Here Are the 10 Best Engineering Schools in Canada

Engineers work to improve the quality of life for people across the world through innovative problem-solving. As a field, engineering is an applied science that focuses on the design and construction of new technologies.

In their day-to-day work, engineers use their technical knowledge to develop new products that are more efficient and functional than the previous models. Other engineers troubleshoot issues with existing machines. A key responsibility of engineering is ensuring the safety of a process or system.

Engineering consists of many more specialized fields such as civil, chemical, computer, electrical, and mechanical. No matter which specialty, engineers must be educated in a variety of technical subjects to succeed in their careers. Most engineers attend engineering school to earn a degree and gain experience in their field.

While in engineering school, students study mathematics, computer science, biology, chemistry, physics, and other technical topics. They will also take more specialized electives based on their specific major. Through these courses and other on-campus experiences, students gain important career skills such as communication and creativity.

The best engineering schools emphasize good teaching by bringing in faculty members who are experienced in the field. There will also be a variety of hands-on opportunities to practice engineering skills, whether that’s through internships, extracurriculars, or laboratories. In addition, engineering school provides students with a valuable professional network with industry connections.

Engineering positions typically pay well and have a strong job outlook because of the technical ability required to succeed. Canada is a top destination for engineering students due to the industry opportunities and world-class universities. In 2019, there were over 300,000 engineers across Canada.

Across Canada, many prestigious engineering schools focus on the overall development of students. 

Here are 10 of the best engineering schools in Canada.

Western University Faculty of Engineering (London, ON)

Western University understands that the most successful engineers are leaders and innovators. Engineering undergraduates can choose to combine their education with a business degree or take specialty courses in integrated engineering. Western also offers a design thinking workshop for students to learn human-centered design skills and gain a competitive advantage.

Western Engineering is dedicated to building relationships with industry partners to benefit their community. This partnership goes both ways, as partner companies have access to the university’s world-class research facilities and innovative minds. Through these industry connections, engineering students have an easier time finding their future careers.

Engineering graduates from Western University are spread throughout Canada and the rest of the globe. The alumni network is made up of 13,000 individuals across a diverse range of careers. Popular fields include software, automation, energy, environmental, and biomedical engineering.

University of Victoria Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science (Victoria, BC)

UVic Engineering is at the forefront of applied science. Students work alongside faculty members to solve real-world problems and create a tangible impact. Engineering projects range from sustainable housing to new medical devices to new applications of artificial intelligence.

No matter what branch of engineering you are interested in, UVic has a student group to match your interests. There are a variety of award-winning competition teams, including UVic Biomedical Design Team, UVic Concrete Canoe, UVic Formula Racing, UVic Seismic Design Team, and UVic Satellite Design Team.

Engineering students also have an impact outside of the classroom through cooperative education. Through paid work experiences, students act as employees in the real world in positions that interest them. Biomedical, civil, computer, electrical, mechanical, and software engineering programs include integrated co-op experiences with the necessary job search training.

McMaster University Faculty of Engineering (Hamilton, ON)

McMaster University Faculty of Engineering
Saforrest, John Hodgins Building at McMaster University, CC BY 3.0

McMaster University is dedicated to excellence across all engineering fields, earning the university recognition for its innovation and high-quality research. Researchers from the university are fellows of prestigious groups, such as the Canadian Academy of Engineering, Order of Canada, and the Royal Society of Canada. 

In addition, alumna Donna Strickland is one of only three women to have won the Nobel Prize in Physics.

The Faculty of Engineering is home to 20 major research centers with top-tier equipment. Engineering students are trained in these facilities, enabling them to enter the workforce with firsthand knowledge of the latest technologies. From the Nuclear Reactor to the Brain-Body Institute, McMaster engineering students perform research at the forefront of their fields.

The MacChangers program provides experiential learning opportunities to engineering students. Using their foundational knowledge, students work in teams to propose solutions to the most critical problems facing society today. Challenge areas include sustainability, economic prosperity, health, and infrastructure, particularly in the local Hamilton community.

University of Alberta Faculty of Engineering (Edmonton, AB)

University of Alberta Faculty of Engineering
Public domain photo via Wikimedia Commons

Since the school’s founding in 1908, the University of Alberta has taught engineers how to succeed. Today, the university offers dozens of fully-accredited undergraduate and graduate degrees. U of A faculty and alumni have engineered some of the most innovative technologies of our time, from precision health to interplanetary exploration.

While on campus, engineering students have access to the Elko Engineering Garage. This 6,000 square foot makerspace is a hands-on facility for training, collaborating, prototyping, and troubleshooting. There are plenty of resources for fabrication, including 3D printing, metalwork, electronic, and woodworking capabilities.

The University of Alberta has an alumni network of over 30,000 engineers applying their skills in Canada and worldwide. Graduates stay involved with the university through events, mentoring, and community service events. Alumni members who go above and beyond to make a positive difference in the world are awarded with the William Muir Edwards Citizenship Award.

