Postsecondary Education in New Brunswick

ToC / TdM Provincial Overview

Postsecondary education in New Brunswick is delivered through four publicly funded universities with seven campuses throughout the province; two Community Colleges constituted as Crown Corporations, with eleven campuses between them; the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design; one specialized institute (the Maritime College of Forest Technology/Collège de technologie forestière des Maritimes); a number of small, private not-for-profit denominational universities/colleges and a number of for-profit private degree granting institutions as well as various institutions that offer career-oriented training and are registered under the Private Occupational Training Act.

New Brunswick is officially bilingual, with approximately 32 per cent of the population French-speaking and 64 per cent English-speaking. The province's postsecondary education system reflects this linguistic duality. The Université de Moncton, with campuses in Moncton, Edmundston, and Shippagan, is the largest French-language university in North America outside the province of Quebec, while the other three public universities are primarily English-speaking. Five of the province's eleven community college campuses offer programming in French, the other six in English.

The Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour is responsible for postsecondary education in the province. The Department administers university policy through the Post-Secondary Affairs Branch, as well as student financial assistance for postsecondary students in all sectors through the Student Financial Services Branch. The Department also oversees community college policy for the New Brunswick Community College (NBCC) and le Collège communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick (CCNB), and is responsible for the Private Occupational Training Act, under which private trainers must register, as well as for private for-profit universities operating under the Degree Granting Act.

ToC / TdM History

Postsecondary education in New Brunswick traces its history to the Academy of Arts and Science, founded in 1785, a forerunner to the University of New Brunswick. Today, the University of New Brunswick, with campuses in Fredericton and Saint John, offers a wide range of degree programs at the bachelor's, master's and doctoral levels. Nearly half of all university students in the province attend this institution, and the majority of research in the province is undertaken there as well. Both Mount Allison University, founded in Sackville in 1840, and St. Thomas University, founded in 1910 in Chatham and which now shares a campus with the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton, are primarily undergraduate institutions. The Université de Moncton was established in 1963; it traces its roots to the former Collège Saint-Joseph in Memramcook near Moncton. In the 1970s, classical colleges in Edmundston and Shippagan were absorbed into the Université de Moncton system. It, like the University of New Brunswick, offers a full range of programs and degree levels but in the French language and engages in a considerable amount of research activity.

Vocational schools had a comparatively early beginning in New Brunswick. The Carleton County Vocational School, for example, which today is the Woodstock campus of the New Brunswick Community College, was founded in 1919. The Vocational Training Centre, now the college's Moncton campus, was founded shortly after World War II to provide educational training to returning war veterans. The New Brunswick Community College was created by an act of the provincial legislature in 1973. Existing technology institutes, training centers, and the Carleton County Vocational School were incorporated into the new college system. In 2010, the college system was re-organized into two separate Crown Corporation structures, with NBCC being designated as the English-language College, and CCNB as the French-language College. With campuses throughout the province, the two Colleges are designed to respond to the need for non-university, postsecondary programming aimed at skills training and human resource development. The New Brunswick College of Craft and Design was founded by the provincial government in 1938 and is operated today by the Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour.

Other specialized schools include the Maritime College of Forest Technology, established in 1946 and located in Fredericton, NB. Started in 1980 and located in Bathurst, NB, the Collège de technologie forestière des Maritimes offers an equivalent Francophone program.

ToC / TdM Programs and Credentials Offered

Programs and credentials offered by degree-granting institutions

The University of New Brunswick is the largest degree-granting institution in the province and offers a broad range of undergraduate programs, as well as graduate degrees in areas such as arts, science, engineering, forestry, business, and computer science. It also provides pre-medicine and pre-dentistry programs. Dalhousie University, in Nova Scotia, is the only university in Maritime Canada to offer degrees in these fields, and has partnered with the University of New Brunswick to deliver a delocalized undergraduate medical education program in Saint John.

The Université de Moncton, like the University of New Brunswick, offers a wide variety of undergraduate and graduate programs. In addition, Université de Moncton offers various one-year certificate programs and two-year diploma programs in fields such as management, marketing, public administration, and language studies. It also collaborates with the l'Université de Sherbrooke (Province of Quebec) which delivers a delocalized undergraduate medical education program in Moncton.

Mount Allison University and St. Thomas University specialize in undergraduate education. These institutions also offer one- and two-year certificate programs in various specialized fields.

Undergraduate programs generally require four years of full-time study, but there are some important exceptions. At both the Université de Moncton and the University of New Brunswick, for example engineering requires five years of full-time study for an undergraduate degree. A bachelor of laws degree requires three years of study beyond a first baccalaureate degree. A bachelor's degree in education requires five years of full time study, which includes a degree in a fundamental field coupled with further studies in education.

An undergraduate honours degree, available at most universities in most disciplines, generally requires a higher level of concentration in the honours subject and a higher level of academic standing. It, too, requires four years of full-time study and is often required for entrance to graduate studies.

All four New Brunswick universities are engaged in distance education programs, using telecommunications technology and on-site instruction to reach communities throughout the province.

