Engineering Programs in Canada, Ranked

Ever feel like you need a degree in structural engineering just to win a game of life-sized Jenga? It’s not required, but it’s definitely an asset. On the other hand, a degree in engineering could set you up for some of the coolest gigs like spacecraft design.   

Plus, you might buy one of those nostalgic leather jackets (like in that Arkells song), catch an invite to every HOCO rager, and graduate with an exclusive pinky ring. Basically, engineering students are the Kanye Wests of university campuses. They’re repping bravado, the coolest threads, and a wealthy future. 

So, we did some digging through CampusRankings and other credible sources to determine some of the best engineering programs that Canadian universities offer. Also, to make this list even more helpful, we break it down by sector.

Aerospace Engineering: 

Want to build a spaceship when you grow up? Aerospace is the sector of engineering concerned with the development of aircraft and spacecraft. It has two primary branches: aeronautical engineering and astronautical engineering. Avionics is also part of the umbrella. However, it focuses more so on the electronics of aerospace. 

Here’s where you should apply if you’re into space stuff.

University of Windsor 

Firstly, if you like quality pizza, affordable housing and day-trips to Detroit, Windsor might be for you! Plus, UofWindsor offers a reputable mechanical engineering program with an aerospace option that ranks third in Canada with respect to global civil aircraft production activity. 

McGill University 

McGill’s aerospace program has that “je ne sais quois”. McGill Institute for Aerospace Engineering (MIAE) offers students opportunities to participate in aerospace conferences, attend industry tours, and obtain paid internships. Plus, Montreal is home to the world’s 4th largest center of aerospace manufacturing. 

University of Toronto 

According to Campus Rankings, UofT is ranked as one of Canada’s hottest schools for engineering because of its standards for academic research and professor credentials. Specifically, the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies (UTIAS) is Canada’s leading center for aerospace research and education thanks to revolutionary exploration. 

Civil/Structural Engineering: 

A focus primarily on the design, construction, and maintenance of infrastructure including but not limited to tunnels and buildings. 

Here’s where you should study if you’re into extremely advanced Jenga.

McMaster University  

McMaster’s Bachelor of Civil Engineering program is credited for emphasizing sustainability in research initiatives and offers experiential experience through their undergraduate co-op programs. Placements include but are not limited to: Toronto Hydro Company, Canadian Solar Solutions, and Metrolinx. 

Obviously, their waterfalls, night-life, and arts community are spectacular. 

The Schulich School of Engineering (University of Calgary) 

The Schulich School of Engineering is internationally renowned for its Civil Engineering Department. Their Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering program offers valuable paid engineering work experience during a 12-16 month placement.

University of Alberta

University of Alberta’s Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering earned numerous prestigious awards including five NSERC Industrial Research Chairs. Students in this department have opportunities to learn civil, mining, and petroleum engineering. The latter being the industry’s highest-paid sector. 

Oh, and Alberta has Banff. No explanation needed.  

Chemical Engineering: 

This is the branch that pulls principles from physics, math, biology, and economics to design and produce materials for the use of chemicals, fuel, drugs, food and more. 

This is what you should study if you’re into making things out of other things.

University of Waterloo 

UWaterloo ranks 173 across the globe for its Chemical Engineering Department, beneath McMaster at 140 and McGill at 35. However, CampusRankings actually ranks the UWaterloo as the top Canadian school for engineering based on an entrepreneurial culture, on-campus recruiting and academic focus. 

Additionally, going to school in the city of Waterloo means finding yourself at that St. Patties day rager on Ezra Street. If you’ve never been, it’s a huge deal. 

McMaster University  

As one of Canada’s top three research-intensive universities, McMaster’s Chemical Engineering Department is known for providing students with opportunities to interact with professors who are at the cutting edge of their research fields. Plus, students gain access to top-notch lab facilities. 

McGill University  

McGill ranks as one of Canada’s most prestigious schools and claims to see 95% of its engineering graduates in education or employment within two years of graduation. In Chemical Engineering at McGill, undergraduate students can leverage summer courses to complete their degree in just three calendar years. And, in some specific cases, even two and a half. 

Mechanical Engineering: 

Mechanical engineering involves the planning of tools, engines, and machines. Basically, mechanical engineers would oversee the installation, operation, and repair of such equipment. 

Here’s where you should study if you’re into that kind of stuff.

University of British Columbia 

UBC’S Bachelor of Applied Science in Mechanical Engineering offers students practical experience to leverage in their future careers. After graduating, students can enroll as an E.I.T. (Engineer in Training) with the Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia (EGBC) or the other regional associations in the Canadian Council of Professional Engineers. This experience allows students to apply for designation as a Professional Engineer (P.Eng.) after they have gained a specified amount of work experience. 

And if you go to Whistler while you’re in BC, send us pics. We’ll live vicariously through you. 

McGill University 

McGill’s reputation for being one of the top Canadian schools for engineering, their Mechanical Engineering Department has strong relationships with the McGill Institute of Aerospace Engineering (MIAE) and the Trottier Institute for Sustainability in Engineering and Design (TISED), giving students opportunities to be involved with workshops, case studies and internships.

University of Toronto  

Of course, this is no surprise! UofT is Canada’s most recognized university. It also falls within the top 100 universities cross-nationally. Lastly, students completing their Bachelor of Applied Science in Mechanical Engineering can choose to specialize in varying areas including mechatronics, manufacturing, solid mechanics & design, energy & environment, and bioengineering. 

Good luck!

Samantha Moss

Samantha Moss

Sam is an Account Manager at Student Life Network and a Writer for various digital platforms. She enjoys true crime conspiracies, snowboarding, and a well-delivered punchline.