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Canadian versus US PhD Programs


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I have a question that might be very obvious to some of you: why are Canadian programs so different than US programs in terms of funding? I know that some US programs don't offer full funding, but I thought that most of them did.


The only explanation that I received from various Canadian students and faculty is that the tuition rates are very cheap for domestic students, so the little financial package that is offered goes a long way for domestic students. On the other hand, for international students like myself, the financial package offered is actually more than what is offered to domestic students,but because the tuition rates for international students are so much higher, the financial package covers much less of the expenses. 


But most of the US schools with which I'm familiar not only cover the tuition, but offer a 15 to 30 K stipend on top of it, which is not even comparable to what Canadian domestic students end up receiving. Why is there such a discrepancy?


(Sorry if this post belongs to a different forum; if so, then please let me know which forum and I'll gladly post there.)

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Most Canadian schools just don't have that much money. The government cuts funding pretty often, at least in my province. Some Canadian schools can offer more funding than the lower stipends in the US, but I'm not aware of anyone with $30k stipends in Canada without it being from external funding. There's also (as far as I know) no such thing as a private university in Canada. That's where most of the big stipends come from in the US (of course this is not exclusive. My best offer is actually public.)

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A few months back I talked to Professor Lynne Viola at the University of Toronto and she told me the following about US applicants:


"our provincial gov’t has put limits in graduate funding of non-Canadian PhD applicants, so it is a bit harder for non-Canadians to get in here, but not impossible!"


This obviously only applies to a certain set of people; however, it wouldn't surprise me if similar policies existed elsewhere in Canada.


Edit: This post, of course, is assuming that you're a US applicant to a Canadian program and were surprised at perhaps low funding packages offered.

Edited by О'Брайен
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