Recently, Maclean’s Magazine released its 2017 rankings of Canadian universities across eight popular study areas: Engineering, Biology, Computer Science, education, environmental science, medicine, mathematics, nursing and psychology. Read on to find out more about the best universities in Canada to study Engineering.
20. Laval University (tie)
Université Laval, located in Québec City, has the distinction of being both the oldest centre for higher education in Canada (it was established as a seminary in 1663, and granted royal charter in 1852), and the first institution in North America to offer higher education in French. In terms of its programs, the University offers over 500 undergraduate and graduate programs to more than 35,000 students.
The Faculty of Science and Engineering builds its programs around industry needs. The Faculty has 12 departments, nine of which are directly related to Engineering. Opportunities for hands-on learning are plentiful, as students are encouraged to develop projects for design competitions. Other faculties of Laval University offer engineering-related programs as well — including the only Forestry Engineer program in Canada, where students learn in a “teaching and research forest”.
20. Dalhousie University (tie)
Community spirit is strong at Dal, as the locals call it: the university was created in 1818 to make postsecondary education universally accessible to all classes of people. To this day the school maintains an inclusive, interdisciplinary focus and strong ties to the surrounding community. While Dal is big on research, teaching at Dal is also highly regarded: the university has more than fifty Canadian Research Chairs, more than any other university in Atlantic Canada.
The Faculty of Engineering offers undergraduate degrees in eight traditional disciplines: Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Industrial Engineering, Materials Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Mineral Resource Engineering. However, the faculty comes into its own with regards to Graduate studies. Master of Engineering, Master of Applied Science, and PhD degrees are offered in 15 disciplines, several of which are only available at graduate level. These include Fisheries Engineering, Internetworking, Food Science and Technology Engineering, and more.
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The University of Saskatchewan has historically been regarded as an agricultural university. While this is still true today, the U of S is a leader in many other forms of science and technological research. And it’s not just a research intensive university: smaller class sizes mean closer working relationships with award-winning faculty.
The University of Saskatchewan’s Engineering Faculty is more than 100 years old, and while it started small — with six students in 1912 — it is now an important part of the university’s program offerings. Undergraduate students may pursue Bachelor of Engineering degrees in any of eight disciplines, while Master’s, Post-Graduate Diploma, and PhD degrees are offered in seven disciplines at the graduate level.
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17. Simon Fraser University (tie)
SFU has eight faculties and more than 100 undergraduate programs available, as well as a wide range of graduate and continuing education programs. The school offers nearly 200 work placement programs both nationally and internationally. Because of this, SFU’s graduates are now widely-understood by employers to have the requisite experience, skills, and attitudes that are in high demand.
The School of Engineering Science at SFU is part of the Faculty of Applied Sciences. Undergraduates can pursue study programs in five disciplines, while graduate studies are focused in six core research areas. A mandatory co-op program at the undergraduate level enables students to gain work experience while studying — the school boasts that 86 percent of graduates obtained their first job through contacts made in co-op placements. The School also offers a Concurrent Bachelor’s-Master’s program, providing a fast-track option for top students who wish to continue graduate studies at SFU.
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The University of Ontario Institute of Technology is one of the newest post-secondary schools in the country. Founded in 2002, UOIT was created with the strategic purpose to match a technological education to the market-driven needs of employers. The technologically-enriched collaborative learning environment also stresses environmental innovation.
The Faculty of Engineering and Applied Sciences is as cutting-edge as the rest of this future-focused school. In its own words, the Faculty aims “to ensure graduates are prepared to be leaders in tomorrow’s workplace” with a focus on innovation in areas such as transportation, robotics, and public policy, to name just a few. Undergraduates can take advantage of a variety of paid internship and co-op opportunities while pursuing one of six Bachelor programs. In terms of graduate studies, Masters degrees — in Applied Science (preparing students for Research and Development careers) and Engineering (preparing students for careers in industry) — and PhD degrees are available in four disciplines.
