2010 University rankings

The top universities in our Medical Doctoral, Comprehensive, and Undergraduate categories

University rankings


Which schools are doing better than ever? Which have slipped? What are the hot topics in and around Canadian universities in 2010? How can students find the perfect fit for them?

For 20 years, Maclean’s has been bringing together parents, presidents, professors and prospective students in a conversation about education. This, its 20th anniversary rankings issue, is its biggest and most ambitious edition ever, covering 120 pages-with 21 stories and complete rankings for 49 schools. It’s not only a valuable resource about Canadian universities, but also a personalized guide that answers the many important questions students have on the road to deciding where they belong, where they will thrive, and ultimately, which school they can confidently choose to spend the next four years of their lives.

Maclean’s places universities into one of three categories to recognize the differences in levels of research funding, the diversity of offerings, and the range of graduate and professional programs:

Medical Doctoral universities offer a broad range of Ph.D. programs and research; all institutions in this category have medical schools.
For Medical Doctoral results, click to enlarge.

Medical Doctoral Chart - Maclean's University Rankings

Comprehensive universities have a significant degree of research activity and a wide range of programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels, including professional degrees.
For Comprehensive results, click to enlarge.
Comprehensive Chart - Maclean's University Rankings

Primarily Undergraduate universities are largely focused on undergraduate education, with relatively few graduate programs.
For Primarily Undergraduate results, click to enlarge.
Primarily Undergraduate Chart - Maclean's University Rankings


2010 University rankings

  1. Interesting how those affiliated with low ranked schools spend their time denigrating and dismissing the rankings rather than trying to improve their schools.

    • I guess those who give my comment a thumbs down are associated with the aforementioned low ranked schools!

      • I'm not; I went to UVic, U of T, and McGill and I think there are a lot of problems with the rankings.

        • What was the matter ndrew. Couldn't get through either three with a degree.

          • "Either" references two nouns… the use of the word "three" after it is incorrect.

          • I think what's more important is that it apparently never even occurred to Craig that Andrew has three degrees.

    • ..maybe that's because the problem is with the ratings, not the school

      • Sorry you were not accepted at one of the top rated schools.

        • Gee, I didn't know it was very difficult to get into schools such as York… Maclean's methodology is fundamentally flawed. It doesn't take a very detailed look into how these rankings are conducted to come to this conclusion.

    • Your opening post "hits home" for me, Tom! It's EXACTLY how we go about such critiques, up here in Quebec. We saw it just a couple of weeks ago with the uproar over that Maclean's magazine front-page article claiming that "Quebec is the most corrupted province in Canada". We were quick to demand public apologies, but not as quick (to this day, of course) to remedy the situation or, at the very least, try our darnest to prove that the article was totally unfounded and slanderous… :/

      • Sly, can you tell me why Quebec is the number one province to get the most transfer payments?

  2. Where is my University among other ..Hey everyone, Its University of New Brunswick

    • comprehensive.. #6

    • It's 6th on the list of Comprehensive Universities.

    • No where

  3. It's pretty hard to accept the results of this considering that a significant % of universities don't participate in the survey. Instead of relying solely on these findings, I think that I'll encourage my kids to research their options a little bit further.

  4. ahaha these results are so funny!
    All you need to do is pass highschool to get into most of their top rated undergrad schools.

    • it's not about getting in, it's about be able to stay and get a degree

      • Degrees aren't the be all and end all……

    • so true

  5. Just wondering how western can be 9th behind schools with lower entry level grade requirements. I don't understand why western isnt atleast top 5 or 6 and I don't even go there!

    • It doesn't matter what your marks are going in it's what your marks are while you're in there. Lots of students finish high school with honours and barely scrape by university or flunk out and students like myself who just met the requirements for university do just fine.

    • Any school can have high entry levels, this doesn't mean the level of education is any better. If anything the better schools should have lower entry-levels, as it shows thier confidence in thier ability to mold average students into top rate students.

    • I've had friends who have had scholarships going into schools like western who end up failing and other students who barely met requirements who are getting 90's in university. Its not what students you get its how you teach them.

