The Best Colleges & Universities in Quebec, Canada

When choosing a college or university to attend, location is often at the core of many individuals’ decisions. Identifying a locale with a strong history, vibrant culture, and robust higher education system may feel arduous. 

However, one may not need to look further than the heart of French civilization in North America – Quebec, Canada. 

Quebec is one of the thirteen provinces in Canada. The highest populated areas include Montreal and Quebec City.  

Quebec’s culture is unique and distinctively different from other provinces in Canada. Residents of Quebec work earnestly to preserve the traditions and culture of this distinctive area. 

Approximately 94 percent of the population speaks French. There is a significant push to protect and strengthen the use of the French language within the province, although highly disputed across the larger country. 

In addition to a rich cultural heritage, Quebec has a solid higher education system. The province makes significant investments in its educational sector and offers a high-quality education at the lowest price in Canada. 

Across the numerous universities in Quebec, approximately 125 programs are offered across numerous fields of study. Students have a wide range of options to choose from. 

With all of this in mind, which colleges and universities stand out as the most exceptional? Thankfully, an individual is not limited with their options. 

Here are 10 of the best colleges & universities in Quebec.

McGill University (Montreal, QC)

McGill University
Jeangagnon, Elizabeth Wirth Music Building – 01, CC BY-SA 4.0

Often referred to as “Canada’s Ivy League,” McGill University is one of Canada’s most prestigious institutions and is seen as a leading university across the world.

The university prides itself on a diverse student body, with international students comprising nearly 30% of the total population from more than 150 countries. 

McGill is recognized internationally as a leading research university. It consistently attracts incredibly bright students with the highest entering grade point averages of any in Canada.

McGill has accompanying accolades to uphold its reputation. 

According to Maclean’s 2022 University Rankings, McGill ranks first among medical-doctoral universities for seventeen consecutive years. On QS World University Rankings 2022, McGill University ranked 27th in the world. 

Needless to say, McGill offers countless opportunities for its students. Individuals can gain valuable connections through the research opportunities available and the lively city culture. 

University of Montreal (Montreal, QC)

University of Montreal
Jeangagnon, Complexe des sciences – Universite de Montreal – 030, CC BY-SA 4.0

If a student finds themselves in search of other opportunities in Montreal, they should look to the University of Montreal, or UdeM. The university is affiliated with Polytechnique Montreal, an engineering school, and HEC Montreal, a business school. 

Across the campus and affiliated programs, there are nearly 70,000 students. Approximately 27% of the student body is enrolled in graduate programming. 

According to the Times Higher Education ranking, UdeM is ranked 88th in the world. 

If a student is interested in science, UdeM was recently awarded a 159M dollar donation to engage in pioneering research on the subject of matter and energy. 

The University of Montreal is arguably the most influential French-speaking university in the world. Its vision will continue guiding meaningful research and change for years. 

Laval University (Quebec City, QC)

Laval University
Wilfredor, Laval University Church, Québec city, Canadá, CC BY-SA 4.0

Three hours from Montreal is Quebec City, QC. Although quieter than its larger neighbor, many claim it’s the “heart and soul” of French-Canadian culture. 

Quebec City is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. One can enjoy the city’s beautiful European architecture and quaint cobblestone streets. 

A cornerstone of Quebec City is undoubtedly Laval University, or Université Laval, which is the oldest French-language university in North America, founded in 1663. It is an opportune experience for anyone seeking a French-language immersive experience. 

The university is home to approximately 47,000 students, with 220 student associations. Better yet, it offers a large “American-style” campus with 60% greenspace and wooded areas in the heart of the historic city. 

The university is a pioneer in science and engineering. They are also internationally recognized for sustainability development. UL prides itself on a global outlook that contributes to Quebec City and the wider society. 

University of Quebec in Montreal (Montreal, QC)

The University of Quebec at Montreal (UQAM) is another French-language university with international accolades. The school is highly regarded for its esteemed social research and high-quality educational support and training programs. 

Nearly 36,960 students are enrolled in the university. UQAM provides more than 300 programs, with nearly half being at the graduate level. 

Approximately 223 million dollars have been raised to support the university’s teaching, research, and creation priorities, although a sizable portion is also allotted directly to students through scholarships. 

UQAM prioritizes a vision that ensures a socially responsible university of excellence. A combination of high-quality research and training opportunities and a challenging yet stimulating learning environment ensures that students leave ready to tackle the challenges of the changing world. 

