Fully Funded Masters Scholarships in Canada for International Students in 2023
Seeking for a master’s degree in Canada as an international student presents both opportunities and challenges. While Canadian higher education is renowned globally, the costs can be prohibitive without financial assistance.
Luckily, there are numerous scholarships, awards, and programs designed to make a Canadian master’s degree fully funded for qualifying applicants from abroad. In this article, we’ll explore the top options available in 2023.
By learning about eligibility requirements, award amounts, and application deadlines, you can identify the opportunities most suitable for your background and research areas. With strategic planning and effort put into multiple submissions, it’s very possible to obtain full tuition and living expense coverage for your Canadian graduate studies.
Why Pursue a Master’s in Canada?
Before diving into specific scholarship details, let’s examine why Canada presents an excellent choice for international students at the graduate level:
Canada is consistently ranked in the top three favored study-abroad destinations globally due to its world-class education and multicultural environment.
Over 125 accredited Canadian universities offer high-quality master’s programs in diverse fields, many taught entirely in English.
Job prospects are strong with over one million positions open to international graduates through the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program.
Obtaining Canadian work experience during or after studies can facilitate permanent residency and careers long-term.
Proximity to the US market and cultural diversity are attractive to international employers seeking global competencies.
Tuition and cost of living, while not negligible, remain manageable compared to other major study destinations.
With support from scholarships, a fully funded master’s takes full advantage of these core benefits, setting you up for future success professionally and personally.
Fully Funded Federal Scholarships
At the national level, three major scholarship programs can finance your entire Canadian masters degree tuition and expenses:
Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships
Awarded by Canada’s tri-agency research granting councils, Vanier Scholarships target top PhD students worldwide. Values range from 50,000 to CAD 51,000 per year, renewable for up to three years of study if warranted.
Eligibility is open to all research masters and direct PhD students. Areas like health, natural sciences, and engineering are most supported. The 2022 deadline was 1st of October .
Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships
While a postdoctoral program, Banting Fellowships provide $70,000 annually for 1-2 years of research in Canada after PhD completion. This helps transition international recipients into their next career phase.
Applicants must have recently defended or be close to completing their dissertation. Applications are accepted between September and November annually, the next round dates are TBC.
Canada Graduate Scholarships – Master’s Program
Administered by SSHRC, CIHR, and NSERC, these $17,500 CGS-M awards fund 12 months of full-time study. Students may also supplement with provincial/university funding detailed later.
Requirements vary by the scholarship “program area” yet, many are open to all recently graduated or continuing international students in eligible research fields. Deadlines fall in early 2023.
Together these generous scholarships set recipients up for successful Canadian graduate experiences without private financial burdens. Philanthropic and university awards augment them further.
Provincial Government Scholarships
Individual Canadian provinces commonly allocate scholarship dollars towards international master’s student recruitment and retention as well. Here are a few highlights:
Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS)
Two installments of $5,000 are provided every four months, totaling $20,000 over one year which fully pays graduate tuition at Ontario universities.
They target all recent or continuing research master’s/PhD students with a minimum 80% average. Applications are accepted between mid-September to mid-January annually.
Quebec Merit Scholarship Program (PBEE)
Top master/PhD students from abroad can receive $20,000/year tax-free awards for up to two years of Quebec study in any field.
Academic excellence with a detailed study proposal is evaluated. Scholarships are assigned through individual Quebec university nomination processes before winter deadlines.
New Brunswick Innovation Scholarship
Students entering competitive NB graduate programs may receive scholarships up to $30,000 total. Fields of strategic provincial economic importance are most supported.
Individual university departments are responsible for applications and selection based on student caliber and research project alignment with Innovation priorities.
With diligent proposal development and a superbeb track records, international students can make a compelling case for fully covered provincial scholarship support for their Canadian master degree plans.
Foundation & Institutional Funding
Many private scholarships administered by Canadian universities, colleges, and philanthropic partners also exist solely for international graduate recruits:
University of British Columbia Four-Year Doctoral Fellowship
Value: $40,000 per year for up to four years of full-time PhD study at UBC for top non-Canadian citizens in any field.
Extremely competitive award covering tuition and living costs in its entirety as students conduct their research. The application deadline is usually mid-December.
Toronto Global Leaders Scholarship
Value: $20,000 per year for one year of study would be granted to an exceptional master student(s) showing outstanding academic merit and leadership qualities for admission to the University of Toronto.
Yearly monthly scholarships are available across a wide range of faculties. Nominations originate through individual graduate program selection processes.
Mitacs Globalink Research Award
Value: Up to $15,000 to support 3-6 months of masters or PhD research collaborations between international and Canadian university teams.
Projects address strategic skills and sector growth for Canada with priority fields like science, technology, and business innovation. Applications open year-round with evaluation bimonthly.
Steadily researching additional fully funded institutional awards allows the identification of university-level financing tailored to student qualifications and academic interests. Combining outside support yields free graduate education eligibility.
Maximizing Your Chances
To boost success in obtaining a fully funded Canadian master’s program, focus application materials on:
· Exceptional academic history free of deficiencies
· Clear research proposal in sponsor priority areas
· Recommendations highlighting leadership, impact potential
· Well-written personal statement conveying passion, fit
· Proficiency in English/French as necessary
· Work/volunteer background as supports academic excellence
Also, consider programs starting outside traditional Fall terms for less competition accessing remaining awards. With strategic targeting of bundled scholarship supports, full financial coverage is well within reach.
Making Informed Choices
In summary, through careful research of eligibility rules and deadlines across various fully funded Canadian master’s scholarship avenues, international students can confidently select targeted graduate institutions and create competitive multi-submission funding plans.
This plan maximizes affordability while taking full advantage of a top-quality education, inclusive multicultural environment, and robust worldwide opportunities available through Canadian higher learning experiences. With diligent preparation, a life-changing supported graduate education abroad comes into financial feasibility.
Here are more information about the application process for Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships.
Here are some more details about the application process for the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships:
Eligibility: Applicants must be nominated by a Canadian university to which they are seeking admission for a PhD program. Some eligibility criteria include citizenship status, academic excellence, research potential, etc.
Nomination process: Universities each have their internal nomination process which may involve submitting an expression of interest, CV, statements of research interests, etc. Students must meet the university’s nomination deadline which is usually earlier than the national deadline.
National application: If nominated, students work with their university to submit a full national application online. This involves documents like CVs, transcripts, letters of reference, research statements, etc.
Assessment criteria: Applications are assessed based on academic excellence, research ability, and leadership potential. Areas like originality, feasibility, and significance of proposed research are considered.
Deadlines: The 2022 deadline for university nominations was August 31. The national application deadline for nominated candidates was October 1. Deadlines may change from year to year.
Decisions: Adjudication is done by multidisciplinary panels of experts. Results are usually released within 4-6 months after the deadline. Offers can take effect either in January or May.
Funding: Covers student fees and living expenses of $50-51k per year tax-free for up to 3 years of PhD study if needed.
Careful planning is key as the process involves both university nomination and national application stages. Starting early is highly recommended.
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