  6. These rankings arereally interesting. The Med school rankings don't surprise me, but the other ones do.

    Maybe i'll hit up a Chapters and read through MacLean's to understand these rankings. Boy am I ever confused. There are certain schools I thought would be 1st.

    Oh well. I guess the scene is really changing.

    • The Med School rankings surprised me the most. Independant non-Canadian research has shown that MUN in NL has one of the BEST medical schools in North America yet they can't crack the top 15 in Canada…That's laughable. I think the results are more of an indication of the writers emotional attachments rather that a truly scientific study…or maybe there are advertising dollars to be had.

  7. OMG..University of New Brunswick is no where to be found on the ratings…how is that?

    • look under comprehensive, #6

      • Clearly "students' ability to read a chart" wasn't one of the criteria for the rankings.

        • The UNB students anyways.

    • Its in the comprhensive category ranked 6 of 12

  8. Maclean should rank the universities based on how many graduates successfully passed the professional associations' national exams and get certified or licensed. As far as I know, those "high ranked universities" in here may give you a surprise. The professional associations should rank the universities based on the exam results, not by a publisher.

    • Agree

  9. Contrary to our habit (the RARE instances in which we kick the ROC's ass), you can rest assure that we (Quebecois) will NOT boast much over McGill's number-ONE ranking here. It's an ENGLISH-language school, West of St-Laurent Blvd. Therefore, in our collective SEPARATIST and French-protectionist minds, it's pretty much considered… Ontarian! :(

    • i do believe being "Ontarian" is somethign to be proud of!

    • Sly, like it or not, McGill is geographically located in Quebec. You probably should not consider yourself a Quebecois, you're just a separatist.

      • I'm re-reading my post, and thought I had made myself clear. But maybe I didn't. I want NOTHING TO DO with separatists. I'm a PROUD CANADIAN, actually ASHAMED of all the turmoil we've been causing up here for DECADES with all that nonsense! And what I meant to say was that we normally brag over any possible little thing, but we (our local media) will pass on this one, because an ENGLISH-language university (i.e. McGill), to the average Quebecer, is no part of "nous". You get me now, Ken?

    • ok lots of montrealers (including myself and friends from California) absolutely adore the fabulous institution of McGill.
      It is the coolest school in north america, and you're post is so idiotic and makes no sense whatsoever.
      you are completely lost, and i doubt ur from montreal. sounds like ur from some little dark corner of a village

      • Think what you will, "Payzan". How many Quebec "villagers" do you know are fluent in English like I am? What makes no sense? Have you heard ANY bragging about McGill's number-one status in ANY of the local French media today? NO!

        Go have another espresso in one of those Langelier Blvd cafés! :P

        • your english is very bad, because you sure sound like a separatist. Maybe you should have went to an english institution where you could learn how to express yourself in the language of the world.

    • You can call McGill "Ontarian" all you want, Sly, but all you will get from the University of Montreal is an education in Quebec provincialism. As for Concordia, great place to go if you want to become a priest. The world isn't French but English. The world isn't Catholic either. What I love about Quebec is that the people there speak French, and there are lots of pretty churches. But you can't live on history and the French language. Even Quebec must keep up with the times.

      • I'm not CALLING McGill "Ontarian", I'm saying this is how it is VIEWED here, by the average Quebecer, because of its location in the city and the fact it is an English university. Geez, I feel like I'm talking to separatists here who want no part of the ROC! I was completely misunderstood from the get-go… :(

        You're bang on about the rest, Pere Noel. BUT I went to Concordia myself, yet didn't become a priest… LOL

    • Ignorance is bliss Sly, you must be one happy guy!

    • That is exactly the kind of attitude that has kept the Québecois people down for the past 200 years.
      C'est précisament ce genre de propos qui maintient les québecois en seconde classe depuis 200 ans.

    • Good for you, Sly, stay in St Laurent East.
      I love Quebec and the Quebecois, but I will not understand your separatist mind. Open your eyes to the world; don't stay in your small villages or East of Montreal saying everything is bad in the West of Montreal and/or Quebec.
      Your sovereignty will place you after Qatar, and, unfortunately, not only in the Atlas)

    • Why thank you!

