Top 20 Universities in Canada for Postgraduate Study – Global Rankings |
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Top 20 Universities in Canada for Postgraduate Study – Global Rankings

Canada is a popular and welcoming destination for postgraduate study. But what are the best universities in Canada for Masters degrees? And which excel in your particular academic area?

We've pulled together four globally recognised university league tables to help reveal the top Canadian universities. We've also looked at Canada's own domestic league tables.

Canadian universities and colleges in global rankings

The following table gives the top 20 universities in Canada in 2020. Information is based on the current rankings published by Times Higher Education, QS, the Academic Ranking of World Universities and US News.

Each uses its own methodology. You can find out more in our guide to university rankings for postgraduate study.

Top 20 Canadian Universities in 2020
University THE 2020 QS 2020 ARWU 2019 US News 2019
University of Toronto 18 =29 24 20
University of British Columbia 34 51 35 29
McGill University 42 =35 90 =43
McMaster University 72 =140 90 =130
University of Montreal 85 137 151-200 136
University of Alberta =136 113 101-150 137
University of Ottawa =141 =281 151-200 =208
University of Calgary 201-250 233 151-200 178
University of Waterloo 201-250 =173 151-200 =215
Western University 201-250 31 29 =276
Dalhousie University 251-300 280 201-300 =307
Laval University 251-300 - 201-300 =299
Queen’s University 251-300 =173 301-400 371
Simon Fraser University 251-300 =314 301-400 288
University of Manitoba 351-400 601-650 301-400 =397
University of Saskatchewan 401-500 =439 301-400 =538
University of Victoria 401-500 =364 301-400 =272
York University 401-500 511-520 501-600 408
Carleton University 501-600 651-700 701-800 =489
University of Guelph 501-600 571-580 301-400 =423
Information in this table is based on the latest Times Higher Education World University Rankings, QS World University Rankings, Academic Ranking of World Universities and US News Best Global Universities. Visit their websites for more information.

So, how good are the top universities in Canada for Masters study?

Canada does very well in global rankings, with several Canadian universities in the world top 100 for each ranking.

This performance is particularly impressive given the comparatively small size of the Canadian higher education system. Canada has around 100 universities, whereas the neighbouring USA has around 4,000.

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

Global league tables and subject rankings can give you an idea of how the best Canadian universities compare to institutions in other countries. This is useful if you're considering destinations for postgraduate study abroad.

But what if you've already settled on studying a Masters in Canada? In that case, 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?

Last updated - 11/10/2019

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