25 Best Universities In Canada For International Students 2024

If you are looking to study in Canada, you are surely making a great choice. This location has a lot to offer for international students, including world-class universities and exciting student experiences. With more than 131 universities and colleges in Canada, you’ll surely have a wide range of choices.

Out of 131 universities in Canada, University of Toronto and University of British Columbia are the top-performing schools in Canada. This list covers both public and private institutions in Canada.

To help you narrow down your school options, we’ve compiled the best universities in Canada. We based our rankings on academic reputations from reputable sources and the number of international students. By doing this, you’ll have an efficient way of comparing your target universities and choose your host university in Canada.

Rank University Founded Year Type City
1 University of Toronto 1827 Public Toronto
2 University of British Columbia 1915 Public Vancouver
3 McGill University 1821 Public Montreal
4 Université de Montréal 1878 Public Montreal
5 University of Waterloo 1957 Public Waterloo
6 University of Alberta 1908 Public Edmonton
7 McMaster University 1887 Public Hamilton
8 University of Ottawa 1848 Public Ottawa
9 University of Calgary 1966 Public Calgary
10 Western University 1878 Public London, CA
11 Dalhousie University 1818 Public Halifax
12 Simon Fraser University 1965 Public Burnaby
13 Queen’s University 1841 Public Kingston
14 University of Victoria 1963 Public Victoria, Canada
15 Universite Laval 1852 Public Quebec City
16 University of Manitoba 1877 Public Winnipeg
17 York University 1959 Public Toronto
18 University of Saskatchewan 1907 Public Saskatoon
19 Concordia University 1974 Public Montreal
20 University of Guelph 1964 Public Guelph
21 Memorial University of Newfoundland 1925 Public St. John's
22 Brescia University College 1919 Public London, CA
23 Carleton University 1942 Public Ottawa
24 Polytechnique Montréal 1873 Public Montreal
25 University of New Brunswick 1785 Public Fredericton

How do I get admission to the best universities in Canada?

Applying to the universities in Canada involves submitting requirements and following specific admissions procedures set by your chosen university. The requirements often include a student visa, application packages, and language scores. Check out our guide for international students who want to study in Canada to learn more about applying for admission in this country’s universities!

How much are the tuition fees at the best universities in Canada?

Tuition fees at Canada’s universities can vary depending on which university, degree, and program you will be enrolling in. Generally, tuition fees for the bachelor’s level range from 4,932 CAD to 73,100 CAD , while tuition fees for the master’s level range from 1,063 CAD to 83,200 CAD. If you are interested, check out the affordable universities in Canada!

As we cover the best universities in Canada for international students, feel free to check out the university’s information on Admission, Tuition, Courses, and Language Requirements by looking at the individual university pages.

Top Universities in Canada for International Students

1 University of Toronto

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#1 in Canada
#12 in North America
#16 in World
Percentage of International Students
26%
Total Number of students - 95,055
International Number of students - 24,691

The University of Toronto is recognized as Canada’s leading university and is one of the top public universities in the world. More than 97,000 students study at its three campuses across the Greater Toronto Area. The MississaugaSt. George, and Scarborough campuses allow students to engage in immersive and practical learning in one of the world’s most vibrant and diverse urban centers. The university has many notable alumni and faculty, including eight Nobel Prize winners. 

Economics and Political Science
Geographical Information Systems
Cinema Studies
International Affairs
Diaspora and Transnational Studies

2 University of British Columbia

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#2 in Canada
#19 in North America
#31 in World
Percentage of International Students
27%
Total Number of students - 66,747
International Number of students - 17,918

Established in 1908, the University of British Columbia (UBC) is the oldest and most prestigious university in British Columbia. It has distinguished itself as a global centre for research and learning. Over its century-long history, UBC has produced numerous outstanding individuals, including Nobel laureates, prime ministers, and prominent world leaders and artists. In addition, the university is home to several research institutes and world-class facilities, including the world’s largest particle accelerator and the first Max Planck Institute in North America.

Commerce
Atmospheric Science
Chemical and Biological Engineering
Dental Hygiene
Medical Laboratory Science

3 McGill University

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#3 in Canada
#20 in North America
#38 in World
Percentage of International Students
25%
Total Number of students - 39,736
International Number of students - 10,000

McGill University is one of Canada’s oldest and highest-ranked public universities. It attracts students from around the globe, and international students constitute a significant percentage of McGill’s large student population. The university’s 200-year history is marked by academic and research excellence, with impressive contributions to the world through significant discoveries and innovations. It has many notable alumni, including Nobel laureates, world leaders, executives, and pioneers across different fields.

