Canada is a popular destination for international students and it’s not just because of its national parks or maple syrup. Many Canadian universities rank high in the international ranking of world universities and most offer an option of French or English as your medium of instruction. Besides, despite the colleges in Canada being provincially managed, the standard of education is maintained throughout because the Canadian government spends a significant portion of its GDP – over 5% – on education. And finally, studying in Canada opens the doors for permanent residency in the country.

Still wondering why you should study in Canada? Know more about the education system in Canada and other countries.

Why Choose Canada as your study abroad destination?

With more than 90 public universities that offer more than 15000 programs in various disciplines, you have a plethora of choices. Students aspiring to study almost any stream can therefore find a college or university in Canada to pursue higher studies. According to the QS World University Ranking 2021, ten of the top 250 universities are located in Canada. Besides, most Canadian universities boast of having 40% of their faculty with at least one international degree on board. And if you are concerned about the cost – you can expect to spend about 30 to 35 thousand CAD in tuition fees. There is no cause to worry though because scholarships are available to international students as well as to the locals. So for those of you who are aspiring to study – and perhaps eventually settle and work in Canada, here’s a list of the top universities in the country.

Top Universities in Canada

The QS World Universities Ranking is well a respected and universally accepted standard. However, the rankings change from year to year. So instead of going by the top universities by ranking in any given year, we decided to go with the universities that usually rank at the top. So here goes:

University of Toronto 

As far as ranking goes, the University of Toronto – located in Ontario has been ranked 18th in the global ranking of 2020 by the Times Higher Education Best universities in Canada 2020 Ranking. The Academic Ranking of World Universities by Shanghai Jao Tong University puts it at 22nd and the QS World University Ranking puts it at #25.

Built in 1827, the University of Toronto is headquartered in Ontario. It is considered to be the best research-intensive learning center with a focus on innovation and knowledge assimilation. There are more than 700 undergraduate and 200 graduate programs to choose from. Fondly known as the U of T, the Toronto University in Canada offers courses in medicine, public health, science, engineering, law, and arts among others. Nobel Laureate Frederick Banting who first discovered insulin graduated from the U of T. While the original university was set up in Ontario, the university has since expanded to a total of three campuses at Mississauga, St. George, and Scarborough – all located in the Greater Toronto Area.

As far as the logistics are concerned here are the requirements for admission:

  • Application Fee – $180
  • IELTS – 6.5 with no band less than 6.0
  • TOEFL– 100 with 22 in writing.
  • Minimum GPA required – 3.0
  • Annual Tuition Fee – $24,900 / year.

McGill University

The QS World University Ranking puts McGill University at #31 while the Times Higher Education puts it at #40 so once again we are talking about a university that ranks high by most standards.

McGill is among the leading universities in Canada. Over 2 centuries old it is also one of the oldest universities in the country and is acknowledged among the 26 top Canadian institutions in the World Economic Forum’s Global University Leaders Forum. The university offers 300 subjects under its degree courses and is known for its research-based learning pedagogy. The McGill is the first university to be set up in Canada and boasts of erstwhile students like Leonard Cohen and William Shatner.

The main requirements for admission are:

  • Application Fee – $113.27
  • IELTS – 6.5
  • TOEFL – 86 with no band less than 20
  • Minimum GPA required – 3.3
  • Annual Tuition Fee – $20,534 / year HER E

University of British Columbia

Another Canadian University that ranks at the top, the British Columbia University stands at 34th place in the World University Rankings while it holds 42nd place in Academic Rankings by the Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

The University of British Columbia was founded in 1908 and is the most famous university in the STEM field. It holds 34th rank in Computer science, 27th in Mathematics, and 29th in Medicine among the world universities. It is recognized in America as having the best recommendations from international students and staff. The University of British Columbia has earned a reputation as one of the best universities providing research-intensive learning, scholarships, and having distinguished alumni like three Canadian Prime Ministers, 65 Olympic medallists, and 8 Nobel Prize winners. Popular programs for international students wishing to study abroad include business, civil and sustainable society, education, global citizenship, journalism, kinesiology, and music. The UBC has two campuses, one in Vancouver and the other at Kelowna. International students from around the world are welcome to study at both campuses.

Worth mention here is that the British Columbia University in Canada is different from the Columbia University in New York.

And here are some demographics to give you a better idea of what you can expect:

  • Application Fee – $168.25
  • IELTS – 6.5
  • TOEFL– 90 (R, L: 22 and W, S: 21)
  • PTE – 59
  • Minimum GPA required – 2.7
  • Annual Tuition Fee – $27,159 / year.

University of Alberta

The University of Alberta is ranked from 100 to 150 by most world university ranking websites. Still, it is considered among the best universities in Canada. Established in 1908, the University of Alberta is headquartered in Edmonton, Alberta – its pilot campus. There is another campus at North Saskatchewan River valley.

The Alberta University is well known for its expertise in business, energy research, engineering and health sciences, humanities, oil sands study, and sciences. The U of A boasts alumni like the former Prime Minister Joe Clark and Beverly McLachlin Chief Justice of Canada. With more than 200 undergraduate programs and 500 post-grad programs, this outstanding, top-tier institution focuses on research teaching. Presently, the university has four campuses around the country.

If you are seeking admission to the University of Alberta consider the following:

  • Application Fee – $125
  • IELTS – 6.5
  • PTE – 59
  • Minimum GPA required – 3.0
  • Annual Tuition Fee – $10,260 / year.

McMaster University 

McMaster University ranks among the top 250 on most university rankings. The QS World University Rankings put it at #140 in 2020 and 144 in 2021. In 2022 it has recovered its rank of #140 as reported by MasterPortal.

McMaster University was founded in 1887 and is among the oldest universities in Canada. Its original campus is located in Hamilton, Ontario one hour southwest of Toronto. Subjects offered at McMaster University include engineering humanities and medicine. The university can accommodate more than 24000 students and has exchange programs with 70 institutions around the world. Its claim to fame includes alumni like Eugene Levy the comedian, Michael Lee-Chin entrepreneur, and Cammy Chiang Taiwanese Actress.

Aspirants must be aware of the following logistic data:

  • Application Fee – $110 or $150 for MBA
  • IELTS – 6.5 with no band less than 5.5
  • TOEFL – 92 with no band less than 20
  • Minimum GPA required – 3.0
  • Annual Tuition Fee – $22,013.47/year.

That completes our list of top Canadian Universities for study abroad students. As already mentioned, university rankings and choices change from year to year; so we’ve chosen some of the most popular choices for our list. Some of the other well-known universities in the country include Western University, the University of Calgary, University of Waterloo, University of Ottawa, and the University of Manitoba among others. A lot depends upon your choice of subjects, your budget, and some other factors. Besides, there are many study abroad channels available to you.

Read more about the various study abroad channels or how to study abroad.

So as a student you should consider all factors carefully before making a choice. And on a closing note, the information contained here is true and accurate to the best of our knowledge. It is also subject to change. Let us know if you need any further information and we’ll help in any way possible. Meanwhile do join us on social media. Just type blogyourniches in your search bar to find us. We’re available on LinkedIn, Pinterest, Quora, and other places including Google. And finally, do subscribe to our newsletter for offers and information in your inbox.

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