Cape Breton University
  • Canada
  • Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
    • School Type: University

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Cape Breton University (CBU) is a small, designated university located on Cape Breton Island, in Nova Scotia, a beautiful coastal area of Eastern Canada. It has a tight-knit atmosphere and professional programs, as well as a large number of international students. Students should be prepared for cold winters around -10 degrees Celsius.

Important Notes

  • Designated Learning Institution, programs applicable for PGWP
  • Small university of about 5,500 students
  • About half of the university is international students (over 2,500)

Program Areas

CBU offers programs in many areas, notably sciences, liberal and social arts, and professional studies programs. Its School of Business has a focus on entrepreneurial education. The university offers specialized degrees in nursing and education, which have different dates, deadlines, and admissions processes.

Entry Requirements

  • Minimum entry requirements by country are listed here
  • English language test scores can be obtained through TOEFL (550/paper; 80/internet), IELTS (6.5), CAEL (60), MELAB (85), Pearson PTE (59), CanTEST (4.5 reading/listening; 4 writing), and Duolingo (115). The score must be sent by the testing agency, not the student. There are some exceptions in the scores based on the program applied for; see here for details.
  • Applicants are exempt from English testing if they have completed two years of secondary school in English, or 30 credit hours of post-secondary school in English.
  • Individual programs may have more specific requirements

Getting There

  • Application deadlines: deadlines vary per program. To be safe, applicants should apply by March 31st of the year for September intake to guarantee that the application will be processed in time. However, there are still offers made after the fact. (September is the beginning of the school year, though there are some intakes in January and May).
  • Apply for entrance scholarships and bursaries before March 1st for September Intake
  • Application fee: $80
  • Processing time: Applications usually take five weeks to be processed.
  • Payment terms: Students must pay a deposit and pay full tuition for each term by the following dates:
  • Fall term: Sept 30
  • Winter term: Jan 30
  • Spring term: May 30
  • Students must pay for yearly fees (such as health plan) by Sept 30. Meal plan and residence fees must be paid by the beginning of each term.
  • Students who received an offer and paid the deposit, but did not get their study visa granted, are eligible for a full refund of the deposit.

Living There

Cape Breton Island has a smaller population with beautiful natural landscapes; the airport is very close to CBU. The school is on the traditional territories of the Mi’kmaw First Nation. Students should be prepared for comfortable summers and cold, snowy winters. Warm clothing is important. There is student parking and transit available, as well as residences for on-campus students. Be aware that while there is an airport and all amenities close by, there are no large cities within a reasonable day’s transit.

Tuition, Costs, and Financial Aid

  • The average tuition cost for undergraduate programs is $18,515 CAD per year, including fees, but not including the cost of living. The tuition is low on average for Canada.
  • Residence and meal plan costs $11,000-15,000 CAD per year, depending on room type and meal plan
  • Some scholarships are available:
  • Entrance scholarship — provide an official transcript
  • If interested in a bursary (based on financial need), the student must submit either an Entrance Bursary Form or In-Course Bursary Form, and provide income tax assessments