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Universities in Canada with the Highest Acceptance Rate
There are many international students who wish to study in Canada for various reasons. Some reasons are that the education is excellent and Canadian diploma is very valuable.
It can be difficult to get into Canadian universities because of its competitiveness. However, it is not as competitive as the US universities as you will find in this article.
Here’s the list of the universities with the highest acceptance rates in Canada. This list is useful if you want to know the universities in which you have the best chances of getting accepted.
Why Are Acceptance Rates in Canadian Universities so High?
In Canadian universities, it is relatively easy to get into compared to universities in USA. Some of the reasons are that there is much fewer people in Canada compared to USA, and Canadian universities are easy to get in but hard to get out.
Also, you should note that the different programs have different acceptance rates even in a same university. The acceptance rates listed here are estimated general acceptance rates, and not program-specific.
How do I Study in These Canadian Universities?
To be able to study in these universities, you need several things. First, you need to meet the application requirements, then apply before the application deadline, and then, apply for a student visa.
This is a multi-step process which can’t be discussed in depth in this section, but to help you with that process, we’ve prepared a guide on How to Apply to Universities in Canada. I highly recommend looking at this guide if you are not sure of the whole application process.
I Can’t Afford to Attend these Canadian Universities. What now?
If you can’t afford to attend these universities out of your own pocket, there is still hope for you. There are multiple ways of financing your education in Canada, and you can learn about them in our guide on How to Study in Canada for Free.
Also, many international students think that studying in Canada is expensive. However, surprisingly, there are some very affordable options. Check out Affordable Universities in Canada for International Students if you want to know the cheapest yet great universities!
Do These Universities in Canada with High Acceptance Rates give Scholarships to International Students?
The short answer is yes. Some of these universities give very generous scholarships, and even some cover the whole tuition and living expenses! Visit the Canada Scholarships Page to learn more.
List of Canadian Universities with the Highest Acceptance Rates
1. University of British Columbia
- Acceptance Rate – 52%
- University of British Columbia Scholarships
The University of British Columbia, established in 1908, is a worldwide leader in education and research and it steadily ranks in the top 20 public universities in the world. It has a total student population of almost 65,000 and 26.5% of them are international students, making it the most international university in North America.
The Vancouver campus, located 25 minutes away from the downtown area, offers a cool West Coast vibe. With a culture that molds bold, curious thinkers quick to take the initiative, you are sure to unlock all your potential. It’s also helpful to know that UBC has an impressive set of alumni composed of Canadian prime ministers, Olympic athletes, Rhodes Scholars, and 8 Nobel Prize winners.
2. University of Waterloo
- Acceptance Rate – 53%
- University of Waterloo Scholarships
Found in the center of Canada’s hub for technology, the University of Waterloo has become a worldwide network of interdisciplinary communities, industries, and institutions that all have the goal of creating meaningful global impact. Waterloo’s excellent academic programs, faculty, and research pursuits have attracted Canada’s cream of the crop since 1957.
It’s in its 11th consecutive year of ranking first as the most Comprehensive Research University in the nation while also holding the title of being Canada’s most innovative university for the past 27 years. Waterloo’s top programs are Computer Science, which is the best in the country, and Engineering which ranks second.
3. McGill University
- Acceptance Rate – 53%
- McGill University Scholarships
Set in the culturally diverse city of Montreal, Quebec, is McGill University. It was granted a royal charter in 1821 and is now one of Canada’s most prestigious research universities. McGill has over 40,000 students in total, composed of the best and brightest minds in Canada and around the world.
Being part of the McGill community means a culture of history, character, and excellence. Ernest Rutherford conducted his breakthrough research on radioactivity at McGill which later on won him a Nobel Prize. If you’re into Star Trek you’ll be ecstatic to know that William Shatner is an alumni of McGill. Fan of the late crooner Leonard Cohen? Guess what! He’s a McGill graduate too. Stand on the shoulders of giants and create your own legacy at McGill.
4. Simon Fraser University
- Acceptance Rate – 56%
Simon Fraser University was established in 1965. Its three campuses can be found in the Vancouver, Burnaby, and Surrey municipalities of British Columbia, Canada. SFU’s main aim is to stay Canada’s top community-engaged research university.
