5+ Scholarships in Canada for International Students

Explore golden opportunities for international students with our comprehensive guide on scholarships in Canada. Discover a wealth of financial aid options, eligibility criteria, and application tips to make your dream of studying in Canada a reality. Unlock the door to quality education without breaking the bank – start your journey today!


Scholarships in Canada for International Students

Canada is a thriving hub for international education, renowned for its academic excellence, cultural diversity, and innovation. Most of their universities are globally recognized and celebrated. As a non-Canadian who wants to attend any of these universities, you must spend a fortune; not everyone can afford it.

The good news is that there are scholarships in Canada for international students at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Canadian institutions, government bodies, and private organizations offer many scholarships for international students. These scholarships relieve the financial burden and provide opportunities for students to engage in cutting-edge research, contribute to diverse communities, and experience the rich Canadian culture.

From prestigious national programs to university-specific initiatives, this article will take you through the best scholarships in Canada for international students.


7 Scholarships in Canada for International Students

Here are the best and most notable scholarships in Canada for international students:

Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships

Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship is available to Canadian and international doctoral students or those combining MD/PhD or MA/PhD who demonstrate high scholarly achievement and leadership skills in the social sciences, humanities, natural sciences, engineering, and health.

The scholarship provides funding of $50,000 per year for three years during doctoral studies, and the selection process is based on three equally weighted criteria: academic excellence, research potential, and leadership abilities.

The Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships aim to attract and retain doctoral students who have demonstrated high academic achievement and who show promise as researchers and leaders in their respective fields. Also, Vanier CGS recipients who complete their doctoral studies may be eligible for a one-time post-doctoral fellowship if they pursue post-doctoral research at a Canadian institution.

Eligibility Criteria

  • You must exclusively receive a nomination from a single Canadian institution, which must have been allocated a Vanier CGS quota.
  • You should be embarking on your initial doctoral degree, encompassing joint programs such as MD/Ph.D., DVM/Ph.D., or JD/PhD, MBA/PhD, provided they incorporate a well-defined and substantial research component.
  • You should be engaged in full-time doctoral studies and research at the nominating institution during the summer semester or the academic year immediately following the results announcement. If you are enrolled in a joint graduate research program, only the Ph.D. component of the program qualifies for funding.
  • As of May 1, 2024, you should have completed not more than 20 months of full-time study in your doctoral program. Notably, the doctoral program initiation should follow attaining a master’s degree, with the months of study calculated from the doctoral enrollment date.
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How to Apply

Students cannot apply directly for the Vanier CGS. Instead, they must be nominated by their respective Canadian institutions.


Canadian Commonwealth Scholarship Program

Administered by the Canadian Bureau for International Education, this is one of the best scholarships for international students and is open to students from Commonwealth countries (excluding Canadian citizens) for master’s and doctoral studies in Canada.

This merit-based and need-based scholarship supports various fields of study, including natural and social sciences, engineering, humanities, formal sciences, professions, and applied sciences. It covers travel, tuition, and living expenses for your study program in Canada.

In many cases, scholars are expected to return to their home countries upon completing their studies to contribute to the development of their nations.

Eligibility Criteria

  • You must be a citizen of a commonwealth country
  • You must possess or plan to obtain a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in the relevant subject area. A minimum of 60 percent marks is expected for those in the Humanities and Social Sciences Group, while candidates in the Engineering and Technology, Research, and Agriculture Group should have achieved 65 percent or more in their academic pursuits.

How to Apply

The application process and specific requirements vary. Interested candidates must apply through their home country’s nominating agency. Each Commonwealth country has a nominating agency responsible for selecting candidates for the scholarship.


Trudeau Foundation Scholarships

This is one of the top scholarships for international students pursuing a doctoral degree in the social sciences and humanities. This scholarship supports individuals pursuing research on one of the Foundation’s four themes: Canada and the world, human rights and dignity, responsible citizenship, and people and their natural environment.

The foundation seeks individuals who demonstrate academic excellence, leadership skills, and a desire to impact society through their research positively. The annual value of the scholarship award is $60,000 per Scholar, including a $20,000 annual travel allowance for up to 3 years.