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Concordia is a comprehensive university with over 500 programs at both the graduate and undergraduate level. The school is home to state-of-the-art centers of research in the midst of some of Montreal’s best museums and nightclubs. Concordia is a forward thinking, diverse institution in a bustling urban environment.
The six departments of Concordia’s Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science offer more than 50 undergraduate and graduate degrees and certificates, including new Bachelor and Masters degrees in Aerospace Engineering. Students are encouraged to join a group and develop projects that solve real-world problems — for example, the student society’s satellite and rocketry division recently won prizes at major competitions.
14. York University (tie)
York University is located north of Toronto and is Canada’s third-largest public university with nearly 60,000 students. With over 5000 courses spread across 11 faculties in schools, there’s something for nearly everyone at York U. The school maintains state-of-the-art facilities and some excellent research funding, including the Sherman Health Sciences Research Centre, which specializes in biomechanics and robotics.
The Lassonde School of Engineering at York University offers nine graduate and 11 undergraduate programs in four departments. The focus throughout these programs is on practical experience, and design projects form an important part of the curriculum. Co-op opportunities also abound here; the School has links with 200 corporate, non-profit, and start-up employers. The school aims to be a leader in alternative education practices — its new $115 million facility has 18 teaching labs, eight active learning labs, and no lecture halls.
14. Université du Québec à Montréal (tie)
UQAM is part of a network of 10 institutions across the province, under the umbrella of the Université du Québec. It is one of Montreal’s French universities, serving more than 43,000 students across six faculties and a school of management. It is known for its student activism, and was founded in 1969 after the merger of Montreal’s fine arts school, a classical college, and several smaller insitutions.
UQAM’s Engineering programs are offered through the Faculty of Science. Main offerings at the graduate and undergraduate level include Software Engineering and Microelectronics Engineering. Study programs are available in French only, and UQAM is a popular study destination for French-speakers from around the world.
Université de Montréal is highly sought after for both undergraduate and graduate studies, with a population of 35,000 and 12,000 respectively. The school is surrounded by lush greenery, and though somewhat removed from the downtown core of Montréal, students are never too far from the action. The surrounding neighborhood of Côte-des-Neiges is made up of countless cafés, bars, and restaurants, and many student apartments and residences.
The Engineering Faculty of the Université de Montréal is its own school — École Polytechnique. This school offers graduate and undergraduate training, and is renowned worldwide for its research. It offers undergraduate programs in 12 disciplines, and 16 specializations in graduate studies. While the main teaching language is French, certain courses may be taken in English at partner universities, and doctoral students may complete a complete PhD in English. With a huge spread of practicum and internship placements, the school is a good fit for students who are looking for hands-on experience and a credential that is widely recognized for excellence.
11. Western University (tie)
Western University is a leading research university in many fields — including health sciences, wind engineering, neuroscience, and biomaterials. The school offers more than 400 specializations, majors, and minors at the undergraduate level. It also offers more than 160 programs at the Masters and Doctorate levels. Western University is made up of 82 buildings over 1,200 acres across London, Ontario.
Western Engineering offers nine study programs and four accelerated study programs to its undergraduates. Undergraduate students may also choose to pursue dual degrees, of which Western has two types: Combined and the Concurrent. Both offer students the opportunity to graduate with two degrees in less time than it would take to complete each separately. Graduate studies are also important here: the current graduate prospectus states there are 413 international graduate students in the faculty, compared to 307 domestic graduate student. Consequently, it is one of the few faculties in Canada to have a majority of international students. The faculty is also active in the local community — it recently partnered with the Ontario Science Centre on The Wild Weather exhibit, an interactive exhibit to educate Ontarians about severe weather.
11. University of Ottawa (tie)
The University of Ottawa is the world’s largest bilingual University, offering almost 500 specializations, majors, and minors at the undergraduate level. Also on offer are more than 150 Masters, Doctorate and Graduate Certificate programs. Few schools in Canada can claim this kind of diversity and choice, spread through 10 faculties. The school also values providing students with external opportunities: yearly audits of its programs proclaim a 97 percent after-graduation placement rate.
