Best Colleges in Canada – Introduction
If you want to study outside the US., the best colleges in Canada can be an excellent option. While you can find amazing universities across the globe, the best universities in Canada have a lot to offer—plus, they’re not too far from home. Additionally, many of the best colleges in Canada readily accept US students.
If you want to explore the top colleges in Canada, you’re in the right place. For example, if you want to know more about the McMaster University ranking and the answer to “what is McMaster University known for,” we’ve got you covered. We’ll review these kinds of facts and details for each of our top 10 colleges in Canada. We’ll also discuss:
- The most prestigious colleges in Canada
- Best universities in Canada by major (including the top universities in Canada for engineering, computer science, medicine, and business)
- How to pay for the best colleges in Canada
- Public colleges in Canada
- Cheap colleges in Canada
- International college admissions and how to get into the best colleges in Canada
- Choosing the best colleges in Canada for you
There’s a lot of factors to consider as you search for your dream school. So, let’s learn more about some of the top colleges in Canada.
What are the best colleges in Canada?
The best colleges in Canada include McGill University, the University of Toronto, and the University of British Columbia, among others. These schools each receive broad international acclaim.
Still, which schools are considered the “best” will depend on many factors. Rankings can help give you a sense of how the best universities in Canada compare to one another. In this guide, we’ll spotlight relevant facts and figures, like the University of Alberta ranking or the top ranked programs at McMaster University.
However, it’s important to remember that each of the top colleges in Canada are unique. So, not every school on our list of top 10 colleges in Canada will be right for you. If you already know what you want to major in, you may need a more personalized list. For example, you may be interested in the top universities in Canada for computer science or the best universities in Canada for business.
Understanding Canadian colleges and universities
Many of the best universities in Canada are known for their prestigious programs. Additionally, the Canadian education system is quite different from that in the US. At the best colleges in Canada, you’ll largely focus on your intended major without completing as much external coursework. This means that the best universities in Canada may not be the right fit for every student.
Below, we’ve rounded up our list of the best universities in Canada. But before we jump in, let’s talk about why students might want to study at the top colleges in Canada.
The best colleges in Canada are some of the best universities in the world. They offer a world-class education in a unique and vibrant college setting for both local and international students alike. Canada offers a high standard of living along with flexible and more cost-effective educational opportunities. As well-regarded international universities, many of the top colleges in Canada also offer a bilingual learning environment where students can take classes in both English and French.
Ready to find the best colleges in Canada for you? An overall list of the best colleges in Canada is a great place to start your college search. But, before we jump into our list of the top 10 universities in Canada, let’s start with the top ranked Canadian college.
What is the #1 university in Canada?
U.S. News ranks University of Toronto as the #1 university in Canada.
As one of the best colleges in Canada and #18 of the best universities in the world, it’s no surprise UToronto ranks highly across many different areas of study. The University of Toronto ranking is #5 in cardiac and cardiovascular systems, #8 in psychiatry/psychology, #4 in clinical medicine, and #9 in the arts and humanities.
Many international students apply to UToronto because of the unique college experience this school offers. Students work alongside world-class faculty, tailoring their academic experiences to their interests and passions. When not in class, students get to immerse themselves in the culture and excitement of Toronto and become a part of this school’s vibrant student life. If you’re looking for international universities, UToronto might be a great choice for you.
Now, let’s discuss UToronto’s application requirements. If you’re considering applying to any of the best colleges in Canada, it’s important to look ahead to the application process, which differs considerably from that used by US schools.
Some schools have different requirements for international students vs. local students, so it’s good to research each individual school’s international college admissions requirements. To apply, you must meet the minimum admission requirements, complete the correct application, and pay the application fee.
Students interested in applying to UToronto must do so by the January 12th application deadline. A few programs, including their Nursing and Bachelor of Information degrees, have slightly later deadlines. So, be sure to check the final deadline for your specific program. If you’re interested in applying for early consideration, UToronto Admissions recommends submitting your application by November 7th.
What are the top 10 universities in Canada?