Being one of the younger universities on the globe, Times Higher Education has listed Simon Fraser University into the 100 world universities under 50. In 2015, they attained formal accreditation from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
Now, SFU has grown to a population of 30,000 students who can choose from over a hundred degree programs. SFU is also the lone Canadian university competing in the NCAA. Their athletic teams are known as the Clan.
5. McMaster University
- Acceptance Rate – 58%
- McMaster University Scholarships
McMaster University is a research-centered university and is renowned for its DeGroote School of Medicine. The university was established in 1887 and its 300-acre main campus can be found in Hamilton, Ontario, right in between Niagara Falls and the city of Toronto.
McMaster has consistently made it into the top 100 universities in the world and it currently caters to the education of over 31,000 students. The McMaster Nuclear Reactor and the largest fitness center nationwide are among the other things that McMaster has of note.
6. Dalhousie University
- Acceptance Rate – 62%
- Dalhousie University Scholarships
Next on our list of universities with high acceptance rates is Dalhousie University, It was founded over 200 years ago, in 1818. Its campuses can be found in Halifax and Truro, Nova Scotia.
At present, Dal (as it is fondly called) has a selection of over 180 degree programs and more than 19,000 students from across the world. They put utmost importance on sustainability, integrating it in everything they do. Dalhousie’s goal is to make a relevant impact on Canada’s East Coast, achieving this by combining breakthrough research with interactive academic programs.
7. University of Alberta
- Acceptance Rate – 63%
- University of Alberta Scholarships
Established in 1908, the University of Alberta is a public research university in Edmonton that has amassed to a student population of 40,000. They have over 380 undergraduate and 500 graduate programs to choose from. It currently ranks within the top 5 universities in Canada and belongs to the top 100 worldwide.
U of A plays a big impact on Alberta’s economy, bringing in a massive $12.3 billion per year. Found in a major city in the northernmost part of the world, you can say U of A is top-tier in every sense, from education, research, and involvement in the community.
8. University of Victoria
- Acceptance Rate – 63%
Hailing from Canada’s West Coast is the University of Victoria, a top-ranked comprehensive research university in British Columbia. Founded in 1903, the University of Victoria now stands on the traditional territory of the respectfully acknowledged Lekwungen-speaking peoples.
UVic is part of the top 1% of universities worldwide for scientific impact and it ranks among the highest in the country. The university currently houses 21,800 students and its most recognized degrees are in English language and literature, earth and marine sciences, geography, and law and philosophy.
Students are gifted with the UVic Edge, a collective effort that only the University of Victoria can offer through dynamic learning, impactful research, and a dynamic academic environment. The results are creative graduates, world-shapers who push for a more sustainable and healthier society.
9. Université Laval
- Acceptance Rate – 63%
Set in the majestic city of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Quebec is Université Laval, a Canadian university with a high acceptance rate. Queen Victoria issued a royal charter in 1852 for its founding, the very act of which was then designated into a National Historic Event in 1972.
LU has a rich history, being the first French-language university in North America, and it continues to actively preserve the French presence and culture in the continent.
dUniversité Laval has the Centre Apprentiss, the first learning centre of its kind in the country which specializes in interdisciplinary healthcare. 64% of its 440-acre campus is thriving with trees and green space and it is only right that they also house the largest teaching and research forest worldwide, Forêt Montmorency.
10. Concordia University
- Acceptance Rate – 65%
Concordia University, a Canadian university that accepts a high percentage of students, is one of the three universities in the heritage mine of Quebec that has English as its main language of instruction. In 1974, it was established through a merger of Loyola college and Sir George Williams University.
Concordia aims to put Montreal on the map by being a constant provider of creative solutions and positive impact. It is now putting up its best efforts in rising up the national rankings, currently 22 among all Canadian institutions.
11. Memorial University of Newfoundland
- Acceptance Rate – 66%
Memorial University of Newfoundland is one of Canada’s top-ranked comprehensive universities. Located in St. John’s, it’s the only university in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. It was founded in 1925 to commemorate those who served and sacrificed their lives in the First World War.
Memorial University, or MUN as it’s also called, has rounded up 18,000 students with its 100 degree programs, making MUN one of the largest universities found in Atlantic Canada. It should also be noted that Memorial University of Newfoundland’s flagship course is Marine and Ocean Engineering, their program ranking 38th globally.
