Can I study in Canada with a second class lower? This is a very common question students who intend to further their education ask. Now on entering university, lots of students hope to graduate with a first-class or second-class upper. Some strive so hard and get that perfect GPA but for some, it might not be the case, rather they might end up with a second class lower which is a 2.2.

When they are asked for their GPA and they freely say it is a 2.2 they tend to get discouraging words from people such as they are not smart enough, they failed and cannot further in Canada with such a GPA, etc and this gets them so worried to the extent they start believing what they are hearing from people so they end up having doubts if they could actually use that GPA to further their studies in Canada.

Hey, do not listen to them and start feeling discouraged because it is actually very possible to further your education in Canada with a second-class lower.

Can I Study In Canada With A Second Class Lower?


Are there universities in Canada that accept second-class lower?

The answer to this question depends on what exactly you are applying for. If you want to use that second class lower to apply for a Pre-masters’s Degree (Postgraduate Diploma), then yes you would be accepted.

On the other hand, if you are applying for a direct master’s degree program in any Canadian university, then you would most likely not be accepted because you have not proven yourself capable to handle the master’s degree work.

Getting into a master’s degree program in a Canadian university is very competitive, they would rarely consider those without the required grades UNLESS you have several years of relevant work experience in the field you want to study.

Read further for more information on how to go about studying in Canada with your second class lower.

Read Also: Can I Study In the UK With A Second Class Lower?


If you are actually considering doing your master’s degree in Canada, You must make sure to meet the admission requirements. The standards for postgraduate admissions vary according to university and course, but they are very flexible. Here is an example of a typical admissions requirement for a Master’s degree program within Canada.

  • For a Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field for a start, you will need to have a minimum GPA of 2.1 which is a second-class upper or sixty percent.
  • For your ability to communicate If English is not your primary language, you will be required to demonstrate to a certain level through an exam for language proficiency like the TOEFL test or IELTS. This same requirement is needed in French when applying to a bilingual course or for an entirely French class.
  • Certain postgraduate programs might require at least some level of experience in the field of study(this is literally the case with PGCEs as well as Masters of Social Work).
  • Entrance examinations are as well necessary for specific subjects and certifications, which include sure MBAs


The Canadian university system of grading is unique, their grading system is composed of percent GPA (Grade Point Average) and letters grades. To be accepted into the master’s program in Canada, you would need a minimum mark of 60 percent or be in a second-class upper in your undergraduate.

Below is the grading system used in Canadian universities

UM scale                      Grading Scale
A+                    85-100  85-100 % (First Class)
A                      70-84  70% (First Class)
B+                    65-69  65-69 % (Second Class Upper)
B                      60-64  60% (Second Class Upper)
C+                   55-59  55–59 % (Second Class Lower)
C                     50-54 50% (Second Class Lower)
D                     45-49% (Pass)
F                     0-44 percent (Fail)

Now from this grading system, you are seeing above, you can see that a second class lower is from 50% to 59% and this does not meet the cut-off to get into any Canadian university, it is required of you to have at least a 60%. I am very sure right now you are wondering how possible it really is to get into a Canadian university to further.


Now with all that has been explained above, you might be wondering what to do in order to further your studies at any Canadian university of your choice.

To answer your question on what to do to qualify for a master’s degree program with your second class lower, you would have to apply for a postgraduate diploma. A lot of universities in Canada announced it as a course students need to complete to get prepared for a Masters’s degree. So yes, it would be an optimal program for you to study if you want to continue with a master’s later on.

Read Also: Just How Much Does it Cost to Study in Canada?

A postgraduate diploma is at the same academic level as a master’s but it is a relatively shorter qualification than a master’s degree. This is usually a one-year program but can also last two years. This program is really affordable and is regarded as a pathway to your job or a master’s degree. If this program is not so affordable for you, you could also choose to work part-time as many postgraduate diplomas also come with part-time work options. It gives you an opportunity to earn and help yourself while studying in the country.

Now I am not saying a postgraduate diploma is equivalent to a master’s degree, a master’s degree is a two years program through which one can become a master’s in one subject. Whereas, a post-graduate Diploma is a one-year program and helps to get a job quickly as it works as an additional qualification for high school students and bachelor’s degree holders.

Postgraduate diplomas require fewer study credits to achieve (120 Credits) when compared to a full master’s degree (180 credits). Once you have successfully completed this program and gotten the certificate for it, you can either decide to get a job or go ahead and register for a master’s degree if you still want to further your studies and become a master of that particular course you choose.

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