Remember, UToronto is only one of the best colleges in Canada. If you’re not sure UToronto’s location or size is right for you, take some time to explore Canada’s other top colleges. Here are the top 10 universities in Canada according to U. S. News:
- University of Toronto
- University of British Columbia
- McGill University
- University of Alberta
- McMaster University
- University of Montreal
- University of Calgary
- University of Waterloo
- University of Ottawa
- Western University
These rankings reflect each school’s position among the best universities in the world. As you can see, there’s no shortage of top universities in Canada for engineering, medicine, and any other major you may be interested in. Now, let’s learn a bit more about each of the top 10 colleges in Canada.
Top 10 Canadian Universities
1. University of Toronto
As previously stated, UToronto is in Toronto, the largest city in the country. Founded in 1827, UToronto is home to over 72,000 undergraduate students. Some of UToronto’s top programs include psychology, sociology, biology, and art history. However, these are just a few of the school’s 700+ undergraduate programs. The University of Toronto ranking is #1 in Canada for sustainability, #11 in the world for graduate employability, and #2 in the world for medical research.
2. University of British Columbia
The second school on our list of best colleges in Canada is in Vancouver. Over 58,000 students call the University of British Columbia’s Vancouver campus their home—the other 12,000 UBC students attend classes at the Kelowna campus. UBC’s five values are excellence, integrity, respect, academic freedom, and accountability. Some of their highest ranked programs include library & information management, engineering, and geography.
3. McGill University
Just over 27,000 undergraduate students attend McGill, which is located in Montreal. Additionally, approximately 30% of McGill’s student body is composed of international students. McGill is known for providing a world-class education, with pre-professional and study abroad opportunities leading to fulfilling career paths. Students can explore a variety of programs including business and economics, humanities and social sciences, and music.
4. University of Alberta
Given its prestige, it’s no surprise the University of Alberta ranking is #4 on our list of the best colleges in Canada. The University of Alberta has a unique college setting, with five locations across Edmonton and Camrose. As the fifth largest university in Canada, UAlberta is home to about 38,000 students. In addition to its five main campuses, UAlberta has other great labs and facilities. These include their Botanic Garden and various research stations, like Augustana Miquelon Lake. UAlberta has plenty of top programs students can choose from. Additionally, the University of Alberta ranking in nursing, petroleum engineering, environmental science & engineering, and chemical engineering in Canada is #1.
5. McMaster University
You’ll find the fifth school on our list of top colleges in Canada in Hamilton, Ontario. McMaster’s more than 33,000 students can live in one of their 12 on-campus residence halls, visit the McMaster Museum of Art, and study at the McMaster University Library. There are six academic divisions: business, engineering, health sciences, humanities, science, and social sciences. The McMaster University ranking is #22 in Sports-Related Subjects, #47 in Clinical Medicine, and #36 in Anatomy & Physiology.
6. Université de Montreal
Also known as UdeM, the Université de Montreal is another top ranked school located in Montreal. UdeM is one of the top public colleges in Canada, providing an excellent education to about 38,000 students from all over the world. However, the primary language of instruction is French, so UdeM won’t be right for all students. However, note that some of their graduate-level programs do facilitate a bilingual teaching environment. If you do speak French, you can explore a variety of research opportunities in computer science, clinical medicine, public, environmental, or occupational health.
7. University of Calgary
Another school on our list of the top 10 universities in Canada is the University of Calgary. Located in Calgary, Alberta, UCalgary is home to 33,000 students, approximately 20% of whom are international students. As a top research university, its undergraduate programs span a variety of fields. Among other majors, students can pursue a B.S. in Biomechanics, a B.A. in Linguistics and Language, or even a Bachelor of Social Work.
8. University of Waterloo
As one of our top 10 universities in Canada, you won’t be surprised to see the University of Waterloo ranking highly among Canadian universities. According to their Undergraduate Programs website, the University of Waterloo ranking is #1 in Canada for most innovative university and #2 in Canada for connecting students with employers. The city of Waterloo provides opportunities to explore a youthful college town (along with the nearby, interconnected city of Kitchener). With 100+ majors to choose from, students can study everything from health and data science to digital arts, robotics, and sustainability.
9. University of Ottawa
If you are looking for one of the best universities in Canada that also happens to be located in the country’s capital, look no further than the University of Ottawa. As one of the world’s largest bilingual universities, uOttawa provides an education to nearly 40,000 undergraduates in both French and English. Students have the flexibility to customize their degrees, combining their interests across social sciences, management, arts, education, and more.
