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University education

Come and pursue a North American-style university education 

Quebec university education is very special: it is based on a North American pedagogy that favours exchange and interaction with teachers and aims to train critical thinking. Pursuing a university education will allow you to develop expertise and an analytical mind that is in great demand on the job market.  

The Quebec government’s Opération main-d’œuvre specifically targets the following 5 areas of study: 

What is it like to study at university in Québec City?

On a full-time basis, your timetable may only include about 15 hours of classes per week. However, students are often required to do a lot of personal work in order to submit individual or group assignments that are graded. Teamwork is often the order of the day, and classes allow for interaction. They are places of exchange and debate between students and their professors. Also, don’t be surprised if you come across older people on the university benches. 


Academic terms 

Here, an academic year is divided into three terms, or “semesters”: 

  • The fall semester (September to December) 
  • The winter semester (January to April) 
  • The summer semester (May to August) 

Each university sets its own registration periods, so be sure to check, as registration usually takes place several months before the start of a term. 

Academic levels or courses 

Undergraduate studies (1st cycle) 

Duration: Minimum 3 years, full time 

Targeted diploma: Bachelor’s degree (also called Licence in the European and African school systems). Please refer to our school system comparison table

Objective: To enter the labour market or pursue graduate studies. 

Specifics: A student may also enrol in a 30-credit undergraduate certificate program. The certificate is a one-year program that can be used as additional training for a university graduate or as a refresher course for a worker whose job requires additional skills. 

Graduate studies (2nd cycle) 

Targeted diplomas: Master’s degree or advanced graduate diploma (DESS) 

There are 3 types of programs: 

  • The professional master’s program or “master’s without thesis” 
  • The research master’s program or “master’s with thesis” 
  • The advanced graduate diploma program (diplôme d’études supérieures spécialisées, or “DESS”) 

Duration: Master’s degree: 2 years full-time | Advanced graduate diploma (DESS): 1 year 

Objective: To specialize in a field of study or to seek training in research in one or more disciplines. 

Doctoral studies (3rd cycle) 

Prerequisite: Master’s degree with thesis 

Duration: Minimum three years full time 

Targeted degree: Ph.D. 

Objective: Students who go on to doctoral studies often go into scientific research or prepare for a research career. To obtain this degree, a lot of writing is required and a thesis must be defended before a judging panel. 

Overview of the main universities in the Québec City area


Located in Québec City, Université Laval was the first French-language university in North America. It offers a digital and in-person study and research experience on a green campus. Université Laval is one of the best research universities in Canada. It offers one of the widest ranges of training in the three university levels, with 500 programs in 17 faculties. Each year, it welcomes 43,000 students, including 7,000 foreign students. 


ÉNAP offers graduate and doctoral programs in public administration. It welcomes more than 1,700 students and trains future senior public servants in Quebec and Canada in municipal and regional management, diplomacy, public administration, health and social services management, etc. 


Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS) welcomes approximately 700 students per year, 60% of whom are international. It offers multidisciplinary graduate and doctoral programs aimed at training the next generation of scientists in strategic sectors such as water, earth, health, materials and telecommunications sciences. The institution is supported by four research centres, one of which is located in Québec City: the Centre Eau Terre Environnement. 

L’Université du Québec à Rimouski (UQAR)

UQAR is part of the Université du Québec, the largest university network in Canada, with over 100,000 students. 

Each year, UQAR welcomes approximately 6,500 students, including nearly 550 foreign students from over 45 countries. 

Recognized for the exceptional coaching provided by its professors and lecturers, UQAR offers a study environment conducive to learning and to social, community and sports initiatives that promote the development of its students. 


If you are interested in online university education, TÉLUQ offers nearly 400 distance courses leading to a degree from the Université du Québec. TÉLUQ, like ÉNAP and INRS, is also part of the Université du Québec network.


Would you like to come and live in the beautiful city of Québec or its surroundings? Tell us if you would like to come to study or work there and we will send you relevant information related to your immigration project!