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Best universities in Canada for engineering degrees 2023

Explore the best universities in Canada for engineering degrees using data from the Times Higher Education World University Rankings

Best universities in
December 2 2022
electrical and electronic engineering

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Top 6 universities in Canada for engineering degrees 2023

Scroll down for the full list of best universities for engineering in Canada

Canada engineering rank 2023 WUR engineering rank 2023 University City
1 27 University of Toronto Toronto
2 =48 University of British Columbia Vancouver
3 =69 University of Waterloo Waterloo
4 =76 McGill University Montreal
5 101–125 University of Alberta Edmonton
6 176–200 Western University London

Canada provides cheaper study options for international students than most anglophone countries, as well as simpler application processes and more opportunities for permanent residency after graduating.

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In Canada, it is common for undergraduate engineering students to do a foundational first year, where they learn fundamental engineering principles before specialising in a particular field, such as civil, mechanical or chemical engineering in their second year.

Alternatively, if students know which branch of engineering they wish to pursue, many universities offer undergraduate degrees that specialise from the start.

Students will often have to undertake a period of work experience during their degree, and are encouraged to take part in engineering-related clubs and projects. 

Below are the best universities for engineering degrees in Canada.


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5. University of Alberta

The engineering school at the University of Alberta has a common first year, known as the qualifying first year, with a curriculum designed to give students a solid foundation in general engineering.

In their second year, students can choose a more specialised degree path.

Students can also pick from the four-year traditional degree or a five-year co-op. The co-op programme involves supervised work experience.  Specialisations include chemical engineering, engineering physics and software engineering.

The university offers a number of postgraduate programmes in areas such as chemical or materials engineering. During the programme students will study eight courses and complete a research project.

There is also a variety of engineering projects for University of Alberta students to get involved in, including the Autonomous Robotic Vehicle Project. The school hosts several engineering competitions such as the the Alberta Energy Challenge and EngComm.

There’s an incubator space giving students an area to design and develop their ideas, as well as hold meetings with mentors and clients. The Elko Engineering Garage at the school has a maker space and fabrication capabilities, allowing students to produce prototypes.

4. McGill University

McGill is the oldest university in Montreal and one of just three English-language universities in Quebec. 

McGill University has a range of engineering departments, covering biological, chemical, civil, computer, electrical, materials, mechanical, mining, software and bio-resource engineering.

All undergraduate programmes have a strong mathematics and design foundation.

McGill is also home to the Engine Centre of Engineering Innovation and Entrepreneurship, which supports students’ entrepreneurial ideas. Since it began, the centre has coached more than 875 students, collaborated with 480 companies on research and development, and produced more than 100 start-ups.

Engineering students can choose to study abroad during the summer term or participate in an exchange with one of McGill’s partners. Previous students have travelled to Barbados, Panama and Africa, to name a few. There’s also a Mobility Bursary for Exchanges programme to aid students with the costs of living abroad.

Students can join several design teams and projects, including the Aerospace Design Society, Mini Baja Racing, McGill Rocket Team and the Concrete Canoe.

Engineering societies include the Engineering Undergraduate Society, Women in Engineering, Queer Engineer, and the National Society of Black Engineers.


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3. University of Waterloo

The University of Waterloo Engineering School was established in 1957 and has since become Canada’s largest engineering department. 

There are 15 bachelor’s degree programmes in engineering on offer, covering areas such as environmental engineering, nanotechnology and management engineering.

There are also 37 graduate degree programmes, from research master’s to doctoral studies. The school offers hands-on learning at its Engineering Ideas Clinic, which gives students the opportunity to work on real-world engineering projects.

Every year, students are also offered the chance to participate in an academic or cooperative exchange, with previous students travelling to countries including Singapore, Turkey and France.

There are several opportunities for entrepreneurial students at the University of Waterloo. The Entrepreneurship Option is designed for engineering students who want to enhance their technical background with business skills. There’s also the Enterprise Co-op, allowing students to start their own business while earning a co-op credit.

2. University of British Columbia

The University of British Columbia was founded in 1915 and has two main campuses.

Students can choose to study a degree in one of 14 engineering disciplines.

The Okanagan Campus specialises in civil, electrical and mechanical engineering, whereas the Vancouver Campus hosts biomedical, chemical, biological, civil and computer engineering programmes, among others. 

The first year of an engineering degree at UBC is a foundation year, designed to build a broad understanding of mathematics, chemistry and physics. From their second-year students will choose one of the specialised programmes on offer. Throughout their course they will design projects, participate in experiential learning and gain professional experience.

Engineering students at UBC can complete a co-op work term either abroad or in Canada to develop their technical skills. Previous students have travelled to Australia, China, Germany and Japan. During a co-op, students can work with up to five companies, explore multiple industries, and earn up to $80,000 during their degree. The university has more than 4,500 industry partnerships to help students pick the right fit for them.

1. University of Toronto

The University of Toronto is not only Canada’s top university for engineering, but the best university in Canada overall, according to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2023.

The faculty of applied science and engineering has nine departments, including chemical engineering, civil and mineral engineering, electrical engineering and aerospace studies.

If you know which specialisation you want to focus on, you can apply for the declared engineering course. If not, you can join the undeclared or engineering science degree, where you can build a broad foundation before deciding on the best field for you.

Engineering students at the University of Toronto also have the opportunity to travel during their studies. In 2019, one of the many engineering clubs, Blue Sky Solar Racing Team, travelled to the Australian outback as part of the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge. Other students have used the practical experience requirement to take a year abroad in industry, in companies such as Flyability, a drone manufacturer based in Switzerland.


Top universities in Canada for engineering degrees 2023

Click each institution to view its full World University Rankings 2023 results. 

Canada engineering rank 2023 WUR engineering rank 2023 University City
1 27 University of Toronto Toronto
2 =48 University of British Columbia Vancouver
3 =69 University of Waterloo Waterloo
4 =76 McGill University Montreal
5 101–125 University of Alberta Edmonton
6 176–200 Western University London
=7 201–250 University of Calgary Calgary
=7 201–250 Concordia University Montreal
=7 201–250 McMaster University Hamilton
=7 201–250 Memorial University of Newfoundland Newfoundland and Labrador
=7 201–250 University of New Brunswick UNB Fredericton
=7 201–250 University of Victoria Victoria
=13 251–300 Carleton University Ottawa
=13 251–300 University of Montreal Montreal
=13 251–300 Ontario Tech University Ontario
=16 301–400 Lakehead University Ontario
=16 301–400 University of Ottawa Ottawa
=16 301–400 Université du Québec Quebec City
=16 301–400 University of Saskatchewan Saskatoon
=16 301–400 Simon Fraser University Burnaby
=21 401–500 Dalhousie University Halifax
=21 401–500 University of Guelph Guelph
=21 401–500 Université Laval Quebec City
=21 401–500 University of Manitoba Winnipeg
=21 401–500 Toronto Metropolitan University Toronto
=21 401–500 University of Windsor Windsor
=27 501–600 Queen’s University Kingston
=27 501–600 University of Regina Regina
=27 501–600 York University Toronto

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