2023 Maclean's University Rankings: Undergraduate Schools

By Tess Campbell Modified on October 26, 2022
Tags : Academics | High School | Rankings

Discover which primarily undergraduate schools in Canada are the top ranked in 2023!

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 2023 Maclean's University Rankings: Undergraduate Schools

If you're considering a bachelor's degree from a university in Canada, or even if you're already working towards your undergraduate, it's great to know where each university ranks in comparison to each other. While rankings shouldn't dictate where you go to school, it's good to know what each school is known for.

Maclean's rankings are based on 12 performance indicators like student/faculty ratio, scholarships/bursaries, operating budget, reputation, and more. Check out Maclean's University Rankings 2023: Methodology for more information.

Check out the top five universities that are primarily focused on undergraduate education:

1. Mount Allison University

Last year's ranking: 2

Mount Allison University is a liberal arts and science university. It offers degrees in Arts, Commerce, Science, Arts and Science, Fine Arts, and Music. Students can choose from over 50 programs of study. With approximately 2,300 full-time students, you can expect your average first year class size to be 60 students. To date, 55 Mount Allison students have become Rhodes Scholars — one of the best per capita records of any university in Canada.

2. University of Northern British Columbia

Last year's ranking: 1

The University of Northern British Columbia, or UNBC, prides itself on being a university "in the North — for the North." UNBC is in the top 5% of universities worldwide, the only Canadian university of its size to be included in the rankings, according to the Times Higher Education. The university has over 3,500 undergraduate students. As one of BC's research-intensive universities, UNBC brings the excitement of new knowledge to their students, and the outcomes of their teaching and research to the world. Its mission is to "inspire leaders for tomorrow by influencing the world today."

3. Saint Mary's University

Last year's ranking: 4

Saint Mary's University is in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The university offers high-quality programs in Liberal Arts, Environmental Studies, Business, Science, and Engineering. You'll have a better opportunity to connect with your classmates and professors as the average introductory class size is 40 students. The university values experiential learning opportunities such as labs, co-ops, (internships in all faculties), traveling abroad, and real research possibilities.

4. Trent University

Last year's ranking: 3

With campuses in both Peterborough, Ontario and Durham, in the GTA, Trent was founded on the ideal of interactive learning that's personal, purposeful, and transformative. In a learning environment that builds life-long passion for inclusion, leadership, and social change, Trent's students, alumni, faculty, and staff are engaged global citizens who are catalysts in developing sustainable solutions to complex issues.

*5. Acadia University

Last year's ranking: 5

Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, is one of the oldest and most respected liberal arts universities in Canada. The university offers over 200 degree combinations in Faculties of Arts, Pure & Applied Science, Professional Studies, and Theology. Some of their most popular majors are in biology, marketing, English, psychology, environmental studies, and kinesiology. Acadia is home to over 3,500 full-time undergraduate students and has an average class size of 32.

*5. Bishop's University

Last year's ranking: 12

Bishop's University, located in Sherbrooke, Quebec, is an English-language university that offers a quality education in fine arts, humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, business, and education. There are approximately 2,900 full-time students. Bishop's University emphasizes personal contact between students and professors, and favours small classes and frequent seminars, laboratories, and tutorials.


Explore Maclean's full list of Canada's top primarily undergraduate universities below:


School Overall 2023 Ranking Rank Last Year
Mount Allison University 1 2
University of Northern British Columbia 2 1
St. Mary's University 3 4
Trent University 4 3
Acadia University 5* 5
Bishop's University 5* 12
St. Francis Xavier University 7 9*
University of Prince Edward Island 8 7
Ontario Tech University 9 9*
Lakehead University 10 8
University of Lethbridge 11 6
Université de Moncton 12* 11
University of Winnipeg 12* 14
St. Thomas University 14 13
Laurentian University 15 15
Mount Saint Vincent University 16 17
Brandon University 17 18
Nipissing University 18 16
Cape Breton University 19 19

An * indicates a tie.


Remember, rankings aren't everything, and they don't give you the full picture of a school. So, if you don't see a school you're interested in on the list, then don't worry! You should choose a school based on what is important to you and how it makes you feel.


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