10. Western University
We’re wrapping up our list of the top 10 colleges in Canada with Western University. Located in London, Ontario, WesternU offers 400+ combinations of undergraduate majors, minors, and specializations to approximately 27,000 undergraduate students. Some unique programs include DAN Management & Organizational Studies, Kinesiology, and Information & Media Studies. If, after reviewing our list of top colleges in Canada, you’re not sure what school might be the best fit, reflect on your thoughts and interests using WesternU’s acronym: PLACE. Consider how your passions, college location, academics, community, and experiences all factor into your decision on where to attend college.
Can an American go to college in Canada?
Yes, Americans can go to college in Canada. Many of the best colleges in Canada have vibrant international student communities. However, just like many other international universities, international college admissions will be different from applying to a school in your home country.
Admission to many of the top colleges in Canada, including most programs at McGill, is based on grades alone. So, you won’t focus on things like extracurriculars and essays during the admissions process.
However, some programs will require additional essays. Some of these include various arts programs and many specific University of Toronto majors, including business and engineering. Regardless of what you choose to study, you should make sure your grades are as strong as possible. You should also plan to take the SAT or ACT and submit your scores to help bolster your application.
The exact requirements will be different at each of the best colleges in Canada. So, be sure to check all international application requirements, which may include standardized test scores.
While we’ve already reviewed the top 10 colleges in Canada, you may be wondering just how many schools there are to choose from in Canada.
How many colleges are in Canada?
According to the Council of Ministers of Education, there are 223 universities in Canada. While we couldn’t include all of these schools on our list of the best colleges in Canada, that doesn’t mean one might not be perfect for you.
There are many post-secondary institutions in Canada. However, many of these schools are not typically what you’d think of when looking for the best colleges in Canada. In fact, these top-tiered schools are not even referred to as colleges.
In Canadian postsecondary education, you’ll find that bachelor’s degree-granting institutions are always called universities rather than colleges. The term “college” tends to refer to a community college or trade school. So, as you research Canadian universities, make sure you’re looking for the right kind of school for you.
Public colleges in Canada
Nearly all the best colleges in Canada are public institutions. In fact, the 10 best universities in Canada listed above are all public institutions. This may seem like a big difference when you compare the best colleges in Canada with the best colleges in the U.S., many of which are private. That is because Canada devotes a considerable amount of government funding to secondary education. In fact, nearly half (45.8%) of postsecondary funding comes directly from the government.
In addition to supporting the institutions directly, the government also provides funding directly to students to help make education more accessible while reducing student debt. The Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation provides income-based grants to low-income students and the Canada Education Savings Grant provides grants to parents. This helps Canadian students afford to attend the best colleges in Canada.
How many colleges are in Toronto?
There are five public universities and one private university in Toronto. This includes the University of Toronto, which you’ll remember topped our list of the best colleges in Canada. In addition to these public and private schools, Toronto is also home to four public community colleges.
While all these schools may not be on our list of the best colleges in Canada, you’ll certainly find them on our list of best colleges in Toronto:
- OCAD University
- Toronto Metropolitan University
- Universite de l’Ontario francais (UOF)
- University of Toronto
- York University
These schools have something many of the schools on our best colleges in Canada list don’t have: Toronto. As the most populous city in Canada, you’ll have tons to explore in the city outside of your coursework. Click here to check out exhibits and events going on, like outdoor art fairs and farmers’ markets. If you’re set on your college location being Toronto, Ontario, take some time to research some of the above schools.
Is university in Canada free?
No, college in Canada is not free. But that doesn’t mean you can’t find cheap colleges in Canada. In general, Canadian universities are more affordable than those in the U.S.—though this is admittedly less the case for international students. The average cost of tuition is $6,580 for Canadian residents and $32,000 for international students.
If you’re planning to apply to any of the best colleges in Canada, it’s important to keep costs in mind. There are different policies when it comes to financial aid for international students. So, a list of cheap colleges in Canada for Canadian residents won’t necessarily be the same for international applicants. For instance, at UToronto, international students are not eligible for federal financial aid. However, they are eligible for merit scholarships, though these are admittedly quite competitive.
