2013 Primarily Undergraduate University Ranking

Primarily Undergraduate universities are largely focused on undergraduate education with fewer graduate programs

For the other categories, click here.

2013 Ranking School Last Year
1 Mount Allison (1)
2 UNBC (3)
3 Lethbridge (4*)
4 Acadia (2)
5* UPEI (4*)
5* Trent (7)
7 St. Francis Xavier (6)
*8 Bishop’s (8)
*8 Saint Mary’s (9)
10 Moncton (15*)
11 St. Thomas (14)
12 Lakehead (11*)
13* Laurentian (11*)
13* Winnipeg (10)
15 UOIT (11*)
16 Brandon (15*)
17 Mount Saint Vincent (17)
18 Cape Breton (18)
19 Nipissing (19)

* Indicates a tie




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2013 Primarily Undergraduate University Ranking

  1. Just wondering why Dalhousie didn’t make this list?

    • dal is a bad university

      • Second that. My daughter is in her 3rd year at Dalhousie and still waiting to see a Learning specialist that can help her with her learning strategies. You know how Dalhousie deals with the problem; they cut the funds of the Student Accessibility & Accommodation. Parents and LD students stay away from Dalhousie if you want to succeed in university.

      • This comment is for “concerned mother”:

        If it is not out of the question, you might want to have your daughter (with your assistance, if needed) look into York University. It has a well-established LD suppot ptogram. Also, does Nova Scotia have a “accessability/disabilities-type” piece of legislation or Human Rights legislation, requiring “appropriate and funded” accommodation strategies for (all) organizations?

      • Their admissions is pretty bad. I was debating between a couple of schools, and contacted Dalhousie for specific information about a program, that I couldn’t find on their site, and specified that I couldn’t find it on their site, all I got back was an e-mail that said “That information is on the site” no link, nothing.

        When I contacted UPEI about their program they sent me a ton of information (via mail and e-mail) set me up with people to speak to, and were extremely nice. They had a program that fit my career goals and were informative and friendly, so they won my tuition money over Guelph and Dalhousie.

    • @Concerned Mother Your daughter is one of the reasons I am concerned for academic standards at Canadian schools. Why schools accept students that are incapable of functioning independently, without draining resources from more capable (or as most people would call average) students. University is not cut out for everyone, and we need to work on accepting that. That is not to say that there shouldn’t be help for students who are struggling, but if there success depends on these resources then that says something.

      • It’s better for people to be educated, functioning members of society, even if they require help to achieve that, rather than uneducated drains on society. More resources should be available to help everyone succeed, there’s enough people in Canada that aren’t even bothering to try and better themselves.

      • There seems to be a misconception :) x2 between developmental disabilities and learning strategists. You should perhaps look into the services provided before labelling students “incapable of functioning independently”. Learning strategists and disability services in the Post Secondary Education realm are far more that “Special Education”. From Time Management to organization ot adaptive technology all are basic needs that more people than you would think access and use in successful careers–even DOCTORS AND LAWYERS. Perhaps an average student such as yourself should do some research!

      • @Elle C, I totally agree with you people need to be educated, and I do believe there are many appropriate outlets. Community colleges are by far one of the most underrated institutions in my opinion. Not everyone is cut out for university, but everyone should have a chance to be educated and these schools are great. But we look down on these schools because we have convinced ourselves we all need to have the highest education possible.

        @misunderstood, actually I perhaps a little too clear, you see I managed to succeed in my developmental psychology class without any learning assistance. I wasn’t suggesting that they were having problems functioning independently in everyday life (someone a lot of developmentally disabled people can do) just in school. Like I said, I do think that people should have access to services. But if you cannot succeed without help, then you don’t belong in this level of schooling. I understand if you are going through a rough time you may need help, but you cannot always rely on others to help you. I know it comments like this initially comes off as just offensive, but you need to learn to live in reality. Reality, unfortunately, shows that we are not equal in ability, and no matter how politically correct you are that won’t change.

