Computer science is one of the most financially rewarding degrees worldwide. The field includes artificial intelligence, data science, cloud computing, and more. A computer science degree enables students to overcome technological challenges with groundbreaking solutions.

Canada is one of the best destinations to pursue computer science. Its high-quality education system, reasonable cost of living, and multicultural environment make it an attractive destination for prospective computer science students. Canada is home to the world’s best universities, consistently ranked among the top institutes worldwide. Read on to find the best universities for computer science in Canada based on academic standards, research opportunities, and student satisfaction.

Top Universities Offering Computer Science Programs in Canada

1. University of Alberta 

Did you know the University of Alberta has consistently ranked among the top 200 universities in several university world ranking sites? The university is therefore an excellent option for international students searching for a high-quality yet affordable education. The university offers multiple scholarships for international students, such as the International Leadership Scholarship and International Admission Scholarship.

From an academic perspective, the University of Alberta boasts several Computer Science-related degrees, such as the Bachelor of Science (BSc Specialization) program with a business minor or software practice. Students pursuing a Bachelor of Science can also take advantage of the Science Internship Program (SIP), allowing them to gain practical experience in computer science. The university also offers a Computer Engineering degree, a joint program offered by the Faculty of Science and Engineering.

2. Simon Fraser University 

Simon Fraser University, located in British Columbia, was founded in 1965 by a group of visionary academics who strived to create a different type of university that would stand out as innovative, open, and accessible. Today, its student body consists of students from over 140 countries, offering support services to help international students achieve their academic goals. For example, Simon Fraser University offers numerous entrance awards and bursaries to make education more reasonable for international students.

The university features a School of Computing Science offering several programs ranging from undergraduate to Ph.D. levels. Like the University of Alberta, this institute provides a joint computer engineering program by collaborating with the computing science and engineering departments. Options like Computer and Electronics Design and Computing Science and Linguistics are optimal for students searching for a more innovative degree. These degrees open up options in fields such as artificial intelligence.

3. Carleton University 

Renowned for its collaborative educational approach, Carleton University was first established in 1932 as a college. Later, in 1952, the institute became a full-fledged university and adopted its current name in 1957. The institute takes pride in its renowned alums, including Richard E. Stearns, a computer scientist and winner of the 1993 ACM Turing Award.

Carleton’s School of Computer Science is well-known for its Honors computer science program, which is divided into multiple streams to help students specialize in a specific discipline. Some examples include the Computer Science Computer Game Development Stream and the Computer Science Algorithms Stream. The Bachelor of Computer Science Honors Industrial Applications Internship Option is perfect for students seeking practical experience and a robust degree.

4. University of Calgary 

The University of Calgary is situated in Calgary, Alberta. At first, the university was associated with the University of Alberta, but it emerged as an independent institution in 1969. The university consistently ranks in the 150-200 range worldwide according to the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU). The institute is well-known for its excellence in energy, health, and environmental research. It is a great option for international students seeking high-quality programs, paid work experiences, and other opportunities.

The computer science department offers many programs, from undergraduate to Ph.D. degrees. One example is the Bachelor of Computer Science, a versatile course that prepares students for a career in civil service, the non-profit sector, and the business world. The university is also famous for its research engagement in areas such as data science and visual computing, human-computer interaction, and information and security systems. Apart from excellent computer science degrees, the institute is popular among international students for its generous entrance scholarships and generally affordable education.

5. Dalhousie University 

Dalhousie University is one of Canada’s oldest universities. Founded in 1818, the institute educates nearly 19000 students from 15 countries. Its inclusive environment and essential services and support make it an attractive option for international students pursuing a challenging degree such as Computer Science. For instance, Dalhousie’s Faculty of Computer Science provides numerous financial opportunities including entrance scholarships such as Bachelor of Applied Computer Science, Bachelor of Computer Science, Women in Technology, and Indigenous and African Nova Scotian/African Descent.

The university is also famous for its co-op program, allowing students to build their resumes and explore career options during their education. Prospective undergraduate students can choose from two computer science programs: Applied Computer Science and Computer Science. On the other hand, the Master’s degrees are more research-focused, boasting a highly qualified faculty and robust degree programs. Among its notable alumni is Erik Demaine, who is very popular as a professor of computer science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

6. University of Ottawa 

The University of Ottawa is one of Canada’s bilingual universities, offering degree programs in English and French. Thus, it offers language courses (including, English as a Second Language and French as a Second Language), mentoring services, and other forms of support to international students. This public research institution has gained recognition as one of the top 200 universities worldwide.

