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Diploma vs. Bachelor’s degree in Canada

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Choosing between a Diploma and a Bachelor's degree in Canada can be a perplexing decision for many Nepalese students. The confusion arises from the various factors that need to be considered, such as career goals, academic preferences, and long-term aspirations. While a Diploma program typically offers specialized vocational training and can be completed in a shorter duration, a Bachelor's degree provides a more comprehensive and in-depth education that opens up broader career opportunities. It is essential for Nepali students to carefully evaluate their individual circumstances, including their desired field of study, financial considerations, and personal interests, in order to make an informed decision about whether to pursue a Diploma or a Bachelor's degree in Canada.

Difference between Diploma and a Bachelor’s Degree

Students from Nepal must understand that Bachelor's degrees in Canada are typically completed within a span of four years through full-time study, although there are also three-year bachelor's degrees and two-year associate's degrees available. These undergraduate programs are primarily offered by universities, but some colleges also provide them. To be eligible for a bachelor's degree program, students generally need to have completed high school or an equivalent level of education. The duration of bachelor's degree programs, ranging from three to four years, allows students to delve into their chosen field of study and acquire a comprehensive understanding of their subject area.

In Canada, diplomas are categorized into three types, each with its own characteristics and opportunities. First, there is the regular diploma, which equips students with the necessary skills and knowledge for a specific field or occupation. This undergraduate-level program has a duration of two years and is offered by colleges.

Next, we have the advanced diploma, which offers a more specialized education compared to the regular diploma. This program typically includes a co-op or internship component, providing students with the chance to apply their skills in real-world scenarios, build professional networks, and enhance their resumes. Advanced diplomas are also offered by colleges and have a duration of three years.

Lastly, the graduate diploma option is available for students who have completed a regular or advanced diploma or a bachelor's degree. Graduate diplomas offer a combination of intensive training and hands-on experience, providing students with advanced skills and expertise in their chosen field. This study program is at the graduate level and usually lasts for one to two years. Colleges in Canada offer graduate diplomas to eligible students.


Undergraduate Courses in Colleges and Universities in Canada are for 3 or 4 years.

Most of the Masters Courses in Universities in Canada are for 2 years. A diploma program is relatively shorter to complete than a degree program. Depending on the course and institution, you can typically pursue a diploma within one to three years. Universities or colleges can offer part-time programs when taking degree and diploma courses, depending on the institution and course. Most degrees can take between one and five years to complete. For example, a bachelor's degree program usually takes four years to complete, while many medical programs can take five to six years of study to complete the program.

Cost of Tuition

Typically, bachelor's degree programs are slightly more expensive, ranging around 2000-3000 CAD more than diploma programs. However, variations exist, and in certain universities located in regional areas, bachelor's degree costs may be lower than those for diploma programs in major cities. Conversely, it's also possible to pay less for bachelor's degree programs in cities like Toronto if you secure a scholarship at a university in the same region.

For individuals with excellent grades and high English proficiency scores, applying for a scholarship for a bachelor's degree is a viable option, and there's a strong likelihood that the overall cost could be less than that of a diploma program. Therefore, for students with strong academic and English proficiency credentials, financial considerations should not deter them from applying for a bachelor's degree, as numerous universities offer scholarships to deserving Nepalese students.


A degree serves as formal recognition from a university, acknowledging a student's successful completion of studies in a chosen field. In contrast, a diploma is a certification awarded by an educational institution upon the successful conclusion of a specific course. Admission to degree programs typically occurs annually, while diploma courses follow a yearly or half-yearly admission schedule, dependent on university or institutional policies.

Degree programs generally entail higher costs compared to diploma programs, and they also demand a longer time commitment for completion. Flexibility is a characteristic of some degree programs, allowing students to alter their major shortly after enrollment, a feature not present in diploma courses.

The entry requirements for degree programs often include a 10+2 qualification, whereas for diplomas, a 10th-grade qualification is typically sufficient. Additionally, individuals with degrees tend to receive higher remuneration than those with diplomas.

Degrees are classified into four categories: bachelor’s, master’s, associate’s, and doctoral, whereas diplomas come in two types: graduate and postgraduate. This distinction underscores the varied options available to individuals seeking formal education at different levels and in diverse fields of study.

Edupark recognizes that the decision-making process for Nepalese students seeking degree and diploma programs in Canada can be overwhelming, given the vast amount of information available on the internet, social media forums, and numerous college advertisements. This often results in challenges when deciding on a specific course or choosing a higher education institution in Canada, leading to potentially poor choices. If you are grappling with issues related to selecting a college or course for your degree or diploma in Canada, we strongly recommend an in-person visit for consultation. During this consultation, we will guide you based on your qualifications, interests, and budget, aiming to assist you in achieving your dream of pursuing higher education in Canada.