The good news is many schools offer scholarships specifically for international students! Here is a list of scholarships for international students attending some of the best universities in Canada:
- Lester B. Pearson International Scholarship Program – University of Toronto
- Karen McKellin International Leader of Tomorrow Award – University of British Columbia
- International Student Scholarship – York University
- President’s Scholarship for World Leaders – University of Winnipeg
- International Entrance Scholarship – University of Calgary
Scholarship or not, you may only be looking for cheap colleges in Canada. So, let’s investigate how much attending the top colleges in Canada actually costs.
Is college in Canada cheaper?
Yes, college in Canada tends to be cheaper. On average, Canadian students pay $6,500 per year, while international students may pay closer to $36,000. However, note that tuition fees vary by province and program. So, as you build your college list, make sure to do your research.
For example, the University of Ottawa costs anywhere from $32,000 – $40,000 per year. In addition to tuition, you’ll still need to consider the cost of housing, textbooks, food, clothing, and other items. The college has a comprehensive page on financial planning, including information on planning and budgeting and campus services to help support students.
Students will also need to demonstrate that they have a certain amount of money (around $10,000) as part of the visa process. Keep this in mind as you plan your college finances around attending one of the best colleges in Canada.
What is the hardest university to get into in Canada?
In general, you can expect the best universities in Canada—namely, the ten we listed above—to also be the most competitive universities in Canada. You may find some acceptance rate data for various universities online, which can help you get a sense of how competitive the best universities in Canada are. For instance, the University of Toronto acceptance rate is often cited as 43%, though this will vary heavily by program.
Most Canadian universities—including the University of Toronto—do not publish official acceptance rate statistics. This is because each program (or major) varies by size, prestige, and acceptance rate. So, the best universities in Canada for one major may not be the best universities in Canada for another.
However, we caution students against relying too much on these unofficial statistics. Some programs will be far more competitive, while others may be easier to get into. So, do some research on your chosen programs. Note that in most cases, you’ll apply directly to one of these programs (or to an “admissions category,” as is the case at the University of Toronto).
Are there any Ivy League schools in Canada?
No, there are no Ivy League schools in Canada. However, the education you’ll receive at the top colleges in Canada is on par with some Ivy League universities. The top universities in Canada that will provide students with Ivy League-level academics include:
- The University of Toronto
- The University of British Columbia
- McGill University
However, there is no one-to-one comparison between top Canadian Universities and Ivy League schools. Remember, Ivy League schools are all generally private, mid-sized universities offering a demanding and comprehensive liberal arts curriculum.
Is McGill the Harvard of Canada?
McGill is broadly recognized as a prestigious university. With strong academic programs across all disciplines, it’s no surprise it’s one of the best colleges in Canada.
Especially in its strongest programs, you’ll get an education at McGill on par with the one you’d receive at Harvard. McGill also, like Harvard, has strong research programs in a variety of fields. The strength of McGill’s academics, combined with its history and prestige, have given it the reputation of the “Harvard of Canada.” In general, McGill is also the most globally recognized Canadian university.
What is the most prestigious university in Canada?
In general, McGill is often thought of as the most prestigious university in Canada. However, the top three universities in Canada (whose college rankings can vary by year) are all highly prestigious. Once again, these are UToronto, University of British Columbia, and McGill University.
While UToronto tops our list of best universities in Canada, the UToronto, University of British Columbia, and McGill ranking is not set in stone. Different lists use different qualities to evaluate these universities, so it’s hard to say which one has the most prestige. Your best bet is to look at the individual program that interests you and see how it compares across schools.
For example, according to Maclean’s (a Canadian magazine that publishes yearly college rankings), McGill is one of the best universities in Canada for medicine. The McGill ranking amongst large medical doctoral universities is #1. On the other hand, UToronto and the University of British Columbia rank particularly high for the impact of their research. That means the work they produce is well respected in the academic community.
Which university in Canada is the easiest to get into?
When applying to the best colleges in Canada, you might wonder: which colleges in Canada are easiest to get into?
Unfortunately, as we mentioned earlier, Canadian universities tend not to publish official acceptance rate statistics. That means we need other metrics to determine which are the best colleges in Canada and the easiest to get into.
