University education

Laval University, founded in 1852, is the main post-secondary institution in Quebec City.

Laval University

As North America’s premiere francophone post-secondary institution and a recognized UNESCO heritage site, Laval University is ranked among Canada’s top 10 research universities.

People choose Laval University because:

  • Its research programs in the fields of neuroscience, optics/photonics, lasers, geomatics, genomics, environmental studies and classics have gained particular recognition.
  • More than 500 educational programs are offered.
  • It has 42,500 students.
  • Its vast campus is made up of buildings, green spaces and wooded areas.
  • It has a vibrant cultural, sporting and social life.

There are four other post-secondary institutions in Quebec City and the surrounding region, all of which are affiliated with the University of Quebec, a public university network serving the entire province: the Lévis campus of the University of Quebec at Rimouski (UQAR), the National School of Public Administration (ENAP), the National Institute of Scientific Research (INRS) and TELUQ, the distance education branch of the University of Quebec at Montreal (UQAM).

Bachelor’s programs ("first cycle")

  • Leads to the bachelor’s degree.
  • A bachelor’s program consists of at least 90 credits, usually completed full-time over a three-year period.
  • • Individuals who have completed a bachelor’s program can enter the labour market or pursue graduate-level studies at the master’s or doctoral levels ("second/third cycles").
  • Various types of bachelor’s programs are available: specialized bachelor’s, bachelors with major/minor and general bachelor’s.
  • Individuals can also enrol in a bachelor’s-level certificate program (30 credits).

Master’s programs ("second cycle")

Master’s programs may focus on a specialized field or may provide an introduction to research in one or more disciplines. There are two types of master’s programs:

  1. Professional master’s programs, known as "master’s without thesis".
  2. Research-oriented master’s programs, known as "master’s with thesis".

A "master’s without thesis" program usually consists of 30 credits and involves one year of full-time studies. It leads to a specialized advanced studies diploma (DESS).

A "master’s with thesis" program usually consists of 45 credits and involves two years of studies.

Doctoral programs ("third cycle")

  • Individuals who wish to enrol in a doctoral program are usually required to hold a bachelor’s and a master’s degree.
  • Doctoral programs lead to a doctorate (PhD).
  • A doctoral program consists of at least 90 credits, usually completed full-time over at least a three-year period.
  • A doctoral program provides a thorough grounding in scientific research and prepares candidates for a research career.
  • Candidates are required to write and defend a thesis (dissertation).


For further information on post-secondary institutions in Quebec City and the surrounding region: