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 2021 (first year only)
    • Fall Session: August 30 to December 23, 2021
    • Winter Session: January 6 to June 12, 2022
    • Summer Session: To be determined (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

    *This class is exclusive to the DEC 561.D0 program students
    ** This class is exclusive to the DEE program students (reserved for allophone international students) 


    Course calendar


    Year 1 (Fall semester)

    • Acting 1
    • Aerial Acrobatics
    • Balancing 1
    • Dance 1
    • English as first language 1: Introduction to college English*
    • Floor Acrobatics 1
    • French as a Second Language 1 
    • Health and Physical Activity*/Flexibility 1**
    • Introduction to Circus Arts
    • Physical Conditioning 1
    • Principal and Complementary Techniques 1 (generalist) 
    • Specialized Technique 1 (specialist) 
    • Trampoline**

    Year 2 (Fall semester)

    • Circus Arts Context and Influences
    • Dance 3
    • Devising and Producing an Act 1 (specialist)
    • English as first language 3: Literary themes*
    • Humanities 2*
    • Physical Activity and Autonomy */Flexibility 3**
    • Physical Conditioning 3
    • Principal and Complementary Techniques 3 (generalist) 
    • Specialized and Complementary Technique 1 (specialist)
    • Voice

    Year 3 (Fall semester)

    • Acting 5
    • Anatomy 1
    • Career Management 
    • Dance 5
    • Devising and Producing an Act 3 (specialist)
    • Music and Rythm 1
    • Performing an Act 2
    • Physical Conditioning 5
    • Principal and Complementary Techniques 5 (generalist) 
    • Specialized and Complementary Technique 3 (specialist)

    Year 1 (Winter semester)

    • Acting 2
    • Balancing 2
    • Dance 2
    • English as first language 2: Literary genres*
    • Floor Acrobatics 2
    • French as second language 2
    • Health and Security 
    • Juggling and Manipulation 
    • Physical Conditioning 2
    • Humanities 1*
    • Physical Activity and Efficiency */Flexibility 2**
    • Principal and Complementary Techniques 2 (generalist) 
    • Specialized Technique 2 (specialist)

    Year 2 (Winter semester)

    • Acting 3
    • Dance 4
    • Devising and Producing an Act 2 (specialist)
    • English as First Language 4: English and Circus Arts *
    • Floor Acrobatics 3
    • Humanities 3*
    • Performing an Act 1
    • Physical Conditioning 4
    • Research Methodology
    • Principal and Complementary Techniques 4 (generalist) 
    • Specialized and Complementary Technique 2 (specialist)

    Year 3 (Winter semester)

    • Anatomy 2
    • Devising and Producing an Act 4 (specialist)
    • Music and Rythm 2
    • Performing an Act 3
    • Physical Conditioning 5
    • Principal and Complementary Techniques 6 (generalist) 
    • Psychological Preparation
    • Show Creation and Production 
    • Specialized and Complementary Technique 4 (specialist)
    • Staging 








    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 :

    Rope :
    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 grants 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 grant 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 grant 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

Registrations are closed.


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