Universities are institutions that can grant degrees. All universities have undergraduate (bachelor's) degrees, and many have graduate (Master's and doctoral) programs. Universities in Ontario are independent and receive their funding from the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development. Each institution is self-governing and regulates its programs, admissions and faculty. Undergraduate degrees usually take 3-4 years to complete if enrolled in full-time study. An "honours degree" (the fourth year) is generally required if you want to go to a graduate program (Master's degree). Many universities allow students to combine subject focus' (e.g., a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and Biology) into what's called a "double major."
Many universities also offer professional programs, such as medicine, dentistry and law. In some cases, you can begin these programs after 2 or 3 years of undergraduate study.
Colleges tend to focus more directly on practical job skills or career-specific, hands-on training than universities. Generally, a certificate program is one year or less, and a diploma program is 2-3 years. Colleges also offer pre-trades and apprenticeship training, language training and skills upgrading. Ontario colleges sometimes have a field-specific curriculum focus like agriculture, health science, art or military programs.
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