Luckily, many public universities in Canada are not out of reach, especially if you have strong grades and scores. Some Canadian universities with relatively high acceptance rates include Brandon University, Memorial University of Newfoundland, and the University of Saskatchewan. Remember, the acceptance rates at these universities may vary by program.
Of these, U.S. News only ranks the University of Saskatchewan among the best colleges in Canada, at #18. However, that doesn’t mean that the other institutions don’t have good learning environments or strong programs for your intended major. It only means that they might not be considered the best colleges in Canada overall based on ranking data.
As an international student, keep in mind that the Canadian college process differs from what you might be used to. If you want to get into the best colleges in Canada, the most important factor will be your grades. Unlike the holistic college admissions process common in the U.S., most programs in Canada will only look at grades and scores. In other words, supplemental materials, extracurriculars, recommendations, or essays aren’t as important when applying to the best colleges in Canada.
To learn more about the top 10 universities in Canada based on major, keep reading.
Best Universities in Canada by Major
If you want to attend one of the best colleges in Canada, remember that programs vary widely based on major. So, the best colleges in Canada for engineering and the best colleges in Canada for business might be different.
Nevertheless, the best colleges in Canada are some of the best universities in the world. Read on to learn more about the top 10 universities in Canada by major.
Unlike in the U.S. where intended majors are usually non-binding, Canadian universities ask you to apply directly to a specific program of study. Therefore, when applying to the best colleges in Canada, you should research the best colleges in Canada for your intended major.
In the next few sections, we’ll break down some of the best colleges in Canada based on major. We’ll be using the Maclean’s Education rankings as our source, which are trusted rankings that focus on Canadian colleges. Like U.S. News in the U.S., Maclean’s Education has information about the best colleges in Canada and rankings like the top 10 universities in Canada.
Top Universities in Canada for Engineering
Now that you know about some of the best colleges in Canada, let’s dive a little deeper. What are the best colleges in Canada for engineering?
Top Canadian Universities for Engineering
1. University of British Columbia
According to Maclean’s Education, UBC is tied for #1 of the best colleges in Canada for engineering. UBC is a large university located in the bustling, diverse city of Vancouver on Canada’s west coast. If you want to attend one of the top universities in Canada for engineering in an urban setting, consider UBC. UBC also has a smaller campus in Okanagan, a more rural area about 4 hours inland of Vancouver. UBC also ranks as #2 of the best colleges in Canada according to U.S. News.
2. University of Toronto
Of the top universities in Canada for engineering, UBC and the University of Toronto are tied for #1. University of Toronto is not only one of the top universities in Canada for engineering—it also ranks #1 of the best colleges in Canada according to U.S. News. When looking at the top universities in Canada for engineering, the best colleges in Canada mostly have strong engineering programs. Both the University of Toronto and UBC have many options for engineering programs, including Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Chemical Engineering. In fact, at the University of Toronto, you can even minor in AI Engineering.
3. University of Waterloo
This school ranks second among the top 10 universities in Canada for engineering and #3 on Maclean’s list. The University of Waterloo will also provide you with a respectable, well-researched engineering education. Among the best colleges in Canada, the University of Waterloo is ranked #8. However, this school has particularly strong engineering programs, ranking #2 in the best colleges in Canada for engineering. The University of Waterloo is located near Toronto, north of western New York. Waterloo prides itself on cultivating entrepreneurship, so if you want to found a startup once you graduate from one of the top 10 universities in Canada for engineering, check out University of Waterloo.
4. McGill University
Aimez-vous l’ingénierie? McGill University, perhaps the best-known Canadian university Stateside, is also one of the top universities in Canada for engineering. Though McGill is not #1 of the best colleges in Canada, it consistently ranks near the top —both by program and overall. McGill is located in Montreal, Quebec, so be prepared to speak a little Français!
5. University of Alberta
The University of Alberta ranking is #5 of the best colleges in Canada for engineering, making it another stellar option for STEM students. Furthermore, the University of Alberta ranking is #4 of the best colleges in Canada and among the top 120 universities globally. U of A has many different engineering programs, including specialized options like Mining Engineering and Petroleum Engineering. In fact, the University of Alberta ranking for these programs is among the top 10 worldwide.
