A Guide to Canadian Universities

Updated: Jun 7, 2021

Applying to universities differs from country to country. In Canada, the process is fairly easy. Although, it can be difficult to decide on where you want to apply as an international student. If you are thinking of applying to universities in Canada, here is a rundown of several universities and their notable programs.

University of Toronto

The University of Toronto, otherwise known as UofT, is ranked the number one university in Canada. It has three different campuses spread out in the province of Ontario; located in Toronto, Scarborough, and Mississauga. UofT offers over seven hundred undergraduate programs. They offer a wide variety of courses ranging from Archaeology to Urban Studies. The University Of Toronto scores high for research impact. It is famous for research on insulin by Banting and Best, as well as regenerative medicine and pioneering work in artificial intelligence. As of 2021, UofT’s acceptance rate is forty-three percent, and its acceptance rate correlates to its competitiveness.

University of British Columbia

Similar to the University Of Toronto, UBC has more than one campus: one in Vancouver and the second in Okanagan. The university has some notable alumni like the current Prime Minister Of Canada, Justin Trudeau. Other alumni are Evangeline Lily (Actress and Author), Rick Hansen (famous track and field athlete as a paraplegic), and Kim Campbell (former Prime Minister Of Canada). At UBC, there are 41 degrees with several programs to choose from, with an acceptance rate of 51.4%. The University Of British Columbia has been making a global impact as it is ranked number one in climate action. It also ranks first for life below water, which is for generating new knowledge and creating solutions to conserve the oceans, sea, and marine wildlife. Overall, The University of British Columbia is well-known as many students in and out of Canada apply.

University of Ottawa

Located in the heart of the capital of Canada, this university offers programs in French (the second language of Canada) and English. The University of Ottawa is the only university with a bilingual medical faculty. uOttawa has 23 research and institutes promoting research collaboration. It generates almost three-hundred and fifty million dollars in research revenue annually! uOttawa is known to have a plethora of alumni who work for the Canadian Government as politicians, lawyers, and premiers. It runs the fifth largest co-op placement in Canada.

McGill University

McGill University is located in Montréal, Québec, a predominantly French-speaking province. Although McGill offers courses in English, Ernest Rutherford's Nobel prize-winning research on the nature of radioactivity was conducted at McGill. Another interesting fact is of a past professor from McGill named Charles Taylor. who taught from 1961 to 1997. During this time, the professor ran in three federal elections. His most famous election was when he went against Pierre Trudeau in 1965. McGill is known for the following programs: engineering, dentistry, linguistics, and biological sciences. As of 2021, McGill has an acceptance rate of 48.9%.

McMaster University

McMaster University is known for its competitive and difficult Health Science program. It is known to have a very low acceptance rate of 10%. Health Sciences is a popular pre-med program. To get into this program at McMaster, a cut-off average of 90% is mandatory, as well as a supplementary application. These two factors determine the acceptance into the program. With over four thousand students applying, only 240 students are accepted each year. McMaster also has great research opportunities, laboratories, and co-op placements.

Dalhousie University

Located in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Dalhousie is one of Canada’s oldest universities. The university has several parks and islands nearby, and it is one of the most popular universities in Nova Scotia. Dalhousie has amazing programs like Agricultural Sciences, Engineering, and Geosciences. It is known to have a great finance program as well. Dalhousie is known to be the best party school on the East coast. It is a big university with roughly nineteen thousand full-time and part-time students. Data from student reviews have demonstrated a very good quality of teaching from professors, good housing services, and overall great quality of life.

A tip for if you are applying internationally is to consider the following when deciding where you want to attend: location, tuition, and student support. Make sure the university fits your needs and ideals. These were just quick rundowns of a few universities. For more information, click the university you are most interested in.

University Of Toronto

University Of British Columbia







"Charles Taylor." About McGill. 26 Mar. 2018. Web. 30 May 2021

Maclean's October 8, 2020. "Canada's Best University Engineering Programs: 2021 Rankings." Macleans.ca. 08 Oct. 2020. Web. 30 May 2021.

Rawal, Bhavya. "University Of Toronto [U OF T], Toronto Admission, Criteria & Application Deadlines 2021." University Of Toronto [U OF T], Toronto Admission, Criteria & Application Deadlines 2021. 07 May 2021. Web. 30 May 2021.

S.L.U, Course Guru. "29 Rankings of Dalhousie University & 274 Student Reviews 2021." LanguageCourse.Net. Web. 30 May 2021.

"University of Ottawa." University Of Ottawa. Times Higher Education (THE), 20 May 2021. Web. 30 May 2021.

"University of Toronto: Tuition and Profile." Macleans.ca. St. Joseph's Communications, 2021. Web.

"Who We Are." About McGill. 2021. Web. 21 May 2021.