Canada’s best schools: 2014 Maclean’s university rankings

Who came out on top in our annual analysis of 49 schools


The 23rd annual Maclean’s University Rankings issue, the number one source for students choosing universities in Canada, is now available on newsstands and tablets. It contains 130 pages of charts, surveys, stories about what’s happening in higher education and, of course, our 2014 University Rankings.

Each of the 49 universities is ranked in one of three categories to recognize differences in levels of research funding, diversity of offerings and breadth and depth of graduate and professional programs.

For the ninth year in a row, McGill ranks first in the Medical Doctoral category. In second place is the University of British Columbia. The University of Toronto, which once dominated the rankings, is third.

In the Comprehensive category the University of Victoria passed Simon Fraser University to take first.

In the Primarily Undergraduate category Mount Allison University in Sackville, N.B. is once again on top. No surprise there; this is the 17th time in 23 years that Mount A. is first. Acadia University edged out the University of Northern British Columbia for second. UNBC tied the University of Lethbridge for third.

One school improved its position by three ranks this year: Saint Mary’s University in Halifax moved from 8th to 5th in the Primarily Undergraduate category. Six universities are up two spots this year.

Wondering how we rank? Maclean’s considers 14 indicators of the quality of students, faculty, libraries and finances. For a full description of the ranking methodology, click here.


Canada’s best schools: 2014 Maclean’s university rankings

  1. Now compare them to universities in the rest of the world, so Canadians know what kind of competition they’re facing.

    • We are already losing. Want a good mining engineering degree, you go to Brazil and China is moving a light speed….. For medicine, go to the USA.

      While we do have a few schools of “prestige”, its really about the quality of student on graduation day. I have found that often local unrecognized can have better graduates than the prestige play. An example, lots of CEOs behind Enron, NorTel, GMAC, GM and others were Harvard, and I have learned Harvard economics is flawed and over rated given the numbers of failures their grads have had.

      So when I used to interview, I focused on the graduate, not the school. I also found too much arrogance from “prestige” schools so sometimes it worked against them. Arrogance doesn’t make money folks.

      Not is always as it seems. Kids today should get educations that don’t result in debt from over priced places, the results in not in the school, but the graduate.

      • Yeah prestige schools can turn out crap….like Dubya….and crappy schools can turn out top people………but businesses often go by the ‘name’ the school has.

        I want universal education….although I’m sure you don’t agree.

        However, we are behind many universities in the world, and we need to change that for sure.

        • So, what are the odds that it would take light years to agree on `universal’ curriculum?

          • Universal healthcare, universal education…..free…not everybody in the world teaching the same thing.

        • I might agree but I am not sure what you mean by universal. If universal means watered down for arts and such, I do disagree. If you want to be the best and top of your game, you need discipline and focus.

          • I just explained it to Patricia….free….same as elementary and secondary school.

      • xxx

      • Yeah, we must be loosing if our schools can’t even teach proper grammar.

        • May be. But my excuse is that I am legally blind, and yours? Is that loosing or losing?

  2. Best educations leave with needed skills and yield jobs without debt.

    Which means most are better off in community colleges unless it is science as in medicine, chemical engineering and the like.

  3. Acadia is a terrible school. There reputation is good, but they are horrible to deal with. Going there was convenient (location), but a mistake.

  4. Obviously : there – their.

  5. Glad to see the U of A isn’t even in the top 20 for undergrad where once the school was rated #1 in Canada. My undergrad experience was quite below average there, definitely more research focused than student focused. Their advisors were not really effective in helping me with my end goals and the whole academic atmosphere there was so competitive (I was a science student) that it made the whole environment generally unfriendly.

  6. If your son or daughter is considering St FX for Engineering, be aware that small class and faculty size and can be a plus but also a negative. Our daughter is experiencing bullying from a faculty member. She (and we) have been told due to “tenure” there is very little that can be done to correct the situation. There are limited resources to change classes and have independent marking of labs, exams and papers. There are a lot of wonderful things about the St FX experience but I would not recommend for Engineering. If we could do it again, we would make another choice.

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