What are cégeps?

Quebec’s education system is unique. It provides for a step between secondary school and university: cégep. "Cégep" is a French acronym that stands for Collège d'enseignement général et professionnel, known in English as a general and vocational college.

A cross point between teenagehood and young adult life The vast majority of Quebec students start cégep at age 17. Depending on their educational objectives, some will then continue on to university while others will enter the workforce with strong practical skills and knowledge following three years of technical studies.

The diploma awarded by cégeps is the DCS – Diploma of college studies The DCS is a State recognized diploma that opens the door to university and to the workforce when it comes to technical programs. Cégeps are public institutions and represent the first level of higher education, dubbed post-secondary education, in Québec.

Cégeps play an important part in the economic development and in the cultural, athletic and social life of their communities. They also offer continuing and professional education but their core focus remains the education of young adults.

Some cégeps are home to College Centres for the Transfer of Technologies (CCTT). These centres support companies through applied research and assist local businesses in the innovation process.

The cégep school year is split into two semesters

  • The Fall semester: the school year starts at the end of August and international applications for admissions must be submitted before March 31 of the same year
  • The Winter semester: the Winter semester starts in January and international applications for admissions to this semester must be submitted before August 31 of the previous year

There are 48 cégeps spread across Québec, 42 of these being French language institutions and 6 with English as the language of instruction. Find out more>>

The applications for admissions to 32 of these cégeps are handled by SRAM.