  10. I do agree with some of poster Kevin 's comments re: taking responsibility for ones own education with regards to having to attend their classes, doing the readings, completing all the work, etc,. however I don't agree with him on his pt that having rankings are a ridiculous thing to do or base ones decision of which University to attend on. I think that it is a fact that some Universities are more recognized than others and in some fields where there is a complete saturation of Qualified graduates -such as in the teaching profession, that the more "Recognized" the University the better. For ex. I personally know students who went to U of T and to Lakehead and those who went to U of T got jobs teaching after graduation far quicker and in greater no's than those who went to Lakehead. There must be something to that….A lot of people who hire grads are asked their views when they compile these stats they are not just pulled out of the air! So I do believe that it's a combination of the factors of taking responsiblity for ones own education and where they attended.

    • You just have to face facts. The quality of the profs and students at UT is HUGELY different than at Lakehead. And those hiring know this.

      • i think the recruiters suffer from Wishful thinking (see my previous comment)- there likely is no objective way of comparing Lakehead and UT as far as teaching ability. I work in the system, but I think it is quite messed up anyway, more institution-oriented, not student-learning-oriented.

  11. Well, you can bandy back and forth about how accurate this listing is but one thing stood out for me…… comparing this ranking with the one done by McLeans last year I have to ask exactly how they do their rankings. I don;t see how schools who placed last in all of Canada last year (a much longer ranking than just the top ten) now place in the top ten and schools that were in first place don;t even rank in the top ten anymore. This is just another McLeans survey with no actual fact behind it…… some reporters opinion is being voiced and nothing more.
    I do note that a lot of Ontario schools appear in the top ten this year whereas there was only one last year. Of course, this is par for the course with McLeans…. just about every survey they perform these days has Ontario at the top…. which is a lot of hogwash….

    • Their methodology isn't perfect, but to say it's based on "some reporters opinion…and nothing more" is blatantly wrong. Pick up an issue – they usually have a couple pages devoted to exactly how they crunched the numbers.

    • Given that you are unable to spell Macleans correctly, despite being on the Macleans website, it seems unlikely that you have researched the article and its findings with any degree of accuracy.

      • how many time did your prof misspelled something?

        • That`d be `How many timeS` and `has` not `did`.

    • Just wanted to say that a fair amount of Ontario Universities don't just get in because theyre "favoured". Its because there are a lot more universities in Ontario than any other province. And a fair amount of high average ones are located there too. U of T, Waterloo, etc.

  12. U of C still sucking while vacuuming provincial tax dollars.

  13. Great to see Lakehead University move from 17th in their Business program to 3rd.
    I wonder how they did it… excellence perseveres.

  14. Too Asian? I thought it was too white a few years ago.

  15. This ranking is an outright scam, to misinform and disinform. You can pick up criteria that would place Acadia ahead of Harvard, for example by counting convenience stores around the school or similar factors. Serious people normaly look at admission criteria, academic standards and job prospects (that is, where graduates end up and hom much they make). By these standards, McGill is very likely the top, overall and in evey category. But MaClean's ranking is a joke.


    • Yah McGill is pretty top, but not in every category, U of T, Alberta and Waterloo are all fierce competitors too. I know McGill is extremely good, but you can't say it will be best in everything.

  16. American universities are well recognized around the world for education and research but why are they mired in worse economic , social, political and cultural problems? do we really need higher education to solve the basic problems that we face everyday. I think higher education is waste of time and money extracted from hard working food producing farmers, weavers and home builders. Others are simply parasites to my naked eyes.

    • Education is something that I am realy passionate about, Ravana, and I agree with you to a point. Wouldn't it be nice if carpenters and mechanics were already apprentices when they graduated from high school? How about nurses and secretaries? However, our schools are doing a poor job of turning out skilled trades people, let alone doctors, engineers and scientists. When you consider that almost everybody who graduates from high school knows how to read and write, our schools have been a resounding success. However, it isn't enough just to know your ABCs and basic sums anymore.

