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    Canadian Universities Ranking: Top Universities and Subject Rankings


    Canadian universities are regarded as some of the best institutions across the world because of their academic reputation and excellent research programs. Another reason for their popularity among study abroad aspirants is low tuition fees, simpler application process and more permanent residency options as compared to other countries like the USA and UK.

    Some of the world’s top universities are situated in Canada. THE World University Rankings for 2020 included 30 universities from this country. On the other hand, as per QS News, the number of Canadian universities ranking among the world's top universities for 2021 was 26. These agencies rank universities on various criterias such as academic reputation, employability, student-faculty ratio, industry outlook, etc.

    Canadian Universities Ranking in Top 10

    Times Higher Education, QS News, Webometrics, US News and Academic Ranking for World Universities (ARWU) are few of the ranking agencies whose data are considered accurate and reliable. They more or less use the same parameter for Canadian universities ranking with slight variation in approach.

    Following are the Canadian universities ranking in top 10 according to data published by above mentioned ranking systems of the world:

    University of Toronto is the premier globally recognized university from Canada. It offers more than 700 undergraduate and 200 graduate programs in three campuses. U of T has been placed at 1st among Canadian universities ranking in top 10 since last decade. Its academic reputation was included in the top 20 universities across the world.

    Ranking Agency World Ranking
    QS News 2021 25
    THE 2021 18
    Webometrics 2020 19
    US News 2020 18
    ARWU 2020 24

    McGill University Ranking

    Popular for producing Rhodes Scholars and Nobel Laureates, McGill University is among the best universities across the globe and Canada. The university has garnered 12 Nobel Prizes for their work in areas such as Economics, Radioactivity and Fission, Peace Prize. Interested students can go for any program offered at McGill, however, some noteworthy programs are Bioengineering, Liberal Arts, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Artificial Intelligence and Geography.

    Ranking Agency World Ranking
    QS News 2021 31
    THE 2021 40
    Webometrics 2020 57
    US News 2020 49
    ARWU 2020 78

    University of British Columbia Ranking

    University of British Columbia has an international reputation for research and graduate programs. It majorly excels in geography, mineral & mining engineering and sports-related subjects. UBC has Canada’s second largest research library with more than 7 million publications and launched over 1300 research programs.

    Ranking Agency World Ranking
    QS News 2021 45
    THE 2021 34
    Webometrics 2020 27
    US News 2020 30
    ARWU 2020 38

    University of Alberta Ranking

    With more than 380 undergraduate and 500 graduate programs, University of Alberta is another favorite destination for students across the globe coming for studies in Canada. It hosts more than 40,000 students at four campuses. The university scores above average on international faculty indicators.

    Ranking Agency World Ranking
    QS News 2021 45
    THE 2021 34
    Webometrics 2020 27
    US News 2020 30
    ARWU 2020 38

    McMaster University Ranking

    McMaster University is renowned across the world for its prestigious medical school. It welcomes students from more than 90 countries and has over 70 research centers. Stem Cell and Cancer Research Institute of the university is known for its research on turning sections of human cells into blood cells for elevating the shortage of blood donors. Other well-known faculties of McMaster University are engineering, business, humanities, social sciences and science. This contributes to its inclusion among Canadian universities ranking in top 10.

    Ranking Agency World Ranking
    QS News 2021 144
    THE 2021 69
    Webometrics 2020 141
    US News 2020 126
    ARWU 2020 98

    University of Montreal Ranking

    University of Montreal has gained worldwide reputation for its business, engineering and health science programs. It is also the second largest university of Canada in terms of student population. Over 36,000 students are enrolled here out of which 74% are studying for an undergraduate degree. Most of the programs offered by the University of Montreal are taught in French language.

    Ranking Agency World Ranking
    QS News 2021 118
    THE 2021 73
    Webometrics 2020 162
    US News 2020 139
    ARWU 2020 151 - 200

    University of Waterloo Ranking

    University of Waterloo has been constantly ranked as Canada’s most innovative university for the past 25 years. It has the world’s largest post-secondary co-operative education program in which more than 16,000 undergraduate students participate every year. University of Waterloo is home to over 35,000 students from 250 countries. Its curriculum involves theory with practical experience. Thus, students get the opportunity to work with employers like Google, Facebook, and Amazon.

    Ranking Agency World Ranking
    QS News 2021 166
    THE 2021 201 - 250
    Webometrics 2020 84
    US News 2020 217
    ARWU 2020 151 - 200

    Western University Ranking

    Western University is known for its research programs and international collaborations. On an average, the university receives annual research funding of 235 million CAD. Over 60% of its research publications involve international collaborations. More than 38,000 students from over 117 countries are attracted towards Western University because of its study-abroad, research and volunteer opportunities.

