Immigration. Travel. Living.

Best Canadian Universities for Foreigners (how to apply, costs, programs)

Every year, Canada is becoming an increasingly popular destination among international students, making healthy competition for neighboring America.

Today, there are over 100 universities in Canada that accept foreigners for study. They offer professional education, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs.

Particular attention of students is attracted by the five leading universities in the country. These universities have the best reputation and provide foreigners with many additional bonuses as studying in other countries, excellent internships, scholarships, and comfortable living conditions. 

Top Canadian Universities by QS World University Rankings

The British consulting company Quacquarelli Symonds has been ranking higher education institutions since 2004. When compiling ratings, QS takes into account such parameters as the activity of research activities, the opinion of teachers about university graduates, the level of training of teachers, the degree of involvement of the university in the process of internationalization of education.

The list of the best universities in Canada for the academic year 2020 – 2021, according to the QS study, is as follows:

  1. University of Toronto;
  2. McGill University;
  3. University of British Columbia;
  4. Université de Montréal;
  5. University of Alberta.

University of Toronto

City: Toronto

Median Tuition: $ 34,780 per year

QS 2021 rank: 25th 

The University of Toronto is Canada’s best research and most recognized institution. Boasting a scenic campus with state-of-the-art facilities and equipment for students, the University of Toronto is particularly strong in disciplines such as physiology, anatomy, health, geography, and sports. Many other subjects are taught here as well. Also, the university is the Canadian leader in the level of employment of graduates. It has an excellent reputation with national and foreign employers.

McGill University

City: Montreal

Average Tuition Cost: $ 11,490 per year

QS 2021 rank: 31st

As one of the most prestigious universities in Canada, McGill University is also one of the most international institutions. Students from 150 countries of the world study here. Natural sciences, engineering, and medicine are conducted at a high level at the university. The Faculty of Humanities and Arts also attracts much attention from students. With 50 research centers and institutes, and the largest number of doctoral students in Canada, McGill University maintains the title of the best research university in the country.

University of British Columbia

City: Vancouver and Okanagan

Average Tuition: $ 11,990 per year

QS 2021 rank: 45th

The University of British Columbia is another university with an excellent reputation, great scientific potential, and outstanding international teaching staff. University students study on two green, picturesque campuses with their libraries, science laboratories, concert halls, educational farms, and sports centers. Students here are offered a wide range of programs, the most powerful of which are in the fields of mining, geography, and sports. Besides, the University of British Columbia is ranked in the world’s top 40 in terms of graduate employability.

Université de Montréal

City: Montreal

Average Tuition Cost: $ 8,186 per semester

QS 2021 rank: 118th

As one of the largest francophone universities in the world, the University of Montreal is renowned in the scientific community for its cutting-edge research in biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, and medicine. In particular, the laboratories of this university conduct very important research on new methods of fighting cancer. Also, the university includes unique schools of kinesiology and optometry. Some academic and research grants are available to foreign students. Montreal’s 16 faculties and schools offer 250 undergraduate and 350 graduate programs across a wide range of fields to students. There are also options for studying abroad at partner universities in 50 countries of the world.

University of Alberta

City: Edmonton

Average Tuition Cost: $ 17,150 per year

QS 2021 rank: 119th

The University of Alberta is located in historic Edmonton and is surrounded by the beauty of the province of the same name, snow-capped mountains, and pristine lakes. Foreign students are offered several hundred study programs and various options for financial support. A wide variety of disciplines can be studied here, from art and education to law and pharmaceuticals. The University of Alberta Business School is the oldest in Canada.

University Study: Programs and Degrees

At the university you can get a degree:

  • Bachelor’s degree (3-4 years).
  • Master’s degree (1-2 years after the bachelor’s degree);
  • Ph.D. doctors (4-6 to complete);
  • Professional programs (4 years) are also available. They allow you to get a profession in medicine, dentistry, law, etc.

Many universities offer not only a traditional master’s degree but also business schools, where you can take an MBA program.

Canadian universities are harder to graduate than colleges. It is due to the large volume of theoretical materials that must be studied and handed over on time. According to statistics, less than half of students can complete a bachelor’s course in 4 years, most of them take 5-6 years.

Canadian universities create comfortable living and learning conditions for foreigners. Training and support programs allow you to quickly adapt and start at the appropriate level.

After graduation, students have the right to stay in the country for 1-3 years to look for work and obtain a work visa.

Tuition fees in Canada

Studying at a university in Canada is about 15-30% cheaper than in England or the USA. But still, it is quite expensive.

The minimum cost is from 24,000 CAD per year.

It should also be noted that approximately 12,000 CAD will be spent on room and board.

Tuition fees can vary significantly in different provinces of the country.

How to apply to universities in Canada

To enter a Canadian university, the following documents are required:

  • Certificate of secondary education with a good GPA. In specialized subjects, grades should be maximum.
  • Language proficiency certificate. If you are applying to an English-speaking university, then TOEFL (86–88 iBT points) or IELTS (6.5–7 points); if in French, then DALF or internal university test.
  • Completed application form.

Some universities ask you to write a motivation letter or essay. Others may require letters of recommendation from teachers. Additional exams and tests must be passed on medical programs.

Another option to become a student at a Canadian university is to enroll in a preparatory course. Not only those under 18 come here. Also, Foundation is an excellent way to improve language and specialized subjects. Training lasts for one year. In case of good academic performance, the student can expect to be admitted even to the best universities in Canada.

Documents to the university must be submitted from 8 to 12 months before the start of studies. Consideration lasts from one month to six months.

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