Since it is a bilingual university, it offers computer science degrees in both English and French. It also offers students co-op programs, allowing them to gain experience while pursuing their degrees. Apart from Honours BSc with a Specialization in Computer Science, students can pursue joint degrees such as Joint Honours BSc in Computer Science and Mathematics. One of the most unique features of this institute is the accelerated stream through which students can complete their Honours BSc with Specialization in Computer Science and your Master of Computer Science within 5 years.

7. Queen’s University 

Queen’s University, as the name suggests, was founded by the royal charter of Queen Victoria in 1841. Apart from its rich history, the university is an attractive institute for international students because of its high-quality education and inclusive environment. It has a multicultural student body of more than 25,000 students from more than 100 countries.

As an aspiring computer science student, you will find numerous specialization courses such as Artificial Intelligence, Biomedical Computation, and Data Analytics. Similarly, the university offers several targetted Master’s degrees, including a Master of Data Science and Machine Learning and a Master of Digital Product Management. Apart from degree programs, the university offers students research opportunities, allowing them to apply their theoretical knowledge to conduct in-depth research in numerous computer science-related fields. Queen’s University is affiliated with high-tech labs. For instance, the Big-Data Analytics And Management Laboratory focuses on data analytics and artificial intelligence research

8. University of Saskatchewan 

Did you know that the University of Saskatchewan was one of the first universities in the province of Saskatchewan? Dating back to 1907, the university is renowned for its research and innovation, particularly in water, food security, vaccine development, and infectious diseases. In computer science, the university offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs in various domains. The master’s and doctoral programs are thesis-based, where students work under specialized and highly qualified faculty members.

Apart from the top-tier education system, the university is popular because of its generous funding options. For instance, all computer science graduate program applicants are automatically considered for financial support, making education affordable for all students. Even without financial support, the university is quite affordable with a fee of $3,699 per term for the thesis or project-based master’s program.

9. University of Victoria

The University of Victoria is one of the best places to pursue a computer science degree, proven by its number-one rank in Canada for mathematics and computer science. Internationally, it also remains among the top 1% of universities. High-quality education is evident from the university’s list of notable alums. Many alums are filmmakers, musicians, or actors. For instance, Bret McKenzie is a comedian and music supervisor who graduated from the University of Victoria.

The Department of Computer Science offers undergraduate, graduate, and co-op programs covering several computer science domains, such as BSc in Computer Science and software engineering programs. The co-op program is available for master’s and undergraduate degrees, training students to become adept in their fields. The university also offers students research opportunities in Computational Biology, Database and Data mining, and Geometry processing programs. Students can apply their theoretical knowledge in a research setting in cutting-edge laboratories such as Graphics, Artificial Intelligence, Design, and Games (GAIDG) Lab.

The best part about studying at the University of Victoria is the affordable tuition fee and faculty-specific awards. This includes the Alan Wong Memorial Bursary and Gwyn Morgan Bursary.

10. Western University 

Western University is a great option for students who aim to pursue a high-quality education, a meaningful impact, and a rewarding career. Artificial intelligence, biomedical engineering, communication sciences, and astronomy are some of the top programs at Western University.

Prospective bachelor’s students can pursue Computer Science and Engineering or Computer Science and BioInformatics. Apart from these degree programs, students can also minor in software engineering and game development. Graduate programs are more focused, equipping students with targetted skills that align with specific domains. The department also researches Artificial intelligence, software engineering, computer algebra, and several other domains. This research is funded by numerous grants from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Council (NSERC), Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), Ontario Research Fund (ORF), and MITACS.

11. University of Toronto

The University of Toronto was established in 1827 in its former name, the King’s College. With almost 200 years of history, the university established eleven autonomous colleges across its two campuses in Mississauga and Scarborough. There are more than 700 bachelor’s and 200 graduate programs, including computer science in the university. The University of Toronto is the best computer science university in Canada with its high rankings and excellent programs.

It consistently ranked high in local and international rankings, such as the QS World University rankings. The university took 11th place in the ranking by Computer Science subject, guaranteeing that you’re in for a high-quality education at this university. The bachelor’s program is offered on both campuses, managed by the Faculty of Arts and Science.

Meanwhile, the School of Graduate Studies at the University of Toronto offers master’s and Ph.D. programs in Computer Science. Both programs are research-driven, with the Master’s of Science taking up to three years of full-time studies. On the other hand, a Ph.D. takes four to six years to complete for full-time studies.