12. University of Saskatchewan
- Acceptance Rate – 72%
- University of Saskatchewan Scholarships
University of Saskatchewan is a reputable institution that has been around since 1907. This university with high acceptance rate is found at the heart of Saskatoon and belongs to Canada’s U15, an elite group of the nation’s top research-intensive universities. University of Saskatchewan currently has a student population of 27,500 and churns out determined, resourceful graduates ready to spearhead local and global change.
They house the Oakes Red Bear Student Centre which acts as an intercultural hub encouraging the integration of Indigenous culture in the campus. USask is also recognized for its globally relevant research in water resource and food security.
13. Carleton University
- Acceptance Rate – 73%
Carleton University, known as Canada’s Capital University, was established in 1942 as support to the veterans of World War 2. It can be found in the capital of Ottawa, beside the magnificent Rideau Canal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Over 31,200 students attend the university in hopes of becoming forward-thinking professionals. The athletic teams at Carleton are called the Ravens. They are most known for their formidable men’s basketball team who have won 14 championships since 2003.
14. University of New Brunswick
- Acceptance Rate – 74%
The University of New Brunswick was founded in 1785 and holds the reputation of being one of the universities in Canada with high acceptance rates. Its two main campuses can be found in Fredericton and Saint John.
The University of Brunswick is currently the most entrepreneurial university in Canada, attracting over 11,400 students with its 75 degree programs. UNB is also home to Canada’s oldest university building, the Old Arts Building in their Fredericton campus.
15. University of Guelph
- Acceptance Rate – 75%
Established in 1964, the University of Guelph is a public research university in Ontario, known for its exceptional programs in the arts and sciences. It has a population of over 29,500 students attending their Guelph, Toronto and Ridgetown campuses.
U of G’s first priority is life-improving research. Their academic community is always in active pursuit of solutions and knowledge towards sustainable living and the protection and rehabilitation of the eco-system.
Some of its academic breakthroughs include scientifically proving the presence of water on Mars and the Barcode of Life project, a tool for species identification.
16. Université de Montréal
- Acceptance Rate – 76%
Université de Montréal is a French-language university that was founded in 1878 as a satellite campus of Université Laval. UdeM, found on Mount Royal’s northern slope, is home to over 67,400 students and 600 excellent academic programs. This Canadian university is also popular because of its very high acceptance rate.
World-class faculty, excellent pupils, and a competitive research environment consistently places Université de Montréal in the 90th spot among the world’s top-ranking universities. Notable alumni include the current Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau’s father, Pierre Trudeau, who once served as the 15th prime minister of Canada himself.
17. Ryerson University
- Acceptance Rate – 80%
Ryerson University, founded in 1948, is a Toronto-based university that houses the Ted Rogers School of Management, the largest undergrad business school in the country. RyeU has over a hundred programs and has grown to over 45,000 students. Since Ryerson is located in the heart of Toronto’s downtown area, it has easily roped in partnerships with public spaces and businesses close by.
These collaborations led to the construction of four significant buildings for the Toronto community: the Mattamy Athletic Center, Yonge Street’s Student Learning Centre, the Ryerson Image Centre, and the Daphne Cockwell Health Sciences Complex.
18. Lakehead University
- Acceptance Rate – 83%
Lakehead University was established in 1965 and now has three campuses in Thunder Bay, Orillia, and Ontario. With the high acceptance rate at 83%, you will likely be accepted if you apply to this university. Lakehead centers its education on the learner, recognizing that each of its over 8,600 students have the potential to be a valued leader of the future.
Lakehead U is a proud home to the only business school in northern Ontario that is internationally accredited. It also has the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law, the first law program in the country that integrated licensing into its curriculum. A Lakehead law graduate is automatically qualified to become a practicing lawyer, foregoing the usual articling process.
19. Wilfrid Laurier University
- Acceptance Rate – 83%
Wilfrid Laurier University was founded in 1911 and named after Canada’s 7th prime minister. Being part of the Laurier community means striving to build knowledge in service to society. It is Ontario’s most sustainable campus and it now has a student population of 19,500 and a selection of over 100 courses, taught in what they call ‘active learning classrooms’. Laurier students love the university so much that Wilfrid Laurier University consistently tops Maclean’s University Rankings in student satisfaction.