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In addition to financial support, Trudeau Scholars become part of a community of scholars and engage in a leadership program that includes mentorship, workshops, and events to enhance their leadership skills and contribute to public policy discussions.

Eligibility Criteria

  • You must be enrolled or have received acceptance into a full-time doctoral program, currently in the first or second year, with an anticipated completion date for your doctoral studies in 2027 or beyond, provided you commence your third year in September 2024 or later.
  • Your chosen field of study should have a broad connection to the humanities or human sciences, directly contributing to Canada’s future.
  • The focus of your doctoral research must align with at least one of the Foundation’s Four Themes: Human Rights and Dignity, Responsible Citizenship, Canada and the World, or People and their Natural Environment.

How to Apply

To begin your application, complete your application form at the Foundation’s application portal.


Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships

The Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships are prestigious awards designed to support outstanding postdoctoral researchers in various disciplines. Administered by the three Canadian research agencies, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), these fellowships aim to attract top-tier talent and nurture their potential as future leaders in academia and research.

The fellowships are available in various disciplines, including natural sciences, engineering, health, social sciences, and humanities. As a scholarship recipient, you get a taxable fellowship stipend of 70,000 CAD that covers a stipend, research allowance, and other benefits.

The application process is super competitive and involves the submission of a detailed research proposal, academic achievements, and letters of recommendation. Also, your leadership potential and the impact of your proposed research are considered.

Upon completing the fellowship, Banting Fellows are well-positioned for academic and research careers, often securing faculty positions or other leadership roles in their respective fields.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Open to both Canadian citizens and international applicants.
  • You must have completed a PhD, PhD-equivalent, or health professional degree.
  • You must  demonstrate exceptional research      potential      and    leadership capabilities.

How to apply

To apply, visit this link and carefully read and follow the instructions.


IDRC Research Awards

IDRC Research Awards is one of the top scholarships for international students that aims to support researchers from developing countries, including students pursuing a master’s or doctoral degree at a participating university in Canada.

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The research projects must align with IDRC’s thematic areas, which often include sustainable development, social equity, and economic growth topics. The research projects must align with IDRC’s thematic areas, which often include topics related to Climate-Resilient Food Systems, Democratic and Inclusive Governance, Education and Science, Global Health, and Sustainable and Inclusive Economies.

The annual value of the awards ranges from $42,033 to $48,659. Also, it covers additional expenses such as travel and research materials up to CA$15,000.

Eligibility Criteria

  • You must hold Canadian citizenship, permanent residency, or citizenship in a developing country as recognized by the OECD Development Assistance Committee (specifically in the Caribbean, the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, and Asia).
  • You must be currently enrolled in a Canadian doctoral program. While it is essential to undertake several courses in the doctoral program at the time of application, completing all coursework and successful comprehensive exams is not mandatory until the award is initiated. If selected for the award, full completion of all coursework and successful comprehensive exams becomes a condition before the commencement of the award.
  • An approved research proposal by the thesis supervisor is a prerequisite for application submission, and proof of approval must be included as part of the application materials.

How to Apply

Visit the official website of the IDRC research award and follow the guidelines to apply.


University-Specific Scholarships

Many top Canadian universities offer scholarships for international students. If you are yet to apply or are currently enrolled, you can check with the international student office or financial aid office of the university you are interested in for details. Here are some examples of university=specific scholarships

The University of British Columbia International Scholars Program

The university offers bachelor’s degree students scholarships through its International Scholars Program. The deadline for application is annually on 15 Nov/1 Dec. Successful applicants will commence their studies in Canada starting the academic year 2024.

University of Calgary International Entrance Scholarship

The University of Calgary presents the International Entrance Scholarship for candidates seeking a Bachelor’s Degree. The annual deadline for application is 1 Dec 2023/1 Mar 2024, and the course is set to begin in Fall 2024.

We also have the Ontario Graduate Scholarship and Toronto Scholars Program.


Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and Foundations

Some NGOs and private foundations in Canada offer scholarships for international students. Examples include the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation, The MasterCard Foundation, and the Lester B. Pearson International Scholarship Program.



Canada is an inviting and supportive destination for international students, offering a range of scholarships beyond financial aid providing avenues for academic and personal growth. It is advised that before applying for a scholarship, you understand their eligibility criteria and work to meet them satisfactorily.

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