12. University of Waterloo

Another top university for Computer Science in Canada is the University of Waterloo. This public university was established in 1958, formally separating from the Waterloo College Associate Faculties. Since then, the university has built its campus over 400 hectares of land, with three satellite campuses across the country.

There are six faculties in the university, offering an extensive range of academic programs, including Computer Science. From its first 74 students in the engineering program, the university now enrolls over 42,000. Considering these numbers, you’ll most likely find other international students here, making your stay more preferable.

As for its computer science programs, you can choose from undergraduate or postgraduate degree programs depending on your qualifications. The bachelor’s program typically takes three years to complete, with the first year focusing on mathematics and computer science subjects. For the master’s and Ph.D. studies, the university offers either full-time or part-time studies. Both also require the submission of a thesis on relevant research topics.

13. University of British Columbia

Established in 1908, the University of British Columbia is among the best computer science institutions in Canada. Besides providing a top-caliber education, the university also funds impressive research, around 8,000 per year.

The university has two campuses in the country, with the main campus sitting on a 4,000-kilometer land in Vancouver. It is the home to the largest research libraries in the country, along with Canada’s national lab for nuclear and particle physics. Around 69,000 students, 205 of whom are international students, enjoy the university’s facilities.

For its undergraduate in Computer Science program, the university offers a Bachelor’s in Science and Arts degree program. The two differ in the inclusion of science subjects, such as biology, physics, and chemistry, in the program. However, both programs take four years of full-time studies to complete. As for the master’s program, you can choose between its thesis or essay option. Either can take you to a Ph.D. but the thesis option offers better training on research.

14. McGill University

Formerly known as McGill College, McGill University was established by King George IV in 1821. Its campus is located in Quebec, with three campuses located in downtown Montreal, Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, and Gatineau.

McGill University is also among the most preferred academic hosts of international students. From its student body of almost 40,000, more than 30% came from different countries. The university offers over 300 programs across its five faculties and 14 schools. One of these is the Computer Science program of the School of Computer Science. You can choose from its undergraduate, master’s, and Ph.D. study levels depending on your academic credentials.

In its bachelor’s programs, students learn about fundamental areas, such as algorithms and data structures, programming languages, and methodologies. These equip students to pursue a computer career, which is quite popular these days. After completing a bachelor’s degree program, students can also take a thesis or non-thesis master’s program. If you wish to pursue Ph.D. studies after your master’s, the university encourages you to take the thesis Master’s program first. This can help you prepare for the extensive research requirements of the Ph.D. program.

15. University of Montreal

Université de Montréal or the University of Montreal makes it to the best computer science schools in Canada. This French-speaking public university was established in 1878 and now has 13 faculties and over sixty departments. There are over 67,500 students in this university, with 10,000 of them being international students. The majority of these students are also in undergraduate studies.

It offers over 700 undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs. Among these are the Computer Science programs. The Bachelor of Science program takes three years to finish, with courses taught in either English or French.

As for the master’s program, you can choose between an internship or thesis option. The internship option requires you to complete the course requirements in a company setting. On the other hand, you’ll need to finish the thesis option in the university setting. And if you’re looking to pursue research and teaching, a Ph.D. in Computer Science at the University of Montreal is available for you.

FAQs about Studying Computer Science in Canada

What Are the Employment Opportunities Available for Computer Science Graduates?

Computer science is a versatile degree that is applicable across several domains. Graduates with a computer science degree can apply their technological skills in various fields and sectors, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, some of the most popular professions. For instance, machine learning engineers are skilled individuals who design and implement systems tailored for speech recognition, natural language processing, and computer vision. These systems are critical in various industries, especially healthcare, education, finance, and entertainment.

Besides machine learning, computer science graduates can also work as robotics engineers. This career path involves developing robots capable of performing physical tasks in the manufacturing, construction, agriculture, and surgery sectors. Other possible career paths for computer science graduates include computer forensics and cybersecurity.

We hope that this article on the Best Universities for Computer Science in Canada was helpful. You can find more information about studying in Canada on the Study in Canada Page including several Open Courses in Canada!

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hi! I am Hyun, and I am the founder at Global Scholarships. I've received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College and a $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for my undergraduate degree and was offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. You can read more about my scholarship journey here. If you are interested, you can follow me on Linkedin where I regularly write about scholarship opportunities.

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