Want to learn what the best universities in Canada for Engineering are? You’ve come to the right place.
We know that you’re investing a TON of time, money, and energy towards your future.
You’ve gotten the grades, done a bunch of extracurriculars, improved your real-world skills, and become the type of applicant that top-tier engineering programs in Canada look for — you’ve put in the work.
As if doing all that wasn’t stressful enough, now you have to decide where you want to spend the next 4 years of your life and complete your undergrad degree.
We get that it can be really stressful to make such a big decision about which university aligns to your unique interests, goals, and aspirations. That’s why we’ve put together this list of the best universities in Canada for Engineering (with a focus on undergraduate programs, in no particular order), so you can remove all the questions and hesitation that might be floating around in your mind.
Here you’ll find a comprehensive breakdown of the standout features of the best engineering schools in Canada — all in one place — so you can be confident that you’re making the right decision for your future.
And just remember — you don’t have to go through this process alone! Our Youth Coaches™ are alumni of all the programs listed below and they have helped hundreds of students choose the program that’s right for them (as well as helping them succeed once they’re in university). If you’re looking for an objective mentor to help you through this process, connect with a coach now for support.
We also have a ton of free resources, including comprehensive program guides, application prep guides, skills building guides, and more.
To stay up to date on the latest content to empower you to fulfill your potential follow our channel on YouTube and subscribe to our monthly newsletter (by filling out the form at the top of this page).
Engineering at Waterloo University (Waterloo, Ontario) – One of the Best Engineering Programs in Canada Overall
Why? First, Waterloo Engineering gives students a lot of choice about what they want to study, and offers a highly specialized and focused curriculum based on that. Waterloo has more program options than most other schools, like biomedical engineering, civil engineering, and software engineering, as well as various specializations and options.
And, unlike other engineering programs where students take broad, comprehensive courses in their first year, Waterloo Engineering students start their chosen program at the beginning of first year.
While choosing your engineering program right away might seem a bit more stressful upfront first (since you really have to do your research to make sure you’re choosing the right program for you) it really pays off in the end. Right from the start, you’re getting education and training that is directly applicable to your field of interest.
Waterloo Engineering also has the largest co-op programs in the world, with access to over 6,900 employers. As an engineering student you’re automatically in the Waterloo Co-op Program (and it is mandatory for all students), and you will gain up to 2 years of real-world experience.
As a part of this program, you’ll also complete professional development courses to help you expand your knowledge of engineering into real world situations.
DID YOU KNOW?: Waterloo University is in the heart of Waterloo, Ontario, which has been called ‘Canada’s silicon valley’ and is a hub for technology (Blackberry was founded here!). It’s also the home of many tech companies and startups. This is KEY for finding a great co-op and will give you some more opportunities to find a placement that you’re truly interested in.
The co-op and professional development courses are great opportunities for you to build a well-rounded resume with a ton of useful work experience and skills sets (and this will make you more competitive when you graduate). It also lets you test out a bunch of different jobs and companies and see what’s right for you.
This will give you confidence that you’re on the right path — not to mention that you’ll build a really strong network and connections you can use when you’re looking for a job after graduation. Most students actually end up working for the company they did their co-op with (and 96% of co-op grads are employed within 6 months after graduating).
Another thing that makes Waterloo Engineering such a good choice is the vibrant and engaging student life (which is super important when you need a break from studying!). With Waterloo, Laurier, and Conestoga being so close to one another, this city has one of the youngest populations.
There’s always something to do, like festivals (Waterloo is home to the largest Oktoberfest outside of Germany), sporting events, restaurants, parks and greenspaces, malls, and more to keep you occupied.
On campus, there are plenty of opportunities for co-curricular activities and getting involved, like the Waterloo Engineering Society (EngSoc) and Women in Engineering (WIE), as well as many other athletics, design teams, and other opportunities to get involved.
If you’re interested in finding out more about Waterloo Engineering, watch the video below by one of our Youth Coaches™ who breaks down everything you need to know about this program:
We’ve helped hundreds of students improve real-world skills, stand out on their Waterloo Engineering interview and AIF, and get accepted to this top engineering program (check out this inspiring journey from one of our students, Prabhgun, who worked with his Youth Coach™ to create a strategy to gain experience, improve his portfolio, get into Waterloo Engineering, AND get 2 competitive co-ops).
