Have you ever considered studying at a university in Canada? Canada has hundreds of high-quality universities, of which most do accept international students. Choosing a university is not only about prestige and ranking. It’s about finding the right place for you.
To make things a little easier for you, we’ve mentioned the top universities in Canada in 2022, and we discuss how exactly you can become a student in Canada.
Best Universities in Canada in 2022
1. University of Toronto
The University of Toronto was founded in 1827 and is a public university. The university has three campuses, one of which is located in Mississauga. More than 80,000 students are enrolled at the university.
The university offers undergraduate degrees, postgraduate degrees and doctoral degrees. English is the main language of instruction, but French-language courses are also available. The University of Toronto is one of the top universities in Canada as well as one of the top universities worldwide. It is ranked highly for a number of subjects, including:
- Arts and Humanities
- Social Sciences and Management
- Physical Sciences
- Engineering and Technology
2. University of British Columbia
The University of British Columbia (UBC) is a global center for teaching, learning and research. As one of the world’s top 40 universities, UBC was founded in 1908 and is home to over 65,000 students at its Vancouver and Okanagan campuses.
The university has been recognized for its innovation and commitment to sustainability, ranking second worldwide on QS World University Rankings 2021 list of the most international universities. The university is top-ranked in Canada with an international reputation for excellence in advanced research and learning.
3. McGill University
McGill University has been ranked number 21 in the world university rankings and is one of the top universities in Canada. The university is one of the best schools in Canada for medical studies. McGill University’s medical school is also affiliated with three hospitals, namely Montreal General Hospital, Royal Victoria Hospital and Montreal Children's Hospital.
The university offers more than 300 courses in over 40 fields ranging from undergraduate to doctorate programs. The university is also famous for its law school, which has been ranked number six by Maclean’s Magazine.
4. McMaster University
Over the past year, McMaster has climbed two places in the QS World University Rankings to claim the title of Canada's top university. The university achieved its highest score for academic reputation and is also highly ranked for its employer stature, faculty to student ratio and international research network.
McMaster is home to 70 research centers and institutes, with a particularly strong focus on health sciences, including cancer and stem cell research and engineering.
5. University of Montreal
The University of Montreal is the largest university in Canada and one of the top universities in Canada in 2022. It's a public research university that offers over 650 undergraduate programs and graduate programs. Most of its students, about 60 percent, are undergraduates, and it has about 34,000 students enrolled in total.
Part of the University of Montreal's mission is to "shape the future by educating leaders who will bring knowledge and skills to their communities." It has several affiliated hospitals, including three teaching hospitals and four research centers. It also has two affiliated schools namely; the Polytechnique Montréal and HEC Montréal.
6. University of Alberta
The University of Alberta (UAlberta) is a public research university in the province of Alberta, Canada. It’s currently ranked among the top six universities in Canada and has more than 39,000 students from 155 countries worldwide.
The University of Alberta is similar to the province it’s located in, it’s a place where people join together to create, build and change things for the better.
7. University of Ottawa
The University of Ottawa is a bilingual university located in Canada’s capital city. Founded in 1848, it offers more than 450 undergraduate programs and over 170 graduate and doctoral programs across 10 faculties to more than 43,000 students each year.
Equipped with bilingualism as an advantage, students can benefit from better career opportunities upon graduation as they are able to communicate in two official languages.
Students at the University of Ottawa can expect a wide range of programs in different fields of study including engineering, law, medicine and health sciences, social sciences, education and more.
How to Get a Study Permit in Canada
Every foreign national who plans to study in Canada will need to get a Canadian study permit. If successful, your permit will be valid for the entire length of your study program plus an additional 90 days.
There are certain requirements you’ll need to meet in order to apply for a Canadian study permit. They are as follows:
- be accepted into a Designated Learning Institution (DLI), you must have the acceptance letter;
- passport or travel document and;
- you’ll need be to able to fund both yourself and any family members joining you in Canada;
You may require an additional set of documents. This will depend on your origin country.
- letter of explanation;
- certificat d’acceptation du Québec (CAQ);
- custodian declaration, if you’re a minor; and
- additional documents requested from the officer.
It’s important to know that the study permit is not a Canadian visa and you can’t enter Canada with the permit alone. You may need to obtain an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA), which will be issued to you by the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
How long does it take to get a Canadian study permit?
Getting a study permit takes approximately between 9 to 11 weeks. The processing timing starts from the day the IRCC receives your completed application and ends when you receive your application results. However, there is a stream in which you can receive your results faster. It’s called the Student Direct Stream.
What is the Student Direct Stream (SDS)?
The Student Direct Stream (SDS) is a way of getting your student visa faster. The general waiting time through the Student Direct Stream is around 20 calendar days. If you would like to apply for a Canadian study permit through the SDS, you’ll need to meet the following criteria:
- be a legal resident of one of the participating countries;
- do your biometrics as quickly as possible; and
- meet all eligibility requirements.
Good to know!
As an international student in Canada, you may work part-time for a maximum of 20 hours per week. This is a good way not only to earn extra money but also to gain Canadian work experience in your field of study or in general.
Another great advantage of studying in Canada as an international student is that you can apply for an open work permit through the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program.
What is the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program?
The Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWPP) allows you, as a graduate, to work in Canada with an open work permit. This means that you can work anywhere in Canada and for any employer. There are several requirements that you’ll need to meet.
You’ll need to confirm that:
- you’ve completed a qualification from a DLI;
- your transcript or an official letter from your school; and
- hold full-time status as a student during each semester of your study program.
Your PGWP can be valid for anywhere between eight months to three years. This gives you plenty of time to gain as much Canadian work experience as possible, and with that apply for permanent residency through the Canadian Experience Class (CEC).
So what are you waiting for? See if you’re eligible to study at one of the top universities in Canada in 2022 today!