Prospective engineering students have some incredible Canadian options—we haven’t even covered all top 10 colleges in Canada for engineering. Indeed, many of the best colleges in Canada for engineering overlap with the top 10 universities in Canada overall. Next up, we’ll go over some of the top 10 universities in Canada for computer science.
Top Universities in Canada for Computer Science
Computer science is a popular, fast-growing major and field both within the U.S. and in Canada. If you want to go to one of the best colleges in Canada for computer science, read on.
You might notice some similarities with the above list of the best colleges in Canada for engineering. As mentioned above, the best colleges in Canada have universally strong programs, so they’ll usually appear high in subject-specific lists.
Top Canadian Universities for Computer Science
1. University of British Columbia
According to Maclean’s Education, UBC again tops the list (in a three-way tie) for best colleges in Canada for computer science. Though UBC states that its computer science program is “no cake walk,” don’t let that dissuade you. A degree from one of the best colleges in Canada for computer science prepares you for exciting careers from cybersecurity to academia.
2. University of Toronto
Yet again, the University of Toronto leads the pack of best colleges in Canada. Whether it’s the top universities in Canada for computer science or engineering, the University of Toronto tops the list. Computer science students within UToronto’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences pursue an Honours Bachelor of Science and work with award-winning faculty. Browse more of U of T’s programs here to learn more about its offerings beyond CS.
3. University of Waterloo
On the list of top universities in Canada for computer science, the University of Waterloo ranking is a bit higher! The University of Waterloo ranking is #1 among the best colleges in Canada for computer science, tied with UBC and Toronto. All to say—the University of Waterloo is certainly one of the best colleges in Canada for computer science. Waterloo boasts the largest co-op program in North America, meaning that students can gain 2 years of work experience during undergrad. Waterloo also has many social supports for students in computer science, including the Women in Computer Science club. This group advocates for and supports “women, trans, gender-fluid, gender-queer, and non-binary students enrolled in computer science.”
4. McGill University
Did you know that the first search engine was invented at McGill’s School of Computer Science in 1987? Another common school on the lists of best colleges in Canada, McGill ranks #4 of the top universities in Canada for computer science. At McGill, you’ll prepare for a career in computer science with comprehensive coursework, renowned faculty, and networking opportunities like the annual Techfair.
Overall, the best colleges in Canada for computer science are similar to the top 10 colleges in Canada for engineering. This isn’t completely surprising, as CS and some types of engineering have overlapping specializations, such as data science and AI.
If you’re more interested in medicine than machine learning, read on for the best colleges in Canada for medicine.
Best Universities in Canada for Medicine
Since Maclean’s doesn’t rank the best colleges in Canada for medicine, we’ll use our favorite trusted ranking source: U.S. News.
Just like in the U.S., there is no bachelor’s degree of medicine in Canada—only pre-med tracks. Generally, the “best colleges in Canada for medicine” are assessed by undergraduate life sciences and pre-med offerings. This list also takes into account the research of their graduate students and professors. Read on for our breakdown of the first five of the top 10 universities in Canada for medicine.
Top Canadian Universities for Medicine
1. University of Toronto
Surprise! First on the list of the top 10 colleges in Canada for medicine is U of T. As we’ve discussed, this school is also one of the best colleges in Canada for engineering and computer science. The Department of Medicine at U of T is one of the oldest in North America, dating back to 1843. For students who want to eventually pursue an MD, U of T also has an extensive pre-med program. These resources and support networks clearly make U of T one of the top 10 colleges in Canada.
2. University of British Columbia
The next of the best colleges in Canada for medicine is UBC. However, UBC does not offer a specific pre-med track. Within the Faculty of Medicine, UBC has a list of “undergraduate” programs, but they’re still typical medical school tracks. Note that UBC’s MD program is not open to international students—only to Canadian residents. Still, UBC is one of the best colleges in Canada for medicine. This school also represents the first fully distributed medical education program in Canada.
3. McMaster University
The McMaster University ranking is #3 among the best colleges in Canada for medicine. Additionally, the overall McMaster University ranking is #5 of the best colleges in Canada. McMaster’s college setting in a suburban neighborhood near Lake Ontario makes it appealing to many prospective students. McMaster is home to one of the most renowned medical schools in Canada. What is McMaster University known for? Well, its Honours Bachelor of Health Sciences covers most disciplines within health sciences and provides various experiential learning opportunities. Graduates from this program have a strong foundation for entry to medical school.
