PDF with detailed information

Download the PDF with detailed information about the Canadian education system:

Education system Canada‌ (390.48 kB)

Overview of Canadian diplomas

In the overview below you can find the level of Canadian diplomas. You cannot derive any rights from it.

Working in the Netherlands

Do you want to know if you can work in the Netherlands with a certain Canadian diploma? Go to Working in the Netherlands or another EU country.

Studying in the Netherlands

Do you want to know if you can study in the Netherlands with your Canadian diploma? Go to Studying in the Netherlands with a foreign diploma.

High school diploma from an English-speaking province

  • Comparable to: usually a HAVO diploma (NLQF 4/EQF 4).
  • Duration of schooling: 4 to 6 years.
  • Type of education: general secondary education.
  • Purpose of diploma: access to higher education.

Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD)

  • Comparable to: usually a HAVO diploma (NLQF 4/EQF 4).
  • Duration of schooling: 4 to 6 years.
  • Type of education: general secondary education.
  • Purpose of diploma: access to higher education.

Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) with an average of 65% and 6 Grade 12 subjects, including English and mathematics, with the subject code U or M

  • Comparable to: at least a HAVO diploma* (NLQF 4/EQF 4).
  • Duration of schooling: 4 to 6 years.
  • Type of education: general secondary education.
  • Purpose of diploma: access to higher education.

*This evaluation has been changed compared to the previous version (see PDF).

High School Diploma from an English-speaking province with a relatively large number of academic courses in the 11th and 12th year with good grades

  • Comparable to: at least a HAVO diploma* (NLQF 4/EQF 4).
  • Duration of schooling: 4 to 6 years.
  • Type of education: general secondary education.
  • Purpose of diploma: access to higher education.

*This evaluation has been changed compared to the previous version (see PDF).

Diplôme d’Études Secondaires (DES)

  • Comparable to: 4 years of VWO (NLQF 4+/EQF 4).
  • Duration of schooling: 5 years.
  • Type of education: general secondary education.
  • Purpose of diploma: access to pre university education - Diplôme d’Études Collégiales (DEC).

Diplôme d’Études Collégiales (DEC) with the extension ‘préuniversitaire’ (2 years)

  • Comparable to: a VWO diploma (NLQF 4+/EQF 4).
  • Duration of schooling: 2 years.
  • Type of education: general secondary education.
  • Purpose of diploma: access to higher education.

Diplôme d’Études Collégiales (DEC) with the extension 'de formation technique' or 'de formation en métiers d’art' (3 years)

  • Comparable to: a VWO diploma with vocational subjects (NLQF 4+/EQF 4).
  • Duration of schooling: 3 years.
  • Type of education: general secondary education with vocational components.
  • Purpose of diploma: access to higher education.

Certificate obtained at a college

  • Comparable to: 1 year HBO (NLQF 5/EQF 5).
  • Duration of schooling: 1 year.
  • Type of education: higher professional education.

Diploma obtained at a college

  • Comparable to: 2 years HBO (NLQF 5/EQF 5).
  • Duration of schooling: 2 years.
  • Type of education: higher professional education.

Associate Degree obtained at a college

  • Comparable to: 1 year WO (NLQF 5/EQF 5).
  • Duration of schooling: 2 years.
  • Type of education: higher professional education.
  • Purpose of diploma: access to the 2nd or 3rd year of a university bachelor.

Bachelor’s degree (3 years)

  • Comparable to: an HBO bachelor’s degree or 2 years WO (NLQF 6/EQF 6).
  • Duration of schooling: 3 years.
  • Type of education: professional or research-oriented.
  • Purpose of diploma: access to university masters.

Bachelor’s degree (honours) obtained at a college (4 years)

  • Comparable to: an HBO bachelor’s degree (NLQF 6/EQF 6).
  • Duration of schooling: 4 years.
  • Type of education: higher professional education.
  • Purpose of diploma: access to university masters.

Bachelor’s degree (honours) obtained at a university (4 years)

  • Comparable to: a WO bachelor’s degree (NLQF 6/EQF 6).
  • Duration of schooling: 4 years.
  • Type of education: professional or research-oriented.
  • Purpose of diploma: access to university masters.

Master's degree

  • Comparable to: an HBO or a WO master’s degree (NLQF 7/EQF 7).
  • Duration of schooling: 1 to 2 years.
  • Type of education: professional or research-oriented.
  • Purpose of diploma: admission to doctorate programmes, upon successful completion of entrance examinations.