    Ranking Agency World Ranking
    QS News 2021 203
    THE 2021 201 - 250
    Webometrics 2020 169
    US News 2020 262
    ARWU 2020 201 - 300

    University of Ottawa Ranking

    University of Ottawa is the largest bilingual (English-French) university in the world. It has been gaining increasing popularity in recent years for its research and academic excellence. University of Ottawa claims to be the largest economic force in the National Capital Region with 97% of the employment rate among its graduates. University offers more than 450 programs in the disciplines of arts, education, engineering, health sciences, medicine, law and management. Its law school is regarded as the largest law school of Canada.

    Ranking Agency World Ranking
    QS News 2021 279
    THE 2021 145
    Webometrics 2020 193
    US News 2020 198
    ARWU 2020 151 - 200

    University of Calgary Ranking

    Originally founded as a branch of University of Alberta in 1944, University of Calgary now has five campuses and enrolled over 33,000 students from across the world. It offers more than 200 academic programs via 14 faculties and 53 departments. University generated 325 million CAD sponsored research income and has over 85 research centres.

    Ranking Agency World Ranking
    QS News 2021 246
    THE 2021 200
    Webometrics 2020 99
    US News 2020 178
    ARWU 2020 151 - 200

    Parameters for Canadian Universities Ranking

    Ranking indicators used by various agencies and weightage given to each are listed below:

    • QS News: This organization ranks universities on six criterias. These are: academic reputation (40%), employer reputation (10%), faculty/student ratio (20%), citations per faculty (20%), and international student ratio (5%).
    • THE: It uses 13 performance indicators grouped into five areas: teaching (30%), research (30%), citations (30%), international outlook (7.5%) and industry income (2.5%).
    • US News: Like THE, US News also uses 13 parameters to judge universities across the world. Some of the notable ones are global research reputation (12.5%), regional research reputation (12.5%) and publications (10%).
    • ARWU: Only 4 parameters are referred by ARWU for ranking universities. These include quality of education (10%), quality of faculty (20%), research output (20%) and per capita performance (10%).
    • Webometrics: Unlike all the above ranking agencies, Webometrics analyzes the online presence of universities. Two indicators are taken into consideration: volume of web content and impact of web publications.

    Comparison of Canadian Universities Ranking in Top 5

    According to QS News World Ranking of 2021, 3 universities of this country rank among top 100 universities of the world whereas 5 of them are included within top 150 list. University of Toronto, McGill University and University of British Columbia are the top three universities for studying in Canada.

    University of Alberta is the only university in top 5 whoose ranking has been constantly dropping in the last five years. Others positions have been swindled in between but otherwise there has been slight improvement every year. Most significant improvement was observed in the ranking of University of Montreal.

    Top 5 Canadian Universities Ranking

    Canadian Universities Ranking for Computer Science

    Computer Science is currently one of the most popular areas of study due to constantly evolving technology and increasing demand for computer scientists. According to QS News world ranking for computer science, the number of Canadian universities ranking in top 100 is highest after the USA and UK. Similarly, as per THE ranking of 2020, this country has the 3rd highest number of universities in top 5 leaving behind countries like Germany and Australia.

    Criterias used by both QS and THE for evaluation of subject ranking includes academic reputation, employer reputation, research citations and impact of published work. Computer science programs offered by Canadian universities ranking in top 10 are as follows:

    University QS Ranking 2020 THE Ranking 2020
    University of Toronto 10 23
    University of Waterloo 24 40
    University of British Columbia 25 43
    McGill University 51 - 100 66
    University of Montreal 51 - 100 31
    University of Alberta 51 - 100 101 - 125
    Simon Fraser University 101 - 150 201 - 250
    Queen’s University at Kingston 151 - 200 251 - 300
    McMaster University 201 - 250 101 - 125
    University of Calgary 201 - 250 401 - 500

    Canadian Universities Ranking for Engineering

    Engineering is considered as one of those subjects that open doors for various career opportunities especially for international students who wish to stay and work in Canada after graduation. Top 10 universities in Canada for engineering program, according to QS and THE, are as follows:

    University QS Ranking 2020 THE Ranking 2020
    University of Toronto 22 27
    University of British Columbia 32 43
    University of Waterloo 41 89
    McGill University 47 47
    University of Montreal 109 251 - 300
    University of Alberta 112 126 - 150
    Queen’s University at Kingston 161 301 - 400
    McMaster University 185 301 - 400
    University of Calgary 200 251 - 300
    Western University 210 301 - 400

    Canadian Universities Ranking for MBA

    Canada is the second most popular choice after the USA among international students for pursuing MBA. One of the major reasons for this is internationally-recognized business schools. International students can pursue MBA in Canada from a number of cities including its financial capital Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, etc.