You Might Also Like
Waterloo Engineering: The Definitive Guide for Applicants (2024)
Whether you’re applying to Waterloo Engineering or simply interested in learning about the program, this guide is for you. As… Read more
U of T Engineering (Toronto, Ontario) – Ranked as One of the Best Universities in Canada for Engineering Science
U of T Engineering is Canada’s oldest and largest engineering school. This world-renowned program uses experiential learning and multidisciplinary, collaborative education to help students think beyond conventional approaches to engineering and address a vast range of social, economic, and industrial challenges.
U of T Engineering is top-ranked for electrical and computer engineering, and is especially known for its robotics program and being a leader in health care engineering.
Another reason that it’s ranked so highly is because it is one of the few schools to offer Engineering Science (EngSci). This program blends math, science, computing, and humanities in Years 1-2, and then you choose 1 of 8 majors for Years 3-4. In addition to EngSci, there are also many other programs to choose from (what they call the ‘Core 8 Programs’).
There’s a lot of flexibility – if you know exactly what you want to study, you can choose a Core 8 or EngSci. But, if you don’t really know yet, you can do a TrackOne, Undeclared Engineering focus in your first year until you decide at the end of your first year.
With so many study options, being able to explore different options and figure out what you’re truly passionate about is key. We’ve had many students tell us that this takes away a lot of stress in first year because they don’t feel like they have to make such a big decision right away (vs. a school like Waterloo Engineering). Instead, you can take your time, make an educated decision, and then focus your education on this specific interest and career goals.
Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering, image credit
U of T Engineering also stands out because it incorporates technical training and extracurricular and professional experience opportunities (e.g. the PEY Co-op and ESIP, study abroad program, research opportunities, etc.).
Each student must complete a Professional Experience Requirement (PER), which is a minimum of 600 hours of practical work experience completed through the Professional Experience Year (PEY), Engineering Summer Internship Program (ESIP), paid/unpaid work, conducting research, and/or other positions in industry.
What makes U of T stand out is that it doesn’t simply throw students into a co-op, but it prepares them for the professional world through mandatory career exploration programming and pass/fail modules. Not only will you learn how to actually apply for jobs, build a resume, and interview, but once you get the job you will have a ton of different work experiences that are directly related to your chosen field, making you a more competitive applicant after graduation.
Student experience is also a big reason why this program is so popular. U of T Engineering focuses on creating opportunities for students to meet new people, try new things, and discover who they are.
With over 75 student clubs and teams to explore, you can interact with people who have the same passion for engineering as you do and make life-long relationships. There’s really something for everyone, like the Engineering Society (aka EngSoc or SkuleTM), Blue Sky Solar Racing Team, or discipline specific clubs like Indy Club.
U of T Engineering is also in the heart of downtown Toronto, which makes student life even more fun. When you need a break from studying, there are a ton of concerts, sporting events, museums, festivals, and more to check out (often free or discounted prices for students).
There’s always something new to explore and every area of the city will make you feel curious and engaged, no matter what part of the world you’re from. Trying new things and having the freedom to explore is great for your mental and physical health, especially when you’re in such a demanding program.
For more info about U of T Engineering, read our U of T Engineering Program Guide and U of T Engineering App Prep Guide, and connect with a coach to see if this program is the best fit for you.
You Might Also Like
U of T Engineering: The Definitive Guide for Applicants (2024)
If you’re applying to the University of Toronto’s Engineering program in the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering, or you’re… Read more
Engineering at McGill University (Montreal, Quebec) – Best Engineering Program in Canada for Electrical & Computer Engineering
While there are slightly less focus areas/programs than schools like Waterloo Engineering or U of T Engineering, McGill is well-known for its Electrical and Computer Engineering programs. The curriculum for these programs emphasizes math, sciences, and engineering science and design, so if these are of interest, then this might be the best school for you.
McGill is unique because it offers Electrical Engineering students a chance to take industry-sponsored courses, projects, and internships/employment in electrical power engineering (called the Enhanced Power Concentration), supported by the Institute for Electrical Power Engineering (IEPE), giving access to state of the art labs and working with industry professionals. While this is a highly competitive opportunity, it can provide you with unique experience that will really contribute to your competitiveness as you’re looking for your first job.