Bioresource Engineering
Agricultural Economics
Marketing
Chemical Engineering
Managing for Sustainability

4 Université de Montréal

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#4 in Canada
#28 in North America
#58 in World
Percentage of International Students
53%
Total Number of students - 67,389
International Number of students - 35,500

The Université de Montréal (UdeM) is a prestigious French-language university located in Montreal, Canada. The university offers an incredibly wide range of programs and aims to create and disseminate knowledge to benefit society. It highly provides education through practical learning and quality assessments in order to produce graduates that are professionally trained and ready for the global industry.

 

Actuarial Studies
Anthropology
Cellular Biology and Pathology
Comparative Literature
Industrial Relations

5 University of Waterloo

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#5 in Canada
#35 in North America
#75 in World
Percentage of International Students
62%
Total Number of students - 42,000
International Number of students - 26,040

The University of Waterloo was founded due to the entrepreneurial spirit of some business leaders in Ontario, who dreamt of a university designed to address the world’s problems. The institute opened with 74 engineering students and a pioneering emphasis on experiential learning. Such practical learning and cooperative education practices remain Waterloo’s cornerstone today, helping students become leaders and entrepreneurs. The university continues to drive innovation, collaborating with industry to help build an ecosystem to support entrepreneurial growth.

Knowledge Integration
French
Climate and Environmental Change
Data Science
Biomedical Sciences

6 University of Alberta

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#6 in Canada
#46 in North America
#114 in World
Percentage of International Students
18%
Total Number of students - 40,060
International Number of students - 7,200

The University of Alberta is a vibrant university in Canada with five campuses at various locations in Canada — four in Edmonton and one in Camrose. It is the fifth-largest university in the country, with over 35,000 students enrolled at the school yearly. The university has garnered a reputation for its impactful research and commitment to bettering the lives of students from indigenous communities in the region. Among its numerous initiatives for indigenous students are free online courses and targeted scholarships.

Agricultural and Resource Economics
Geophysics
Film Studies
Ancient and Medieval Studies
Clothing, Textiles and Material Culture

7 McMaster University

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#7 in Canada
#50 in North America
#126 in World
Percentage of International Students
No Available Data
Total Number of students - 36,450

McMaster University was established in Toronto with a generous donation from Senator William McMaster. Originally a Baptist institute, McMaster eventually became a non-denominational university with public funding, moving to Hamilton in response to the need for a big campus. Today, it is one of the leading universities in Canada and well-recognized internationally, with more than 60 research centers and institutes across disciplines.

Music
Social Science
Economics
Mathematics
Arts and Science

8 University of Ottawa

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#8 in Canada
#60 in North America
#177 in World
Percentage of International Students
19%
Total Number of students - 44,693
International Number of students - 8,653

The University of Ottawa is the world’s largest bilingual university; its bilingual tradition can be traced back to its origin more than 150 years ago. It was established as a bilingual Catholic college, with students studying in both English and French. The university became a publicly funded secular institute in 1965. It is one of the top research universities in the country, with more than 90 Canada Research Chairs. The university has four main strategic areas for research: advancing sustainability, fostering just societies, understanding different aspects of digital technologies, and promoting health and wellness. The University of Ottawa has several research centers and laboratories with state-of-the-art facilities to contribute towards cutting-edge research.

Fine Arts
Social Sciences
Linguistics
Commerce
Economics and Public Policy

9 University of Calgary

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#9 in Canada
#65 in North America
#198 in World
Percentage of International Students
9%
Total Number of students - 33,000
International Number of students - 3,000

The University of Calgary, colloquially known as UCalgary, prides itself on its research output and contributions to promoting innovation in Canada. It is a member of the U15, an association of the top 15 universities in Canada, and has distinguished itself through innovations in entrepreneurship. Due to its passion for transforming entrepreneurship in the country, the university operates a business incubator close to the primary campus and actively supports entrepreneurs originating from the school. 

 

Actuarial Science
Business Analytics
Energy and Professional Land Management
Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Motor and Psychosocial Aspects of Movement

10 Western University

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#10 in Canada
#66 in North America
#205 in World
Percentage of International Students
15%
Total Number of students - 40,000
International Number of students - 5,800

Western University is a leading university located in London, Ontario. It is one of the founding members of the U15, a group of Canada’s best research universities. The university has one of Canada’s most beautiful campuses, combining historic Gothic structures with modern buildings. It seeks to build a secure and inclusive community with major initiatives to strengthen accessibility, diversity, sustainability, safety, and mental well-being. Western University aims to provide a university experience that leads to holistic development and prepares its graduates to become future leaders. The university has a vast network of alumni who are recognized for their intellect and contribution, including several recipients of the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship.

