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Top Universities in Canada 2021

Top Universities in Canada 2021 main image

Released today, the QS World University Rankings® 2021 includes 26 top Canadian universities, ranked based on a methodology which assesses each university on its academic and employer reputations, research impact and more.

Read on as we count down the 10 highest-ranked universities in Canada, plus a look at how the other 16 institutions performed.

QS World University Rankings 2021 – Top 10 Universities in Canada

Canada Rank

Global Rank

University

1

  =25

2

  =31

3

  45 

4

  118 

5

  119 

6

  144 

7

  =166

8

  =203

=9 

  =246

=9

  =246

=9. University of Calgary

University of Calgary

Despite falling 13 places this year, the University of Calgary remains in Canada’s top 10 in joint 9th place. The university ranks joint 246th in the world and earns its highest score in the international faculty indicator, where it ranks 212th in the world.

The University of Calgary was founded in 1944 as the Calgary branch of the University of Alberta and has since separated into an independent university with five campuses and over 33,000 students.

=9. Queen's University

Queen's University

Located in Kingston, Ontario, Queen’s University comes 9th in Canada this year, after dropping seven places in the world rankings to joint 246th. The university performs exceptionally well in the employer reputation indicator, where it ranks 99th worldwide.

With more than 24,000 students, 91 percent of Queen’s University’s graduates are employed within six months of graduation.

8. Western University

Western University

Western University climbs eight places in the world university rankings this year to reach joint 203rd. One of Canada’s top research universities, Western University was founded in 1878 and has more than 38,000 students from 121 countries. The university performs well in the citations per faculty and employer reputation indicators.

7. University of Waterloo

University of Waterloo

Rising seven places in the world ranking this year but remaining in seventh place in Canada, is the University of Waterloo. The University of Waterloo ranks joint 166th in the world rankings in 2021, performing well in the employer reputation indicator, where it places 85th worldwide. 

Established in 1956, the university boasts three campuses and is a member of the prestigious U15 research group.

6. McMaster University

McMaster University

After dropping four places in the rankings this year, McMaster University takes 144th place in the world university rankings. The international faculty indicator is where McMaster University earns its highest ranking, placing 83rd in the world. The university is located in Hamilton, Ontario and is best known for its prestigious medical school.

5. University of Alberta

 University of Alberta

In 119th place is the University of Alberta, dropping six places this year. The University of Alberta is home to 40,000 students and is comprised of four campuses. It earns its highest score in the international faculty indicator.

4. Université de Montréal

Université de Montréal

Overtaking the University of Alberta this year to steal fourth place in Canada is Université de Montréal. A French language public research university in Montreal, the university was founded in 1878 as a satellite campus of the Université Laval. It is now independent and has over 67,350 students including 10,000 international students.

3. University of British Columbia

University of British Columbia

Over to the top three, we have the University of British Columbia ranking third in Canada and 45th in the world, after rising six places this year. Ranking 28th in the world for the academic reputation indicator, the University of British Columbia aims to embrace innovation and challenge the status quo. 

2. McGill University

McGill University

Located in Montreal, McGill University remains in second place in Canada this year, climbing four places in the rankings to joint 31st. McGill University counts 12 Nobel Laurates and 145 Rhodes Scholars amongst its alumni as well as Canada’s current prime minister, Justin Trudeau.

1. University of Toronto

University of Toronto

The top university in Canada once again this year is the University of Toronto in joint 25th worldwide. The university rose four places in this year’s rankings and earns high scores across most of the indicators, particularly academic reputation, where it ranks 15th worldwide.

The other 16 top universities in Canada are:

  1. University of Ottawa – ranked joint 279th
  2. Dalhousie University – ranked joint 291st
  3. Simon Fraser University – ranked joint 323rd
  4. University of Victoria – ranked joint 370th
  5. Laval University – ranked joint 420th
  6. University of Saskatchewan – ranked joint 465th
  7. Concordia University – ranked joint 477th
  8. York University – ranked 531-540
  9. University of Guelph – ranked 571-580

=20. Carleton University – ranked 601-650

=20. Université du Québec – ranked 601-650

=20. University of Manitoba – ranked 601-650

  1. Memorial University of Newfoundland– ranked 701-750
  2. Université de Sherbrooke– ranked 701-750
  3. University of Windsor– ranked 751-800
  1. Ryerson University – ranked 801-100

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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Alexander R, SAMAROV M & 28 others saved this
Written by Chloe Lane
A Content Writer for TopUniversities.com, Chloe has a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Reading and grew up in Leicestershire, UK. 

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