USA or Canada? Which is Better for Pursuing MS?

By Neha Kumari Updated On - Oct 01, 2021 04:34 PM

Want to pursue MS abroad? USA and Canada are among the most popular study abroad destinations for MS. However, students who wish to study MS abroad often get confused about which country is right for them. Here's an article that may give you some perspective.

The United States and Canada are among the two most popular study abroad destinations, especially for Indians who wish to study MS abroad. With that being the case, it becomes important to consider a number of factors, check their pros and cons before settling on a country.

Indian students opt for an MS degree abroad usually after the completion of their engineering/B.Tech in India. Some also go abroad to pursue the MS course in a specialised field after acquiring certain years of experience in the industry for better career options and global exposure. MS is a postgraduate degree program that is offered in multi-disciplinary subject areas like Science, Technology and  Medicine. Some of the popular MS degree programs include MS in Computer Science, MS in Mathematics, MS in Chemistry, MS in Physics and MS in Data Science. MS is more of a research-based course than a classroom-based course. The course includes a Masters thesis and a research-based project. 

In this article, we have covered some important factors in detail to determine the best choice for an individual to pursue an MS course. 

Which is a Better Place to Pursue MS? USA or Canada?  

Both US and Canada are famous destinations to pursue MS, which makes choosing between the two all the more difficult. Following are some of the important factors which will help you decide whether to pursue MS in Canada or in the United States:

Quality of Education 

Both US and Canada host the most-renowned and top-ranked universities offering MS programs. Many top Canadian universities such as McGill University, University of Toronto, and the University of British Columbia have certainly made it to the top in global rankings over the years. Nonetheless, a report from OECD, short for Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, revealed that the Canadian education system is constantly moving up the world rankings due to its constant innovation. However, students who prefer research are more likely to choose the US over Canada.

Cost of Study 

In the US, the average tuition fee for an MS is charged based on the total number of credit hours required for successful completion of the degree, with 30 credit hours being the minimum requirement. On the other hand, international students pursuing MS programmes in Canada pay relatively lower tuition fees. However, the same may vary depending on the university, location, specialisation, among other things.

Job Options

With a large number of corporate giants providing ample job opportunities, the US offers some of the highest-paying jobs to international MS graduates. However, Canada, too, has emerged as a massive job market offering vast scope for research, proper job security and better opportunities to build a strong professional network.

After graduating, the average annual salary offered to an MS graduate in the US is around USD 69,000, as compared to CAD 70,000 in Canada.

Also Read: Part-Time Job in the USA for International Students


The immigration process in the US is quite rigid, which makes settling in the US somewhat difficult. However, after Joe Biden came to power in 2021, immigration rules and policies introduced by the Trump administration are being reversed. This will, in the coming years, make it easier for international graduates to live and work in the US.

In Canada, with an Immigration Levels Plan for 2021-23, the country expects to welcome over 400,000 immigrants every year, making Canada more accepting of migrants than the US. Also, Indians were the largest group by 'country of origin' to be issued express entry and other categories of Canadian skilled immigrant visas in 2019, offering greater ease of living and settling than the US.

Quality of Life 

Overall, the US is more densely populated and warmer than Canada although climate in both the countries vary greatly by state or province. According to U.S. News & World Report, Canada ranks first in Quality of Life Rankings 2021, which is based on factors such as affordability, a good job market, family friendly, income equality, well-developed public health system as so on. The US ranks 20th even though it is placed 4th for its job market and 51st for affordability.

Also Read: Top Countries to Study MS in Computer Science

MS in Canada vs MS in US

The following table demonstrates a comparison between MS in US and MS in Canada based on various parameters: 


MS in Canada 

MS in the United States 


1 to 2 years 

1 to 2 years 

Average Tuition Fees 

CAD 30,000

45,000 USD 

Cost of Living in Canada 

CAD 1,500 to 2,000

USD 3,000 to 3,500


CAD 40,000 to 90,000

USD 70,000 


The candidate must hold a  bachelor's degree. He/ She must have scored a GPA of 3 on a scale of  4 which is 65% to 70% or CGPA of 7.0 to 7.5 for Indian students. 

The candidate must hold a  bachelor's degree. Most universities analyse the academic records, extracurricular activities, previous works and recommendations to enrol students in the course. 




Scholarships to Study in Canada 

  • International Research Linkages funded by Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada

  • Canada Asia-Pacific Awards (CAPA)

  • Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships 

  • Ontario Graduate Scholarship Program

  • Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute

  • Fulbright- Nehru Fellowships (Government-funded)

  • Hubert Humphrey Fellowship Program

  • #YouAreWelcomeHere Scholarship

  • AAUW International Fellowships

  • Inlaks Shivdasani Foundation scholarships

  • Asian Cultural Council Individual Grants

Popular Fields

Media, Engineering, Business & Management, Nursing, Computer Science, Hospitality

Engineering, Business & Management, IT, Sports, Computer Science, Biotechnology, Physiotherapy, Hospitality

Post-study Work Permit

The Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWPP) lets graduates from eligible Canadian Designated Learning Institutions (DLIs) to get an open work permit to find work in the country.

Graduates can apply for an OPT- a 12-month temporary work permit.

Permanent Residency Opportunities

Easy process: Students can apply for permanent residency during their PGWP.

Long and slow process including at least five years of employment, after which Green Card will be granted.

Employment Opportunities

Some of the high-paying job positions in the country include Architecture, Engineering, Hospitality and Tourism

IT, and Marketing.

Top MS programmes with high salary potential include Nursing, Business and Management, Chemical Engineering, Computer Science and Electrical Engineering.

Note: *The lists of scholarships offered by both the countries are not exhaustive.

Wish to Study MS Abroad?

Also Read: Top Universities in Canada offering MS Business Analytics

Considering all the parameters mentioned above, both Canada and the USA stand out among all other countries in the world in terms of quality of education, tuition, programmes, scholarships and post-study work permit. However, MS from Canada would cost you way less than MS from the USA. 

Write to us at to get all your doubts cleared regarding MS admissions in the US and Canada.

Stay tuned for more information related to MS education abroad!

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