Consumer Behavior
Data Science
Environment and Health
General Cinema Studies
Feminist, Queer, and Critical Race Theory

11 Dalhousie University

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#11 in Canada
#72 in North America
#228 in World
Percentage of International Students
24%
Total Number of students - 20,000
International Number of students - 4,800

Dalhousie University (Dal) is a public research university with four campuses spread across multiple locations in Nova Scotia. The university has vastly distinguished itself in research and innovation and is a member of the U15, a group of top research-intensive universities in Canada. In terms of its mission, Dalhousie University aims to provide a conducive, engaging, and collaborative environment where researchers, instructors, and students can achieve excellence.

Accounting
Acting
Early Modern Studies
Mineral Resource Engineering
Statistics

12 Simon Fraser University

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#12 in Canada
#76 in North America
#245 in World
Percentage of International Students
15%
Total Number of students - 35,362
International Number of students - 5,288

Simon Fraser University (SFU) is a public research university in Burnaby City, Canada. The university places great emphasis on research, especially in sustainability. It styles itself as one of the world leaders in research, knowledge development, and sustainability. Due to its focus on research, SFU offers one of Canada’s best graduate and postgraduate programs. Discoveries made by some of its students have been vital to solving global challenges.

Chemical Physics
Film
Health Care Systems
Management Information Systems
Nuclear Science

13 Queen’s University

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#13 in Canada
#84 in North America
#272 in World
Percentage of International Students
14%
Total Number of students - 27,697
International Number of students - 4,000

Established in a charter issued by Queen Victoria, Queen’s University had humble beginnings, opening with just two professors and 13 students in a small house on the outskirts of town. Initially supported by the Presbyterian Church, the institute later separated from the church and embraced secularism. Over the years, it faced many adversities — it went through periods with meager financial support, witnessed stagnation during the economic depression, and survived two world wars. The end of the second war finally ushered in an age of uninterrupted growth in the university’s history. It opened more departments and undertook renovations and new building constructions. Today, it is a member of the U15 group of research-intensive Canadian universities and has more than 31,000 full and part-time students studying at its campus in Kingston. It has many renowned research and creative centers, including the Agnes Etherington Art Centre and the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts.

Art History
Biotechnology
Drama
Economics
Statistics

14 University of Victoria

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#14 in Canada
#86 in North America
#279 in World
Percentage of International Students
18%
Total Number of students - 22,020
International Number of students - 4,000

The University of Victoria (UVic) is one of Canada’s top research-intensive educational institutes, with a history that can be traced back to the establishment of Victoria College in 1903. Granting degrees since 1963, the university has more than 20,000 students studying at its campus in Victoria. UVic is committed to engaging with the local community, fostering diverse perspectives from indigenous and international communities, and driving sustainability initiatives. It aims to positively affect society through its research, particularly in the areas of environment and sustainability, health and wellness, and technology’s impact on the human experience. UVic is also committed to encouraging scholarship led by the indigenous population across different disciplines and research highlighting social justice and equity.

Computer Science and Health Information Science
Visual Arts and Computer Science
Biology and Earth Sciences
Chemistry and Ocean Sciences
Religion, Culture and Society

15 Universite Laval

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#15 in Canada
#105 in North America
#375 in World
Percentage of International Students
No Available Data
Total Number of students - 55,032

Université Laval aims to shape its students to become engaging members of the community. It has a vast number of programs in different areas of study for its students. Université Laval is also known for being an outstanding research hub with numerous projects that contribute to the development of society.

16 University of Manitoba

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#16 in Canada
#106 in North America
#377 in World
Percentage of International Students
20%
Total Number of students - 31,037
International Number of students - 6,345

The University of Manitoba (UM) is a research-intensive university and a member of U15. It is the premier institution of higher learning in the Manitoba province, with several achievements in education, science, and technology. The university has produced numerous high-profile individuals, including Nobel Prize recipients, Academy Award winners, Olympic medalists, and high-ranking government officials. UM continues to pave the way for research and learning in high-impact topics like human rights, global health, and climate change.

Computer Science
Earth Sciences
International Business
Linguistics
Marketing

17 York University

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#17 in Canada
#110 in North America
#399 in World
Percentage of International Students
18%
Total Number of students - 55,000
International Number of students - 10,000

York University is one of the largest public universities in Canada. It has three main campuses (Glendon, Keele, and Markham) in the Greater Toronto Area and satellite locations in different parts of the country and outside. Informed by a strong commitment to the public good, York University’s vision is to provide an excellent research-driven learning environment for a diverse student community.

Art History
Business and Society
Children, Childhood and Youth
Design
Languages and Linguistics

18 University of Saskatchewan

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#18 in Canada
#130 in North America
#477 in World
Percentage of International Students
12%
Total Number of students - 25,965
International Number of students - 3,125

The University of Saskatchewan (USask) is a Canadian university located in the province of Saskatchewan. Its main campus is situated in the lively city of Saskatoon and houses spaces that support USask’s intercultural and interdisciplinary emphasis. The university seeks to bring people across disciplines and communities together to address the region and the world’s biggest challenges with creative and innovative solutions.

