The Canadian province of New Brunswick is one of the three Maritime Provinces (Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia are the others). It shares borders with Quebec on the northwest, the province of Nova Scotia—via the Chignecto Isthmus—on
the southeast corner and the US state of Maine on the west. It also borders four bodies of water—the Chaleur/Nepisguit Bay on the northeast, the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the Northumberland Strait on the east and the Bay of Fundy on the
south. With an estimated population of approximately 754,000, it ranks eighth among the provinces. The capital of New Brunswick is Fredericton.
Originally part of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick was established as a separate province in 1784. New Brunswick is governed by its Legislative Assembly. The official languages of New Brunswick are English (66%) and French (31.5%), with the remaining
2.5% of the population reporting themselves to be either bilingual (English and French), German-speaking or speaking an Aboriginal language (Mi’kmaq or Maliseet.)
Primary and Secondary Education
Education in New Brunswick is divided along linguistic lines — Anglophone (English) and Francophone (French). The public school system—primary and secondary—is under the direction of two assistant deputy ministers in the Department of Education. This structure has been in place since 1974. There are nine Anglophone and five Francophone school districts. The Anglophone structure is elementary
(kindergarten through fifth grade), middle (sixth through eighth grade) and secondary (ninth through twelfth grade). The Francophone structure is elementary (kindergarten through eighth grade) and secondary (ninth through twelfth grade). The standard
school year runs from September to June.
Free public schooling was established with the Common Schools Act of 1871. In New Brunswick, public schooling is free for all provincial residents through the age of eighteen. With the introduction of kindergartens in 1991-1992, compulsory education
begins at age five and continues through age sixteen, which coincides with the second year of high school. Most students continue on to earn their New Brunswick high school diploma. Both linguistic sectors follow a generally common curriculum. This
curriculum includes second language training in either English or French, depending on the school district.
The New Brunswick Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour is responsible for all higher education
in the province. There are four publicly funded universities—one French and three English—with seven campuses throughout the province. The New Brunswick Community College system has eleven campuses—five French and six English—that
offer a variety of specializations. There are also specialized institutes, private religious universities and universities recognized under the Degree Granting Act (2001); this act allows private for-profit institutions to be conferred degree-granting
University-level first-stage bachelor’s degrees with the general bachelor’s degree requiring a minimum of three years of study or the honours degree requiring a minimum of four years. The first stage also includes special certificate programs.
Non-university level post-secondary studies are also available.
University-level second-stage is the master’s degree that normally requires at least one year of study after the honours bachelor’s degree. Some master’s programs require at least two years.
University-level third-stage is the doctorate degree normally requiring three years of study after the bachelor’s and a thesis.
Teacher education at the primary and secondary level requires two undergraduate degrees, one of which must be an initial teacher training program (BEd or Certificate 5).