Top 20 institutions in Canada for postgraduates

If you have decided to pursue a postgraduate degree in Canada, you might be wondering which are the top universities and colleges in Canada for a Master’s and which one to opt for. It is a tough decision to make given that Canada university rankings and league tables are highly competitive. 

Added to this is the plethora of information available online and the host of unsolicited advice that will come your way the moment people find out that you have decided to study in Canada. Here, we don’t want to advise you. We will try to equip you with all the necessary details so that you can make an informed decision by yourself.

Canada college rankings

There are three widely recognised rankings of global universities, the QS World University Rankings, the Academic Ranking of World Universities and the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. And several Canadian universities feature in all three lists. Here’s the list of Canadian universities as per the latest data:

The QS World University Rankings

  1. University of Toronto
  2. McGill University
  3. University of British Columbia
  4. Université de Montréal
  5. University of Alberta
  6. McMaster University
  7. University of Waterloo
  8. Western University
  9. University of Ottawa
  10. University of Calgary
  11. Queen’s University at Kingston
  12. Dalhousie University
  13. Simon Fraser University
  14. University of Victoria (UVic)
  15. Université Laval
  16. University of Saskatchewan
  17. York University
  18. Concordia University
  19. University of Guelph
  20. Université du Québec

The Academic Ranking of World Universities OR Shanghai Ranking

  1. University of Toronto
  2. University of British Columbia
  3. McGill University
  4. McMaster University
  5. University of Alberta
  6. University of Montreal
  7. The University of Calgary
  8. University of Waterloo
  9. Dalhousie University
  10. Queen’s University
  11. University of Ottawa
  12. Western University
  13. Laval University
  14. Simon Fraser University
  15. University of Manitoba
  16. University of Saskatchewan
  17. University of Victoria
  18. York University
  19. Carleton University
  20. University of Guelph

Times Higher Education World University Rankings

  1. University of Toronto
  2. University of British Columbia
  3. McGill University
  4. McMaster University
  5. University of Montreal
  6. University of Alberta
  7. University of Ottawa
  8. University of Calgary
  9. Simon Fraser University
  10. University of Waterloo
  11. Western University
  12. Dalhousie University
  13. Université Laval
  14. Queen’s University
  15. University of Manitoba
  16. University of Victoria
  17. York University
  18. University of Guelph
  19. University of Saskatchewan
  20. Carleton University

Leading Colleges

  1. Centennial College
  2. Humber College
  3. George Brown College
  4. Seneca College
  5. Fanshawe College 
  6. Conestoga College
  7. Durham College 

Popular courses in Canada

While making your list of Canadian universities you will also have to bear in mind the courses which are most in demand there. Some of them include agriculture and agri-food, broadcasting and journalism, business, dental hygiene, design, engineering technology, environment, health, hospitality management, information and communications technology, languages and arts, sciences and social services.


Besides choosing colleges in Canada by ranking, the other aspect that needs to be factored in are the fastest growing industries in the world and Canada in particular. At present the top 10 industries, which are booming are data science, finance/banking, manufacturing, healthcare, travel, energy, pharmaceuticals, gaming, artificial intelligence and internet of things. 

Meanwhile, in Canada, the industries which are fast expanding are cryptocurrency, precious metal mining, eCommerce, primary care, software development, gaming, renewable energy, social media, and cybersecurity. 


Everything will now depend on how you would like to arrange these factors – you can pick your colleges in Canada ranking wise, or make a shorter list of top 10 top universities in Canada, or use the expertise of Career2life to pick the best colleges for international students in Canada from among the list. You could also pick your industry first and the related programme and then zero in on a college.

The ball is in your court. You have all the details. And in case you are still confused you can always seek Career2life’s guidance, which has years of expertise in the field of career counselling and helping students pick the right college for them. 

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