Agricultural Biology
Crop Science
Resource Economics and Policy
Business Economics
Marketing

19 Concordia University

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#19 in Canada
#140 in North America
#520 in World
Percentage of International Students
21%
Total Number of students - 46,811
International Number of students - 9,999

Concordia University was established by the amalgamation of two educational institutes with rich histories, Loyola College and Sir George Williams University. Concordia continues to be guided by the core values of its founding institutes. It has expanded infrastructure at both campuses with several new buildings and facilities. Concordia University prides itself on being a next-gen university, bringing exciting innovation to its teaching and learning practices, knowledge creation and dissemination strategies, and space utilization.

Anthropology
Art Education, Visual Arts
Athletic Therapy
Behavioural Neuroscience
Biochemistry

20 University of Guelph

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#20 in Canada
#143 in North America
#545 in World
Percentage of International Students
6%
Total Number of students - 29,507
International Number of students - 1,700

The University of Guelph was established by merging three colleges with their own rich histories: Ontario Veterinary College, Ontario Agricultural College, and Macdonald Institute. Since then, the university has expanded to add more departments and programs across different fields. The University of Guelph now has three campuses. Its main campus in Guelph is a collaboration with the Humber College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning in Toronto, while its third campus in Ridgetown is known for its agriculture, veterinary, and environmental science programs.

Family Studies and Human Development
Food Industry Management
Marketing Management
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Physical Science

21 Memorial University of Newfoundland

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#21 in Canada
#159 in North America
#620 in World
Percentage of International Students
19%
Total Number of students - 19,707
International Number of students - 3,744

Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN) is a public university founded to honour the memory of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians who died in the First World War. The university is renowned for its research in ocean-related fields. It is a partner with the Ocean Frontier Institute and commits most of its research funding to the sustainable utilization of the Ocean’s resources. MUN offers one of the best marine courses available in Canada and has gained a strong reputation in oceanography and related fields.

Commerce
Business Administration
Kinesiology
Geography
Criminology

22 Brescia University College

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#22 in Canada
#162 in North America
#624 in World
Percentage of International Students
No Available Data
Total Number of students - 1,600

Established by the Ursuline Sisters, Brescia University College is a Catholic institution of higher learning committed to providing impactful education to women from all faiths and backgrounds. It is a women’s only university. Brescia believes women’s universities are still important in today’s contemporary society as they provide safe learning spaces for women. The university actively cultivates a supportive learning environment to ensure every woman reaches their maximum potential and graduates to become leaders and significant contributors to society.

History
Political Science
Health Sciences
Philosophy
Management and Organizational Studies

23 Carleton University

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#23 in Canada
#164 in North America
#633 in World
Percentage of International Students
No Available Data
Total Number of students - 27,829

Carleton University was established by the community in Ottawa to meet the needs of veterans coming back from World War II and to provide the opportunity to pursue higher education for those forced to join the workforce to deal with the economic depression. The university’s strengths are its programs in journalism, technology, architecture, and international and public affairs. More than 24,000 full-time students study at its sprawling 100-acre campus located next to the historic Rideau Canal.

Aerospace Engineering
Software Engineering
Journalism and Humanities
Actuarial Science
Public Affairs and Policy Management

24 Polytechnique Montréal

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#24 in Canada
#167 in North America
#652 in World
Percentage of International Students
40%
Total Number of students - 4,993
International Number of students - 2,000

Polytechnique Montréal is a technological university and one of Canada’s largest institutions for engineering education. An important factor in the engineering sector of Quebec, the university is focused not just on research innovation but also on its social consequences and is deeply committed to sustainable development. Graduates of the university have gone on to be involved with significant projects in the region and the world.

Civil Engineering
Computer and Software Engineering
Energy Engineering
Mechanical Engineering
Mineral Engineering

25 University of New Brunswick

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#25 in Canada
#183 in North America
#704 in World
Percentage of International Students
18%
Total Number of students - 6,379
International Number of students - 1,147

The University of New Brunswick (UNB) is a public research university with two primary campuses in Fredericton and Saint John, New Brunswick. With a history stretching back to 1785, UNB is the oldest and most prestigious university in Canada. Since its establishment, the university has distinguished itself by producing outstanding individuals in nearly all fields of human endeavour. UNB heavily supports entrepreneurship and innovation by promoting interdisciplinary collaboration and industry partnership to enhance creativity and problem-solving.

Software Engineering
Applied Physics
Recreation and Sport Studies
Respiratory Therapy
Electronic Commerce

We know that choosing your dream school in Canada not an easy task. After all, you need to consider other factors like the cost of your education, school background, and population, as it can be overwhelming on your part.

So, to help you out further in weighing your school options for studying in Canada, make sure to visit our list of the best public and private universities in Canada! These articles will surely help you in deciding your next study destination!