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Top Universities in Canada 2015/16

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This article is based on the 2015/16 edition of the QS World University Rankings. Click here to find out the top universities in Canada in 2020.

The 2015/16 edition QS World University Rankings® features a total of 26 Canadian universities within the top 800 universities worldwide. Of these, three top universities in Canada are ranked within the global top 50, and a further 10 in the top 300. Read on to find out more about the top universities in Canada this year, starting with the top 10.

1. McGill University 

Ranked 24th in the world, McGill University has once again overtaken the University of Toronto to return to its earlier position as the highest ranking university in Canada. Founded in 1821, the university has international students from 150 countries and has been voted first in Canada among medical-doctoral universities for 10 consecutive years.

2. University of Toronto McGill University

Ranked 34th in the world, the University of Toronto is located in Canada’s largest city. Its areas of acclaim include literary criticism, communication and theory, and a range of research innovations, including being the birthplace of insulin and stem cell research.

3. University of British Columbia

Over on the west coast, the University of British Columbia ranks 50th in the world and is home to almost 60,000 students (almost 12,000 of whom are international students) at its campuses in Vancouver and Kelowna.

4. University of Alberta 

Ranked joint 96th in the world in the QS World University Rankings this year alongside the University of Helsinki, the University of Alberta is a major economic driver in Alberta and has been particularly well-respected for its arts and humanities courses.

5. Université de Montréal University of Alberta

The Université de Montréal is one of Canada’s major research centers, allocating nearly $524 million to research conducted in more than 150 research centers as of 2011. It ranks 115th in the world this year and has an international community of over 7,000 students.

6. McMaster University

This year McMaster University ranks joint 149th in the world alongside the Université Catholique De Louvain. It’s is located on a 300 acre campus in the city of Hamilton, Ontario, which in recent years has attracted attention for its growing arts scene.

7. University of Waterloo 

Ranked 152nd in the world this year, the University of Waterloo has climbed 17 places compared to the previous year’s rankings. The university is a member of the U15, a group of research-intensive universities in Canada, and claims to have the number one psychology department in Canada, based on research citations.

8. Western University Western University

Otherwise known as the University of Western Ontario, Western University is ranked 192nd in the world this year and is especially known for its medicine, science and business courses – with its largest faculty being the social sciences.

9. University of Calgary

Ranked joint 204th in the world alongside the Università Di Bologna, the University of Calgary is the birthplace of significant inventions such as the neurochip, and counts the current Prime Minister of Canada, Stephen Harper, among its alumni.

10. Queen’s University

Based in Kingston, Ontario, Queen’s University, is ranked 206th in the world this year, and has campuses spanning more than 1,400 hectares (3,500 acres) of land throughout Ontario. Queen's was the first university west of the maritime provinces to admit women, and to form a student government.

The remaining top universities in Canada are…

11. Simon Fraser University – ranked 225th in the world. Simon Fraser University

12. Dalhousie University – ranked joint 277th in the world.

13. University of Ottawa – ranked joint 284th in the world.

14. University of Victoria – ranked joint 319th in the world.

15. Laval University – ranked joint 324th in the world.

16. Concordia University – ranked 411-420 in the world.

17. Université du Québec – ranked 431-440 in the world (a good leap from its ranking of 501-550 last year).

18. York University – ranked 441-450 in the world.

19. University of Saskatchewan – ranked 451-460 in the world. University Of Saskatchewan

20. University of Guelph – ranked 471-480 in the world.

21. Carleton University – ranked 501-550 in the world.

22. University of Manitoba – ranked 551-600 in the world.

23. Memorial University Of Newfoundland – ranked 601-650 in the world.

24. Université de Sherbrooke – ranked 601-650 in the world.

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

26. Ryerson University – ranked 701+ in the world.


Find out more about studying abroad in Canada > 

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Sabrina Collier's profile image
Written by Sabrina Collier
The former Assistant Editor of TopUniversities.com, Sabrina wrote and edited articles to guide students from around the world on a wide range of topics. She has a bachelor's degree in English Literature and Creative Writing from Aberystwyth University and grew up in Staffordshire, UK. 

