Universities in Canada

Canada is the second largest country in the world by landmass, but the 36th largest in terms of population. It also has a lot of great schools, including two of the top 20 universities in the world according to the QS Top Universities ranking. Here are seven of the best schools in the country.

QS World University Ranking: #18

Tuition: Varies based on major and residency status. Residents of Quebec should expect to pay at least $4,050 for the 2013-14 school year. Non-Quebec Canadians should expect to pay around $8,060 and international students should expect to pay around $33,300.

McGill University, which was founded in 1821, is the top university in Canada. In addition to that, the magazine Travel + Leisure voted McGill as one of the 17 most beautiful campuses in the world. McGill’s alumni include three Pulitzer prize winners, nine Academy award winners, two Canadian prime ministers and nine Nobel laureates.


Ranking: #19
Varies based on major and of college. Check their website.

Founded in 1827, the University of Toronto consists of twelve semi-autonomous colleges. This school receives more research funding than any other university in Canada, so if you’re interested in doing research, you should check this school out. Researchers at this school discovered stem cells and insulin and alumni include four Canadian prime ministers and six Nobel laureates.


Ranking: #45
Varies based on major. Canadian citizens can expect to pay tuition between $4,700 to $7,000; international students $22,000 to $26,000

While initially founded as an extension of McGill University, U of British Columbia opened in 1908. The school comprises two campuses: one near Vancouver and a second in the Okanagan Valley. 57,000 students attend classes at this university, and in the last year saw work on almost 8,000 research projects. Alumni include two Canadian prime ministers (including the first female prime minister) and two Nobel laureates.


Ranking: #108
Varies based on major. Check their website.

Founded by the first premier of Alberta in 1908, the University of Alberta serves as the fourth largest employer in the province and is responsible for five percent of Alberta’s GDP. U of Alberta features 400 research laboratories and is the home to the National Institute for Nanotechnology. One Nobel laureate, one Canadian prime minister and the designer of the Canadian flag are alumni of U of Alberta.


Ranking: #114
Based on units. Quebec students pay $59 a credit. International students pay $396 a credit except for certain majors who pay more.

Founded in 1878, Université de Montréal is the second largest university in Canada in terms of student enrollment. UdeM, unlike any of the other universities on this list, is a French language institution, so you should be fluent in the language before you consider attending here. Alumni include one Canadian prime minister, a Nobel prize winner and a man who worked on Pakistan’s nuclear program.


Ranking: #152
Based on a student’s major. Check their website.

A former Baptist school, McMaster University was established in April 1887 in Toronto before it moved to its current location in 1930. McMaster University pioneered the use of problem based learning in the medical field, a practice that is currently used all over the world. Alumni include two Nobel prize winners, a justice of the Canadian Supreme Court and communication researcher Harold Innis.


Ranking: #173
Based on a student’s major and the amount of courses taken. Check their website.

Started in 1878, Western University (as it has been branded since 2012) was an Anglican school until 1908, and currently instructs about 26,000 students. Western’s Brain and Mind Institute recently discovered that blind people may use echolocation and that deaf people may be able to use the part of their brain intended for hearing to improve their sight. Alumni of Western include two astronauts, a duPont award winner, and a former faculty member who won the Nobel Prize.

Unlike the United States, most of the best schools in Canada are public universities, which means that tuition for Canadian residents is cheap. Not only that, but tuition for international students is in some cases cheaper than tuition for the best schools in the United States. At any rate, Canadian schools are a good idea for Canadians and non-Canadians alike.

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John Kesler

John Kesler

John Kesler is a senior studying communication at the University of California, Davis. If he is on campus, he can be found in the basement offices of the newspaper or the radio station. At home, he enjoys listening to whatever music he can, reading whatever books he can, and taking walks wherever he can.
John Kesler

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