Marine Courses in Canada for International Students

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Canada is known for its extensive coastlines and abundant marine life. It is home to more lakes and inland waters than any other country in the world. With over 243,000 kilometers of coastline, Canada offers international students ample opportunities to study a wide range of marine courses.

There are several top universities and colleges across Canada that offer marine and ocean-related undergraduate, postgraduate and research programs. From marine transportation to marine biology to naval architecture – international students have a variety of courses to choose from based on their interests and career goals.

Why Study Marine Courses in Canada?

Here are some of the key reasons why international students should consider marine programs in Canada:

  • World-Class Education: Canada is known for its high quality of education and institutions offering marine courses are no exception. They are recognized globally and focus strongly on research.
  • Practical Training: Canadian marine courses combine theoretical learning with extensive lab work, field work and co-op programs to provide practical industry training.
  • Multicultural Campuses: Canada’s multicultural society and safe environment makes it easy for international students to adjust to life on Canadian campuses.
  • Immigration Prospects: International students get access to various work permits and immigration schemes after graduation to continue building their careers in Canada.

Top Universities in Canada for Marine Courses

Here are some of the best universities in Canada offering a wide range of marine programs:

Memorial University of Newfoundland

Marine Courses
  • Located on the island province of Newfoundland & Labrador, with the Atlantic Ocean at its doorstep, Memorial University is considered one of the top destinations for marine studies in Canada.
  • It offers both undergraduate and graduate programs in Ocean Science, Ocean Technology, Fisheries Science and Resource Management. There is also a state-of-the-art research facility called ‘Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University’.
  • Popular Programs
    • BSc in Ocean Sciences
    • BSc in Ocean Technology
    • MSc and PhD in Ocean Sciences
  • Tuition Fees: International students pay around CAD 16,500 per year for undergraduate programs

Read Also: Top 15 Maritime Universities in the World for Undergraduate Students

University of British Columbia

  • UBC offers a BSc Major in Marine Biology which covers marine habitats, ecological processes, physiology and more. Students get opportunities for field work along BC’s Pacific coastline.
  • For graduate studies it has MSc and PhD programs specializing in Fisheries or Oceanography. Research facilities include world-class oceanographic laboratories.
  • Popular Programs:
    • BSc Major in Marine Biology
    • MSc and PhD in Fisheries / Biological Oceanography
  • Tuition Fees: International students pay around CAD 37,000 per year

Dalhousie University

  • Dalhousie is situated in Halifax, Nova Scotia, home to Canada’s largest port and a hub for marine research. It offers Canada’s largest undergraduate marine biology program.
  • Students get access to the university’s Aquatron laboratory facility which studies various marine aquatic species and ecosystems.
  • Popular Programs:
    • BSc with Major in Marine Biology
    • MSc in Biology (with marine biology as an option)
    • MSc in Marine Management
  • Tuition Fees: International students pay around CAD 21,500 per year

University of Victoria

Marine Courses
  • The University of Victoria (UVic) located in British Columbia offers a Bachelor’s degree with two marine-focused majors – biology and physics. It provides a solid foundation to pursue further studies or work in ocean sciences.
  • It also has excellent graduate and research programs including MSc degrees in Ocean Science and Biology.
  • Popular Programs:
    • BSc in Biology (Marine Biology major)
    • BSc in Physics (Physical Oceanography major)
    • MSc in Biological / Chemical / Physical Oceanography
  • Tuition Fees: International students pay around CAD 33,000 per year

Top Marine and Nautical Programs in Canada

In addition to ocean sciences, Canada offers a wide range of career-oriented marine and nautical programs especially in the field of Marine Engineering. Here are some of the best colleges providing specialized training and education in this area:

British Columbia Institute of Technology

Marine Courses
  • BCIT in Vancouver provides training for marine careers through its Marine Campus. Programs focus strongly on practical training and meeting industry requirements.
  • It offers diplomas as well as advanced diplomas in Nautical Sciences, Marine Engineering, Captain’s and Watchkeeping programs approved by Transport Canada.
  • Popular Programs:
    • Marine Engineering Advanced Diploma
    • Nautical Sciences Advanced Diploma
    • Marine Engineering Cadet program
  • Tuition Fees: International students pay around CAD 16,500 per year

Nova Scotia Community College

  • Located by the Halifax Harbor in Nova Scotia, NSCC provides Transport Canada approved marine training programs focused on cadetships and co-operative education.
  • These develop licensed officers and engineers for both domestic and international ships. Facilities include state-of-the-art marine simulators.
  • Popular Programs:
    • Marine Engineering Technology
    • Nautical Science
  • Tuition Fees: International students pay around CAD 13,000 per year

Georgian College

  • Situated by Lake Huron in Ontario, the college has a Marine Training Centre with simulators and facilities to train seafarers meeting international standards.
  • It offers advanced diplomas leading to marine careers both on-board vessels as well as in shipyards and design companies.
  • Popular Programs:
    • Advanced Diploma in Marine Technology
    • Marine Technology Management program
  • Tuition Fees: International students pay around CAD 16,500 per year