20. University of Lethbridge
- Acceptance Rate – 93%
The University of Lethbridge is a top-ranked Canadian university and a leading research institute. Established in 1971, the school offers more than 150-degree programs and is now over 8,700 students strong. The University of Lethridge is also one of the universities in Canada with the highest acceptance rates. You can use that to your advantage by applying!
It is known for its hospitable atmosphere and small, focused class sizes. Found west of the Oldman River and spanning across a vibrant coulee landscape, is the visually stunning and expansive University Hall. It is UofL’s pride, designed by the distinguished Canadian architect and urban planner, Arthur Erickson.
Acceptance Rates At Top Canadian Universities Are So High!
Canada is a wonderful country. Their GDP per capita is a respectable $45,000. Few people go through medical bankruptcies because healthcare is heavily subsidized. Meanwhile, the average annual tuition for Canadian universities is only $6,571 for the 2019/2020 academic year.
In addition to recommending all Americans looking to retire early to immigrate to Canada to take advantage of subsidized healthcare and other government benefits, I also recommend American high schoolers apply to Canadian universities as well.
The top Canadian universities are all much easier to get into than the top American universities. As a high school tennis coach for three years, I personally witnessed the grind my students faced every day studying for AP exams, trying to get straight-As, and taking the 3-hour long SAT multiple times.
Despite all their studying, most didn’t get into a top 20 American university. If only they applied to the top Canadian universities instead.
Acceptance Rates At Top Canadian Universities
Below are the acceptance rates for the top Canadian universities for the 2019/2020 school year.
McGill University: 41.7% acceptance rate
University of British Columbia: 52.4% acceptance rate
Queen’s University: 42% acceptance rate
McMaster University: 58.7% acceptance rate
University of Waterloo: 52% acceptance rate
University of Montreal: 57% acceptance rate
University of Toronto: 40% acceptance rate
In other words, the best universities in Canada have an acceptance rate of 40% – 58.7%!
Now let’s take a look at the acceptance rates of some of the top American universities.
As you can see from the data, the average Canadian university has an acceptance rate 4-12X higher than the average American university.
It is now impossible to get into a top American university unless you’re a really rich legacy student or cured some rare disease in Africa while starting a massive website to help feed hungry children.
Rich, white children of celebrities couldn’t even get into some universities on their own merit. Their parents ended up bribing university officials on average $500,000 to get their kids in.
Instead of busting your but in middle school and high school to get into a top American university, whose value is frankly diminishing due to the free internet, it’s much better to apply to a Canadian university.
In Canada, everybody gets a trophy. And what’s great about Canadian universities is that you still get a top rate education and employers prize you as equally, or almost as equally as a graduate from a top American university.
One of my classmates at Goldman Sachs was a McGill University graduate. She was awesome and by age 33, she was the only one to have made Managing Director. The rest of us either quit, were let go, or never ascended.
Save Money By Attending A Canadian University
Instead of spending $48,000 in annual tuition going to Princeton, Stanford, Yale, or Harvard only to end up with the same type of job as everyone else, why not spend $5,399 in annual tuition at University of British Columbia and work at a US-based firm for more money instead?
To qualify for local tuition rates, you’ll have to establish residency for at least a year or two. But i’ll be worth it due to the massive cost difference.
Even if you cannot get any tuition exemption, international tuition is still about $10,000 a year cheaper than a comparable top rated private university in America.
With Canada’s Express Entry program, it’s pretty easy to become Canadian. All that’s required is at least one year of work experience, proficiency in English or French, and $1,500 – $2,000.
If you intend to be self-employed when you move to Canada, you’ll need to show you have at least two years’ relevant experience in the field in which you intend to self-employ. That’s not very hard at all because anybody can start a website and say they have a business. There’s no rule saying you have to have a successful business.
“We’re a country that is open to immigration right now,” PM Trudeau said at Fortune‘s Most Powerful Women International Summit in Montreal Monday night, responding to a question about how Canada is competing with the United States on attracting business. “[That’s a] hell of a competitive advantage I don’t see the U.S. matching anytime soon,” he added.
If the Prime Minister is welcoming immigrants with open arms, Americans must take advantage! They along with Mexico are our neighbors. But Canada has a culture and infrastructure most similar to our own.
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