Prospective foreign students

Types of programs

Levels of study

In Quebec, there are 3 levels of university studies.

Undergraduate level

A baccalauréat from a French high school (in France or elsewhere in the world) or a diploma awarded after 13 years of schooling is required to be eligible for undergraduate programs at UQAM.

Bachelor's Degree [baccalauréat]

The Bachelor's degree is the most complete training offered at the undergraduate level. It usually comprises 90 credits (30 courses) spanning 3 years of full-time study. A Quebec Bachelor's degree (or baccalauréat) is the equivalent of a French licence; a baccalauréat from a French high school or a diploma awarded after 13 years of schooling is the prerequisite for this level of study in Quebec. It can be specialised in a single discipline or obtained by combining 2 or 3 undergraduate (certificate programs as a minor or major): the latter is called a baccalauréat par cumul de programmes [Bachelor's degree by accumulating certificates]. Both types of Bachelor's degree are at the same academic level and offer equal opportunities on the labour market.

Some Bachelor's programs require 4 years of full-time study, notably teaching and engineering.

Certificate, minor and major

The certificate and the minor each total 30 credits (10 courses). Each usually is earned in 1 year of full-time study. The accumulation of 3 certificates, or minors, can lead to a Bachelor's degree.

A major comprises a set of activities totalling 60 credits (2 years of full-time study).

The accumulation of 1 major plus 1 certificate or 1 minor can lead to a Bachelor's degree.

Master’s and DESS

Master’s degree

The Master's degree takes an average of 2 years of full-time study. There are 2 types of Master's:

Master's with thesis or creative thesis
The Master's with thesis or creative thesis is aimed mainly at developing the student's research or creative research skills, which may eventually lead to a PhD program.

Master's without thesis or Professional Master's
The Master's without thesis deepens the theoretical knowledge acquired in a specific field or in a related discipline, either through practical training via workplace internships, guided work or action-research work.

Note: The Master's degree is granted after continuous study. Unlike the LMD model, where the student is granted one diploma at the end of Master 1, and another after Master 2, a single degree is awarded after 2 full years of study. As a result, a candidate with a Master 1 who applies to one of our Master's programs cannot be integrated directly into the 2nd year of the program.

Specialized Graduate Diploma [DESS]

The Quebec DESS is a one-year program of full-time study. This professional program offers advanced training to people who already have a Quebec Bachelor's degree or equivalent.

Note: Undergraduate and Master's-level short programs also are offered. However, as these are generally part-time programs, they do not allow international students to meet one of the requirements for studying in Canada: to obtain immigration documents, you must be enrolled in full- time studies.

PhD and Postdoctorate


The PhD, or doctorate, normally takes 4 years of full-time study. Its main objectives are the provision of researcher training and the advancement of knowledge in a discipline or field of study. This degree concludes with the public defence of a written thesis and can generally lead to a teaching or research position.

Direct PhD [Doctorat en continuum d’études]

Certain PhD programs will admit students directly after completing the Quebec Bachelor’s degree or equivalent. There is one such program at UQAM: the PhD in Psychology. It is 6-year full-time programs that combine the content of Master’s and PhD programs.


UQAM regularly hosts postdoctoral fellows who, through their competence, foster research and creation in its various research units. This status is granted within a period of 5 years after obtaining a PhD.

Retour en haut de page