges in Ontario offer three kinds of certification:

  • Certificate  - takes 1 year to complete when studying full time
  • Diploma - takes 2-3 years to complete when studying full time
  • Bachelor degrees in applied fields - takes 3-4 years of full-time study

What is a University?

Universities have academic and professional programs, like history or law. Universities offer:

  • Undergraduate (Bachelor’s) degree - takes about 3 years to complete. If you are interested in going on to graduate school, you can take an extra year and get a Bachelor’s Honours Degree. You can also combine two subject areas and do a “double major” (e.g. Bachelor of Arts in History and Sociology)
  • Master’s degree  – takes between 1-2 years to complete.
  • Doctoral (PhD) degree – takes 4-6 years to complete
  • Professional program (Law, Medicine, Dentistry) – takes about 4 years to complete. In some cases, you can apply for these programs after 2 or 3 years of undergraduate study.

Credit Transfers

If you're currenlty in a College or University and want to transfer, you need to know a few things before you start.

Teaser: 

<p><br /> In Canada,<strong> college and a university are two different things.</strong> <strong>Universities</strong> focus on academic and professional programs, like history or psychology. <strong>Colleges</strong> have career training and trades programs, like hospitality or IT.</p>