Detailed Program

What are the main differences between the DEC (Diploma of Collegial Studies) and DEE (Diploma of National Circus School Studies) programs? 
- The DEC is accredited by the Québec Ministère de l'Éducation et de l'Enseignement supérieur, while the DEE is issued by the School.
- DEC students are eligible for a post-diploma work permit which is not guaranteed for DEE students. 
- International DEC students may be eligible to become a Canadian permanent resident under the provincial Programme de l'expérience québecoise (Quebec Experience Program - PEQ).
- The DEE program does not include certain academic subjects such as philosophy and literature, which are mandatory in the DEC program. However, much of the curriculum is the same.

Two diplomas, a singular education:
It takes 3 years to complete either diploma program (4 years to complete the DEC Upgrade Program - 081.06 Tremplin DEC). Please note: An increasing number of international students are eligible to enter the DEC program each year. Classes are thaught in French. If you have any questions, contact our registrar.

  • School CalendarOpen or Close

    The program schedule is intensive, and attendance is mandatory from morning till night all week long. Preparation for the Annual Show and/or for personal and group work frequently require additional weekend hours.

    • Summer Intensive: August 12 to 23, 2019 (first year only)
    • Fall Session: August 30 to December 19, 2019
    • Winter Session: January 6 to June 7, 2020
    • Summer Session: June 11 to July 3, 2018 (first year only)

    * Schedule is subject to change.

  • Courses and disciplines taughtOpen or Close

    The language of training is French. The DEC candidate must have an excellent knowledge of either English or French. A Canadian candidate whose first language is English enrolling in the DEC program may elect to take 4 English literature courses (instead of French literature) and 2 courses in French as a second language. A student who does not have sufficient mastery of the French language may be required to take additional language courses at the School.

    The student may choose between two different profiles:

    Specialist: one discipline 
    Generalist: two or three disciplines


    Course calendar

    Year 1 (fall semester)

    Introduction to Circus Arts
    Physical Conditioning 1
    Floor Gymnastics 1
    Balancing 1
    Specialized Technique 1
    Acting 1
    Dance 1
    Trampoline and flexibility 1
    English :Components of discourse*
    Philosophy and Rationality*
    French as a Second Language 1

    Year 1 (winter semester)

    Physical Conditioning 2
    Floor Gymnastics 2
    Balancing 2
    Juggling and Manipulation
    Aerial Acrobatics
    Specialized Technique 2
    Acting 2
    Dance 2
    Trampoline and Flexibility 2
    English : Literary genres*
    Philosophy and Ethics*
    French as a Second Language 2
    Health and Security



    Year 2 (fall semester)

    Physical Conditioning 3
    Specialized and Complementary Technique 1
    Acting 3
    Dance 3
    Circus Arts and Influences
    Devising and Producing a Number 1
    English : Literary themes*
    Philosophy : The Human Condition* 


    Year 3 (fall semester)

    Specialized and Complementary Technique 3
    Musicand Rythm 1
    Dance 5
    Devising and Producing a Number 3
    Performing a Number 2
    Career Management
    Anatomy 1


    Year 2 (Winter semester)

    Physical Conditioning 4
    Psychological Preparation
    Floor Gymnastics 3
    Specialized and Complementary Technique 2
    Acting 4
    Dance 4
    Researching Methodoloy
    Devising and Producing a Number 2
    Performing a Number 1
    English : Written and Oral Communication*


    Year 3 (winter semester)

    Physical Conditioning 5
    Specialized and Complementary Technique 4
    Music et Rythm 2
    Acting 5
    Devising and Producing a Number 4
    Performing a Number 3
    Show Creation and Production
    Performing Skills
    Anatomy 2

    * These courses are not included in the DEE program ; they are mandatory for students of the DEC 561.D0 program. 

    Disciplines taught


    Hand to hand (dynamic)  
    Russian Bar
    Russian Swing
    Chinese Pole
    Korean Board
    Icarian Games
    Rebound Straps
    German Wheel
    Cyr Wheel



    Hand to hand (static)  
    Tight Wire
    Slack Wire
    Tight Rope 


    Cradle :

    • Aerial
    • Russian

    Rope :

    • Single
    • Double
    • Triple
    • Cloud Swing


    • Swinging trapeze
    • Fixed trapeze
    • Dance Trapeze

    Roman Rings



    Foot juggling
    Devil Stick

    Clowning arts



  • Student Services and Financial AssistanceOpen or Close

    Student services

    The School offers a range of services such as on campus housing, a library, a scholarship program, food services and health services. Find out more about student services.

    Financial Assistance

    College-level students who are Canadian citizens or who have permanent resident status in Canada are eligible for loan and bursary programs offered by the Ministry of Education of the province in which they officially reside.

    The National Circus School Foundation offers assistance to students who lack sufficient financial resources to pursue professional training at the School no matter what their citizenship. Find out more about the Foundation bursary program

  • Upgrade one-year Program ("Tremplin DEC")Open or Close

    This program is aimed at the  candidates selected by the jury during the Entrance Exam who demonstrates the potential to undertake advanced training but lacks the required physical or artistic skills.
    The Upgrade one-year program (also called "Tremplin DEC") consists of skills and courses in basic circus techniques and disciplines. The student is able to participate in general training as well as the various courses specific to the higher education program. Conditional admission is granted for the period of one year, after which the student must re-take the Entrance Exam for final admission to the program.

  • Creation and Exploration WorkshopOpen or Close

    As a complement to the higher education programs, the School offers both its graduating and graduate students a chance to participate in a professional insertion workshop. Workshop participants receive a scholarship and present the result of their creation at the end of the 10 week session at Tohu.


Frequently asked questions about the higher education program.

Register for this program

Next school year begins: 
August 2020

Duration :
Three years, full-time

Registration deadlines
December 15, 2019 (Paris)
January 15, 2020 (Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver)

Learn more

2020 Auditions

February 18 to February 21, 2020

February 2020 (The date will be announced in Fall)

February 2020 (The date will be announced in Fall)

January 2020 (The date will be announced in Fall)

Video Auditions 
Before January 15, 2020 
(international candidates and those living in remote areas)