Canada is home to some of the world's best universities. When considering this, alongside a lower cost of living in a clean and safe country, it is no wonder so many international students choose to study higher education in Canada.
A graduate or undergraduate degree in Canada will give you the opportunity to learn from leading experts in their field, taking advantage of fantastic facilities and comfortable accommodation options. All these aspects, combined with the fact that almost 31 universities in Canada are ranked in the top 250 of the world, makes Canada a supremely preferred destination for international students.
Top 10 universities in Canada
The University of Toronto is Canada’s top-most university and usually ranks the best in the country year after year at all the major ranking systems of the world, including the QS World University Rankings and Times Higher Education World University Rankings. For the year 2024 as well, U of T has taken the first position.
The university has a global reputation for excellence across various subjects and fields, and its three campuses host thousands of students from all over Canada and the world. Toronto's tri-campus system is renowned internationally for its history of innovative teaching and groundbreaking research that provides students with a comprehensive global education.
- University of Toronto world ranking: 21st
- Popular courses: Psychology, Business, Biology, Engineering
- University of Toronto acceptance rate: 43%
Attracting 35,000 students from more than 150 countries, McGill University is a member of the Association of American Universities and is a founding member of Universitas 21, an international network of leading research-intensive institutions that work collaboratively to enhance global reach and encourage international scope.
The university offers over 300 degree subjects at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels, including master's and doctoral degree options. The main campus of McGill University is at the base of Mount Royal in downtown Montreal.
- McGill University world ranking: 30th
- Popular courses: Medicine, Chemistry, Law, Arts and Humanities
- McGill University acceptance rate: 47%
Founded in 1908, the University of British Columbia has two campuses - one in Vancouver and the other in Okanagan - offering a huge variety of graduate and undergraduate programs in life sciences, social sciences and management, natural sciences, engineering and technology, arts and humanities, business, and other fields.
UBC is ranked as one of the best universities in Canada and one of the top 40 research universities in the world. At British Columbia, you'll join an engaging community of expert faculty, innovative researchers, influential alumni, and bright students who care deeply about expanding what they know – and understanding what they don’t.
- UBC world ranking: 34th
- Popular courses: International Economics, Mathematics, Computer Science, Biology
- UBC acceptance rate: 53%
The University of Alberta is among the country’s top universities, with a rich history of innovation and educational excellence since its inception in 1908. With its main campus in Edmonton and four satellite campuses spread across the province, the university attracts a diverse student body from across Canada and around the globe. Currently, it has a student population of over 40,000.
U of A offers a comprehensive range of graduate and undergraduate programs spanning various disciplines. At the University of Alberta, students can learn from world-class faculty members, engage in groundbreaking research, and collaborate with peers who share a passion for knowledge and discovery. Students also benefit from a supportive and inclusive learning environment that encourages personal and academic growth.
- University of Alberta world ranking: 111th
- Popular courses: Nursing, Engineering, Agriculture, Food Science and Technology
- University of Alberta acceptance rate: 58%
5. University of Waterloo
The University of Waterloo holds a prestigious position among the nation's top academic institutions. Established in 1957, the university is known for its pioneering spirit and commitment to pushing boundaries. The university's renowned co-operative education program, the largest of its kind in the world, enables students to gain valuable work experience while pursuing their studies, fostering a seamless transition from classroom learning to real-world application.
The main campus is located in Waterloo, and satellite campuses are situated in Kitchener, Cambridge, and Stratford. The university offers several undergraduate and graduate programs spanning various disciplines and provides students with a comprehensive education that prepares them for success and become leaders in their chosen fields. With its vibrant community of students, faculty, researchers, and alumni, the university fosters an environment of creativity, curiosity, and collaboration.
- University of Waterloo world ranking: 112th
- Popular courses: Computer Science, Engineering, Geography, Physics & Astronomy
- University of Waterloo acceptance rate: 53%
Western University is among the prominent Canadian institutions renowned for its academic excellence and innovative research initiatives. With its roots dating back to 1878, Western University has a rich history of academic achievement and a strong commitment to fostering intellectual inquiry and discovery.
At the university, students can access various undergraduate and graduate programs across various disciplines, including arts and humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, engineering, business, health sciences, and more. The university's state-of-the-art research facilities, renowned faculty members, and robust research programs attract scholars and researchers from around the world, making the university a hub of discovery and innovation.
- Western University world ranking: 114th
- Popular courses: Engineering, Business, Nursing, Law
- Western University acceptance rate: 58%
The University of Montreal is one of the best French-language universities in Canada, offering world-class facilities, courses, and services for international students. Established in 1878, the university has a rich history of academic excellence and research innovation.
Consistently ranking in the best international publications on education, the university maintains its reputation as the second-largest university in the country, with more than 400,000 graduates from around the world. In terms of employability, the university is ranked 37th in the world. The university boasts a wide range of research centers, institutes, and laboratories that are at the forefront of addressing global challenges and advancing knowledge in key areas such as health sciences, environmental sustainability, artificial intelligence, and social justice.
- University of Montreal world ranking: 141st
- Popular courses: Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Pharmacy, Psychology
- University of Montreal acceptance rate: 57%
The University of Calgary was founded in 1966, and since then, the university has evolved into a dynamic hub of learning, discovery, and innovation. With its main campus in Calgary and satellite campuses in surrounding areas, the university offers students a vibrant and supportive learning environment characterized by academic excellence and innovation.
Students can choose from a diverse range of undergraduate and graduate programs across various disciplines, including arts and humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, engineering, business, health sciences, and more. Beyond academics and research, the university offers students a vibrant campus life, with various extracurricular activities, clubs, and organizations to explore.
- University of Calgary world ranking: 182nd
- Popular courses: Hospitality Sports, Physiology, Nursing
- University of Calgary acceptance rate: 63%
Named after William McMaster, a prominent Canadian Senator and banker, McMaster University is located in Hamilton, Ontario. It has students from over 90 countries studying at its faculties of business, engineering, humanities, science, and social sciences. McMaster is world-renowned for its medical school.
The McMaster Model for education is the university’s policy to have a student-centered, interdisciplinary, and problem-based approach to learning. The university is also one of Canada's most research-intensive and boasts a wide range of research centers, institutes, and laboratories that work towards advancing knowledge and providing solutions in key areas such as health, sustainability, technology, and social justice.
- McMaster University world ranking: 189th
- Popular courses: Medicine, Engineering, Business, Social Sciences
- McMaster University acceptance rate: 56.5%
The University of Ottawa is situated in Canada's capital city and holds a prestigious position among the nation's top academic institutions. Established in 1848, it has a rich history of academic excellence, research innovation, and community engagement. Today, it is among the largest bilingual universities in the world, with comprehensive programs in English and French languages.
With its diverse student body, world-class faculty, and commitment to bilingualism and multiculturalism, the university offers a dynamic, inclusive learning environment. Students can choose from a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses across various disciplines. The university is also known for its research initiatives that are advancing knowledge in key areas such as health sciences, environmental sustainability, social justice, and technology innovation.
- University of Ottawa world ranking: 203rd
- Popular courses: Health, Education, Engineering, Law
- University of Ottawa acceptance rate: 42%
Study in Canada
Do you want to study at these top universities in the country? Arrange for a free consultation call today to explore your options for quality higher education in Canada.