BS MS PhD Scholarships in Canada in 2024 (Fully Funded)

When I was a student looking to pursue higher education abroad, I found the prospect of scholarships to be incredibly appealing. Not only did scholarships provide financial assistance to help pay for tuition and living expenses, but they also came with a great sense of prestige and achievement.

After extensive research, I discovered that Canada offers some excellent scholarship opportunities for both domestic and international students to fund Bachelor’s, Master’s and PhD programs. In this article, I will provide a comprehensive overview of the major BS MS PhD scholarship programs in Canada for 2024 that are fully funded.

Table of Contents

What are fully funded scholarships?

A fully funded scholarship refers to a scholarship program that covers all or most of a student’s educational and living expenses without any expectations of repayment. These type of scholarships are also known as “full-ride” scholarships. Typically, a fully funded scholarship will cover:

  • Tuition fees for the entire duration of the program
  • Living expenses such as accommodation, food, books, etc.
  • Health insurance coverage
  • Round-trip travel costs from the student’s home country
  • Stipend for miscellaneous expenses

Some scholarships may also provide additional allowances for conducting research, conference travel, fieldwork expenses, and more. The total funding can range from $15,000 to $50,000 CAD or more per year depending on the scholarship and program costs. This makes them an incredibly valuable opportunity to pursue higher education without incurring any student debt.

Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships

Administered by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships are one of Canada’s most prestigious federal awards for PhD students.
They provide 50 scholarships each year valued at $50,000 CAD per year for 3 years of study. This covers living costs, tuition fees and other expenses. To be eligible, students need to be nominated by their Canadian university and show excellent academic achievements and leadership qualities. The application deadline is in October each year and selections are made by an international jury based on research potential and merit. These highly competitive scholarships attract applications from top students globally.

Bissett Graduate Scholarship

Funded by Mitacs and aimed at STEM fields like computer science, engineering and mathematics, the Bissett Graduate Scholarship program provides $35,000 CAD per year for 2 years of Master’s study in Canada. It removes all financial barriers for graduate research training. Students will work with an academic supervisor on an externally sponsored industrial research project. Mitacs accepts online applications from both Canadian and international students enrolled in a Canadian university Master’s program. The selection is based on the applicant’s academic merit, research proposal, reference letters and other achievements.

Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS)

The Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS) program, funded by the government of Ontario, provides $15,000 CAD for 1 year to exceptional Master’s and PhD students enrolled in a graduate program at an eligible Ontario university. Schools can nominate their own students for these prestigious awards based on academic excellence. International students are eligible if nominated by their university. The selection criteria involve academic record, research ability, letters of reference and other accomplishments. Applications open annually in fall.

SSHRC Doctoral Fellowships

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Doctoral Fellowships support high-potential PhD students across arts, humanities and social science fields. The award provides $20,000 CAD per year for 3 to 4 years of study. Students need to find eligible Canadian university program and have a minimum first-class standing. The highly competitive selection considers research proposal, reference letters and demonstration of research excellence. The deadline is in fall and over 1,000 applications are received each year.

Fully funded PhD programs at Canadian universities

Several Canadian universities offer lucrative fully funded PhD scholarships directly through their individual programs. For example, some notable options include:

University of Toronto Excellence Fellowships

The University of Toronto provides several internally funded doctoral awards valued up to $30,000 CAD annually for 5 years. Top international students with a minimum mid-first class standing may apply directly to individual departments in fall.

McGill University Doctoral Awards

McGill ranks among Canada’s most research-intensive universities. It offers a variety of awards and bursaries funded through external research grants that provide $20,000-$25,000 CAD per year for 4-5 years of PhD study with no work obligations.


University of British Columbia Four-Year Doctoral Fellowships

UBC provides $20,000 CAD annually plus tuition waiver for 4 years to exceptional international PhD candidates nominated by their department. Academic excellence and research potential are key factors.


These universities also waive tuition and stipend fees for PhD students supported as research or teaching assistants on funded faculty research projects.


Now that we have covered the major scholarship programs, let’s address some frequently asked questions:

What are the eligibility requirements for Canadian scholarships?

Eligibility varies by program but most evaluate applicants based on academic merit demonstrated by grades, research experience, reference letters, statement of purpose and other factors like citizenship status. Foundational requirements often include a minimum GPA of 3.5/4.0 or First-Class standing, English language proficiency, a suitable degree program admitted at a participating Canadian university and more.

How competitive are Canadian scholarships?

Top tier scholarships like Vanier CGS or some university excellence awards are incredibly competitive, typically accepting less than 5% of candidates. Others like OGS or SSHRC fellowships have a single-digit acceptance rate as well due to their prestige and high caliber of applicants. It is best to have a strong profile highlighting academic excellence, leadership, problem-solving skills, future career goals and passion for the given field of study.


Canada is internationally renowned for offering world-class higher education and numerous excellent opportunities for students to fund their degree programs through competitive, prestigious scholarships. Whether in STEM fields or humanities, there are fully paid scholarships available to cover tuition, living costs and research expenses without requiring repayment. With diligent research and careful application preparation highlighting one’s strengths, these scholarships can be an achievable route for students with the passion and potential to study at the graduate level in Canada. I hope this overview provided useful insights into the major BS MS PhD scholarship options for 2024.

Do you have any other questions?

Please feel free to ask in the comments section if you need any clarification or have additional questions about Canadian scholarships that were not covered here. I would be happy to answer them to the best of my abilities.

Should I start learning French or focus only on my studies?

While having French language skills can provide additional opportunities in some parts of Canada like Quebec, it is not a requirement to secure scholarships. As a student, I would recommend focusing your energy primarily on maintaining excellent grades and gaining relevant research or work experience in your field of interest.

Learning French can certainly be beneficial in the long run for your career prospects in Canada, but it should not come at the expense of dedicating sufficient time to your core degree requirements. You can consider picking up basic conversational French on the side or taking a beginner course, but do not feel obligated to achieve fluency right away.

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