With the data-driven approach to decision-making and problem-solving across industries ranging from business, advertising, sports, entertainment, and medicine becoming more and more essential, the need for qualified Data Scientists has never been more pronounced.

Massive amounts of data are being generated and collected every day across the globe, and there is a need to study, apply and develop methods to gain valuable information from this data. This is where the Data Scientist comes in. Their expert knowledge and skills are required to understand, predict and improve decisions and processes, based on crucial insights extracted from this data.

According to Canada Big Data Consortium, not only has the number of qualified Data Scientists doubled in the last four years but there is still a shortage of around 19,000 of these professionals in Canada. Further, it is predicted that there will be more than four million data science-related jobs available in North America within the next five years.

With Canada offering one of the strongest economies in the world, an exceptional standard of living, and first-rate education, this country is an excellent choice for students wishing to pursue their tertiary education in data science.

Ontario is Canada’s most populated province, home to Canada’s capital, Ottawa, and boasts a number of exceptional universities.

Today, we look into some of the best universities for data science in Canada’s province of Ontario.

Top Schools Offering Data Science in Ontario

1. University of Toronto

Founded in 1827, the University of Toronto (U of T) is set in the center of Toronto, Ontario, one of the most diverse and dynamic cities in the world. This prestigious academic institution is ranked as the best university in Canada, and as one of the top 20 universities in the world by U.S. News & World Report. U of T has three campuses: Mississauga, Scarborough, and St. George.

Blending inviting green spaces and historical architecture, the St. George campus is home to U of T’s Faculty of Arts & Science, where students are able to complete an Honours Bachelor of Science, with a specialization in Data Science.

U of T is among the best data science universities in Ontario. Its Data Science Specialist program offers a range of advanced courses in computer science and statistics and aims to develop graduates for a career in the data science industry or for postgraduate studies in data science, statistics, or computer science.

The program consists of three fundamental aspects: expertise in statistical reasoning, methods, and inference, in-depth training in computer science, and the application of statistics and computer science in order to analyze large-scale, complex datasets, and the skills to communicate the results of these analyses

2. University of Ottawa

Canada’s capital city of Ottawa ranks among the best cities in Canada and boasts the picturesque downtown campus of the University of Ottawa (uOttawa). U.S. News & World Report ranks uOttawa as one of the top 10 universities in Canada, and one of the top 100 universities in the world.

uOttawa’s Faculty of Engineering offers an Honours Bachelor of Science in Computer Science (Data Science). This program, which is offered in both English and French, aims to provide students with plenty of practical, “hands-on” experience through various projects as well as a Data Science Laboratory.

uOttawa proudly announces a 92.8% employment rate two years after graduation, and career opportunities for graduates of the program include Business Intelligence Analyst, Artificial Intelligence, Public Policy Development, and, of course, Data Scientist.

3. University of Waterloo

Founded in 1957, the University of Waterloo (UWaterloo) is rated as one of the top 10 universities in Canada by U.S. News & World Report, and the number 1 university in Canada for experiential learning and employer-student connections.

UWaterloo is an outstanding data science school in Ontario. Its Cheriton School of Computer Science offers undergraduate students the Bachelor of Computer Science in Data Science, while their Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science offers a Bachelor of Mathematics in Data Science. Both these data science programs include core mathematical subjects like algebra and calculus, as well as courses in statistical and machine learning, computing systems, database management, statistics, and data analytics.

The Master’s of Data Science and Artificial Intelligence is available to students with an existing Honours Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) in data science, statistics computer science, mathematics, or a related field. This postgraduate program runs over 12 months full-time, or 36 months part-time.

For students looking for a research-based thesis Master’s program, UWaterloo offers the Master’s of Mathematics (MMath) in Data Science. This program has the same entry requirements as the MDSAI but is required to be completed within 16 to 24 months, and consists of four courses and a thesis.

4. Western University

Canada’s most beautiful university, the University of Western Ontario (Western University), is ranked among the 1% of educational institutions in the world.

Founded in 1878, Western’s idyllic campus in London, Ontario boasts a combination of Gothic-style buildings and modern, LEED-certified structures.

Western’s Master of Data Analytics is a one-year professional master’s program consisting of two terms of on-campus courses followed by four months of Experiential Learning. The MDA aims to produce graduates ready for an analytics-focused career and offers a customized experience tailored to suit the individual student’s interest in a specialty field. The three specialty fields that students can choose from including Artificial Intelligence, Generalist and, Finance, Banking and Insurance.

The Experiential Learning opportunity, which is often a paid experience working in the industry, allows students to use the technical skills they learned over the first eight months of the program and apply them in a real-world setting.

5. Carleton University

Carleton University is yet another one of the best data science universities in Ontario. Ranked as one of the top 20 universities in Canada by U.S. News & World Report, it is Canada’s Capital University. Based in the capital city of Ottawa, Ontario, Carleton was founded in 1942 as a private college serving returning World War II veterans.

The Carleton University Institute for Data Science (CUIDS) offers postgraduate students the collaborative master’s in data science. Data Science at Carleton University is not offered as a stand-alone program, but rather as a specialization taken in combination with a participating master’s degree. The participating master’s degrees include economics, computer science, communication, business, engineering, geography, and health science.

CUIDS is in the process of working towards offering a technical master’s degree and a Ph.D. in Data Science in the near future.

Data Scientists turn messy, meaningless data into enlightening insights that support important decision-making. As data continues to be collected on a massive scale, there is an urgent demand for Data Scientists in almost every industry, from finance, business, marketing, sports, healthcare, and more. The ability to collect, manage, understand and analyze data is essential, and the demand for qualified Data Scientists is growing. With the significant number of top-class universities in Ontario that offer a wide variety of exceptional qualifications in data science, Canada is a great choice for budding Data Scientists. Considering the vast number of data science career opportunities that currently exist, and the exponential growth that is anticipated within the next few years, it certainly seems that Ontario, and Canada, is the place to be for Data Scientists!


We hope this article on the best data science universities in Ontario was helpful. Feel free to check out the Available Programs for International Students and learn more about studying abroad.

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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