Another thing that makes McGill Engineering a top program is because it supports its students both academically and professionally. The Faculty of Engineering really makes the effort to make sure there is enough support and opportunities for students to have a well-rounded, diverse experiences and skill set when they graduate.
McGill Engineering also provides students with resources such as the Engineering Career Centre to help prepare for jobs, connect with employers, discover your right career path, and develop the soft skills you need to succeed in the workplace.
There are also various workshops, conferences, and career advising sessions throughout the year. The ECC also hosts a TechFair where you can network with industry representatives, build connections, and learn about the latest advancements in your chosen field. And trust us, talking to people who are just as passionate about engineering as you are will keep you motivated and excited about all the work you’re doing in class.
In addition to preparing you for the workplace, McGill has many opportunities for its students to gain meaningful experiential learning and work experience. The Engineering Internship Program is a great way for you to make sure that you’re pursuing a career that will make you happy, all while putting what you’ve learned in the classroom to good use (and making some extra money while doing it!).
There’s also a lot of opportunities to gain international experience and knowledge with McGill Engineering’s exchange program. Many of our students have have told us that these internships and exchanges are really eye-opening because they can test everything they’ve learned in class, and they also get a bit of a break from traditional in-class learning by learning in a different environment, and this is a great way to switch things up and keep you motivated.
McGill Engineering’s focus on undergraduate research and innovation also makes it stand out as a Canadian engineering program. It would be a good choice if you plan to pursue graduate studies and/or a research-focused career.
The Summer Undergraduate Research in Engineering (SURE) program gives students a chance to work closely with an Engineering professor on one of their research projects during the summer. You can also take your research international with the SURE International program. SURE is a unique and invaluable opportunity because it teaches you how to research effectively, while building skills like organization, time management, teamwork/collaboration, communication, and more.
Both of these are especially valuable if you want to go to graduate school because it could form the basis for your graduate research. It’ll also allow you to have a faculty mentor who can teach you about your field of interest, the latest research and advancements, and show you how you can contribute your own ideas and make a positive impact.
If you’re interested in finding out more about this program, connect with a coach to learn more to see if this program is the best fit for you.
Engineering at UBC (Vancouver, British Columbia) – Best Engineering School in Canada for Comprehensive Education & Learning Methods
The Engineering program at UBC has consistently been ranked among the top 3 engineering schools in Canada — and UBC graduates 75% of all new engineers in BC each year!
UBC Engineering provides students with a solid foundation in their first year, helping them become familiar with various areas in this field and preparing them no matter what path they choose.
All first year students take the same curriculum focusing on chemistry, math, physics, communications, and intro engineering courses. This structure is especially useful for students who aren’t 100% sure what particular area they want to study, and want to test out a few different options. This curriculum model takes away a lot of stress in the first and will make you more confident that you’re making the right decision when choosing your focus in second year.
UBC Engineering is also a standout program because (along with Waterloo Engineering and Alberta Engineering) it offers one of the widest ranges of program concentrations for second year students to choose (see all 14 options here). No matter what area of engineering you’re interested in, UBC will provide a comprehensive education of all areas, and help you become an expert in the area that you’re most passionate about
UBC Engineering Student Centre, image credit
Another reason that Engineering at UBC stands out is because it uses various styles of learning to help you get the most out of the program. In addition to going to classes and listening to lectures, you will go to labs, do team-based projects, and gain early design experience. Many students have told us that this varied style of learning is so effective because it keeps them engaged and helps them build other important real-world skills like teamwork, problem solving, and time management (which in turn makes them better students overall).
UBC Engineering wants its students to be well-rounded and learn about fields outside of their study area. This is why there’s the option to pursue a Minor or Dual Degree in addition to your engineering degree. Take courses in other faculties and disciplines like arts, science, commerce, etc. as a Minor, or do a Dual Degree in Arts and Applied Science and Bachelor of Applied Science at the same time. This is a really great option for someone who is unsure about what career path they want, or for someone who is interested in blending various disciplines.
Another way that UBC helps its students gain a broad education through various styles of learning is through its co-op program. The UBC Engineering Co-op is the largest co-op program in Western Canada and one of the most successful programs in Canada.
