McLean’s 2023 University Rankings

McLean has been collecting and analyzing wide-ranging data on Canadian universities for the past 32 years, making it one of the most reliable sources for researching rankings of Canadian universities in different categories. This year, they have presented 2023’s top universities in the Medical Doctoral, Comprehensive and Primarily Undergraduate categories. 

For the past three decades, the rankings provided by McLean’s have helped many students to choose their educational path wisely. MacLean’s assessment of the institutions is based on five main criteria: 

  • Students: By collecting data on the success of post-secondary students winning national academic awards.
  • Faculty: By calculating the number of faculty members who have won major awards over the past five years, as well as the success of faculty in securing research grants from SSHRC, NSERC and CIHR. 
  • Resources: By calculating the amount of money in the general operating budget per full-time-equivalent student. For example, the budget allocated to library services and acquisitions like electronic resources. 
  • Student Support: By examining the percentage of the budget spent on student services as well as scholarships and bursaries. 
  • Reputation: By soliciting the views of the people in a position to form opinions about how well universities are meeting the needs of students. This information is gathered from McLean’s reputational surveys. 


#1 Ranked University in Medical Doctoral: McGill University

McGill University in Montreal has managed to keep its top spot among universities offering a broad range of Ph.D., research, and medical programs. McGill’s global cachet attracts students from all around the world. The campus has big plans to invest in new research facilities and has taken some action in its equity, diversity and inclusion strategies. 

Among Medical Doctoral Universities, McGill is followed by the University of Toronto and the University of British Columbia, ranking 2nd and 3rd among Canada’s best universities.


#1 Ranked University in Comprehensive: Simon Fraser

Simon Fraser University in Vancouver holds the number one spot among universities with significant research and a wide range of undergraduate, graduate and professional programs. In this category, the University of Victoria, also in Vancouver, holds the 2nd and the University of Waterloo holds the 3rd place this year.


#1 Ranked University for Primarily Undergraduate: Mount Allison

Mount Allison University, located in Sackville, New Brunswick, is a Canadian undergraduate liberal arts university. Mount Allison has been recognized by McLean’s annual university rankings as the top primary undergraduate university in Canada 23 times in the past 32 years. UNBC and Saint Mary’s University have been ranked as the second and third-highest-ranked primary undergraduate Canadian universities. These universities primarily focus on undergraduate education, with fewer graduate and postgraduate programs. 


McLean has also ranked the best universities for Education, Engineering and Nursing programs, with University of British Columbia ranked as number one, University of Toronto ranked as the second best in all three categories. University of Alberta holds the third place for Education and Nursing, while University of Waterloo was ranked the third best university for Engineering in Canada. 


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