Top Universities in Canada for Masters Study – 2023
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Top Universities in Canada for Masters Study – 2023

Written by Mark Bennett

There are 98 universities throughout Canada’s 13 provinces and territories. These are mainly public universities. Private institutions also exist and are accredited by the province’s authorities. Universities Canada maintains a list of Canadian institutions by province.

There are also a number of other higher education institutions such as colleges, but only universities offer Masters degrees.

Universities in Canada educate around 1.4 million students annually. They perform 40% of Canada’s research and development, and represent a total turnover of CAD $38 billion!

The Canadian education system is characterised by its diversity. Canadian universities vary greatly in size, history and their portfolio of courses and specialisms.

However, universities subscribe to provincial government charters and quality assurance frameworks. This ensures Canadian qualifications are recognised worldwide. The Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials also provides resources to ensure this. There are many organisations that accredit professional programmes in subjects like Law and Engineering.

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Top 10 Universities in Canada for Masters Study

We've pulled together three globally recognised university league tables to help reveal the top universities in Canada for Masters study. We've also looked at Canada's own domestic league tables.

Global rankings

The following table gives the top 10 universities in Canada in 2023. Information is based on the current rankings published by Times Higher Education, QS and the Academic Ranking of World Universities.

Top 10 Canadian Universities in 2023
University THE 2023 QS 2023 ARWU 2022
University of Toronto 18 =34 22
University of British Columbia 40 47 44
McGill University 46 31 73
McMaster University 85 152 90
University of Montreal 111 - 101-150
University of Alberta 118 110 92
University of Ottawa =137 =237 201-300
University of Calgary 201-250 242 151-200
University of Waterloo 201-250 154 151-200
Western Univeristy 201-250 =172 201-300

How do rankings work for Masters study?

International rankings use all sorts of metrics to assess universities and they aren't all equally relevant to postgraduate study. That's why we've put together a guide to university rankings for Masters students.

Domestic rankings

Domestic rankings

If you've already settled on studying a Masters in Canada, you’ll probably be more interested in domestic Canadian university rankings.

As their name suggests, these rank universities within Canada. This approach can offer more of a 'level playing field'. Instead of comparing universities across very different national higher education systems, a domestic ranking includes universities operating under similar circumstances.

One of the most widely recognised rankings of Canadian universities is produced by Maclean's, a news and education publisher. They produce annual Canadian university rankings, including a league focussing on postgraduate medicine and research.

Search for a Masters in Canada

Our database includes plenty of Canadian Masters degrees and our listings provide lots of helpful information about specific programmes. Why not take a look?

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Last updated: 24 July 2023