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Can you list the best ms in Mechanical courses in university of toronto?

please can you suggest some good universities in Canada for MS in ECE or MS in Electrical Engineering?

Hi Karan, please refer to our newly released World University Rankings by Subject 2019 - I've linked the university rankings table for Electrical & Electronic Engineering here, and you can narrow down your results to show only the universities in Canada using our 'By location' dropdown menu at the right hand side of the table. I hope this helps. 

Hi I'm Meghana, below are my details could you please suggest me the universities which offer MS in computer science.
10th - 89.6%
12th - 74%
BE ECE - 70%
Work experience - 4 years as software engineer
IELTS - 8, L- 8, S - 8, w- 7.5, R - 7.5
Kindly suggest.

Hi Meghana, you could start to narrow down your options for Canadian universities using the subject rankings - here's a link to the latest computer science table (the results can be narrowed down to show only Canadian universities). 

Hi i am sumitha i am persuing my degree in computer science i would like to study masters in computer science after my degree so which college would be best for that

Hi I am Venkatesh I have done my b-tech in 2014 with the stream of information technology. I am planning for ms in canada. So can u please tell me the best university

Dear sir,
I'm Murali from India.I would like to do my PhD in Canada.I had done My B Tech with Mechanical Engineering(2010 Passed out) & I had done my M.Tech in Thermal Engineering (2013 Passed out)Specialization,2 years of Industrial Experience in OEM of Steam Turbines(2013-2015).And 3 years of Teaching Experience (2015-To till date).Please do the needful.I had seen the list of universities,I would like to know the procedure for getting admission.

Hello, we have a guide on how to apply for a PhD in Canada here, and you could use our latest rankings by subject for engineering and technology (with the results narrowed down to show only Canadian universities) to get an idea of universities you could complete your PhD at.

I like to know the best universities for mechanical engineering

Hello, you can view our latest rankings by subject for mechanical engineering here (the results can be narrowed down to show only Canadian universities). 


I am planning to do my Master's from Royal Roads University in Global Management + MBA dual degree. And I wanted to know about hows the University and the course..?? I have done btech in Electronics and Communication with 4years of relevant experience in IT Industry. I am from India.

Appreciate your reply on this.. THANKS!!

Hello sabrina
Im,looking to pursue masters in sound engineering in canada could you help me in surfing for sound engineering universities.which universities are providing masters in sound engineering programme!!!??

I am a lot more interested to engage my research in Business Information System as I have recently completed my Masters Thesis with Computer Science and managed to get GPA 3.9/4.0 and I am more inclined to make my contribution to Management and Info Sys. Let me know what qualities do I need to possess to be qualified for scholarships in Canada.

Hello sabrina,
Can I know what's the scope of construction project management or construction management in canada??
And can i apply for canada if ive of 70% of my bachelor degree.. ?

Hi Sabrina. I am a Civil engineering graduate from India and i am looking forward to study in canada for my master's degree. Which university will be best suited for me. Please do reply.

There are no engg colleges in that link

Hi Rehmanali, I can't recommend any particular universities for you, but here's a link to our latest rankings by subject for civil engineering (you can narrow the results down by country to show only Canadian universities). 

Hi sabrina i want to study in canada please inform me how much money need for study in canada university.

Hi Afzaal, please take a look at our article 'How much does it cost to study in Canada?' Hope this helps!

HI, Can anyone kindly tell me which University in Canada offers masters program in ERP.

Why is UOIT not listed?

Hi Ahmad, you can read our answer to this and other questions about the World University Rankings here. :)

Hello Sabrina, I want to study in Canada. My wish to admission in film making for MA. Am an International student and need scholarship. Please inform me which university i could admit or try to admit.

for my master degree

Hi Wasim, our article on the top film schools around the world includes Canadian options, which might give you an idea of where you'd like to study. We've listed a range of scholarships to study in Canada here. Hope this helps! 