      • Ravana: that is a pretty dumb comment. You wouldn't call it a waste of time if you considered the unmeasurable impact that great universities have in creating and sustaining culture, in making discoveries and creating technologies and products that positively help your life. Many of the important things surrounding you are result of university training and educations. And of course all those hard workers and needed, too.

    • you are a truly bitter 90's child,I grew up on skid row ,both my children have M.A. one economics and one economic policy.Do not let your failings cloud your judgement,without intelligent educated people whe would be the Taliban.as I told my daughter" suck it up princess".I worked in the bush to pay for it and have never not been thankful, my body at 55 is shot.But my grandchildren will never know that life.HOW BAD DO YOU WANT IT.

  17. that is nice to come maclean maganizine with exclusive of university ranking ,and i am waiting one day to come of with colleg ranking, especially for those community colleges who spend millions of taxpayer and pretending offering good education .i am waiting maclean magazine can explore and expose these colleges in its future edition .

    • Until you learn to write better, Tukue, I will have to take you at your word. However, I think your problem probably started in elementary school.

  18. When you look at all the catagories, you're getting a prety good education if you can get into McGill. Us Windsorites, however, will have to settle for the University of Windsor.

  19. Holy words!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Yes, university is what you make it, but there are HUGE differences in the excellence of profs and research facilities, and these hugely impact what and how you learn. But then again, you have to be good enough to get into the better places.

  20. With this corrupt world, it does not matter to me which university is ranked first or last. As a parent I would just be very happy to see my child get a degree from a recognized university.

    • How do you define "recognized" if universities aren't ranked?

  21. A university is only as strong and capable as the professors they employ.
    They should be trained educators that practice best instructional practices! Yes students must do their part but with competent professors (leaders of education) the focus shifts from professors dispersing information to professors who facilitate learning!!

  22. Good to see respectable results for Memorial University – my Alma Mater!

  23. X is dynamite !

  24. Go Brock!!!!!!!

  25. Their University rankings are just as much B.S. as their "Most Dangerous Cities" rankings.

  26. i think the ranking is really fair. it supports instructions for parents and students. persever!!!

  27. I wonder if Macleans has the courage to post our college rankings with respect to universities around the world and see how we we do. Compared to the best institutions in northeast and western U.S., Canadian institutions greatly lag behind in terms of alumni networks, career and employment support, overall reputation, and admissions standards. Top Canadian institutions like UT and UBC need to realize that admitting people simply based on their high school GPA is not enough to build well-rounded, socially engaged student bodies that can make active impacts on the world at large. I am from Vancouver but I transfered from UBC in my first year to an ivy-league college in the states, and the difference is vast. There are so many opportunities here that my peers at UBC don't have access to because Canadian universities' low admissions standards and a lack of attention to building a quality student body based on active social involvement, leadership, career experiences, and an engaged alumni network around the world. It's interesting to note that many of our top leaders and ministers in the federal government graduated from ivy-league institutions.

    I don't mean to degrade Canadian universities or my peers in colleges back home. It's just that sometimes we may be too complacent and narrowly focused at comparing among ourselves while people are racing ahead of us in other parts of the world with ever-higher measuring standards.

    • Are you trying to say that UBC is too Asian, perhaps?

      • You can't say that all Canadian universities aren't as great as American ones. Yes, Ivy-League is highly prestigious. But you're university experience is based upon a Canadian one that isn't really considered top. Maybe you should look at McGill or Waterloo. Canada doesn't have Ivy-League so in general I don't compare because they are completely different university realms.

  28. compare them to ivy league schools macleans… I have a feeling only one or two would be left standing….. and compare the $ for 4 or 5 years too… that would help the kids I know

    I get the feeling for everyone who keeps saying they are all the same… you probably would never see the difference, so I would not make the argument… for those who care, look at world university rankings, and see if one is appropriate for you

    20 years of successful high tech experience has shown me they are not all the same (unfortunately)… and no canadian measurement does any justice to any of them… employers hiring (or fighting for) new grads is probably the best measurement I've seen…

  29. Ravana: that is a pretty dumb comment. You wouldn't call it a waste of time if you considered the unmeasurable impact that great universities have in creating and sustaining culture

  30. I am surprised to see Quebec universities rank so high as us for Maclean's, Quebecers, are supposed to be the most corrupt and terrible people in this country.

