There are a number of things to keep in mind
when deciding your program of study.
In order to obtain your college diploma or university degree, you will have to choose a program of study and then complete the courses to fulfill program requirements. It is normal to be unsure about which program of study to pursue.

- Relax! You usually confirm your program choice at the end of your first year so use the time to explore your options.
- Keep your options open - take courses from different departments and then choose a program that interests you the most.
- Do not fret! Many students figure out which programs they want to pursue after a year or two of taking courses of interest.
- Students who start in one program or in a different faculty change their mind after a year or so and end up completing a program that they weren't previously aware of or a program that is more intriguing!
- Just because a program of study might lead to good job prospects does not mean that you will like it! If you find that you are in this situation, keep taking courses until you find a program that best suits your interests.
- Seek guidance from college or faculty registrars or academic counsellors in the departments that you're interested in applying to. They can help you find a program that is a good fit for you based on your skills and interests.
- Some departments and student groups offer mentorship programs where you are matched with an upper-year student. You can find out about the program and whether it's a right fit for you.
- Get involved! Partake in extra-curricular activities, volunteer placements, and on-campus events in the field of study you are interested in. Volunteer with a professor, get involved with a course union, sit in a graduate student's thesis defense, or join a student group!



At the undergraduate level, some institutions allow you to take a combination of programs of study in order to satisfy degree requirements. You can take programs that complement each other (example: Marketing major and Accounting Major) or you can take completely different programs of study based on your varied interests (example: Philosophy Major and Math Major). The types of programs offered at the undergraduate level are:

Minor Program - This type of program requires students to complete a few courses that provide a "bare-bones" foundation of the subject.
Major Program - Depending on the instituion, this type of program is more specialized than a minor program. More courses are required to satisfy major program requirements. In other institutions "Major Program" carries the same definition as "Specialist Program."
Specialist Program - As the title suggests, this type of program is specialized because there are more in-depth courses beyond the scope of major and minor programs that are required to be completed.
Co-Op Program - Completion of this program consists of alternating study terms and work terms. You complete your course requirements and obtain practical experience at a work placement in your field of study.

Some institutions employ the terms "major" and "minor" only.



Diploma programs are offered in college. Depending on the career of study, duration of the program varies from 1 year to 3 years.

Bachelor's Degree programs are offered in university. Some colleges also have Bachelor's Degree programs. A Bachelor's Degree program usually lasts 3 years, while an Honours Bachelor's Degree program requires 4 years of study.

Master's Degree programs are offered in university. A Bachelor's Degree is required. Master's Degree programs are usually 2 years in length.

Doctoral Program (Ph.D) programs are usually 5-7 years in length. At least an Honour's Bachelor degree is required to be considered for admission to this program, and typically so is a Master's Degree, but rare exceptions can be made.

Professional Degree programs (examples: MD – Doctor of Medicine, LLB - Bachelor of Laws) are granted at universities. Minimum academic requirements and length of program vary from faculty to faculty.

Joint Degree programs are offered by a college and university in collaboration, or by two universities in collaboration. One or two years are spent doing coursework in one institution and the rest of the duration of the program is spent at another institution.



Once you have selected a program of study you want to pursue, ensure that you satisfy academic requirements for admission to the program.
- Some programs are direct-entry from high school, which means that high school marks are considered for admission (for some programs, non-academic criteria are also required).
- Other programs require at least a year of undergraduate study before applying to a program. The minimum academic requirements do not always guarantee entry to a program; therefore, it is advised to do your best to attain a competitive average if you know that a program has limited enrolment.