Rankings of universities in Canada

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Several publications in Canada release annual rankings of Canadian Universities. Most notably, rankings of universities in Canada is published annually by news magazine Maclean's under the name Maclean's University Rankings which began in 1991.[1] Other publications include online sources such as The World University Rankings and CollegeSage's annual Canadian University Rankings.[2] The primary aim of the rankings is to inform potential undergraduate applicants about Canadian universities based on a range of criteria, including student body characteristics, classes, faculty, finances, library, and reputation. The rankings are split into three categories: schools that focus on undergraduate studies with few to no graduate programs, schools that have both extensive undergraduate studies and an extensive selection of graduate programs and schools that have a professional medical program and a selection of graduate programs.[3] A notable difference between rankings in the United States and Maclean's rankings, however, is that Maclean's excludes privately–funded universities.

In 2012, the Higher Education Strategy Associates published a study ranking Canadian Universities based on research strength. The study ranks Canadian Universities in two broad fields: Science and Engineering, and Social Sciences and Humanities.[4]

Starting in 2014, UniversityHub.ca launched its 2015 University Rankings, which focuses mainly on undergraduate education. These rankings were created from surveying over 1000 undergraduate students and alumni in Canada across 9 key categories. The guide includes rankings, university profiles, and statistical analysis of its own data as well as publicly available data in order to provide students with unique insights.[5] These are available for free to students online.

Top Business Schools – Rankings[edit]

Institution Financial Times Bloomberg The Economist Forbes Maclean's
Queen's University 4
Telfer School of Management – University of Ottawa - - - - -
John Molson School of Business - Concordia University - 5[6] 4[7] - -
Rotman School of Management – University of Toronto 5 18 - - 1*
HEC Montréal – Université de Montréal - - - 2 -
Schulich School of Business – York University - - 1 1 3
Sauder School of Business – University of British Columbia 4 - - 3 1*
Lazaridis School of Business & Economics – Wilfrid Laurier University - - - - -
Ivey Business School – Western University 3 1 - - 4*
Desautels Faculty of Management – McGill University 2 16 - - 7
Alberta School of Business – University of Alberta - - - - 4*
University of Waterloo - - - - 8
Simon Fraser University - - - - 9
Ryerson University - - - - 10

Maclean's rankings[edit]

The data below is from the 2016 Maclean's University Rankings.

Medical/Doctoral Universities[edit]

The top category of universities in Canada are referred to in the Maclean's rankings as "Medical/Doctoral" universities (or major research universities with associated medical schools). They offer a broad range of PhD and other graduate programs and have medical and other professional schools. Below are the most current rankings of these universities.[8]

Rank University
1 McGill University
2 University of Toronto
3 University of British Columbia
4 Queen's University
5 University of Alberta
6 McMaster University
7 University of Western Ontario
8 Dalhousie University
9= University of Calgary
9= University of Ottawa
11 Université de Montréal
12 Université Laval
13 University of Saskatchewan
14 University of Manitoba
15 Université de Sherbrooke

Comprehensive Universities[edit]

Comprehensive universities have a significant degree of research activity and a wide range of programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels, including professional degrees.[9]

Rank University
1 Simon Fraser University
2 University of Waterloo
3 University of Victoria
4 Carleton University
5 University of Guelph
6 University of New Brunswick
7= Memorial University of Newfoundland
7= York University
9 Ryerson University
10= Concordia University
10= Wilfrid Laurier University
12 Université du Québec à Montréal
12= University of Regina
14 University of Windsor
15 Brock University

Undergraduate Universities[edit]

Primarily Undergraduate universities are largely focused on undergraduate education with relatively fewer graduate programs and graduate students.[10]