4. McGill University
McGill, one of the best colleges in Canada, is unsurprisingly also one of the best universities in Canada for medicine. The McGill ranking is #3 overall and #4 for medicine. In fact, McGill boasts that it is the top medical-doctoral university in Canada. Given its research facilities and strength in other STEM fields, it provides ample preparation for a career in medicine.
5. University of Alberta
The University of Alberta is, as we’ve seen, one of the best colleges in Canada. Additionally, it’s ranked by U.S. News as #5 of the best colleges in Canada for medicine. The university’s Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry offers MD programs and, for undergraduates, a fairly unique BSc in Radiation Therapy. Here, you can make a difference in the lives of cancer patients at one of the best colleges in Canada.
Just like in the U.S., you can’t get a bachelor’s degree in “medicine” at the best colleges in Canada. However, you can study life sciences, biomedical engineering, chemistry, and medicine-related fields at the best colleges in Canada for medicine. Paired with undergraduate research opportunities, these courses of study prepare students for medical school.
Best Universities in Canada for Business
More interested in stocks than surgery? Business is as popular as ever among undergraduates in the US, Canada, and worldwide. From Maclean’s Education, check out the best colleges in Canada for business:
Best Canadian Universities for Business
1. University of British Columbia
As one of the best colleges in Canada, UBC is also one of the best universities in Canada for business. In fact, UBC Sauder is the “leading business school in Canada.” This school is also one of the top 10 colleges in Canada for students looking to start a career in business. A Bachelor of Commerce degree from one of the top colleges in Canada is a step toward a bright future, and UBC provides students with an incredible education in business.
2. University of Toronto
The University of Toronto is certainly one of the top colleges in Canada—the national University of Toronto ranking is #1. Naturally, it follows that it is also one of the best universities in Canada for business. U of T is tied with UBC for #1 best universities in Canada for business. If you want to specialize in management, you can pursue Toronto’s Bachelor of Business Administration.
3. McGill University
McGill is another frequent flier on the list of top colleges in Canada. The McGill ranking is #3 among the best universities in Canada for business. The Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill University is ranked as one of the best international universities for business. Like the schools above, McGill offers a Bachelor of Commerce.
4. Queen’s University
Queen’s University, ranked #17 of the best universities in Canada, is also one of the top colleges in Canada for business. The Queen’s Bachelor of Commerce option also offers an opportunity to study abroad in your third or fourth year. Many international students study abroad every year to see the world and enrich their college experience.
5. Western University
Western University, #10 of the best universities in Canada, ranks #5 among the top colleges in Canada for business. If you enroll in Western and fulfill specific requirements, you can enter Ivey Business School early. Graduating from one of the best universities in Canada for business can set you up for success, and a degree from Western University will give you the tools you need to pursue a fruitful career in business.
Cheap Colleges in Canada
When thinking whether you should attend one of the top colleges in Canada, you’re likely taking cost into consideration. So, what are some cheap colleges in Canada, and do they overlap with the list of the best universities in Canada?
Unlike in the U.S., public colleges in Canada are very common. In fact, these schools comprise most of the top colleges in Canada. Generally, colleges in Canada are more affordable than in the U.S.
However, just like with state schools in the U.S., domestic and out-of-province tuition differ. Many of the best universities in Canada have a higher price for students from outside the school’s province.
U.S. comparison aside, here’s a list of some cheap colleges in Canada.
Cheap Canadian Colleges
1. Newfoundland and Labrador’s University (The Memorial University of Newfoundland)
The Memorial University of Newfoundland is one of the cheap colleges in Canada. Memorial has a college size of 19,000 students, and the tuition cost is $20,000 for international students.
2. University of Manitoba
The University of Manitoba is another option for cheap colleges in Canada and is #14 of the top colleges in Canada. Like the previous university, the University of Manitoba offers relatively low tuition costs, but the costs are higher for international students. Specifically, tuition is $22,000, on par with public universities in the United States.