Here you’ll be able to test out what you’ve learned in the classroom to solve real-world problems. With over 800 students taking part in the Engineering Co-op each year and over 55,000 work term opportunities for UBC students, this is a great way to develop technical skills, connections, and experience that will help you during your degree and beyond.
DID YOU KNOW?: Many students have told us that the co-op at UBC Engineering helped them confirm that they were choosing the right career path (others even changed their career goals after seeing what it was really like) and a lot of them actually got hired on full time at their placement location after they graduated (in fact 90% of employers say they want to hire students who have done the co-op after they graduate).
For more info about UBC Engineering and to make sure this program is right for you, connect with a coach now.
McMaster University Engineering (Hamilton, Ontario) – Top Engineering University in Canada for Experiential Learning
McMaster University’s Engineering program has continued to climb the top-engineering programs list over the past few years.
McMaster Engineering continues to get a high ranking because of its innovative approach to engineering education, which they call The Pivot. At McMaster, experiential learning is a priority that’s incorporated into all aspects of the student experience.
The curriculum doesn’t follow the traditional lecture-style model, but teaches students to meet the demands of today’s society by learning to work with a team, adapt to challenges, and find innovative solutions. Instead, they want to focus on ‘the whole engineer’, which uses experiential learning to teach students how to create, solve problems, employ innovative thinking, deepen their social consciousness, and more.
In first year, you’ll take foundational courses where you develop a solid understanding of various engineering disciplines.
Experiential learning is a focus right away with an additional first year course called Integrated Cornerstone Design Projects in Engineering. You’ll have 4 design projects that you must complete, focusing on things like coding, graphic design, materials and engineering practice, and more. Then at the end of the year each group showcases their projects. This is a unique opportunity to get out of the classroom and learn about today’s most challenging problems and apply what you’ve learned so far (while working with an inspiring group of your peers).
Other ways that McMaster Engineering incorporates experiential learning into its curriculum is through their Co-op Program (which is the second-largest co-op program in Ontario). Here you’ll be able to take the collaboration and teamwork skills you’ve learned and gain work experience, while seeing what it’s like to work for some of the country’s top employers (and make up to $50k a year doing it!).
There are also more than 60 engineering clubs, teams, committees, conferences, and competitions, such as MacChangers and the Grand Challenges Scholars Program, where you can gain real world experience in fun, meaningful ways. There are also a ton of other opportunities where you can gain experiential knowledge by working on projects you love.
McMaster Engineering also gets top ranking because of its reputation as one of Canada’s most research-intensive facilities. It has the largest undergraduate engineering research program in Canada.
Students in the Summer Research Program work with professors and other researchers on a wide range of disciplines like materials, automotive, nuclear research, and more. This is a unique experiential learning opportunity, especially if you’re research focused and have plans for graduate school (or you simply want to learn more about the field you’re interested in). The mentorship and learning you receive while working with a professor/researcher will give you firsthand knowledge of your field, while exposing you to research methods, theories, and innovative ideas outside of class.
Queen’s University Engineering (Kingston, Ontario) – Best Engineering Program in Canada for Flexible Program Choices & Student Support
Queen’s University has consistently ranked at the top for its engineering program for educating students in world-class technology.
Queen’s Engineering is a great choice because of its flexible program options. All students have a common first year, composed of foundational courses and then a guaranteed discipline selection in second year and beyond. With 10 programs to choose from, there’s something for everyone (and you’ll have a ton of confidence that you’ve chosen the right one after learning about a bunch of different research areas in first year).
There are also Dual Degree options, where you can work on the Bachelor of Applied Science (BASc) degree as well as an Arts and Science degree. Like the flexible program choices, the Dual Degree is a good choice if you aren’t totally sure what you want to do and you want to explore a bunch of different disciplines and research areas.
Queen’s Engineering is also the only program in Canada to offer the Mechatronics and Robotics program, bringing together computer, electrical, and progressive design projects. If this is your area of interest, then Queen’s is definitely the right choice for you.
Apart from being flexible, Queen’s Engineering is also a unique program because it teaches students various important skills that are outside engineering directly. You won’t learn only about the technical side of engineering but you’ll also learn the context of what you’re doing. For example, if you’re working on a design project about a landfill design proposal, you’ll learn about the standards of Ontario regulations, environmental factors, sewers and watermains, etc. in addition to the technical side of the project. This will open up a lot of doors when you graduate because you will be qualified for more careers in addition to engineering, like management, consulting, etc.