Three private universities with religious affiliation are granted the right to give degrees through acts of the New Brunswick Legislature: Crandall University, Saint Stephen University, and Kingswood University.

In 2001, the Degree Granting Act was proclaimed, which outlines the procedures to be followed by private institutions to issue degree credentials. There are currently two institutions designated to offer specific degrees through that legislation. They include Yorkville University, and the University of Fredericton.

Programs and credentials offered by non-degree granting institutions

NBCC and CCNB offer two-year diploma programs and one-year certificate programs in a wide range of career-oriented fields such as agribusiness, allied health technologies, business technology, civil engineering technology, communication arts, electronics engineering technology, hospitality and tourism, marine engineering, practical nursing, skilled trades, and youth care. In addition, they provide programs in academic upgrading and a wide range of short-term, specialized courses often aimed at meeting the needs of a specific industry or sector.

Diploma programs typically require 80 weeks of instruction; or a minimum of 45 credits; certificates typically require 32 - 40 weeks, or a minimum of 10 or more credits. Students who take part in programs of less than 10 credits or 15 weeks may obtain a certificate of achievement if their work is evaluated. For short programs where there is no evaluation, students can obtain a certificate of participation.

NBCC has campuses in Fredericton, Miramichi, Moncton, Saint John, St. Andrews, and Woodstock, while CCNB has campuses in Bathurst, Campbellton, Dieppe, Edmundston, and la Péninsule acadienne. Each campus tends to specialize in a particular area, and a few programs are only available in one of the two official languages. In addition, the Colleges provide distance learning opportunities to remote communities through multi-media telecommunications technologies and correspondence courses to allow students to study in their homes.

Students entering the community college system may apply for academic credit for previous education and work experience, including, in some instances, vocational skills acquired in high school.

The New Brunswick College of Craft and Design offers a one-year Certificate - Foundation Visual Arts, a two-year Diploma - Fine Craft and Applied Arts, a four-year Bachelor of Applied Arts offered in partnership with the University of New Brunswick, a one-year Diploma of Advanced Studies - Visual Arts and a Certificate of Achievement acquired through completion of certain credit courses. Studio disciplines include Ceramics, Communication Design, Fashion Design, Jewellery/Metal Arts, Photography and Textiles.

The Maritime College of Forest Technology offers a two-year program (September to April semesters) plus a summer work practicum in Forest Technology. The College has always seen its role as one of preparing students to work in the forest industry, not just with education but also teaching responsibility and leadership. Many graduates are hired by the forest industry starting out in supervisory roles and graduates are sought by employers throughout North America. The Collège de Technologie forestière des Maritimes offers an equivalent Francophone program.

ToC / TdM Admission Requirements

As a bilingual province, New Brunswick operates two school systems - one English, one French - with slightly different curricula and graduation requirements. In both systems, senior high school incorporates grades 9/10 through 12, and students graduate with a high school diploma.

Successful completion of secondary school with specific "academic" level courses (N.B. Level 1 or 2) is the minimum requirement for admission to the province's four universities

NBCC and CCNB require high school graduation or its equivalent for entry into its diploma and certificate programs, although some programs have specific course requirements. Adult learners who have not completed high school can enter academic upgrading and may acquire a high school equivalency diploma (i.e., GED) or a N. B. Adult High School Diploma.

Universities and the Colleges have special provisions for admitting mature applicants who are 21 years of age or older

The New Brunswick College of Craft and Design and the Maritime College of Forest Technology require a high school diploma for admission, although both institutions have provisions for accepting students who have not completed the high school program.

ToC / TdM Tuition and Financial Assistance

In 2009-10, full-time undergraduate tuition/compulsory fees at the province's four universities ranged from $4,570 at St. Thomas University to $6,720 at Mount Allison University. Most universities charge additional differential fees for international students, which vary from institution to institution.

In 2009-10, tuition fees for most full-time programs within the community college system were $2,600 per year, the major exception being adult basic education programs where the fees were $130. International students pay $5,200 per year.

Tuition at the Maritime College of Forest Technology is $4,000 for each year of the two-year diploma program.

The Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour has responsibility to administer New Brunswick student loans and bursaries, which supplement federal Canada Student Loans and targeted grants for Canadian citizens and permanent residents. Student Financial Services Branch also administers the Timely Completion Benefit, a program designed to reduce student loan debt for graduates who complete their studies within the established timeline of their program. A Repayment Assistance Plan is available to student loan borrowers having difficulty in repaying their loans.

The province offers The New Brunswick Tuition Rebate program which is a rebate of provincial income taxes paid, equal to 50% of the tuition costs at eligible post-secondary institutions with a maximum lifetime rebate of $20,000.

Each of the universities and the Colleges offer a variety of scholarship programs for students in financial need and/or of exceptional academic merit.

Revision: 2010-06-02


The Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials (CICIC),
a unit of the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC).

© 1990-2014 CICIC (All rights reserved)
Links to this site may be established without permission. Its contents may not be reproduced without prior authorization. Reproduction for commercial purposes is not permitted.

Follow us on social media:    

Subscribe to the InfoCICIC newsletter

Ask us a question