Rank University
1 University of Northern British Columbia
2 Trent University
3 University of Lethbridge
4 Mount Allison University
5= Acadia University
5= St. Francis Xavier University
7 Saint Mary's University
8 University of Prince Edward Island
9 Lakehead University
10 University of Ontario Institute of Technology
11 Laurentian University
12 Bishop's University
13 University of Winnipeg
14= Université de Moncton
14= St. Thomas University
16 Brandon University
17 Mount Saint Vincent University
18= Cape Breton University
18= Nipissing University


The University of Calgary produced a formal study examining the ranking methodology, illuminating the factors that determined its rank and criticising certain aspects of the methodology. The University of Alberta, the University of Toronto and University of Manitoba have expressed displeasure over the ranking system.[11]

Since September 2006, over 20 Canadian universities, including several of the most prestigious and largest universities such as the University of Toronto, University of British Columbia, University of Alberta, Concordia University, McMaster University and Dalhousie University, jointly refused to participate.[12] University of Alberta president Indira Samarasekera wrote that Maclean's initially filed a "Freedom of Information" request but that it was "too late" for the universities to respond. Samarasekera further stated, "Most of [the universities] had already posted the data online, and we directed Maclean's staff to our Web sites. In instances where the magazine staff couldn’t find data on our Web site, they chose to use the previous year's data."[13]

Canada Top Universities in 2015[edit]

The below table gives you the opportunity to check the rankings of Canada top universities in 2015 arrived upon by ARWU (Academic Ranking of World Universities), QS (Quacquarelli Symonds) and THE (Times Higher Education).[14]

University Location QS (Quacquarelli Symonds) World Rankings 2015 ARWU (Academic Ranking of World Universities) World Ranking 2015 THE (Times Higher Education) World Ranking 2015
McGill University Montreal 25 64 38
University of Toronto Toronto 34 25 19
University of British Columbia Vancouver 50 40 34
University of Alberta Edmonton 96 101–150 137
Université de Montréal Montreal 115 101–150 113
McMaster University Hamilton, Ontario 149 96 94
University of Waterloo Waterloo, Ontario 152 201–300 179
Western University London, Ontario 192 201–300 201–250
University of Calgary Calgary 204 201–300 201–250
Queen's University Kingston, Ontario 206 201–300 251–300
Simon Fraser University Burnaby, British Columbia 225 201–300 251–300
Dalhousie University Halifax, Nova Scotia 277 201–300 201–250
University of Ottawa Ottawa 284 201–300 201–250
University of Victoria Greater Victoria 319 201–300 201–250
Laval University Québec 324 201–300 201–250


  1. ^ Macleans (2008). 2009 Student Surveys. Macleans.ca, on campus. Rogers Publishing Limited. Retrieved on: 2009-05-09.
  2. ^ "CollegeSage" (2013). [1]. Retrieved on 2013-02-06.
  3. ^ Dwyer, M. (November 2006). "Our 16th Annual Rankings: We evaluated 47 Canadian universities, by the numbers and under the microscope." Macleans.ca. Retrieved on: 2009-05-09.
  4. ^ http://higheredstrategy.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/rankings2012.pdf
  5. ^ "UniversityHub.ca" (2015). [2]. Retrieved on 2014-11-09.
  6. ^ http://www.bloomberg.com/features/2015-best-business-schools/
  7. ^ http://www.economist.com/whichmba/full-time-mba-ranking?year=2015&term_node_tid_depth=77632
  8. ^ [3] Macleans.ca
  9. ^ 2016 University Rankings: Comprehensive category results Macleans.ca
  10. ^ 2016 University Rankings: Primarily Undergraduate results Macleans.ca
  11. ^ "Maclean's releases its 20th university rankings". Vancouversun.com. 10 November 2010. Retrieved 2012-06-06. 
  12. ^ Schmidt, S. (2 September 2006). "Universities continue to shun Maclean's ranks." National Post. CanWest News Service. Retrieved on: 2009-05-09
  13. ^ Samarasekera, Indira (2 April 2007). "Rising Up Against Rankings". Inside Higher Ed. 
  14. ^ Top Universities in Canada 2015