Program diversity is a key feature of the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Ottawa — programs are available in eight disciplines at both the undergraduate and PhD levels, and in 11 disciplines at the Masters level. Of these, several are not offered at other institutions on this list. Study programs are also flexible: it is possible to add an Engineering Management and Entrepreneurship or Computing Technology option to most engineering and computer science programs. The faculty also hosts Ontario’s second-largest co-op program, boasting a placement rate of up to 97 percent.
The University of Victoria has a reputation for groundbreaking research that has carried itself around the world. Students remark that a small teacher-student ratio and an emphasis on co-op and practical experience with the outside community make UVic a good educational investment.
UVic has seven programs in its Engineering Faculty — Biomedical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Software Engineering. Numerous specializations are offered within each of these broad programs. In addition to its Maclean’s ranking, the university was also ranked third in Canada by science news website Science Watch.
Ryerson University has always maintained a polytechnic focus. But fairly recently the University began to reinvent itself in the realm of business incubation and innovation. Ryerson is also a truly urban university, so don’t expect sprawling green grass and colonial buildings: the school is located in the middle of Toronto’s financial district.
Ryerson’s Faculty of Engineering and Architectural Science offers a considerable selection of study programs — 10 at the undergraduate level, and 11 at the graduate level. Many of these focus on innovation in addition to traditional Engineering disciplines. For example, the Professional Masters Diploma (PMDip) in Energy and Innovation prepares graduates for careers in an evolving Canadian energy sector. Ryerson also operates a dedicated program for supporting women in Engineering study programs and careers.
McMaster has a look and feel reminiscent of the old world. One of the founding members of the U15 (Canada’s Association of top research universities) McMaster has a well-deserved reputation as a foremost research institution moving billions of dollars through the Canadian economy every year. The school regularly scores in the top 100 globally and is a top 10 Canadian school.
McMaster’s Faculty of Engineering is a powerhouse. It is separated into two schools — the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and the W. Booth School of Engineering Practice and Technology. The former manages seven departments, two graduate schools, and two unique five-year undergraduate programs (Engineering & Management, and Energy & Society), while the latter offers seven undergraduate and five graduate programs with small class sizes and a focus on student group work.
The University of Calgary is located in Canada’s rapidly booming energy capital. Not surprisingly, engineering and energy-related disciplines and business programs prosper here — helped by significant private sector funding — but it is also a center for political science and public policy.
The Schulich School of Engineering at the University of Calgary offers eight undergraduate degree programs, and 24 graduate programs. Within these, students can pursue highly specialized concentrations in areas such as Mechatronics Engineering, Petroleum Engineering, Energy and Environment, and more. The School has a mandate towards internationalization — more than six percent of students in the School are international, and the university is aiming to increase this to 10 percent. The School also describes itself as a leader “in integrating sustainability into engineering education” — a hot topic in the Canadian Engineering industry — and boasts “more female students and faculty than the national average.”
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Queen’s University is a Canadian icon. Located in Kingston Ontario, the school is known for its old world architecture, a vibrant student life, and outstanding programming and research. Neo-Gothic limestone study halls — most from the 19th century — dot this neighborhood full of students, artists, researchers and academics.
Queen’s Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science is home to five departments, Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Mechanical and Materials Engineering, and Mining, offering ten study programs. These specialized programs include subjects not widely offered across Canada — such as Mathematics Engineering, Engineering Physics, and Robotics & High-Tech Communications. While access to popular Engineering programs is competitive at some universities, Queen’s guarantees that all undergraduate Engineering students who pass all their courses in first year can enter their program of choice.
McGill has become an epicentre for research and instruction compelling countless bright students from all over the globe. Home to 11 faculties and 12 professional schools, McGill offers its 38,000 students a choice of over 300 programs over two campuses. McGill’s main buildings sit at the heart of the vibrant downtown core of Montreal, and students at this academic and cultural icon are never far from off-campus excitement.
