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Top Universities in Canada 2018

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The QS World University Rankings® 2018 is here, and 26 universities in Canada are featured among the world’s best. Of these, four are in the global top 100, while a further nine Canadian universities are ranked in the top 300. Planning to study in the Great White North? Here’s where to consider first, starting with the country’s top 10.

1. University of Toronto

University of Toronto

Overtaking McGill University to once again be ranked as the best Canadian university is the University of Toronto, up one place at 31st in the world this year. Established in 1827, the University of Toronto has around 88,700 students at its three campuses in Toronto, and is renowned for its research innovations, such as the discoveries of insulin and stem cells.

2. McGill University

Ranked 32nd in the world in 2018, McGill University was founded in 1821 and has around 40,500 students, of which 25% are international. Located in Montreal, the university boasts the highest number of Rhodes Scholars (142) and Nobel Prize winners (12) among all Canadian universities. 

3. University of British Columbia

University of British Columbia

The University of British Columbia is down six places to rank 51st in the world this year, but nonetheless remains the third-highest-ranked university in Canada. Located in Vancouver and Kelowna in British Columbia, the university has about 62,900 students, including 14,434 international students from 162 countries.

4. University of Alberta

University of Alberta

Up four places to rank joint 90th in the world alongside South Korea’s Korea University, the University of Alberta was founded in 1908 and is mainly based in the city of Edmonton. The university enrolls 37,830 students from 143 countries and has an annual impact of CA$12.3 billion on Alberta’s economy.

5. Université de Montréal

Université de Montréal

Ranked 130th in the world, the Université de Montréal is Canada’s highest-ranked Francophone university and one of the top 10 employers in the Montreal region. The university was established in 1878 and is one of the most active Canadian universities in research, with research revenue of more than half a billion dollars.

6. McMaster University

McMaster University

McMaster University, up nine places this year to rank 140th in the world, was originally founded in 1887 in Toronto but relocated to Hamilton, Ontario in 1930. McMaster is home to 70 research centers and institutes, and is particularly renowned for its medical school.

7. University of Waterloo

University of Waterloo

Also located in Ontario, the University of Waterloo is ranked 152nd in the world this year and is one of the youngest of these top universities in Canada, having opened its doors as recently as 1957. Today it has 36,670 students, with 37% of its graduate students coming from outside Canada.

8. Western University

Western University

Ranked joint 210th in the world alongside Belgium’s University of Antwerp, Western University is located in London, Ontario. Previously known as the University of Western Ontario, the university was founded in 1878 and now has around 28,800 students.

9. University of Calgary

University of Calgary

The University of Calgary is ranked 217th in the world in 2018, down on last year but nonetheless a top-10 Canadian university. Founded in 1966, the university has five campuses, including one in Qatar, and has been the birthplace of a variety of significant inventions, including the neurochip.

10. Queen's University

Queen's University

Queen’s University is ranked joint 224th in the world in 2018 and is one of the oldest universities in Canada, established in 1841 – 26 years before Canada was founded. Today, Queen’s has around 22,461 students, 10% of whom are international.

Dalhousie University

The remaining top universities in Canada…

  1. Simon Fraser University – ranked joint 245th in the world.
  2. Dalhousie University – ranked joint 279th in the world.
  3. University of Ottawa – ranked joint 289th in the world.
  4. University of Victoria – ranked joint 346th in the world.
  5. Laval University – ranked 378th in the world.
  6. Concordia University – ranked 431-440 in the world.
  7. York University – ranked 441-450 in the world.
  8. University of Saskatchewan – ranked 451-460 in the world.
  9. University of Guelph – ranked 491-500 in the world.
  10. Université du Québec – ranked 501-550 in the world.
  11. University of Manitoba – ranked 551-600 in the world.
  12. Université de Sherbrooke – ranked 601-650 in the world.

=23. Carleton University – ranked 651-700 in the world.

=23. University of Windsor – ranked 651-700 in the world.

  1. Memorial University of Newfoundland – ranked 701-750 in the world.
  2. Ryerson University – ranked 801-1000 in the world.

Find out more about studying in Canada with our complete guide, including advice on applications, visas, fees and more.

For information about ranking categories, and answers to other frequently asked questions, click here.

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Written by Sabrina Collier
Sabrina is a content writer for, providing guidance on a wide range of topics. A graduate of Aberystwyth University, Sabrina is originally from the West Midlands but now lives in London. 

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Hi Sabrina , can you hopefully give me universities which allow dentistry of international students in Canada

any recommended schools when it comes to graduate architecture programs?

