2022-06-08T11:12:17-04:00February 2nd, 2022|

Best Canadian universities for communication and media studies

As an international student, getting a Canadian degree in communication and media studies can unlock exciting career opportunities. Canadian universities are renowned for their academic excellence, and many communication and media studies programs offer co-op or internship opportunities to help you get valuable industry experience while you study.

If you’re in the process of identifying universities you hope to attend, this resource showcases some of the best Canadian post-secondary schools for communication and media studies. This article also provides an overview of graduate and undergraduate programs offered in this field, tuition fees for international students, and general admission requirements for these programs.

In this article:

Eligibility criteria for admission into communication and media studies programs

Note Icon  Note
You can only get a Canadian study permit after you secure admission into a Canadian Designated Learning Institution (DLI). Find out more about the process of applying for a study permit and check if you qualify for the Student Direct Stream (SDS) program for expedited study permit processing.

Undergraduate programs in communication and media studies

In Canada, undergraduate programs in communication and media studies are typically four years long. Many programs include co-ops as part of the curriculum, so students can get hands-on industry experience in addition to theoretical learning. Depending on the program you choose, you’ll be awarded a Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA), or Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree upon successfully completing the program.

As an international student, you may be eligible to apply to Canadian undergraduate programs in media and communication immediately after completing high school in your home country. As part of your application, you’ll need to submit your high school diploma (or Canadian equivalent) and transcripts.

Admission into these programs can be quite competitive, so you need good high school grades to qualify. Most schools require at least an average score of 70 to 85 per cent for admission into communication and media studies programs. You may also need to have studied certain subjects, such as English and mathematics, in high school. 

In addition, English language proficiency is usually a requirement. If English isn’t your first language, you need to take the IELTS or TOEFL test and meet the required cut-off score. Universities that offer programs in French, such as the Université de Montréal, may require proof of French language proficiency instead.

Some media studies and communication programs may also require international students to submit an audition, a portfolio of work samples, or letters of reference as part of their application package.

Graduate programs in communication and media studies

To qualify for admission into a master’s program in communication and media studies, you need to complete a four-year undergraduate program or a master’s program in a relevant subject. For admission into doctoral programs, you need a master’s degree in a related subject. 

Canadian universities typically only accept students with good academic track records, so you need a minimum grade of anywhere between 65 to 85 per cent to secure admission into a good school.

Academic merit isn’t the only qualifying criteria for admission into Canadian graduate programs in communication and media studies. For most programs, you need to submit a research proposal or statement of intent that outlines your academic interests and how they align with the program. For creative programs, such as film studies, creative writing, journalism, and media studies, you also need to submit a portfolio, samples of work, or auditions. 

Most schools also require several academic or professional references, your curriculum vitae, and proof of prior work experience as part of your application. Proficiency in the language of course delivery (English or French) is also a requirement.

Top Canadian universities for communication and media studies programs

Note Icon  Note
Unless otherwise specified, the fees listed in this section are tuition fees for students applying in the admission year 2021-2022. As an international student, you also need to account for non-tuition fees, taxes, and living expenses. Please check your university website for the latest fee estimates.

Cost of studying in Canada Calculator

Estimate your tuition and living expenses as an international student in Canada with our Cost of Studying in Canada Calculator.

Canada is home to several of the world’s best universities for communication and media studies programs. Here are some of the Canadian universities that appear in the top 200 of the QS World Rankings 2021 list for communication and media studies:

University of Toronto, Toronto

Programs offered

  • Undergraduate programs: Four-year Bachelor of Arts (BA) Honours programs in Book and Media Studies, Professional Writing and Communication, Cinema Studies, and Media, Journalism and Digital Cultures. UofT also offers four-year BA Honours programs in New Media Studies and Journalism in collaboration with Centennial College. Other undergraduate programs include BA Honours in Communication, Culture, Information, and Technology (CCIT) and BA Honours in Visual Culture and Communication.

Fees for international students: 

  • For most four-year undergraduate programs in media and communications, the international tuition fee for students enrolling in 2022 is $60,490 CAD per year. Students enrolled in the CCIT or Visual Culture and Communication program pay the same fee as other BA students in year one, but for the remaining years, the annual fee is increased to $62,560 CAD.

McGill University, Montreal

Programs offered

  • Graduate programs: Two-year Master of Arts (MA) and five to six-year Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Communication Studies. The MA program is theoretical and thesis-based and does not include professional training in media production.

Fees for international students: 

  • For the two-year MA program, the international student tuition fee is $9,330.90 CAD per year. The annual tuition fee for the PhD program is $8,375.25 CAD.