Queen’s University Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science (Kingston, ON)

Queen's University
Public domain photo via Wikimedia Commons

Through a technically rigorous curriculum, Queen’s University prepares engineering students for leadership in their fields. 91% of undergraduate engineers complete their degrees, the highest out of any engineering program in Canada. Engineering graduates receive a high-quality education and a tight-knit community that will serve them well throughout their careers.

Queen’s department of engineering is also committed to educating the next generation of engineers. The Tech ‘n’ Tinker Trailer is an outreach program that provides students and teachers new opportunities to learn about engineering. Through 3D printers, micro-controllers, building materials, and other hands-on technology, younger students gain a passion for engineering.

Engineering students at Queen’s University have the opportunity to experience campus life at another university through the school’s exchange programs. The university recognizes that engineering is a global career where students must learn intercultural communication skills to succeed. Engineering undergraduates can visit Washington DC, England, France, Germany, and many other countries.

University of British Columbia (Vancouver, BC)

University of British Columbia
Xicotencatl, Koerner Library UBC, CC BY-SA 3.0

UBC Engineering is committed to a diverse and engaging education. This approach makes engineering graduates stand out and prepares them for future success. 

UBC is home to the largest engineering school and co-op program in Western Canada, graduating 75% of all new engineers in BC each year. The influx of talented workers who have real-world experience drives change in engineering fields across Canada. These co-op work terms complement academic work and provide an impressive professional background.

Engineering students at UBC have access to a wide range of resources to develop new technology and businesses. The Hatch Accelerator is an on-campus incubator that provides entrepreneurial students with the creative spaces, tools, and mentorship necessary to create a startup. For further support, the center offers a Concept Fund grant.

University of Calgary Schulich School of Engineering (Calgary, AB)

Through research activities, the University of Calgary aims to make a difference in people’s lives. Engineering students investigate a variety of cutting-edge technologies such as autonomous digital systems, environmental engineering, biosystems, and more. Research is often highly collaborative, bringing together experts from a variety of fields.

Leadership is emphasized for engineering students at the University of Calgary. Outdoor Leadership Experiences provide unforgettable activities that teach undergraduates teamwork and problem-solving skills. Along with learning highly valued engineering abilities, students bond with their peers while building snow shelters in Kananaskis or backcountry skiing in the Columbia Icefields.

UCalgary encourages undergraduate engineers to participate in Global Engineering Experiences, subsidized by the School of Engineering. Students can participate in department-specific trips, global community projects, or global entrepreneurship experiences.

McGill University Faculty of Engineering (Montreal, QC)

McGill University Engineering Building
Public domain photo via Wikimedia Commons

At McGill, engineering undergraduates are prepared to work as professionals in the field. Students have access to a variety of career development opportunities, such as workshops, networking events, and career advising sessions. The 2020 TechFair had an attendance of over 4,500 engineering students and 250 companies.

Engineering students gain hands-on experience through internships and co-ops. In 2020, over 500 students participated in internships and co-ops. These experiential learning opportunities provide valuable skills and mindsets that cannot be taught in the classroom.

McGill also has a variety of student design teams that compete with other engineering students across the country. Students can participate in Mini Baja Racing, Bridge Building, Chem-E Car, and McGill Robotics to pursue their interests outside of the classroom. Collaborative problem-solving and creating innovative designs prepares students for life as an engineer.

University of Toronto Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering (Toronto, ON)

As Ontario’s first engineering school, the University of Toronto is renowned for its collaborative engineering research. The university’s engineering departments are recognized for innovations in engineering education. Over the university’s successful history, U of T has produced over 50,000 successful engineering alumni.

Engineering students work alongside their professors to address a wide range of social, economic, industrial, and environmental challenges. 

The engineering department at U of T has $101.5 million in research funding awards to tackle issues in advanced manufacturing, artificial intelligence, human health, robotics, and sustainability.

To support research and academic endeavors, U of T has over 400 industry partnerships. These relationships provide career opportunities for students and create new technologies using the shared resources from both institutions. Some of the school’s industry partners include McEwen Mining, Hatch Ltd, Fujitsu Labs Limited, and many others.

University of Waterloo Faculty of Engineering (Waterloo, ON)

With over 10,500 engineering students enrolled, the University of Waterloo is the largest engineering school in Canada. Due to the school’s vast resources and engineering expertise, a number of programs top the rankings. According to major publications, the university is #1 in Canada for chemical engineering, mechanical engineering, mechanical engineering, and civil engineering.

At the end of the curriculum, Waterloo engineers complete the innovative Capstone Design program. Working in groups, students apply the knowledge picked up in classes and co-op to design and conceptualize a project. Many projects go on to commercialization before degree completion, leading to the creation of Athos, BufferBox, Myo armband, and other ground-breaking ideas.

Waterloo Engineering collaborates with over 1,000 companies across Canada and internationally to advance knowledge. Students have the opportunity to work on exciting projects in artificial intelligence, manufacturing, biocompatibility, cybersecurity, energy storage, and other areas.