McGill’s Engineering Faculty offers nine undergraduate programs, in addition to graduate degrees and diplomas in eight study areas. Research plays a big part of the Faculty, and students are encouraged to get involved through summer programs and co-op placements. There is also a strong focus on student life within the Engineering Faculty, whose students are “a close-knit and spirited group on campus”. Frequent student activities and dedicated initiatives to encouraging women in Engineering make McGill a top destination for students.
Located in Edmonton, University of Alberta is the province’s leading research and education institution. Largely known for engineering, science, and medicine, the university also offers more than 400 programs in 18 faculties. Considered a top five university in Canada, and in the top 100 globally, the school combines excellent instruction, state-of-the-art facilities, well-funded programs, and world-renowned research.
For more than 100 years, Engineering has played a key role in the University of Alberta’s study programming. The Faculty’s five departments offer 21 programs, in specializations including Biomedical Engineering (in collaboration with the Faculty of Medicine), Civil & Environmental Engineering, Mining & Petroleum Engineering, and more. The university can boast the second-largest Engineering co-op program in Canada, with more than 1,400 paid placements available for students each year. Cutting-edge facilities include the Micromachining and Nanofabrication Facility, Integrated Nanosystems Research Facility, and the National Institute for Nanotechnology.
UBC has an international reputation for leading research and academic programs at all levels, landing it consistently in one of the world’s top 50 spots. 14 faculties offer more than 200 programs in undergraduate, graduate and continuing education studies. Located on a large peninsula in Vancouver, the campus looks and feels like a small city.
UBC’s Faculty of Applied Sciences (Engineering) offers programs in 21 disciplines at the undergraduate and graduate levels. All undergraduate programs lead to a Bachelor of Applied Science (BASc) degree. Graduate studies include programs for industry professionals seeking to upgrade their experience, as well as programs for individuals wishing to pursue research careers. Studying Engineering at UBC isn’t all work and no play, however — every year, students get together with professors and industry mentors to build a robotic sailboat, and their efforts have won the International Robotic Sailing Regatta for the last three years.
The University of Waterloo is traditionally recognized as a science and engineering giant. It’s not just a think tank however; the school incubates and drives innovation in the Technology Triangle, a network of over 1000 tech companies in the area. Meanwhile, Waterloo has the largest co-op program in the world with more than 19,000 participating students in more than 120 co-op programs.
This institution claims to have the biggest Engineering school in Canada, with more than 9,100 students enrolled in 2015. With 14 undergraduate programs and 37 graduate programs, and some of the most innovative and well-funded facilities in Canada, Waterloo draws students from all over the world. Through a wide variety of co-op programs alternating with in-class education, undergraduate students may gain up to two years of paid work experience before graduation. Graduate students have plentiful opportunities to partner with local businesses to develop projects, and all students have access to the largest student design centre in North America.
With a global name for itself, the University of Toronto is a big-league player. It consistently ranks as one of the top 50 public universities in the world and its reputation as a research institution brings countless accolades. It is also a big institution, with more than 8,000 faculty and nearly 60,000 students over three campuses: in downtown Toronto (St. George campus), Mississauga, and Scarborough. The university’s popularity is reflected in an international student body comprised of students from over 150 countries.
U of T has dominated Engineering studies in Canada since 1873. The Faculty of Applied Sciences and Engineering is massive, with almost 8,000 students pursuing undergraduate and graduate programs in 16 campus buildings and one nearby aerospace facility. Undergraduates may pursue a study program in one of eight core study areas (Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Industrial Engineering, Materials Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Mineral Engineering), or in one of eight specializations within Engineering Sciences (Aerospace Engineering, Biomedical Systems Engineering, Electrical & Computer Engineering, Energy Systems Engineering, Engineering Math, Statistics & Finance, Engineering Physics, Infrastructure Engineering, and Robotics). Graduate students have a choice of innovative specializations in research and professional degrees, including Sustainable Aviation, Advanced Water Technologies & Process Design, and a collaborative program in Engineering Education, among others.
Maclean’s ranks institutions in five broad categories (students, faculty, resources, student support, and reputation), according to 14 weighted performance indicators, in order to create this list.
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