A variety of programs for all

Young people have several options of educational programs to choose from after graduating from high school. As a first step, they can choose to pursue vocational training or college studies according to their interests and abilities. University studies are accessible after college studies, whether pre-university or technical, and vocational training may be available beginning in Secondary 3 under certain conditions.

Visit the complete Adult education section (post-secondary) on this site.

Vocational training is part of secondary studies and is aimed at youth as well as adults. The student can access it after having successfully completed Secondary 3 or 4 (Grade 9 or 10). Vocational training programs lead to the labor market with an official diplomas, namely:

  • vocational studies diploma (DEPdiplôme d’études professionnelles).
  • attestation of professional specialization (ASP – attestation de spécialisation professionnelle).
  • attestation of vocational studies (AEP – attestation d’études professionnelles).

College studies are provided by institutions called cégeps. Unique to the Quebec school system, cégep bridges compulsory education (elementary and secondary) and university studies.

Cégeps offer:

  • two-year pre-university training, preparing students for university studies and leading to a college diploma (DEC).
  • technical training lasting three years, which prepares students for the job market or for university studies and leads to a college diploma (DEC).
  • technical training lasting less than 3 years, preparing students for the job market and leading to an attestation of collegial studies (AEC).

University studies are offered by universities and follow pre-university college studies. The structure of a university education is similar to that found elsewhere in North America.

University studies are divided into three cycles:

  • the Bachelor’s (first cycle), which lasts 3 or 4 years depending on the discipline
  • the Master’s (second cycle), which lasts 1 or 2 years
  • the Doctorate (third cycle) lasts 3 years or more

Most universities also offer short programs of varying lengths, such as specialized post-graduate certificates or diplomas.

Universities bring together faculties in a large variety of disciplines as well as professional schools, such as business schools (HEC) and engineering schools.

Source: Ministry of Education and Higher Education

Visit the post-secondary (PS) section for more details on each level of studies.