École de technologie supérieure (Montreal, QC)

École de technologie supérieure (ÉTS) is a public engineering school located in Montreal, QC. It ranks second among Canadian engineering programs and trains nearly 25% of all engineers in the province.

The school enrolls nearly 1,000 students from over 60 countries. International students make up nearly 55% of the student population at the graduate level. 

All programs provided at ÉTS prioritize practice and experimentation. The school specializes in applied teaching in engineering. Instructors often work in the field and share valuable experiences with their students. 

An individual may also consider participating in one of the multiple student-run clubs. Students have participated in multiple international competitions over the years and have received numerous awards. 

A walking robot, underwater vehicle, and the world’s fastest human-powered submarine have all been devised by the bright minds at ÉTS. An added benefit? A network of nearly 30,000 innovative graduates awaits students after graduation. 

University of Sherbrooke (Sherbrooke, QC)

The University of Sherbrooke is a French-language university with campuses in Sherbrooke and Longueuil, a suburb of Montreal. 

Approximately 31,000 students are enrolled, which includes 3,000 older students (50+) at the “University of Third Age.” 

Like other universities throughout Quebec, Sherbrooke is recognized for its research activity. Most notably, the university has significantly contributed to the environment and climate change, epistemology, quantum science, and health promotion and prevention. 

The 2022 Academic Ranking of World Universities ranked Sherbrooke 501-600 in the world. The school has placed in several other international rankings, proving that it is a highly recognized university providing valuable contributions to research and student learning. 

University of Quebec in Trois-Rivières (Trois-Rivières, QC)

If an individual is struggling between lively Montreal or quaint Quebec City, why not meet halfway in Trois-Rivières, QC?

The University of Quebec in Trois-Rivières, or UQTR, is known for its relaxed atmosphere. Students and faculty work together to accomplish advances in both learning and research. 

UQTR is home to approximately 15,000 students, and US News and World Report ranked UQTR as #36 in Best Global Universities in Canada.

The university offered the very first podiatry program in Canada and is the only French-language university in the world to offer a DPM degree. Additionally, UQTR is the first university-based chiropractic school in North America. It is Quebec’s only midwifery program. 

With these advances in offerings, it is easy to see why one would find themselves inquiring. 

Concordia University (Montreal, QC)

In the heart of downtown Montreal is Concordia University, a public research university. Concordia is the culmination of a merger of two universities in 1974, Loyola College and Sir George Williams University. English is the primary language of instruction. 

Approximately 45,915 students are enrolled at Concordia. Individuals may share their time between the two campuses, one in downtown Montreal and the other in a residential district nearby. 

Endless opportunities are offered at Concordia, with over 400 undergraduate and 200 graduate programs available. 

Notable advances from the university include cross-disciplinary research in building and transit system efficiency to reduce C02 emissions

The university boasts impressive recognition as the #1 young university in Canada for the fifth straight year, according to Times Higher Education Young University Rankings. It also placed 62nd out of 1,115 institutions around the world when looking at the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs. 

HEC Montreal (Montreal, QC)

HEC Montreal is a French-language business university that offers undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate degrees in business and management. Such programs include a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA), Master of Business Administration (MBA), and a PhD in Administration, just to name a few. 

The university is home to approximately 14,299 students, including 3,746 international students.

HEC Montreal was the first business school in Canada and holds three distinguished, international accreditations from AMBA, AACSB International, and EQUIS. Only two other schools in Canada share this honor. 

According to the University of Dallas Research Rankings, HEC Montreal is in the top 100 Business Schools Worldwide, with a rank of 72. Forbes ranked HEC 17th worldwide for best international business schools with one-year MBAs. 

If business is in a student’s future, they need not look further than HEC Montreal. 

Bishop’s University (Sherbrooke, QC)

If a student finds themselves looking for a traditional college experience in a small community, Bishop’s University may be an ideal fit. 

Bishop’s offers primarily undergraduate programming in fine arts, humanities, social and natural sciences, business, and education. It provides abundant social experiences in a rich and vibrant school community. 

Approximately 2,900 full-time students comprise the student body, including more than one-hundred student clubs and organizations. 

The campus includes rolling greenspace and historic, gothic-revival architecture.

According to Maclean’s 2020 University rankings, Bishop’s was first in student satisfaction. It has also placed at the top for course instructors, manageable library expenses, and a variety of extracurricular activities and options. 

In 2018, Bishop’s University was the #1 Most Recommended university in Canada, according to Campus Rankings. Students are more than a number and are sure to receive the highest quality education.

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