University of British Columbia, Vancouver

Programs offered

  • Graduate programs: 20-month Master of Journalism (MJ) program, two-year MA in Cinema and Media Studies, 16-month Master of Digital Media (MDM), two-year Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Film Production and Creative Writing, as well as a two-year MA or MFA in Theatre. UBC also offers a four-year PhD in Cinema and Media Studies.
  • Undergraduate programs: Four-year BA Honours programs in Creative Writing, Film Production, Film Studies, Media Studies, and Theatre Studies. 

Fees for international students: 

  • For MA in Journalism, the annual tuition fee for international students is $28,283.07 CAD. The Master of Digital Media program costs $57,908.01 CAD per year. The other MA and MFA programs, as well as the PhD program at UBC, have an annual tuition fee of $9131.31 CAD per year.
  • For undergraduate programs, the annual international student tuition fee is around $41,156 CAD per year.

Concordia University, Montreal

Programs offered

  • Graduate programs: Two-year MA programs in Media Studies and Digital Innovation in Journalism Studies, four-year thesis-based PhD in Communication, two-year MA and PhD in Film and Moving Image Studies.
  • Undergraduate programs: Most undergraduate programs in communication and media studies at Concordia University last three to four years, depending on your academic background, and include an internship opportunity. The school offers BA programs in Communication and Cultural Studies, Communication Studies, and Journalism. You can also opt for BFA programs in Film Studies, Film Animation, Film Production, Print Media, and Intermedia (video, performance, and electronic arts).

Fees for international students: 

  • The tuition fee for MA programs in media and communication is $27,992.70 CAD for the entire program. The full program fee for PhD programs is around $50,251 CAD for international students. 
  • For undergraduate BA and BFA programs, the annual tuition fee for international students is $35,550 CAD per year for a 15-credit course load per term.

Simon Fraser University, Burnaby

Programs offered

  • Graduate programs: Two-year MA and six-year PhD in Communication, one-year Master of Digital Media (MDM), as well as MA, MSc, and PhD in Interactive Arts and Technology.
  • Undergraduate programs: Four-year BA in Communication or Arts, Performance and Cinema Studies, four-year BFA in Theatre or Film, and four-year BA or BSc in Interactive Arts and Technology or Communication and Interactive Arts and Technology.

Fees for international students: 

  • For the MDM program, the international student tuition fee is $63,419.76 CAD for the entire program. For other graduate programs, including PhD programs, the average annual fee is $5,958 CAD.
  • The annual fee for undergraduate programs is around $30,552.30 CAD for international students.

Université de Montréal, Montreal

Programs offered

  • Graduate programs: Two-year master of science (MSc) programs in Communication Sciences, Media Communication, and Organizational Communication. The Université de Montréal also offers PhD programs in Communications Sciences and Cinema Studies. 
  • Undergraduate programs: Four-year BSc in Communication and BA in Cinema.

Fees for international students: 

  • For master’s and PhD programs, the annual tuition fee for international students is $27,992.70 CAD and $25,125.93 CAD respectively.
  • The BSc program in Communication has a total tuition fee of $55,985.40 CAD while the BA Cinema program costs international students around $69,533.80 CAD in total.

Note Icon  Note
French is a requirement for all undergraduate programs and most graduate programs at the Université de Montréal.

University of Alberta, Edmonton

Programs offered

  • Graduate programs: Two-year Master of Arts in Communications and Technology (MACT).
  • Undergraduate programs: Four-year BA programs in Film Studies and Media Studies.

Fees for international students: 

  • For the MACT program, the total tuition fee for a course-based program is $22,818.24 CAD. If you opt for a thesis-based MACT degree, the fee will be lower.
  • Undergraduate programs in media and film studies at University of Alberta have an annual tuition fee of $30,090 CAD per year.

York University, Toronto

Programs offered

  • Graduate programs: Two-year MA in Cinema & Media Studies and Communication & Culture or two-year MFA in Visual arts, Theatre, and Film: Production and Screenwriting. Students can also opt for MA, MSc, and PhD programs in Digital Media or MA and PhD programs in Theatre and Performance Studies. 
  • Undergraduate programs: York University offers four-year BA programs in Cinema & Media Studies, Communication & Media Studies, Communications, Creative Writing, Digital Media, and Theatre. You can also opt for four-year BFA programs in Film Production, Integrative Arts, Media Arts, Screenwriting, and Theatre.

Fees for international students: 

  • The annual tuition fee for most MA and MSc programs at York University is $18,825 CAD, while the annual fee for PhD programs is $18,000 CAD.
  • Most undergraduate programs have an annual international student tuition fee of $32,502 CAD. The only exception is the BA program in Communication & Media studies, which has a slightly lower annual tuition fee of $32,373.10 CAD. 

As a leading study destination, Canada is globally recognized for its programs in communication and media studies. Whether you’re exploring undergraduate or graduate programs, a degree in communication, digital media, creative writing, film, theatre, or journalism will help set the foundation for your future career and put you firmly on a path to success.