Canadian students and scholars do not need a visa to enter the United States, however you must be sure to complete your I-94 record with the U.S. immigration official at your point of entry to the United States. If you enter the U.S. by land, you should be issued an I-94 paper card. If you enter by air your I-94 record will be entered into the on-line system. You will need to print out your I-94 record upon your return to the U.S. as evidence of your legal status. In both cases you will be charged a small fee (it is currently under $10) to process the I-94 record.
As U.S. immigration inspectors are accustomed to admitting Canadian citizens as visitors, not full time students or scholars, it is your responsibility to make sure you are granted the correct immigration status when you are entering the U.S. If you are admitted as a visitor (or tourist) without receiving an I-94 record noting your immigration status (e.g., F-1, J-1, H-1B, TN, etc.), you will have to return to Canada and re-enter a second time.
You will need to present the documents below to the U.S. immigration official at your U.S. Point of Entry: