Top Computer Science Universities in Canada

Computer science is the study of computers and their uses, and the field comprises a wide range of subjects. They include software engineering and design, artificial intelligence theory, programming languages, information systems and information technology. These are the top universities in Canada for computer science, which were ranked based on their reputation and research in the field.

10. Carleton University

Kicking of the list of the best computer science universities in Canada is Carleton University. Located in Ottawa, Ontario, Carleton began their School of Computer Science in 1980. Originally, students only had access to a Bachelor of Computer Science degree. However, Carleton now offers a variety of undergraduate and graduate degrees. With specializations in Computer Game Development, Computer and Internet Security, Data Science, and many others, Carleton’s School of Computer Science has a lot to offer.

9. University of Ottawa 

The University of Ottawa, currently the world’s largest English-French bilingual university, offers roughly 500 areas of specializations as majors and minors at the undergraduate level. U of O has recently witnessed a growing international student enrollment, with nearly a 31 percent increase in enrollments from overseas at the undergraduate level over the past couple of years.

A computer science degree at U of O is offered as part of the Faculty of Engineering. For students interested in a hands-on learning process, the program encompasses both theory and practical knowledge of programming systems, computer architecture, algorithm design, and other fundamentals of computer science. The Faculty of Engineering also offers students various funds in support of innovation projects and initiatives. At the graduate level, U of O partners with other institutions in the Ottawa region, such as Carleton University, to allow students a wider variety of research facilities and resources in two of the city’s popular post-secondary education destinations.

8. McMaster University 

McMaster University has a merited reputation as one of Canada’s medical-doctoral, research-intensive universities that offers its students world-class education through an interdisciplinary approach to learning. The university attracts international students from over 98 countries, and 20 percent of graduate level students in the university are international.

The university’s computer science program is hosted by the Faculty of Engineering. As a result, it offers students skills beyond programming as it delves into information systems designs and database development. Students are also given the flexibility to customize their schedule, with up to 40 percent of electives freely chosen, giving a student the possibility to gain additional skills in another study area. More importantly, McMaster computer science graduates are promised a 100 percent employment rate within two years of graduating from the program.

7. Simon Fraser University

SFU has a diverse student population, with international students making up 19 percent of the total student body. The school offers programs with nearly 200 work placement opportunities, both nationally and internationally. As a result, SFU’s graduates are now widely-known to have the requisite experience, skills, and attitudes that are in high demand for the labour market. It comes as no surprise that SFU took first place as Canada’s top comprehensive university in Maclean’s 2018 ranking.

SFU’s School of Computing Science is part of three departments: Faculty of Applied Sciences, School of Engineering Science, and the School of Mechatronic Systems Engineering. In fact, 98 percent of students enrolled in the program state they are satisfied with their experience, and employers of SFU graduates are equally satisfied. Based on a recent LinkedIn review, SFU Computing Science graduates ranked among the third cohort of post-secondary graduates to land high-paying software development jobs. The university’s Computing Science program also attracted attention of international recruitment with a recent partnership forged with the Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China, which offers undergraduate students the opportunity to obtain two undergraduate degrees, learn Mandarin, and develop key market skills.

6. University of Alberta

University of Alberta is located in the city of Edmonton. The university’s Department of Computing Science claims to be the largest departments in the country with a wide variety of future-driven specializations ranging from Artificial intelligence, Computer Games, and Bioinformatics.

Alberta is not only becoming a destination of residence for many recent skilled immigrants, but international students also decide on Alberta as a study destination. In fact, University of Alberta data also shows a rise in international student enrolment, overseas enrolment, into the computing science program nearly double that of domestic students. Students have the flexibility to combine a business or mathematics degree and graduate with a Bachelor’s, Master’s or Doctorate in Computing Science, in conjunction with another practical area of expertise.

5. McGill University

Located in Montreal, McGill has become a hub for research and instruction, attracting talent from many different countries, including the U.S., China, France, India, and Saudi Arabia.

A Computer Science degree at McGill encompasses both theory and application, with smaller classrooms that enable students to experience one-on-one interaction with professors. Undergraduate students in the School of Computer Science have a choice between 10 program options and three possible degrees, with access to an internship program that allows them to put all learned skills at use in a professional setting including a possibility for a paid work term as an undergraduate.

4. Université de Montréal

The Department of Computer Science and Operations Research, DIRO for short, at the Université de Montréal claims to be one of the first university-level Computer Science departments in the region. Currently, the department receives more than $4 million in research grants and contracts. The school is located in the neighborhood of Côte-des-Neiges in Montreal. As the campus is located away from the downtown core, the neighborhood has many housing options available to Université de Montréal students, as well as a variety of cafés, bars, and restaurants to experience.

DIRO is one of the most tiered computer science programs in North America with four bachelor degrees, four master’s options, two doctorates, and three graduate diplomas, it may be one of the largest departments in the country.

3. University of Waterloo

In addition to taking third place as a computer science study destination in Canada, the University of Waterloo also ranked third on this year on Maclean’s list of the top 15 comprehensive schools in Canada. For students interested in a career-focused program taught by industry specialists, Waterloo is one of the strongest choices as it offers its students a solid co-op program with 6,900 participating employers, students have the chance to gain two years of paid work experience upon graduation.

The number of international graduates from the computer science program at the undergraduate level increased by 75 percent over recent years. Waterloo graduates and professors are known to be innovative, having created over 300 spin-off companies created such as OpenText, Canada’s largest software company. It is no wonder Waterloo attracts nearly 6,000 international students from more than 120 countries each year.

2. University of British Columbia

UBC is one of most populated universities in Canada, with roughly 60,000 students in its two main campuses, located in Vancouver and Okanagan. The university appeals to the world’s brightest talent, with over 13,000 international students in its Vancouver campus only making 23 percent of all undergraduate students.

UBC’s computer science department was first established in 1968. It grew widely over the years and now offers undergraduates a legacy of research-driven interdisciplinary instruction. There are over six major six major programs, two honours programs, and a host of other minor and double major degree programs.

1. University of Toronto

U of T’s Computer Science program has a long-standing history of over 50 years of instruction, with over 11 areas of research to choose from for students at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctorate levels. Graduates from U of T’s Computer Science program do not only develop strong research-based skills, but have plenty of opportunities to further their career through paid internships, such as the Professional Experience Year, which provides undergraduates the opportunity to gain valuable professional skills in one of Canada’s largest paid internship program. U of T statistics show an increase of international student enrollment at all levels with higher numbers projected in the near future, with foreign students expected to make up nearly 20 percent of the overall student population by 2021.