Postsecondary Education in Ontario

Publicly Funded Colleges and Universities in Ontario

Ontario is home to an internationally respected postsecondary education system with 20 public universities and 24 public colleges. Main and satellite campuses provide learning opportunities in every region of the province. Two of the colleges and nine of the universities offer programs in the French language. Find a public college or university near you.

Credentials Offered by Publicly Funded Colleges and Universities

Generally, colleges offer one year certificates, two year diplomas, three year advanced diplomas, four year degrees in applied areas of study and one year graduate certificate programs for students who have completed a diploma or degree. Colleges also offer the in-school portion of apprenticeship training programs and collaborate with the Ontario Ministry of Training Colleges and Universities to offer specially designed second career training opportunities for adults.

Universities offer Bachelor's degrees and first professional degrees, as well as graduate programs leading to Master's degrees and Doctorates. Some colleges and universities have developed collaborative programs, also called joint or integrated programs, where students study at both institutions either sequentially or concurrently.

For more information on credentials offered by public colleges and universities, see Postsecondary Credentials in Ontario.

Private career colleges also offer vocational training in many communities. For detailed information, please visit the Ministry of Training Colleges and Universities website to find a school.

Credit Transfer among Publicly Funded Colleges and Universities in Ontario

Sometimes students find that they have chosen a program or institution that is not a good fit for them or sometimes personal circumstances will require that a student move from one program or institution to another. When this happens, students need to know which credits they have already earned will transfer to the new program or institution.

The most common form of credit transfer in Ontario is from a college diploma or advanced diploma program to a degree in a college or university. These usually involve a block of transfer credit into a specific point of a degree program. Sometimes there may be required bridge courses that must be completed at the beginning of the degree program. Colleges have also recently begun to develop transfer pathways from certificate to diploma programs and from diploma programs to advanced diploma programs. See the transfer guide for pathways for college students or graduates.

The Transfer Guide database does not currently provide transfer credit equivalencies for university courses. However, most institutions have formal policies on how they recognize credits from other institutions. In addition, many colleges have developed accelerated curriculum for some of their diploma and advanced diploma programs which provide transfer credits for graduates of university degree programs. Colleges have also developed Graduate Certificate programs designed for university graduates. See post degree programs at colleges for university graduates.

If you are a certified apprentice, some colleges offer transfer pathways into diploma and advanced diploma programs.

Please see Credit Transfer in Ontario for further information.

There are many routes to your postsecondary goal; ONTransfer is here to help you on your journey.