Beamish-Munro Hall, Queen’s University, Image credit
Queen’s Engineering is also known for ensuring that its students are supported both inside and outside of the classroom. Their 10 Point Success Model is a network of advisors, workshops, resources, counselors, and mentors who are all there to support you in any way they can to help you succeed in university, build skills, and achieve your goals. They’ve also got a helpful online bridging program to make the transition from high school to university easier (which is especially useful during the pandemic). These are just a couple ways that Queen’s makes an extra effort to support its students.
No matter what you need, there’s always someone there to help. This is a huge advantage of going to a university like Queen’s, whose student body is slightly smaller than somewhere like U of T, and it has the resources to make sure that you feel supported and are part of a community. University can be tough, but it is a game changer to know that you aren’t alone.
If you talk to alumni of Queen’s Engineering, they will all tell you that one of the best things about going to Queen’s Engineering is the student life. Within the university, there are a ton of clubs, design teams, and athletics you can join to help you explore your interests and make life-long friends.
Kingston, Ontario is also a beautiful city, full of history and charm. It’s small enough where you can easily get around and explore, but big enough that there’s never a dull moment. There are a ton of museums and galleries, sporting events, restaurants, and nightlife to give you the break you need from your studies.
For more information on Queen’s Engineering and to make sure it’s the right fit for you, connect with a coach.
University of Alberta Engineering (Edmonton, Alberta) – Best Engineering School in Canada for Program Choice Options & Student Resources
The University of Alberta has been consistently ranked as one of the best engineering schools in Canada — and for good reason!
Alberta has the most programs and study options out of any other engineering school (Alberta offers 21 fully accredited undergraduate degrees!).
Each student must take the same courses in the first year (called a Qualifying First Year), where you’ll get a solid foundation in various aspects of engineering while exploring your interests. Then, you can choose which program/sub-specialization is the best fit for you.
A lot of students tell us that first year in this program can be a bit overwhelming because of the course load. Just remember that even though you might have a hard time adjusting, it will help you in the long run because you can see what area you’re truly interested in. And, if you spend time developing your organization and time management skills before you get to university and also learning strategies to study smarter (vs. harder), then you’ll have no problem adjusting (click here and we will show you how!).
Also, when you’re taking all the same courses as everyone else, this is a great opportunity to get to know people in the program and make friends and make the most of your experience outside of the classroom.
Engineering Teaching and Learning Complex, University of Alberta, image credit
Engineering at Alberta also has the top 3 engineering co-op program in Canada. You can take up to 20 months of work terms. This means that (if you choose the co-op degree route), then just under 50% of your degree will be spent doing a work term.
This will give you a chance to build a solid foundation in first year, then become an expert in your chosen field in upper years, all while applying what you’ve learned, diversifying your skills, and getting hands-on experience during the co-op. You’ll also build a broad network and connections that will be key when you’re looking for a job (and many students actually get hired at the place they did their co-op at). And it’s an extra bonus that you’ll get paid while you’re in school (students usually make $25+/hr in these positions).
The University of Alberta is also known for its student resources and its focus on helping students make the most of their undergraduate experience.
There are various organizations like the Engineering Student Success Centre (ESSC), which offers group/independent tutoring, study sessions, and practice tests, if you’re having trouble (as mentioned above this would be especially helpful in your first year), or the Engineering Employment Centre (EEC) which provides students with professional develop resources to aid in all steps of the employment (and co-op) process.
We highly recommend that you take part in a club too like Engineering Student Society (ESS). Here you’ll collaborate with your peers, build a sense of community, and participate in a ton of fun events. When you’re adjusting to university and figuring out who you are, having mentorship and close friends is key for your mental health and keeping you motivated throughout the degree, so all these options definitely will make your experience better.
For more info about Engineering at the University of Alberta and to make sure this program is the best fit for you, connect with a coach.
University of Calgary Engineering (Calgary, Alberta) – Best Engineering Program in Canada for First-Year Professional Development
Like other schools (e.g. University of Alberta and UBC), at the University of Calgary you’ll take a common first year before choosing your major. However, there are two things that really make this program unique.
