Canada is an ideal destination for budding engineering students. It houses numerous universities with extensive engineering programs, both at undergraduate and graduate levels. Each year, thousands of students from all over the world enroll in Canada to pursue engineering. This article takes you through the five best engineering universities that Canada has to offer.

Top Engineering Universities in Canada

1. University of Toronto

At number one is the world-famous University of Toronto, a large public university located in Canada’s sprawling metropolis. Founded in 1857 as King’s College, the University of Toronto has consistently maintained a strong reputation for the various programs it offers, including engineering. It comprises a massive cohort of almost 71,000 students and 14,000 members of faculty. The university is very popular with international students, who make up 21% of the student body. The University of Toronto is frequently ranked as the number one Canadian university across a number of rankings. However, even while being a highly-ranked university, its acceptance rate lies at a modest 43%.

The University of Toronto’s engineering school is known as the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering. Originally known as the School of Practical Science, it was established in 1873. Today, it is commonly called by its nickname, Skule. The school is based in the University of Toronto’s downtown campus, where classes take place across sixteen buildings. The school also features The Institute for Aerospace Studies, which is located nearby.

Approximately 5,000 undergraduate engineering students are enrolled at The Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering. The Faculty is split into several departments of engineering, which include computer, electrical, and chemical. It is mandatory for students to acquire a predetermined amount of work experience in order to graduate.

This great engineering school in Canada offers a rich and vibrant student life steeped in tradition. It boasts the oldest engineering society in all of Canada, known as the University of Toronto Engineering Society.  Its oldest tradition is the engineering school cheer, known as ‘Toike Oike’. The school’s mascot is called Ye Olde Mighty Skule Cannon, a tradition dating back to the early 20th century. The school also features an orchestra, known as The Skule Orchestra, as well the Lady Godiva Memorial Bnad (sic), which holds musical events annually.


2. McGill University

At number two on our list of best engineering universities in Canada is McGill University. McGill is a public university established in 1821 in Montreal. Its main campus is located in the city centre near Mount Royal. Its total number of students is about 22,000, making it significantly smaller in size than the University of Toronto. However, the smaller size gives McGill a better student-to-faculty ratio, which lies at 16:1. 37% of its student body is composed of out-of-province students. Its faculty comprises almost 2,500 members. McGill University currently ranks as the third best university in Canada.

McGill’s engineering school is known as one of the best Canadian engineering universities. It offers bachelor’s and postgraduate degrees in several departments of engineering, including chemical, civil, and computer engineering. The Faculty of Engineering also houses McGill’s school of architecture. The Department of Civil Engineering ranks among the top three schools for civil engineering in Canada. Similarly, other departments enjoy top rankings as well. McGill’s engineering graduates are highly sought after by employers. According to recent statistics, 95% of McGill’s engineering graduates are in education or employment within two months of graduation.

Beyond academics, the Faculty of Engineering offers a number of societies, clubs, and events for students to participate in. The overarching society is the Engineering Undergraduate Society, which oversees engineering students’ lives at university and tends to their concerns. It acts as a representative of the undergraduate engineering student body to the Faculty. A similar society is established for architecture students, known as the Architecture Students Association.

The Faculty features several groups and associations aimed at safeguarding the welfare and rights of minority groups and women. For instance, the Queer Engineering club seeks to provide assistance to queer students and communicate their concerns to the university. Similarly, the Promoting Opportunities for Women in Engineering group creates awareness about women and their contributions to the field of engineering and encourages females to pursue courses in STEM.


3. University of British Columbia

The third university on our list is the University of British Columbia (UBC). It is currently ranked number two in Canada and has one of the best engineering programs in Canada. Located in Vancouver, it is set on a large, urban campus. Like the previous two universities on our list, the University of British Columbia is also a public institution. It was founded in 1908. Together with the University of Toronto and McGill University, UBC frequently ranks among the top three Canadian universities each year. Since its inception, it has produced eight Nobel laureates and numerous Rhodes scholars and Olympians. It prides itself on its reputation as a research-oriented institution.

The Faculty of Applied Science, UBC’s engineering school, offers its undergraduate students 13 areas to specialize in. Students will choose their specialization after their first year at university, according to the profession that they want to enter. Among other subjects, UBC offers specialization in civil, mechanical, and electrical engineering. It also offers specialization in unique fields such as geological engineering and materials engineering.

Students at UBC’s engineering school can benefit from the career services that the university provides. It offers an expansive engineering co-op program, linking students to a large number of national and international employers. The program promises to provide students with real-world experience in engineering. The university also offers engineering students to study abroad at one of UBC’s many partner institutions. These include top universities in Asia, Australia, and Europe.

UBC’s admission rate is much higher than the top two engineering universities in Canada. In the previous admissions cycle, it admitted 70% of applicants. Its undergraduate cohort comprises 35,000 students, of which 18% are international students. The university offers a range of sports for its students, including baseball, badminton, and football. It also features a student-run newspaper, radio station, and drama group.


4. University of Waterloo

Located in Waterloo, Ontario, the University of Waterloo is one of Canada’s best engineering universities. It was established in 1957 with a focus on engineering. Its undergraduate student body comprises almost 31,000 students, 21% of whom are international students. The university is based on a 1,000-acre campus inside Waterloo. The campus includes eight student residences. It also features a Student Life Centre, a student center catering to all types of needs of students, ranging from recreational to food and academic. In addition, the University of Waterloo has three satellite campuses located in Southern Ontario.

The University of Waterloo’s engineering school is known as the Faculty of Engineering. It comprises more than 7,000 undergraduate students and ranks among Canada’s biggest engineering schools. The Faculty offers 15 programs to its undergraduate students. The programs range from Chemical and Civil Engineering to Nanotechnology and Systems Design Engineering. The Faculty is split into six departments, including the School of Architecture.  It is also the largest and the best engineering research school in Canada, comprising more than 1600 graduate students.

The Faculty of Engineering provides an engaging student life. The University of Waterloo Engineering Society holds regular events for engineering students throughout the year. The school mascot is called ‘TOOL’- a pipe wrench measuring 60 inches. It makes appearances at the Society’s events. The Faculty holds an extensive range of co-op programs with the aim of providing students with real-world experience. Undergraduate students are afforded the opportunity to pursue two years of paid work experience prior to graduation. The university provides its graduate students with numerous opportunities to partner with national businesses for projects and ventures.


5. University of Alberta

The final university on our list for best engineering university in Canada is another top-ranking Canadian institution. The University of Alberta is a public, research-oriented university in Edmonton, Alberta. It was established in 1908. The university ranks among the top 10 universities in Canada and the top 100 universities around the globe. It contributes significantly to the Canadian economy, adding $12 billion to the economy each year. The university enrolls 39,000 students, 8,000 of which are international students. It has produced more than 50 Rhodes scholars.

University of Alberta’s Faculty of Engineering offers undergraduate study across five departments. After their first year, students can choose to specialize in a wide range of areas, including chemical, civil and electrical engineering. The university boasts Canada’s second-largest engineering co-op program; at least 1,400 paid placements are available for students each year.

The University of Alberta has a high research output, thanks to its five research facilities and millions of dollars in research endowment. It offers state-of-the-art facilities, including the Integrated Nanosystems Research Facility, the National Institute for Nanotechnology, and the Micromachining and Nanofabrication Facility.


We hope that this article on the best engineering universities in Canada was helpful. If you’re interested in studying in Canada, make sure to check out the Available Programs in Canada for International Students!

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hyun is the founder at Global Scholarships. He has received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College as well as $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for his undergraduate degree and has been offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. Read more about his scholarship journey here.

Share this article via

Leave A Comment