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University of British Columbia vs McMaster University

Sonal Vaid Sonal Vaid
Content Curator

The University of British Columbia ranks at #3 in Canada according to QS World University Rankings 2020 while McMaster University ranks #6. According to THE 2020 Rankings, UBC ranks at #2 and McMaster at #4 among universities abroad.

University of British ColumbiaMcMaster University
Collegedunia Score 6.7 Out of 10 5.5 Out of 10
Ranking (Overall) #45 QS World University 2021
#34 Times Higher Education 2020
#48 Center for World University Rankings 2020
#144 QS World University 2021
#72 Times Higher Education 2020
#122 Round University Ranking 2020
Subject Strength #1 for Library Sciences by QS World University 2020
#7 for Geography by QS World University 2020
#10 for Psychology by Times Higher Education 2020
#16 for Nursing by QS World University 2020
#26 for Clinical Science by Times Higher Education 2020
#33 for Civil Engineering by Academy Ranking of World Universities 2020
Programs UG Programs - 67
PG Programs - 46
Doctorate - 1
UG Programs - 68
PG Programs - 48
Doctorate - 11
Acceptance Rate 53.0% 58.7%
Exam ScorePTE - 77.5
IELTS - 6.5
TOEFL - 90
GMAT - 650
GRE - 300
IELTS - 6.5
PTE - 75
TOEFL - 103
GMAT - 600
Cost to Study Average Tuition Fees 38129 USD
[For UG Program]
Average Tuition Fees 6714 USD
[For PG Program]
Hostel + Meal - 27252 USD Per Year
Average Tuition Fees 24277 USD
[For UG Program]
Average Tuition Fees 8548 USD
[For PG Program]
Hostel + Meal - 26620 USD Per Year
Placement (Average Package)

Top recruiters at UBC were Deloitte, P&G, Labatt, Netsle, Telus, GE Healthcare, etc. Base salaries offered were around $90,000 to the postgraduates. Finance graduates were highest paid: $107,000

The university’s graduate employment rate is above 90%. The highest-paid McMaster graduates are the doctorate student with an annual average salary of 122,000 USD. MBA graduates are able to earn about 93,000 USD per year while bachelor graduates earn an annual salary of 43,000 USD

M.B.A - $73800
Campuses & B-SchoolsUniversity of British Columbia (Okanagan)
Sauder School of Business
DeGroote School of Business
Collegedunia Reviews
Read 32 reviews
Read 26 reviews
General FactsUniversity of British ColumbiaMcMaster University
Type of University University University
Established 1908 1887
Student:Faculty Ratio 11:1 22:1
Male:Female 44% Male, 56% Female 46% Male, 54% Female
Location Facts

Two campuses: Vancouver and Okanagan; Vancouver is the main campus located at the western tip of Point Grey Peninsula.

Located on the western end of lake Ontario, McMaster University is located in the Golden Horshoe. It is surrounded by Cootes Paradise and natural marshlands.


More than 7 million printed books, over 2.1 million ebooks, 5.3 million microforms, and 923000 other multimedia materials.

McMaster University has a total of 4 libraries. There are 1.9 million print and electronic books, 86,000 print and electronic journal titles, 14,000 linear feet of archival resources combined. 

Campus Life

The campus has Astronomy Club, Beads and Craft Club, Chinese Students and Scholars Association (Great Wall Club), Food Society, Photographic Society, Red Cross International, Ski and Board Club and Vancouver Student Entrepreneurship Association.

Located in the Waterfall Capital of Canada- Hamilton, the campus has McMaster Museum of Art, W.J. McCallion Planetarium, McMaster Nuclear Reactor, McMaster Hall, 16 sports clubs, Bertrand Rusell Archives, etc. 

Hostel #Shared Room - $4855
#Connected Single Room - $5712
#Single Room - $6133
#One Bedroom Apartment - $6452
#Triple Residence Room - $6375
#Double Residence Room - $7150
#Single Residence Room - $8200
Famous Alumni

Justin Trudeau (PM of Canada), Rick Hansen (Paralympic athlete), Kim Campbell (Former PM of Canada), Evangeline Lilly (Actress), William Gibson (Fiction writer), and Albert Bandura (Psychologist).

Tihomir Oreškovi (11th PM of Croatia); Bertram Brockhouse (Nobel Laureate in Physics); Stephen Elop (President and CEO of Nokia Corporation); Myron Scholes (Nobel Laureate in Economics); Roberta Bondar (Canada’s first female astronaut and neurologist in space)

City Life

Vancouver itself serves 7.5% of Canada’s economy. Due to its prosperity, the freshers get good opportunities across Vancouver. The GDP is around 137 billion CAD. Some of the highly popular industries located in Vancouver are tourism, technology, housing and construction.

Hamilton is 3rd largest metropolitan city in Ontario. It offers multiculturalism, low rent accommodations, various night clubs, restaurants, cafes and more. It plays an important role in the manufacturing industry of Canada. The city has an extensive waterfront, beautiful lakeshore, and several conservation areas. 


Based on the global rankings for the two universities, UBC (University of British Columbia) would seem to be the obvious choice among students. However, this cannot be the only criterion considered while choosing an institution for higher studies abroad. A detailed overview below of UBC or McMaster might help students to choose one.

With around 64,798 students, UBC takes a lead when it comes to the total number of students enrolled in the university. The international student community at UBC had an enrollment of around 17,225 students from over 160 countries while McMaster had a much smaller number of international students with just over 4,400.

India is among the top countries for the international student population with 9.2% and 7.8% enrollment at UBC and McMaster respectively.

Students who want to be part of a smaller community can choose McMaster while UBC for more socially inclined people who love a bigger social group.

Coming to the cost, McMaster University would be the first choice among students looking for a cheaper study option. The average annual cost of study for programs at McMaster is about 20% less than that of the University of British Columbia.

When it comes to eligibility, UBC has a higher score requirement than that of McMaster University where the average scores for GRE/ GMAT as well as TOEFL or IELTS are lower. Therefore it can be interpreted that admissions to McMaster University would be comparatively easier than admissions to UBC.

For the year 2018-19, McMaster University also provided more financial aid options with over 26 million USD investment on scholarships, fellowships and bursaries. On the other hand, UBC also had an investment of over 21 million USD on financial aid.

With an alumni of 339,000+ students representing 140+ countries, UBC boasts of around eight Nobel Prize winners while McMaster has had only three among an alumni of 195,162.

UBC receives around 477 million USD for research work. However, with only 265 million investment for research work, the strength of McMaster University’s research continues. This can be backed up by the fact that McMaster is the only university in Canada that is a part of Universitas 21, a prestigious global network of 26 research-intensive universities in the world.

Although the University of British Columbia ranks higher than McMaster and has more facilities available, McMaster can be on the priority list for students looking for a more cost-friendly higher education in Canada. Because of more financial aid options, a lower fee structure and also lower admission score requirements than UBC, MacMaster University outstands UBC when it comes to admissions.