Hi Ahmed, we don't have a ranking dedicated to graduate architecture programs, but you can view our latest architecture ranking here (the results can be narrowed down to show only Canadian universities). 

Hi Sabrina , My name is Zain Khalid and I want to study in Canada for Bachelor Degree in Majors Accounting and Finance. I Have done A Levels and scored 3A*s. Kindly Guide me which universities offer January or Winter Intake? and which universities offer higher international scholarship. Assistance from you would be extremely helpful.

Hi, myself Amrit Kaur. I m pursuing M.Sc(physics) and I wanna do PhD in Canada. Can u suggest me the right advice regarding this ?? I shall be very thankful to u . Plz give me the essential requirements and information regarding PhD .
Thank you.

Hi Amrit, please take a look at our article on studying a PhD in Canada. Hope it's helpful!

Hello am Hans from Tanzania ,I 'd like to get the list of medical schools in UK offering total scholarship to African students

Hi Hans, please take a look at our lists of medical scholarships and scholarships for African students

Hi, my name is Nkeke Delphine, Cameroonian and Holder of a Master's Degree in Translation with a 3.35/4. Please could u help me with the relevant information for a PhD in the same field of studies. Can I be granted a scholarship too?. I really desire to further my studies to the PhD level. Thank you

Hi Nkeke, if you'd like study your PhD in Canada, we have advice on how to do so here. We also have a list of scholarships to study in Canada here. :)

please can I get cheaper universities in canada

Hi Rosemary, I'm not sure which Canadian universities have the lowest fees, but you can find a range of scholarships to study in Canada here.

Hello, my name is Gabriel from Nigeria. I really have found this site useful and wish to make maximum use of it. I am a graduate of English/Literature with a CGP of 3.35(second class lower) . however I wish to further my education in CANADA and I kindly request of you can help me with information tailored to my want. I wish to run a graduate program on English/literature in any of the most affordable college and city in Canada. Kindly help me with a list of such schools especially once with part time schedule as I intend to work and support my education.

Hi,my name is Josephine from Nigeria,I have completed my first degree in Accountancy/Education and I graduated with a second class lower division,I really want to do my masters in Canada but all the scholarship programs am seeing requires second class upper,am a lesbian and at such my parents don't want to have anything to do with me,please am hoping you will help me in any way possible,I heard Canada is a country that cares about the safety of the LGBT community so I know I will enjoy studying there,please help me.Thank you.

Hi Josephine, don't be disheartened! I'm sure there are plenty of scholarships you could apply for which don't require the higher grade. Here are some scholarship listings you could check:

For more advice on studying in Canada, please download our free guide. Hope this is helpful, and good luck!

Hi Josephine I know how it is. Are you still in Nigeria chat me up. we have lots to discuss and can help each other out

Hello, my name is Edlam Tadesse from Ethiopia. I have completed my first degree in Pharmacy from Addis Ababa University (AAU). I have also done my masters degree in Pharmacology from AAU. In addition, I have already published my research paper entitled ''Evaluation of the anti-diarrheal activity of the aqueous stem extract of Lantana camara (Verbenaceae) in mice'' that published on the BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine journal. I would be extremely happy if I am selected and get a chance to study Pharmacology at phD level at one of the Canadian university and get to fulfill my child hood dream of becoming a pharmacologist. But, I can not afford the fees due to the poor living standard of the family . Therefore please let me know about the sponser . Thank you

Hi Edlam, please take a look at our list of scholarships to study in Canada. You can find out more about studying a PhD in Canada here. Hope this helps! 

Hello .
Recently i hv done L.L.B and i got aggregate 68% marks and i got 6.5 bands in ielts .i want to study in canada .but i want to do human resource management according to my subjects of llb .Is it right course i choose after done LLB ..if not please advise me some course regarding my career ..
Thank you

How do i get a place to study Nurse Aid at a University

Location in canada

hi sabrina,please suggest me some good universities for masters in civil engg
my cgpa 7.4/10 in my b-tech

Hi Rahul, I can't recommend any particular universities, but you may like to have a look at our latest rankings by subject for civil engineering, with the results narrowed down to show only Canadian universities. 

Which is better for English language International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation or Canadian college of
English language?

Hi Sabrina, can you please suggest me the best university or college in Canada for PG Dip course in Business and Management. Also the cost incurred in that.

Please i request you suggest to me which university in Canada should i apply to study master's degree in public administration or public policy or development management.
A student

Hi Ebenezer, I can't recommend any particular universities, but you might like to view our latest rankings by subject for social policy and administration, with the results narrowed down to show only Canadian universities. Hope this helps!