First, you have guaranteed placement in your first choice program, which helps take away a lot of anxiety (which is a huge help when you’re just starting university). Second, even though you’re taking the same courses with hundreds of other first year students, you will be placed into an ‘engineering block’. This is a system of pre-scheduled course blocks where you will take all your first year classes with the same group of students.
This is one of the ways that Calgary Engineering focuses on collaboration and inclusivity. This is key in your first year when you don’t know anyone, and this scheduling system will help you build close friendships and a sense of community as you get used to life as an undergrad. You must also take 10 courses in your first year, which students usually find overwhelming and tough coming out of high school, so having a support group who you can talk to, study with, and bounce ideas off of will be invaluable.
Calgary Engineering allows students to start building their professional experience earlier than most other engineering programs. After completing first or second year, students can do the Engineering Career Practicum, which involves a supported work term over the summer, industry workshops, mentorship, and skill development.
Schulich School of Engineering, University of Calgary, Image credit
Opportunities like these usually this happen for students in third year or higher when they do a co-op (e.g. Waterloo Engineering) or professional experience year (e.g. U of T Engineering). Gaining relevant, hands-on experience so early on in your degree will give you the confidence that you’re pursuing the right academic/professional path, while giving you more time to perfect your skills and deepen your knowledge.
Then, in upper years, Calgary Engineering also has an internship program where you can do 12-16 month work terms locally or globally, and you also get the option to work with one employer or many. Being able to try out different positions at different companies is really valuable because you can build your resume, gain a lot of work experience, and pursue and explore your interests (especially in Calgary, which is called the ‘engineering capital of Canada’).
Just remember that you must be accepted to the internship program, and then you must apply only to the postings on the job board, and it can get pretty competitive with so many people going after the same job. It can also be a bit frustrating if there’s a posting you want to apply to that’s outside of the internship program, but usually there are a ton of great options to choose from. This is why we really encourage our clients to take advantage of the Engineering Career Practicum so that you can get some experience and learn how to write a standout resume and do a great interview. All of these things will help you be more competitive for the internship and after you graduate.
Another reason that Calgary Engineering is a top-ranked engineering school is because of its opportunities for students to study, work, and/or volunteer abroad.
The Global Engineering Experiences initiative is a program where students travel on Global Department Experiences, Community Projects, and Engineering Entrepreneurship. There are also various study abroad programs and exchange programs that you can do if you’re interested.
All of these opportunities will help you put your education and knowledge into a global context and get real-world experience while learning about different cultures and global needs and technologies. Learning about different ideas and perspectives will make you a stronger student and help you form your own innovative ideas.
For more info about Engineering at the University of Calgary and to make sure this program is the best fit for you, connect with a coach.
You’ve Got a Dedicated Coach in Your Corner
For over a decade, we have worked with thousands of students to help them achieve more than they ever thought possible.
Our coaches have a strong success rate supporting students as they apply to leading engineering programs like those mentioned above, among other top university programs.
Our 1-on-1 Youth Coaching fills that gap that most high schools miss. We can help you build self-awareness through probing questions and assessments, set bigger goals to elevate your extracurriculars and future career plans, and improve skills that matter on supplementary applications, such as interviewing, written communication, critical thinking, and creativity.
We use a coaching methodology, called ‘full student’ development, that’s been proven to increase your chances of admission to top-tier universities and obtaining competitive jobs/internships.
So, what are you waiting for? Fulfill your post-secondary potential with the mentorship and coaching you’ve always wanted! 🙂
IMPORTANT: Want to share information and/or images from this resource on your own website, blog, article, etc.? Please ensure you reference content of any kind published by Youthfully Inc., in whole or in part, using the following statement: (1) Our Organization (Youthfully Inc.); (2) The title of our content/resource; and (3) the URL to our webpage where the content was originally posted. For example: “Sourced from: Youthfully Inc., “Best Engineering Schools in Canada 2022 (Undergraduate Programs)”,’https://youthfully.com/best-engineering-schools-in-canada’. Not doing so is an infringement of copyright and is illegal. We spend significant time developing resources for students, so please take a few seconds to ensure they are referenced properly.
Disclaimer: While the information in this blog is considered to be true and correct at the date of publication, and although our team makes every attempt to ensure that the information is accurate and vetted by university staff, Youthfully is not in any way liable for the accuracy of any information printed and stored or in any way interpreted and used by a user.