Choosing the best computer science universities in Canada is no easy task. The country is filled with incredibly attractive campuses and colleges that excel academically as well as in their inclusivity and openness towards international students. You would need to look long and hard if you were to find a place with a more affordable yet quality education, especially for students coming from abroad. This is not even to mention the quality of life and safety offered by the country’s robust welfare system.
Canada is also a country that recognizes the importance of computer science in the tech-governed era we live in. As such, they have invested a lot of time, money, and effort into making sure their computer science programmes are top-notch. All of this serves to make it a highly attractive location for any international student looking to either spend a semester perfecting a particular aspect of their skillset while getting to know some potential friends from abroad or spend a couple of years there attaining a full degree.
With all of that said, let us now take a look at the 10 best computer science universities in Canada, in a rough order starting from pretty good to excellent.
The McMaster University Faculty of Engineering is in charge of running the school’s undergraduate computer science curriculum, as is the case with many other universities around the world. Five computer science classes are required for students to start their level 1 studies, which makes them more competitive when applying for the best co-op opportunities out of a small pool. Because 25% of the program’s courses are open electives, students in the CS program at McMaster have the option to add a minor to their degree.
Students majoring in computer science at the undergraduate level end their coursework with a capstone project that lasts a full year and walks them through the life cycle of a piece of software. Additionally, the university created the McMaster Center for Software Certification, which supports methods for creating trustworthy, secure, private, and safe software for all applications where the failure of crucial systems might have disastrous results.
The University of Quebec is less so a single institution as it is a system of ten different ones located throughout the Quebec region. The University of Quebec at Montreal, one of the main ones, offers a variety of computer science programs for both undergraduate and graduate students. Numerous funds have been awarded to its programs, and its faculty has beneficial partnerships with more than 40 public and private enterprises.
Artificial intelligence, computational biology, and theoretical and quantum computing are among the graduate programs offered at UQAM. Furthermore, the National Institute for Scientific Research, which is part of the Universite du Quebec en Quebec, offers master’s and doctoral degrees in applied computer science.
It is also important to mention that the school offers financial help to graduate students seeking master’s or PhD degrees, cementing its place as one of the best computer science universities in Canada.
What makes the Univerisity of Calgary one of the best computer science universities in Canada is that it has been ranked the 9th in the whole world for computer science in 2023 by the QS World University Ranks by Subject.
Of course, that is not all. Leading researchers in various branches of computer science, including software engineering, human-computer interaction, and artificial intelligence, are based at this university. Numerous undergraduate and graduate programs are available here, preparing students for careers in business or academia. The University of Calgary’s excellent research and education are demonstrated by its ranking and renown. Studying computer science at this college right now is truly a formative prospect!
SFU’s computer science programs have a long tradition of distinction and are frequently rated among the finest in the nation. The Faculty of Applied Sciences is in charge of running the university’s School of Computing Science. In addition to a number of adjunct professors and other program associates, it has 42 tenure-track faculty members. What is more, many of these professors are well-known on the global stage and have received awards like IEEE Fellowships and Canada Research Chairs.
There are 400 graduate students and 2,200 undergraduates enrolled in the School of Computing Science. Software systems and computing science programs are available to undergraduate students, and SFU and Zhejiang University also provide a dual degree program. Through SFU’s PhD and Master of Science Thesis programs, graduate students at the institution can do research in areas like computer networks and systems, artificial intelligence, and graphics.
This university has an astounding academic reputation both locally and abroad. Its prestige is largely due to its excellent computer science programs. Human-computer interaction, software engineering, and artificial intelligence are just a few of the areas available to students who are eager to learn and research.
Another important thing the University of Alberta offers is flexibility. Depending on their interests and academic objectives, students can choose to concentrate on computing science or combine it with another subject in the school’s undergraduate computing science degree program. While people who are interested in software development can specialize in this field, computer science students with an eye toward entrepreneurship may want to think about adding a business minor to their degree.