Hello, please i need help with a university in ontario for my master degree and wish to study management information system or health informatics. Am an international student.

I've completed my bachelor degree in mechanical engineering with 82% and My IELTS band score is 7.0 , can you please suggest best universities for mechanical engineering for masters and also scholarship details and in-campus part times ......!

Hi Rishi, please take a look at our rankings by subject for mechanical engineering, with the results narrowed down to show only Canadian universities. We've listed a range of scholarships for engineering students here and have a list of general scholarships to study in Canada here. Hope this helps!  

I got admission for Bachelors at university of Waerloo as an international student.
I would love to go there and study,but before that i want to know about the facts and rules of part time jobs to meet living expenses!

Hi Kalyana, you can qualify to work for up to 20 hours a week during university semesters and full time during semester breaks without the need for a work permit - you can read more here (bottom paragraph). However, relying on part-time work to fund living expenses is not recommended, so you may like to browse the University of Waterloo's official website to see what funding opportunities they have available to international students. Hope this helps! 

I have done computer science engineering and done masters in Internet system engineering and working as telecommunications engineer
Kindly advice me the best university in Canada for phd

Hi Syed. You may want to take a look at our recently updated ranking of the world's top universities for electrical & electronics engineering, and also our computer science & information systems ranking. You can filter the lists by location, to identify Canada's leading institutions in these fields. Hope this helps you get some ideas!

hello sabrina....for doing masters in mechanical engineering which one is better, Queens or Western university?

Hi Jagmeet, please take a look at our rankings by subject for mechanical engineering, with the results narrowed down to see only Canadian universities. 

Among the following universities, which one is better for Bsc. Computer Science; Wilfrid Laurier, Ryerson University and York Univerisity

Hi Isaac, you can compare how Canadian universities rank in computer science using our rankings by subject. Hope this helps.

I am pursuing my bachelors degree in English (hons.)(Last semester) from DU, India. I am interested in Mass Communication & Media Studies for post graduate/diploma level in Canada. Can you suggest me the Univ./Colleges and their criteria of admission ?

Hi Sanchit, I can't recommend any particular universities, but I can link you to our rankings by subject for Communication and Media studies, so you can see the highest ranked Canadian universities in this field. To find out the general requirements for studying in Canada, please take a look at this article. Hope this helps!

Hi Sabrina, Im interested in pursuing Masters in mechanical engineering.
I kinda have a low cgpa but Im a good student, please tell me if I can get selected to good universities and please list them for me.
I wanna study in canada as it has best engineering education system in the world.

Hi Gaurava, please take a look at our article on studying at postgraduate level in Canada. Hope this helps!

Hello, I am a Zimbabwean. I'm looking for a Full scholarship to study Information technology or computer sciences in Canada. I have Good High school grades. Please Advise Thanks.

Hi Derek, please take a look at our list of scholarships to study in Canada and our list of computer science scholarships. :)

Hi.I am a Malaysian who has just graduated from secondary high school.Do you know which Canada university provide computer forensic and security course?

Hello! I want to ask you a question because I can't quite get a clear answer from websites of Canadian universities. Can I apply to Bachelor of Science as an international student after graduating from International Relations in my country? For example can I apply for Physics, Chemistry or Biology? It's easy to figure out that I can choose anything that is considered "Art" and the main requirement in this case would be language proficiency, because I already finished a university in my country (they usually need you to finish at least a couple of years in a university in your country if you don't have A levels or something similar). But how about science? How can I prove that I will be good enough to study? Do I need to take some international tests? Because applying for Bachelor of Science in my country and studying for a couple of years is not the best option... What can I do? And I would like to know if Quebec has it's own rules in cases like this. Thank you very much!

I am Bangladeshi. How i will get scholarship for Master's course complete in USA University ?

Hello, please take a look at our list of scholarships to study in the US. :)

Hi Sabrina I am looking for a Masters level Degree or Diploma in digital Marketing from Canada Can you help me recommend a few universities that conduct a course in Digital Marketing I am looking for a college/university where Tution is comparatively less