Best Universities For Computer Science In Canada

With over 500 universities and colleges, Canada is the ideal place for those who want to pursue a Computer Science degree. Due to the large number of schools, it may be difficult to choose which institution provides the best education. This article presents research and information on the top four best computer science universities in Canada.

This page compares the best universities in Canada for students looking to study computer science within Canada. For those who dislike depending on rankings provided by high school counselors who may not be part of the current field, this page provides a starting point with a general idea of what to look for when searching for a university.

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computer science colleges in canada

Computer Science is one of the most popular areas of study in the world and for good reason. Technology is constantly evolving, so there is an ongoing need for creative, educated computer scientists to develop new and better ways of using these systems. Most universities in Canada now offer some form of computer science education. However, it’s not always easy to figure out which schools offer the best programs. Thankfully, Maclean’s annual university rankings covers computer science programs. To help make your decision easier, we’re counting down the top 10 universities for computer science in Canada!

10. Carleton University

Carleton University campus

Kicking off the list of the best computer science universities in Canada is Carleton University. Located in Ottawa, Ontario, Carleton began their School of Computer Science in 1980. Originally, students only had access to a Bachelor of Computer Science degree. However, Carleton now offers a variety of undergraduate and graduate degrees. With specializations in Computer Game Development, Computer and Internet Security, Data Science, and many others, Carleton’s School of Computer Science has a lot to offer.

9. University of Ottawa

University of Ottawa campus

The University of Ottawa’s School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science focuses on processing fundamentals and their real world applications. UOttawa merged its computer science and engineering faculties in 1997 and now offers several specializations. Students can take advantage of the Accelerated Stream system, which allows for the completion of an Honours BSc and Master of Computer Science within five years.

8. McMaster University

McMaster University campus

Much like the University of Ottawa, McMaster’s computer science program is hosted by its Faculty of Engineering. The great thing about this is that students will be exposed not just to programming, but information systems design and database development too. McMaster offers a variety of specializations, including Mechatronics, Software Engineering, and even eHealth. Best of all, McMaster boasts excellent job prospects, as 100 percent of computer science graduates find employment within two years of graduation.

7. Simon Fraser University

Simon Fraser University campus

Burnaby, BC’s Simon Fraser University may not be the first school that comes to mind for computer science, but it stands with the best in Canada. SFU is internationally recognized for its research facilities, which have won many awards. The university boasts a large international student population, accounting for 19 percent of the total student body. The computer science program has a unique partnership with China’s Zhejiang University. Undergraduate students can obtain two degrees and learn Mandarin at the same time!

6. University of Alberta

University of Alberta campus

The Department of Computing Science at the University of Alberta is one of the largest of its kind in Canada. It’s the oldest, having been founded in 1964 – more than a decade before the first personal computer hit the market. Today, the department offers courses and research opportunities in areas such as Artificial Intelligence, Computer Games, Robotics, and Computer Graphics. The University of Alberta has helped develop some of the fastest computers in the world! The supercomputers used by the U.S. Department of Energy integrate technology developed by a team of University of Alberta computer scientists.

5. McGill University

McGill University campus

McGill is widely regarded as one of Canada’s best universities, so it’s no surprise its computer science department is top ranked. McGill’s School of Computer Science ranks second in Canada for research funding and has 34 faculty members, 60 Ph.D. students, and over 100 Masters students. McGill students have their choice of 10 program options in computer science, with the possibility of paid work terms to help gain valuable on-the-job experience.

4. University of Montreal

University of Montreal campus

McGill isn’t the only university in Montreal with a respected computer science department. Université de Montréal is a French language university and member of the U15, a group made up of Canada’s top 15 research universities. Montreal’s Department of Computer Science and Operations Research is tiered and flexible, with four bachelor degree options, multiple postgraduate degree options, and a large faculty.

3. University of Waterloo

University of Waterloo campus

The University of Waterloo is one of the best schools in the world for computer science. With over 70 courses available and a faculty made up of 80+ industry experts, UW’s computer science department sets students up for success. Co-op education is a major focus at Waterloo, allowing students to graduate with up to 2 years of paid work experience. Better yet, UW is located in the heart of Canada’s tech sector, so students have access to hundreds of local companies in need of computer scientists.

For more information, be sure to read our University of Waterloo profile!

2. University of British Columbia

University of British Columbia campus

UBC is one of Canada’s most beautiful campuses and happens to have one of the oldest (and greatest) computer science departments in the country. Founded in 1968, UBC’s department of computer science is one of Canada’s leading research institutions. Undergraduates have the choice of six different Major programs, including a unique Combined Major in Business and Computer Science. With a large and diverse student body, incredible location, and excellent reputation, it doesn’t get much better than UBC for studying computer science.

1. University of Toronto

University of Toronto campus

Topping the list of the best universities for computer science in Canada is the University of Toronto. Ranked among the top 25 universities in the world for computer science, U of T has been at the forefront of the field for over 50 years. U of T has seen an increase in international student enrolment in recent years. By 2021, it’s predicted that foreign students will make up 20 percent of the university’s student body!

best computer science universities in canada 2021

Computing Science Program MSC student Banafsheh Rafiee performs a test on the Kobuki Bot at the University of Alberta in Edmonton Alberta, October 11, 2017. (Photograph by Jason Franson)

RankSchoolRank last yearProgram reputationResearch reputationFractional publicationsFractional citationsField weighted citation impact
8Simon Fraser[7]68101019*
17New BrunswickN/A161428*299
18St. Francis Xavier[*16]3434*40*321

*Indicates a tie

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