Quebec's education system has four levels:
- Elementary (K-6)
- High School (Gr. 7-11 or Sec. I-V)
- CEGEP (2-3 year programs)
- University (3-4 years for a BA)
Students in the province of Quebec who intend to pursue post-secondary education must attend CEGEP before enrolling in a Quebec university. CEGEP is an acronym for Collège d'Enseignement Général et Professionnel (General and Vocational College). CEGEP is exclusive to the education system in the province of Quebec.
Quebec students finish high school in grade 11, instead of grade 12. CEGEP then prepares the students for university or to enter a technical profession. Most Quebec undergraduate programs are three years, hence, the total number of years of study from elementary school through a Bachelor's degree is the same as in the rest of North America.
International students wishing to continue their university education outside Quebec must take an additional one year of courses to fulfill the requirements of the university to which they are applying. For example, a student wishing to attend a university in Ontario may complete one year of CEGEP and then apply as a regular applicant who has completed grade 12 in Ontario.