  2. What about UWO in London, Ontario!?

  3. You know Lakehead has a medical program? Why is it in this list and not the medical doctoral list?

    • Yes, we know Lakehead has a medical school. It’s not the only factor considered.

  4. What about MacEwan University in Edmonton?

    • Although called a university MacEwan is really just a glorified community college. As an example, they offer a hearing instrument specialists diploma/certificate through correspondence (online) that is taught at an 10th grade level.

      • What do you call it a glorified community college? I was at the open house today and yes it is a small university, but would not all universities have to meet some criteria to be classified as such?

  5. You have Nipissing at 19. But interesting that the Globe and Mail report gives them extremely high marks. This bring into question your methodology. Any insight as to why you come up with radically different assessments.

  6. Does anyone know if Laurier – Brantford campus still considered in the undergraduate category? It is one of the fastest growing schools in Ontario.

    • These rankings are for Universities on a whole, not individual campus locations. Laurier Brantford is not a University, it’s a campus. The same comparison could be made for UofT Mississauga or Macdonald campus for McGill.

  7. This list is for universities with only a few graduate programs thus one would expect only the smaller universities to be on this list. Dalhousie would NEVER be in this cateegory since it offers numerous grad programs (same for UWO)! Lakehead is small with limited grad programs yet has a medical school….thus is not on this list….nor on the top medical school list because it didn’t make the cut!
    Simple as that!

  8. What changed/happened to Acadia?

  9. @Cherie. The Globe and Mail report was done based on student surveys, therefore the students gave their university high marks. This report is based on many other factors.

  10. Why is Emily Carr University not on this list?

  11. There is not one school on this list that I would consider attending.

    • goof

    • Moron

  12. I wonder if there is appraisal for Canadian college…. If so, where can see it? Kimsk2005 @ yahoo.ca

  13. Why is Lakehead even on this list? It has many professional and grad programs including a medical faculty and is adding a new law school. Other than enrollment, it has virtually nothing in common with a St Thomas or St Mary’s.

  14. This is a BS list, The most prestigious universities seem to not even made the list. down with Macleans

    • What universities are you referring to that are not on the Primarily Undergraduate list??

  15. What about the University of Alberta? Even though it offers post-graduate programs, why is the ranking not shown?

  16. I believe the methodology rolls satellite campuses with the main campus hence why WLU-Brantford and others are not singled out.

  17. what about MacMaster ?

  18. As usual, Maclean’s is a biased, predictable ranking system. Country club & boutique institutions always get ranked highest, no matter what. Then comes preferred locations. The rest get to fight over not being last. Innovators, odds beaters, private schools, are just dumped into an invisible hole. The rating criteria could be expanded so that we could see how much real difference there is in scoring between top & bottom schools. That would be truly informative. They could also include a few American schools for reference.

  19. These rankings are for UNDERGRADUATEs, and it is based on total experience at the university (social life, tuition, class sizes, accommodations, education) . Most of these schools are generally small-medium schools so obviously the experience would be better. It’s not only based on education and as some of you call it “prestige”. ‘BS’ rankings would be if they put the big graduate schools on, like McGill, U of T, McMaster, and if it were just people choosing which schools they thought were the most prestigious. These rankings were done by who they should be done, the students.

  20. As a parent with 2 students at different universities, it would be really helpful if there was more information about health and academic services available (or not available) on campuses. How long does it take to see a counselor, a psychologist or psychiatrist? Do they look at all students with ADD/ADHD/LD as fakes and cheats? There are really varied philosophies behind each schools services, although they all sound similar from the outside.
    If Macleans could provide this information as a part of your rankings, it could bring this information to people’s attention.

  21. I have 4 degrees…but the toughest and best was the degree I received from Mount Allison University in 1966. Happy to see that Mount A is keeping its well deserved reputation!