    Only 3 business schools of Canada rank among the top 100 business schools offering MBA across the world, as per Financial Times (FT) MBA Ranking of 2020. However, 5 business schools of this country made it to the top 100 list, according to QS MBA Ranking for 2020.

    QS ranks MBA programs offered by business schools based on following criteria:

    • Employability: 40% weightage
    • Entrepreneurship and Alumni Outcomes: 15% weightage
    • Return on Investment: 20% weightage
    • Thought Leadership: 15% weightage
    • Class & Faculty Diversity: 10% weightage

    On the other hand, FT ranking is based on more than 20 factors. Maximum weightage is given to salary (20%), salary increase (20%), international faculty (4%), international board (2%), international mobility (6%), and number of articles published (10%).

    Ranking of top 5 business schools offering MBA in Canada are tabulated below:

    Canadian Universities Ranking for Medicine

    Curriculum of medical schools vaies greatly across the world. MBBS in Canada follows the same path as US and offers degree after completion of undergraduate studies. Other popular medical courses preferred by international students are nursing and psychology. BSc Nursing in Canada is cnsidered to be one of the most prestigious courses. 

    Ranking for medical schools is determined by using the similar parameters as for other courses. However, some organizations like THE give more weightage to citations than teaching and research metrics. Top 10 universities offering medicine courses in Canada are tabulated as follows: 

    University QS Ranking 2020 THE Ranking 2020
    University of Toronto 13 6
    McGill University 21 23
    University of British Columbia 28 30
    McMaster University 45 26
    University of Montreal 51 – 100 55
    University of Alberta 51 – 100 70
    University of Calgary 51 – 100 151 – 175
    University of Ottawa 101 – 150 76
    Queen’s University at Kingston 151 – 200 151 – 175
    Western University 151 – 200 126 – 150

    Canadian Universities Ranking for Law

    Anyone interested in a career as solicitor, barrister or judge opts for pursuing a law degree. Masters in Law is availble as LLM in Canada and offered by some of the top universities like U of T, McGill University, UBC, etc. Although the course structure is more or less same across all universities of world, content of subject may differ with country. It is because every country has different laws and legal procedures.

    Following table list down the top 10 law schools in Canada as per QS and THE ranking for 2020: 

    University QS Ranking 2020 THE Ranking 2020
    University of Toronto 20 10
    McGill University 28 20
    University of British Columbia 40 34
    University of Montreal 101 – 150 99
    York University 101 – 150 66
    Queen’s University at Kingston 151 – 200 126 – 150
    University of Alberta 151 – 200 Above 150
    University of Ottawa 151 – 200 92
    Western University 151 – 200 Above 150

    Candian Universities Ranking for Graduate Employability

    Graduate Employability rankings are used to determine which university is best prepares its students for industries and placements after graduation. It is also given by QS News. According to Graduate Employability Ranking 2020, 4 universities of Canada ranking within top 100 among world universities. 

    University of Toronto ranks at 16 leaving behind some of the top universities like Columbia University and University College London. Various parameters used for measuring graduate employability of a university are employer’s reputation, alumni outcome, partnership with employers per faculty, employer:student connections and graduate employment rate.

    Following are the top 10 Canadian universities ranking for graduate employability along with average salary offered to their alumni:

    University Ranking for 2020 Average Annual Salary Offered (in CAD)
    University of Toronto 16 91,853
    University of Waterloo 25 67,436
    University of Alberta 87 69,102
    McMaster University 98 61,174
    Queen’s University at Kingston 101 – 110 65,124
    Western University 121 – 130 61,658
    University of Calgary 131 – 140 69,830
    University of Montreal 171 – 180 64,984
    University of Victoria 251 – 300 62,292
    Carleton University 301 – 500 60,579

    Education is the primary focus of the government and it is clearly reflected in the Canadian universities ranking. The number of institutions included in the top 100 are less than that of UK and USA. Still, Canada is one of the favourite study destinations for international students. Its universities are primarily known across the world for their research programs. In the near future, their rankings for employability and industrial outlook are also expected to improve.