Marine Institute of Memorial University

  • As discussed earlier, Memorial University’s Fisheries and Marine Institute located in St. John’s, Newfoundland provides both degree programs as well as cadet training for marine careers.
  • The institute works closely with the marine industry to meet their workforce requirements. Programs focus both on vocational training as well as advancing applied technologies.
  • Popular Programs:
    • Diploma in Nautical Science
    • Diploma in Marine Engineering
  • Tuition Fees: International students pay around CAD 13,000 per year

Comparison Between Top Marine Universities in Canada

Here is an overview comparing some of the main universities offering marine courses in Canada:

InstituteLocationLevel of StudyAreas / DisciplinesTuition Fees
Memorial UniversityNewfoundlandUndergraduate, Graduate, DiplomaOcean Sciences, Biology, Technology, Resource ManagementCAD 16,500 per year
University of British ColumbiaVancouver, BCUndergraduate, GraduateBiology, Oceanography, EcologyCAD 37,000 per year
Dalhousie UniversityHalifax, NSUndergraduate, GraduateBiology, Ecology, Aquatic SpeciesCAD 21,500 per year
University of VictoriaVictoria, BCUndergraduate, GraduateBiology, Physics, OceanographyCAD 33,000 per year

When choosing between these top marine biology schools in Canada, international students should consider factors like:

  • Program specialization: Some universities offer general ocean sciences degrees while others have specific majors like Marine Biology or Physical Oceanography. Choose based on your interests.
  • Location and access to marine habitats: Universities located closer to oceans and lakes provide more opportunities for practical training and field work.
  • Faculty research specializations: Check areas faculty members are experts in to find best supervisors for graduate research projects
  • Cost of living differences: Average costs of living, transportation, accommodation etc also impact overall study budgets across cities.

Read Also: The Best Maritime Universities in Europe

Marine Industry Careers, Job Options and Salaries in Canada

Pursuing marine programs from Canada opens up various career opportunities both within as well as outside the country. Here is an overview of some of the top marine industry job profiles:

Marine Biologist

  • Works in aquatic environments and studies marine organisms and their ecosystems.
  • Median Salary in Canada: CAD 68,000 per year


  • Studies physical and biological aspects of marine environments including waves, currents, sea ice etc. Works on research vessels collecting ocean data.
  • Median Salary in Canada: CAD 74,000 per year

Marine Engineer

  • Designs, builds and maintains various types of ships and marine vessels from oil rigs to submarines.
  • Median Salary in Canada: CAD 80,000 per year

Marine Inspector

  • Inspects ships and marine equipment to ensure compliance with safety, environmental and security standards. Works for regulatory agencies.
  • Median Salary in Canada: CAD 77,000 per year

Fishing Vessel Master / Officer

  • Oversees all operations on commercial fishing vessels from navigation to managing crews. Requires special marine certifications.
  • Median Salary in Canada: CAD 73,000 per year

Marine Consultant

  • Provides consulting services to governments, ports, ship owners and offshore companies on marine strategies, feasibility studies, industry analysis etc.
  • Median Salary in Canada: CAD 92,000 per year

With strong demand for skilled seafaring professionals and technical experts, graduates from Canadian marine programs have excellent career and immigration prospects within Canada.

Read Also: Marine Engineering Scholarships for International Students

FAQs on Marine Courses in Canada for International Students

1. Which Canadian universities are best for Marine Biology?

Some of the top universities in Canada for marine biology programs include:

  • Memorial University – Offers BSc in Ocean Sciences and access to excellent facilities through its Fisheries institute
  • Dalhousie University – Its undergraduate marine biology program is the largest in Canada
  • University of Victoria – Provides a BSc in Biology with Marine Biology major
  • University of British Columbia – Offers a dedicated major in marine biology

2. What are the entry requirements for international students?

The key entry and language requirements for international students include:

  • Completion of high school diploma from a recognized institution
  • Minimum grades ranging between 70% – 80% or equivalent from 3rd country qualification assessments
  • Proof of English proficiency (IELTS 6.5+ or TOEFL 80+)

3. What scholarships are available for marine programs?

Some scholarship/ funding options available:

  • IMPACT Awards – Graduate scholarships for int’l students up to CAD 50,000
  • Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council Awards – Graduate scholarships for Canadian and int’l students
  • W Garfield Weston Foundation Scholarships – Aimed at UK/Ireland nationals pursuing MSc and PhD programs
  • Campus-wide funding support programs and teaching/research assistantships

4. Can international students work during marine programs?

Yes, international students enrolled full-time can work off campus up to 20 hours during semesters and full-time during vacations/breaks. Having co-op and work experience components also allow working in related fields.

5. Is a marine biology career worth it in Canada?

Yes, a marine biology career has excellent prospects within Canada which offers a huge wealth of aquatic habitats and marine biodiversity to explore. Graduates are employed in roles like marine biologists, ecological consultants, fisheries observers, or aquaculture technicians. Median salaries range between CAD 65,000 – 75,000 per year.

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