  22. Maclean’s continues to do a credible evaluation of our publicly-funded post-secondary institutions. There are still questions that need to be asked about the costly administrative superstructures of these schools and why the high-fees logic of university leadership isn’t seriously challenged in the media. But I use the Maclean’s ranking as a good comparative document for students and parents who ask me as a retired professor where the best choices are for future career success.A lot of weight should be attached to these rankings.

  23. Quest University in B.C. is very new. It is a private university with a unique approach to undergraduate students. At what point will Macleans include it in the annual survey?

  24. So the difference with the Globe and Mail rankings is that Macleans doesn’t use student surveys??? In other words, they don’t ask students about their experience in putting together the rankings. That makes no sense at all. I’ll rely on the Globe and Mail … thanks. I wouldn’t even buy a car without looking to consumer reports to see about the experience of those who have actually owned them. What gives here?

    • No, Cherie, I don’t think that’s the case. I believe the MacLean’s ranking includes both hard data (library holdings, student-teacher ration, etc.) and subjective input from students (food services, school environment, etc.) I think you get a reasonably balanced look at the schools and can consider the factors that are most important to you personally.

  25. I also believe Lakehead University should be advanced into Medical Doctoral Category as it has the Medical School and the new Faculty of Law in 2013. Lakehead is sure not a ST FX or St Thomas! Why is it even on this list? …And where is Algoma U? Should not it be on this list?

  26. First off, Algoma U is not listed.

    Secondly, isn’t Lakehead in the wrong category? The New Faculty of Law, and medical school are graduate studies. A primarily undergraduate has less than 5% of total pop in graduate studies. I’m sorry, but I believe that more than 5% of its students will be in the Faculty of Law and/or School of Medicine and therefore should be placed in the comprehensive category.

  27. I’m a U of L grad and would guess that a large part of ANY universities success is due to the work of a few amazing professors or staff at that school. For example, I more that got my monies worth from the U of L because of Philosophy/Game Theory professor, Dr. Paul Viminitz, and philosophy professor, Dr. Ardis Anderson. Even if most of my other professors were substandard and because of Paul and Ardis’ work I would still rate the U of L A+.

  28. Hmm, well I’m in my thrid year at Trent and I am loving it personally- the university is quite small, so the student to teacher ratio is very low once you get through first year- and the staff are amazing- I can think of very few reasons, if any at all, why I wouldn’t wantr to be here- Trent’s ideology matches very nicely with my own and I have had, for the most part, a very good experience with Trent thus far- definitely would recommend it to anyone wanting to go to university in Ontario.

  29. McGill isn’t mentioned in the rankings either. This is a top notch university in Quebec, so why isn’t it on the list?

  30. Yeah U of L. I for one will always be amazed by the U of L. It was a good school to go to as a student, I had some world renowned profs, small class sizes, and the profs were all approachable and had time to spare if needed. But what really got me was when I ran into some mental health problems my very last semester before graduating and ended up missing school for 2 months. Instead of just trashing my work, the university as a whole worked together to make sure I made it through my last semester, and got my degree. It was a joint effort between the department, the profs, the health department where I was able to access a psychiatrist on a weekly basis, counselling services, applied studies department and myself. I ended up finishing my courses in March instead of December… however I finished. I doubt many people could say that their Universities would have such wrap around services. It really proved to me that the U of L genuinely cares about their students and wants to see them succeed.

    • That’s an awesome story, Terry. Really happy this worked out so well for you. As a staffer (and alumna) of the U of L, I’m proud that we take such good care of our students. I think it’s one of the things that makes us different (and top 3!). :)

  31. Acadia dropped to 4th place? What happened? Also Mt. Allison is still going strong.

    Yet Compared to the Globe & Mail how accurate is this? Acadia has almost straight A’s in the Globe, while Mt. Allison manages a B+ at most. Such discrepancies in two ranking lists worry me. Perhaps the best way to to try and work out a mean between them.

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