Top 20 Universities in Canada for International Students 2024

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top 20 universities in canada

Canada is one of the topmost study-abroad destinations for international students. And why not? The country houses some of the top universities in the world, such as the University of Toronto and McGill University. More than 8 lakh students from around the world had active Canadian student visas in 2022. So if you are also planning to pursue your higher education in the country, then this blog will help you discover the top 20 universities in Canada for foreign students. Along with that, we will also cover aspects like tuition fees, admission requirements, application process, and so on. Read on to know more!

Number of Universities in Canada100+
Top UniversitiesUniversity of Toronto, McGill University, University of British Columbia, University of Alberta, University of Waterloo
Tuition FeesCAD 21,000 – 36,100 per year
Living CostsCAD 5,700 – 18,750 per year
Popular DisciplinesCommercial Banking, Economics, Entertainment, Finance, Research, Technology, Trade
English Language Proficiency Tests RequiredIELTS, PTE, TOEFL, Duolingo English Test
Standardized Tests RequiredGMAT, SAT, GRE

Why Study in the Top 20 Universities in Canada?

So why choose among the top 20 universities in Canada? These institutes provide world-class quality education at affordable fees than the US and UK for international students. Also, Canada ranks 9th in terms of innovation according to the Global Innovation Index, offering numerous innovative courses in sectors like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Aerospace, Biotechnology, and Environment. Plus, these universities are all located in student-friendly cities where students can interact with people from diverse backgrounds. International students can also work part-time for 20 hours per week along with their studies. Once the studies are complete, students can also apply for a work permit that lasts up to 3 years.

Also Read: Cost of Living in Canada: A Guide

List of Top 20 Universities in Canada for International Students

Here’s the list of the top 20 universities in Canada in 2024 for international students along with their global rankings:

UniversityQS World Ranking 2024
University of Toronto21
McGill University30
University of British Columbia=34
University of Alberta111
University of Waterloo112
Western University114
Université de Montréal=141
University of Calgary182
McMaster University=189
University of Ottawa=203
Queen’s University at Kingston209
Dalhousie University298
Simon Fraser University318
University of Victoria (UVic)322
University of Saskatchewan=345
York University353
Concordia University=387
Université Laval=441
University of Guelph=486
Memorial University of Newfoundland641-650

Let’s learn about some of these top universities in detail:

University of Toronto

Source: University of Toronto

The University of Toronto (UoT) is a public research university located in Toronto, Ontario. It is the largest university in Canada by enrollment, with over 90,000 students. One of the most prestigious universities in the world, UoT consistently ranks among the top 10 universities in global rankings. The institute offers a wide range of UG and graduate programs in various disciplines and is home to many world-renowned scholars and researchers.

McGill University

Source: US News and World Report

McGill University is situated in Montreal, Quebec. It is the second-largest university in Canada by enrollment, with over 40,000 students. McGill is a bilingual university, and it offers instruction in both English and French. The university is known for its strong programs in medicine, law, engineering, and business.

Also Read: Top Scholarships For Indian Students To Study In Canada

University of British Columbia

Source: Tripadvisor

The University of British Columbia (UBC) is a public research university in Vancouver, British Columbia. It is the third-largest university in Canada by enrollment, with over 60,000 students. UBC is a global research university, and it is a member of the Association of Pacific Rim Universities and the Universities Research Association. The university is known for its strong programs in science, engineering, and business.

University of Alberta

Source: So German!

The University of Alberta (UoA) is located in Edmonton, Alberta. It is the fourth-largest university in Canada by enrollment, with over 50,000 students. UoA is a comprehensive university, offering a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs in a variety of disciplines. The institute is known for its strong programs in engineering, medicine, and science.

University of Waterloo

Source: Maclean’s

The University of Waterloo (UW) is a public research university situated in Waterloo, Ontario. The institute has over 40,000 students and is known for its strong programs in engineering, computer science, and mathematics. The university also has a large co-op program, which allows students to gain work experience in their field of study before they graduate.

Also Read: Canadian College Scholarships for International Students 2024-25

Top Disciplines/Subjects for International Students

When it comes to choosing a course to pursue in any of the top 20 universities in Canada, students generally lean more towards the following subjects:

  • Commercial Banking
  • Business and Finance
  • Computer Science 
  • Information Technology
  • Healthcare and Life Science
  • Research
  • Data Analytics
  • Entertainment
  • Media and Journalism
  • Economics
  • Psychology
  • Trade etc

Also Read: Canadian Student Visa: Eligibility Criteria, Documents Required, How to Apply 

Cost of Studying in Canada in 2024

The cost of studying in Canada comes to around CAD 13,000 – 35,000 for international students. It varies depending on the course, its level and the university chosen. Courses like arts, humanities, and education are less expensive than STEM courses. Here’s the annual tuition fee for each course level: 

Course LevelTuition Fee (per year)
UndergraduateCAD 12,700 – 19,600
PostgraduateCAD 17,000 – 24,500
MBACAD 6,800 – 14,700
PhDCAD 29,400 – 39,200


Q1. What are the factors to consider when choosing a university in Canada as an international student?

Ans. When choosing a university in Canada as an international student, there are several factors to consider, including:
Academic Reputation
Program offerings
Admission Requirements
Cost of Attendance
Student Support

Q2. What are the application deadlines for international students at Canadian universities?

Ans. Here are the application deadlines for Canadian universities for international students:
Winter Enrolment – Around September 1
Summer Enrolment – Around January 15

Q3. What scholarships and financial aid are available to international students at Canadian universities?

Ans. There are several scholarships and financial aid options available to international students at Canadian universities, such as:
Merit-based scholarships
Need-based scholarships

Relevant Reads:

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Top Colleges in Ottawa Ontario Canada 2024Top 7 Colleges in Canada for MBA without GMAT
Best Universities in Calgary 2024Minimum TOEFL Score Required for Canadian Universities

We hope that this blog gave you a complete overview of the top 20 universities in Canada for international students in 2024. To discover more such study abroad destinations, start following Leverage Edu today, or give us a call at 1800 57 2000 for a free 30-minute counselling session. Thank you for reading!

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