10 Best Universities in Canada for International Students

Based on the 2020 Times Higher Education World University Rankings, Canada boasts some of the top universities globally, offering outstanding higher education prospects.

As a result of Canada’s reputation as an excellent study destination, there has been a significant increase in the number of applications for Canadian study visas. With a wide range of exceptional programs and degrees to choose from, Canada presents many enticing options.


Once you have secured a Canadian Study Visa, you will be one step closer to attending one of Canada’s world-renowned institutions. However, with so many universities to choose from, it can be challenging to decide which one to attend. To help with your decision-making process, we have compiled a list of 10 Canadian universities that cater to international students.

University Of Toronto (U of T)

Since its establishment in 1827, the University of Toronto has grown to become one of the world’s best institutions. According to Times Higher Education, it is ranked as the top university in Canada and 19th globally, known for its rigorous research programs.


The University of Toronto provides exceptional resources, such as accelerators, courses, programs, and networks, that empower entrepreneurs to turn their ideas into successful ventures.

In the last five years alone, the university has launched more than 150 research-based startups, reflecting its culture of innovation and commitment to delivering top-tier programs.

The University of British Columbia (UBC)

Established in 1908, the University of British Columbia is a prestigious institution that boasts a rich tradition of interdisciplinary research.

The Vancouver Campus houses one of Canada’s largest libraries, while the National Laboratory for Particle and Nuclear Physics boasts the world’s largest cyclotron. In addition to these impressive facilities, UBC is home to a range of research units, including a 59-acre farm dedicated to food research, a center for democratic practices, and indigenous education. With over 63 graduate and undergraduate programs, UBC is a hub of academic excellence and innovation.


McGill University

McGill University, founded in 1813, is situated in Montreal and holds the third position among the top Canadian universities. The institution is ranked 42nd globally by Times Higher Education, which is quite impressive.

This distinguished university is the only Canadian representative in the World Economic Forum’s Global University Leaders Forum. Its faculty of medicine is one of the best, and it was the first to establish such a faculty, attracting international students to its iconic campus.

With over 300 degree programs, McGill University caters to more than 31,000 students from over 150 countries. It is one of the three Quebec universities that offer English instruction, and almost half of its students are international.

Notable alumni of this institution include Leonard Cohen, a renowned songwriter, and William Shatner, a famous actor.

McMaster University

McMaster University, located in Hamilton and founded in 1881, consistently ranks among the top 100 universities globally and is considered one of the leading research universities in Canada. The university attracts a significant number of international students.

McMaster University offers a diverse range of faculties, including Business, Engineering, Health Sciences, Humanities, Science, Social Science, and interdisciplinary programs. Its innovative approach to education has led to its inclusion among the top four universities in the world.

University Of Alberta (U of A)

The University of Alberta is also one of Canada’s top universities, ranked fifth in the country and globally recognized as a leading public research-intensive institution. The university is renowned for its outstanding programs across all faculties, including creative arts, business, engineering, health sciences, and more.

Located in Edmonton, Alberta, the University of Alberta boasts a student population of over 39,000, including around 7,000 international students from over 150 countries. The university provides a multicultural environment that fosters research and innovation.

University Of Waterloo

The University of Waterloo has been a leader in innovation since its establishment in 1957, with a focus on transformational research and inspiring programs, particularly in Engineering and Physical Sciences. Ranked 75th in the world by Times Higher Education, Waterloo boasts one of the most extensive academic co-op programs globally, over 100 undergraduate degrees, and more than 190 graduate programs.

With six faculties and 12 faculty-based schools, it offers a comprehensive range of academic programs. Located in Canada’s technology hub, Waterloo is an ideal institution for students to gain practical knowledge in technology-based courses.

Concordia University, Montreal

Concordia University in Montreal, founded in 1974 by merging two renowned universities, Sir George Williams University and Loyola College, is a public research institution with a flexible approach to learning. It is also known for its commitment to addressing societal issues from a broad perspective through teaching and research.

With over 48,000 students, Concordia University is highly sought after both nationally and globally, located in the heart of the world-class city of Montreal.

York University

Founded in 1959, York University is a non-denominational institution that has consistently ranked among the top ten Canadian universities. It became an independent institution in 1965 after previously being affiliated with the University of Toronto.

While it started with a focus on liberal education in arts and science, it has since expanded to include faculties in education, engineering, and medicine. Today, York University has over 55,000 students and 7,000 faculty and staff worldwide.

University of Calgary

The University of Calgary is a comprehensive university founded in 1966. It is currently ranked among the top 200 universities globally by the Academic Ranking of World Universities. The university offers a variety of programs, including engineering, commerce, dance, and kinesiology.

More than 15% of its students come from international locations worldwide. The university comprises four campuses across the Calgary, Alberta region and Doha, Qatar. It is also home to 76 Canada Research Chairs and over 50 research institutes and centers.

Dalhousie University

Dalhousie University is located in Halifax, Nova Scotia and currently ranks among the top 200 universities in the world, according to the Times Higher Education Magazine. It has a student population of over 18,000 and offers over 180 undergraduate programs across various fields including Arts & Humanities, Social Sciences, Law, Engineering & Technology, Life Sciences, Business & Economics, Health and Clinical Sciences, Psychology, and Computer Science.


Choosing to study in Canada provides the opportunity to experience the country’s picturesque landscapes while enhancing job prospects in English-speaking countries. Although tuition fees are lower than in the UK or US, international students still pay higher fees than domestic ones. However, viewing tuition fees as an investment in one’s future job prospects can make them more manageable.

Engineering, business, natural sciences, and social sciences are popular fields of study for international students in Canada, believed to increase job opportunities in these fields.


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