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Funding Question Regarding Canadian Universities (Tuition Waivers)


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Hello Everyone,

Like many of you I'm in the process of trying to decide my future as an MSc student at a variety of different schools. So far I have received an offer from one school along with an RA position. I'm waiting to hear back from UBC in regards to another program I have applied to. I expect to hear back in the next few weeks, but I had a question regarding Canadian funding.


Generally I see that schools in the States will provide students with a stipend, sometimes health insurance, and often a tuition reimbursement/waiver. I know that not all schools are the same, but for the information I have now that seems to be the case. Looking at UBC--a GRA position would be considered a fellowship, and not a stipend in regards to payment. I was wondering, do Canadian schools offer tuition waivers like schools in the states? Because I'm waiting, and have an actual offer, this could help me quite a bit in making a decision. 

Thanks in advance!

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It really depends on the school. I've been offered a grant and a fellowship from the programs I've been accepted to, but there are other programs that have different funding options or no funding options. I think that generally though funding will come in the way of grants, fellowships, TAships and RAships, there are also scholarships. I have not heard of a tuition waiver in the vein of American schools, but I'm also coming with limited experience and knowledge. I hope this helps. 

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Depends on the school for sure. My experience with two dif grad school for my MA and PhD in Canada (social sciences) is that if the program is funding you they will offer you a 'funding package.' This package will often amount to enough money to pay for tuition and then some for living expenses (often called a 'stipend'). Even when the term 'tuition+fee waiver' is used it often just means that your funding will be enough to cover tuition+fees and then you will have X amount left over for living expenses. These packages are often the result of funding gathered from a wide variety of places, including the department itself, the faculty of graduate studies, and the CUPE union that TAs are apart of. Pretty much all funding packages have a teaching assistantship or research assistantship built into them as well, so part of your funding comes from you working as a well paid TA. You may also receive an entrance scholarship and be able to apply for further bursaries and scholarships both internally and externally. Many programs do not advertise the funding they will offer on their departmental website because doing so means that they are contractually bound to guarantee that amount of minimum funding. This leaves them with little flexibility and, as such, is seen as unappealing. Instead, you receive a funding letter with or shortly after you receive a letter of offer and that is what you are contractually guaranteed.

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