  31. Next year Maclean's should add another chart called the "degree of Asianness" so that our precious lily white, well-adjusted all rounder students can avoid those universities.

    • I'm one of your "precious lily white" well-rounded students and I would have absolutely no problem attending a very Asian school like Waterloo for example. In the Asian culture, education is so very highly valued and this is idea is given to kids from a very young age. For this reason, we often find the many universities have a wide variety of Asian students. My Chinese and Korean friends have told me about this. Why should "lily white" students avoid Asian schools when we'll have to compete with them outside of university for jobs in the future? Don't blame Asian culture for stressing the importance of a high education. From a very young age my parents stressed the importance of education and for that reason, I am in university. But the most important thing is, not that I'm in University, its that I'll be able to study and do the things I love.

  32. Go Mcgill! :)

  33. where is U of T? seriously – why is it in the top 20 world wide out of 500 on the Times rankings and only manages to make the medical doctoral list? No other Canadian University came close to U of T in the Times or Beijing rankings. Strange

  34. Since everyone has said their peace, let us ponder on these: Let us read history to see the educational backgrounds of enlightenment thinkers; the West prides itself in being innovative and enlightened-what is enlightening about making university admission base on GPA when the field of play is not equal for all (and before you start shooting your mouths–think) because after all you are smart and I can't give you the answer. I believe that those who revel in the ranking are U student or grad and if that is the case, you all have missed the goal. Many intelligent pupils are those who seek out knowledge outside of the U reach (read autobiographies of inventors). Your prof is just one of the many profs in the real world. U is a place to broadened narrow perspectives and if you are caught up in this, your U have failed or is failing you and investment is vainglory. I am a Sociology grad from the University of Windsor and I am proud to say that I failed to get my honors degree because I stood up to my professor in my fourth year Postmodernism class because I was not going to be confined in box. U of T is as good as U of @ if the student will apply himself. And even that, profs have their favorite pupils. I am not here to change your beliefs but rather to open you mind. The debate is stacked and if you believe you are smarter than another because of your GPA and the school you got in, I will ask, in what subject, what language is the delivery and is that language your native tongue, what form is the examination delivered (oral, written..)…Understand the basis of ranking and enjoy your U years so that you will become a good citizen in society is the device I will with you all. Stephen Hawking is not who he is because of Oxford or Cambridge or his mentor (Dikran Tahta)–he studied. Pres. went to Harvard and Yale and for that matter had pioneering mentors and what happened

  35. I agree that it's what you make it, but Greg is right, that different schools have different means of marking, different classes profs and even student aid. Yes the whole point of university is to prepare you with a good work ethic and make you teach yourself but each university has specialties and what you want to do should be the biggest guiding factor for picking a university. Like journalism at Carleton, business at Laurier or Medicine at McMaster.

  36. Exactly- I am a Canadian university instructor in Europe – and it really is how YOU make it. One can not blame outside factors for one's lack of learning. Often youth have this "wishful thinking" or this idea that the education is better due to reputation and so forth but often that is just that: wishful thinking, and has no base. One has to take responsibility for their learning no matter where they are and what they do. Life is lessons!

  37. i got an offer from lakehead for undergrad studies. how good or bad is it?

  38. Quite agree with you. In fact, it is the nature of Canadian universities: They have strong commitment to teach u nothing. You should study hard in any Canadian University. They are all low grade. But I know some universities abroad,mostly in the Third World, considerably better than Canadian's.
    To be a professor in Canadian university, you just need to read on slides of Powerpoint.

  39. us university of victoria good for electrical engineering or ubc?

    • is*

    • UBC ftw.

  40. Macleans seems to have a boner for McGill.

  41. lol Carltons not on any list  

  42. Or you can just drop out of high school, and in about 5-10 years, maybe less, apply to Royal Roads and get a Master’s degree in Environmental Science, and other impressive-sounding fields. Do not even bother finishing high school or doing your undergrad.