3. Concordia University
The estimated cost of attending Concordia University as an international student is around $19,000, but that varies by program. Concordia is another of the cheap colleges in Canada, and the college location of Concordia is in Montreal.
Truthfully, these may not be at the forefront of our top colleges in Canada lists. However, individual circumstances ultimately trump college rankings. The cost of college is a major factor for many prospective students. If you perhaps stumbled upon this article looking for the inverse—cheap colleges in the U.S. for Canadian students—never fear: we’ve got you covered.
Best colleges in Canada for international students
If you’re looking to attend one of the top 10 colleges in Canada as an international student, you’re in luck. The best universities in Canada are also the best universities in Canada for international students! Though international college admissions differ and may take some adjustment, international universities can provide an incredible experience in a new culture.
Overall, the best universities in Canada for international students will be the larger, more renowned universities. In other words: most of the top colleges in Canada. These include the University of Toronto, UBC, and McGill University. Since these are some of the best universities in Canada, they have ample resources to support international college admissions.
Understanding the application process for international students
If you’re researching Canadian international universities, check out school-specific resources for international college admissions. Provinces may also have individual application systems; for example, Ontario public colleges use one admissions portal for domestic and international applicants. Before applying to the top colleges in Canada, thoroughly research their application requirements and processes.
Finally, if you speak French, you have access to even more options. The Université de Montréal, ranked #156 of the best global universities, is a French-speaking university. Although they have resources for non-French speakers, French fluency will open many more doors.
Choosing the best university in Canada for you!
After reading this article, you understand that the best universities in Canada are some of the best universities in the world. But, which of the top colleges in Canada are the best universities in Canada for you? Is one of them your dream school?
When applying to the top colleges in Canada, be intentional with your choice of program. Acceptance rates can vary based on the program, and the top colleges in Canada for computer science aren’t necessarily the top colleges in Canada for business. If you’ve already decided to look beyond America’s best colleges, dig deep to find what Canadian institutions meet your needs.
As always, don’t apply to the top colleges in Canada simply because they’re ranked as the best universities in Canada. Take into account the college size, college location, college setting, and other factors like extracurriculars and research opportunities. Ultimately, your college list should be full of schools that meet your criteria and that you want to attend.
How to get into the best colleges in Canada
You’ve learned all about the best universities in Canada– but how do you get into these colleges?
Unlike U.S. universities, most of the top colleges in Canada judge applicants solely on GPA (and potentially test scores). The best universities in Canada do not ask students to submit essays or other supplemental materials. As a result, you must apply to Canadian schools based only on the strength of your grades.
Consequently, acceptance to one of the best universities in Canada means you’ve worked hard to achieve a stellar GPA. If you’re concerned that your extracurriculars won’t set you apart in Ivy League admissions, consider the best universities in Canada.
Additionally, research your intended major: even the top colleges in Canada might not have the top-ranking program for your interests.
Lastly, apply early! Many of the top 10 colleges in Canada use rolling admissions, which means that places are filled throughout the year. So, even if your application is perfect, the spots available in a class could already be full. For your best chance at being admitted to one of the top 10 colleges in Canada, make sure you submit your application at the beginning of the cycle.
Top Colleges in Canada – Final Thoughts
Canada has 223 four-year universities nationwide and 213 two- and three-year colleges. The top colleges in Canada are some of the best universities in the world. The best colleges in Canada include UCB, University of Toronto, and McGill University. According to U.S. News, the University of Toronto ranking is #1.
As with the domestic college search and application process, the best advice is to start early. By taking the time to identify your needs, you can find the best colleges in Canada for you. At the best colleges in Canada, your grades will likely be the deciding factor. If you are considering the top colleges in Canada, keep your grades up!
As an international student, the differences in the college application process might seem overwhelming, but CollegeAdvisor is here to help. Check out our college finder series for advice on researching schools. And, if you want one-on-one admissions guidance, schedule a consultation today.
This article was written by Stefanie Tedards and Rachel Kahn. Looking for more admissions support? Click here to schedule a free meeting with one of our Admissions Specialists. During your meeting, our team will discuss your profile and help you find targeted ways to increase your admissions odds at top schools. We’ll also answer any questions and discuss how CollegeAdvisor.com can support you in the college application process.