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Maclean’s Top Universities 2018


Do your homework before applying to university in Canada!  Check out the 2018 Maclean’s University Rankings, which ranks universities according to certain categories.  Maclean’s ranking systems are based on extensive research into student experience, class size, cost, quality of education etc.  Maclean’s is a reliable source of information and even includes photo tours of university campuses.

Comprehensive Universities:

Universities in this category conduct some graduate-level research and offer a wide range of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs.  In 2018, Simon Fraser University (SFU) still holds on to the top position, followed by the University of Victoria in second place, and Waterloo in third.

Here are the Top 10 Comprehensive:

1. Simon Fraser
2. Victoria
3. Waterloo
4. Guelph
5. Carleton
6. New Brunswick
6. Wilfrid Laurier
8. Memorial
8. York
10. Concordia

Primarily Undergraduate

Universities in this category are generally smaller and focus strongly on the undergraduate classroom experience

Mount Allison took the lead this year, followed by UNBC in second place and Trent in third.

1. Mount Allison
3. Trent
4. Lethbridge
5. Acadia
6. St. Francis Xavier
7. Saint Mary’s
9. Lakehead
10. UPEI

Cost for students who move away from home

If you’re looking to study away from your home town, cost is likely to be a big factor.  Maclean’s have ranked universities based on the average cost of tuition, rent, groceries, food on campus, traveling home, books, alcohol, daily travel and extracurriculars for each university. If you’re on a budget, you might want to consider Quebec, which offers a winning combination of lower living costs and top-class universities.  The two best value universities are Université de Sherbrooke, at $11,556.36 per year, and Bishop’s University at $13,925.97. Other Quebec universities appearing in the ten best value study options are Concordia, Université de Montréal, Université Laval and Université du Québec a Montréal (UQAM). The two most expensive universities are in Ontario: University of Toronto at $23,485.34 and Ryerson University  at $23,066.09. Click here for the full list.

Top Universities by reputation

This ranking is based on feedback from university faculty and senior administrators, high school guidance counsellors, and a variety of businesspeople across the country on the quality and innovation at Canadian universities.

The University of Toronto, with an internationally diverse student body of nearly 90,000, 14,000 faculty and a network of almost 600,000 alumni, took the first place in this category. Students from across the globe are attracted to the school’s 700-plus undergrad and almost 300 graduate programs, coupled with its stellar worldwide reputation for research. As an example of the university’s cutting edge tech, the Rotman School of Management’s Creative Destruction Lab is now providing start-ups with access to the world’s only commercially available quantum computers.

See who else ranks in the top 10:

1. Toronto
2. Waterloo
3. UBC
4. McGill
5. Alberta
6. McMaster
7. Western
8. Queen’s
9. Simon Fraser
10. Calgary

Top Universities for Medical/Doctoral

No surprises here – and no change in the Top 3  – McGill ranks again ranks #1, followed by the University of Toronto and then University of British Columbia in 3rd place.


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