Studying in Ontario, Canada opens a lot of opportunities in academics and professional development. The province is filled with vibrant culture and multicultural communities beneficial in expanding a student’s horizon. It is also the location of many world-leading universities primarily dominated by research-intensive institutions that are publicly funded.

Top Universities for Computer Science in Ontario

1. University of Toronto

The University of Toronto is the leading public research university and a top university for computer science in Canada founded in 1827. The university offers more than 700 undergraduate programs and 200 graduate programs that are accompanied by world-renowned faculties and facilities. It is also a member of the Association of American Universities and consistently receives funds that support intensive research undertakings by the students and faculty. The University of Toronto has produced five prime ministers of Canada and is affiliated with twelve Nobel Laureates. It ranks 26th in the QS World University Rankings 2022.

The Department of Computer Science offers a wide variety of areas for students to explore in computer science. Undergraduate students can customize their introductory courses for the program based on their preferences and proficiency. Students gain access to comprehensive resources including mentorship programs, learning communities, and Innovation Lab to enhance their learning experience. The bachelor’s degree can be completed within four years of full-time study.

The graduate program includes Master of Science, Master of Science in Applied Computing, and Ph. D. The Master of Science in Applied Computing has four specializations including data science, quantum computing, and applied math. It is intended for students who wish to pursue professional experience in advanced development and research within the industry. The other two degrees heavily focus on research undertakings.

2. University of Waterloo

The University of Waterloo is a public research university and one of the best universities for computer science in Canada that has one of the most thorough academic programs in the country. Aside from the main campus in Waterloo, there are satellite campuses spread across Southern Ontario. The university has thirteen institutes distributed among the six faculties including health, engineering, and mathematics. The University of Waterloo is in 149th place in the QS World University Rankings 2022.

The David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science offers various programs for computer science students. Undergraduate programs let the students customize their study plans based on their chosen specialization such as digital hardware, software engineering, and bioinformatics. The first year consists of a combination of math and computer science courses that will provide a strong foundation of knowledge. Students can also join a co-op program where they gain professional experience while working on their bachelor’s degrees. In addition, fourth-year students can enroll in the accelerated master’s program where they can take graduate courses while completing their bachelor’s degree.

The master’s programs include Master of Mathematics where students can choose between completing coursework or thesis in earning their degree. Pursuing the coursework will last around twelve to sixteen months while the thesis is expected to be completed within one to two years. The Ph. D. program will involve working with a supervisor in developing a thesis in advanced topics such as quantum algorithms and complexity.

3. University of Ottawa

Established in 1848, the University of Ottawa is an excellent computer science school in Canada and is the largest English-French bilingual university in the world. It is a public research university that has ten faculties and is a member of U15, a group of research-intensive institutions in Canada, and the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada. It currently ranks 230th in the QS World University Rankings 2022.

The Faculty of Engineering has various undergraduate degrees for computer science including an Honours Bachelor’s degree with an option to specialize in either Entrepreneurship or Data Science and a Joint Bachelor’s degree with Mathematics. All the mentioned degrees can be completed within four years and taught in French and English. An accelerated program is also available which involves completing the bachelor’s and master’s degrees within five years.

The master’s program also has a specialization in applied artificial intelligence or bioinformatics. The degree can be completed within two years of full-time study although there’s a part-time option for students. The doctoral study program is available for full-time studies, with an expected duration of four years. Students should be able to present two seminars before the thesis submission which will be defended during an oral examination.

4. Queen’s University

The Queen’s University is a public research university and one of the leading universities for computer science in Canada that was established by the Church of Scotland in 1841. The institution has produced fifty-seven Rhodes scholars and is affiliated with four Nobel Laureates. It has five faculties and three schools including engineering, education, health sciences, and law and it is included in U15, a group of Canadian research-intensive universities. The Queen’s University ranks 240th in the QS World University Rankings 2022.

The School of Computing offers a broad education for undergraduate students in computer science with six specializations including game development, security, and data analytics. Students are required to complete 120 units, including electives, to earn the Honours Bachelor’s degree. They can choose the courses according to the specialization they have selected.

The master’s degree offers three ways of completing the degree including research, project, and coursework. Unlike the project and coursework, the research option is funded and qualifies the student in continuing a Ph. D. study. The Ph. D. program involves a six-step process in completing the degree including finding a supervisor and topic proposal. In addition, students should meet the four requirements including a breadth requirement and a comprehensive examination.

5. Carleton University

Founded in 1942, Carleton University is a public research university and one of the top computer science institutions located in Ottawa, Canada. It has six faculties offering a diverse academic experience and opportunities to its students. Located in Canada’s capital, students gain a rich multicultural learning experience and personal development throughout their studies. Currently, Carleton University is within the 601-650th range in the QS World University Rankings 2022.

The School of Computer Science offers six specializations including algorithms, security, and game development, and two degrees between Major and Honours Bachelor’s degree. The Honours degree is highly favored for students interested in undertaking research works due to the additional courses involving advanced problem-solving techniques and reports which are required to be completed.

The graduate programs are conducted jointly with the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science of the University of Ottawa. The master’s program allows students to combine coursework and research in areas such as computer gaming, robotics, and geographic information systems. They may also enroll in a co-op program to gain professional experience within the industry for eight months. The master’s degree can be completed within two years. The Ph. D. program is research-intensive involving areas similar to the master’s program. Students may conduct a joint research project with public and private companies. The doctorate degree can be completed within four years.


I hope that this article on Best Universities for Computer Science in Ontario was helpful. Make sure to also check out the Available Computer Science Programs for International Students!