Ranking the best universities in Canada on how hard they work—and party

Our 2017 ranking of the top 20 schools in Canada for students who are serious about working hard and partying hard


When Maclean’s surveyed more than 15,000 students across Canada in 2016, we asked them how much time they spent hitting the books—and how much time they spent hitting the bars. Using those results, we created a new ranking of schools where they know how to work and party hard.

Nationally most students spend about 14 hours studying and about three hours partying. But there is a big difference between schools. We calculated the average number of hours students spent studying and partying for each school, using the total reported number of hours a week divided by the number of respondents.

MORE: A action-packed night at a Top 10 party school

In order to find the schools with the best work-party balance, we ranked the average number of hours students spent hitting the books and separately ranked the number of hours they spent partying. Simply tallying up the number of hours between studying and partying would skew the results. So we devised another approach. We assigned a score to each ranking out of 10. Schools where students spent the most time studying received 10 points, while the school with the lowest ranking received zero. We applied the same scoring system to partying. The two scores were added together to form the basis of our ranking.

While Queen’s didn’t place first for either partying or studying they came pretty close. Queen’s students claim they spend an average of 20 hours a week on their studies, the second highest on our report, and almost five hours partying, good enough for the third spot in that category. No other school came close to achieving that level of balance in their studies and partying.

MORE: Canada’s top party schools 2017

A minimum of 100 responses per school was required for inclusion in our second annual party schools list. Here, we present a list of the top 20 schools in Canada for students who are serious about both their studies and having fun.

School Study hours per week Party hours per week
Queen's University 19.8 4.9
McGill University 20.7 3.6
Mount Allison University 16.9 4.8
Western University 17.6 4.3
Dalhousie University 18.7 3.3
Acadia University 16.1 4.5
University of Guelph 16.8 4.0
Laurentian University 15.6 4.5
St. Francis Xavier University 14.4 8.0
McMaster University 18.1 3.1
University of Ottawa 16.7 3.2
University of New Brunswick 15.0 3.7
University of Waterloo 18.6 2.7
University of Victoria 15.2 3.3
University of British Columbia 17.5 2.7
University of Northern British Columbia 17.2 2.8
Carleton University 14.4 3.5
Wilfrid Laurier University 13.7 4.4
University of Windsor 16.2 2.9
Lakehead University 15.2 3.1
Bishop's University 12.2 7.7
Brock University 13.7 3.8
University of Alberta 17.2 2.4


Ranking the best universities in Canada on how hard they work—and party

  1. Mark, I am not sure whether “hours students spent hitting the books” include classes or just self-study.

    • When they say hours per week, are they including weekends? Because if so, the time spent partying is bogus. Majority of students are partying most Friday and Saturday nights, and usually a Thursday or other weekday. And this is for much more than 1-2 hours each time…

  2. Poorly researched article, they obviously transposed the numbers for UofW (the blue one);

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