With the University of Montreal, we start getting into more advanced territory. A prime example of why it is considered one of the best computer science universities in Canada is the chance for those interested in computer science to choose between a Bachelor’s in Computer Science and a Bachelor’s in Bioinformatics. Other BA degrees are also available and are interdisciplinary studies which allow students to obtain an enviable background in computer science while also exploring how it is applied in other fields.
Graduate students can pursue a master’s or PhD in computer science or bioinformatics and collaborate with professors in fields like artificial intelligence and quantum computing. Students pursuing master’s degrees at the institution may also enrol at the Université Pierre et Marie Curie in France.
Excellence in computer science has a long tradition at McGill University. The University’s computer science program is currently considered one of the best in the world. The program is famous for its cutting-edge research. McGill researchers have made significant strides in data mining, machine learning, and artificial intelligence in recent years. Strong student outcomes at McGill demonstrate the university’s dedication to providing top-notch computer science education. Employers all across the world are particularly interested in hiring graduates from this prestigious institution.
Something that truly makes it one of the best computer science universities in Canada is the fact that students do not have to wait for their graduate studies to do research and collaborate with professors on topics they find interesting. Students have a wide range of options for research courses to choose from, including independent study in subjects for which there are no classes, collaboration with a professor, and summer research projects after receiving paid research assistantships. Students have the opportunity to present their summer research to classmates and the larger department at the university’s Undergraduate Computer Science Research Symposium, or UCORE.
This institution features perhaps the greatest concentration of academic researchers in the field of computer science in the whole country. Most of these are fellows in prestigious institutions like IEEE, the Royal Society of Canada, and the Association for Computing Machinery. It is this strong focus on research and relentless innovation that makes the University of Waterloo one of the best computer science universities in Canada.
Computer science undergrads have the option of pursuing either a Bachelor of Computer Science or a Bachelor of Mathematics (Computer Science) degree. Graduate students interested in computer science will receive either a Master of Mathematics (Computer Science) or a Master of Mathematics (Quantum Information) degree upon completion of their programs, too. This is all because the University of Waterloo offers computer science courses through its Faculty of Mathematics. The university also provides PhDs in related subjects.
However, that is not all. Its cooperative education program, which enables students to acquire paid work experience linked to their studies, is another reason why its computer science department is well-known.
Located in Vancouver, you have probably seen this university once or twice in your life already (whether on TV or online). It offers both Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees as well as combined majors. For those who are more ambitious, multiple paths in PhD studies are available even while working on their master’s degrees.
One of its stand-out features is the Cognitive Systems program, which is considered a computer science specialization. The school’s computer science, linguistics, philosophy, and psychology departments collaborate to teach the program’s curriculum, which provides students with a uniquely interdisciplinary understanding of how intelligent systems function in the real world.
The University of Toronto might be one of the oldest universities in Canada, but do not let its long tradition or beautifully dated architecture mislead you into thinking they slack off on computer science. In fact, many would consider it the top university for computer science in the country.
Undergraduates can opt to focus on game design or computer vision, or they might choose to specialize in fields like data science and artificial intelligence. The University of Toronto’s graduate program gives students the chance to earn a Master of Computer Science or a PhD in Computer Science. The Master of Science in Applied Computing degree program, which is also offered through the graduate program, offers students a choice of four concentrations. This curriculum will be especially appealing to students with an interest in applied mathematics, data science, artificial intelligence, or quantum computing.
That completes the list of the best universities in Canada to consider if you are thinking of studying computer science. Truth be told, all of these are excellent institutions and you cannot go very wrong choosing any of them. Unfortunately, that only makes your choice more complicated.
The best thing to do would be to visit their respective websites (that we have provided under each entry) as well as look at any other sources you can use to inform yourself about the ones that you are particularly interested in. Once you have figured out your dream computer science university in Canada, you still have a process ahead of you to make sure you get in and acquire a student visa, if necessary.
We wish you the best of luck with that. Two more articles that might interest you might be our pieces on the best computer science universities in the US for bachelor’s and master’s degrees, respectively. If not, feel free to browse our website for more help and information on studying abroad.
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