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Canada: Subject Guides

Why study engineering in Canada?

Find out what makes Canada such an appealing country for aspiring engineers...

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Breath-taking views, turquoise blue lakes, and friendly people: what’s not to love? These are just a few reasons why Canada makes the top of the list for so many international students, in addition to its reputation for excellent education of course. Five Canadian universities sit within the top 100 higher education institutions in the world (THE World University Rankings 2021). But is Canada the right place for your chosen field of study? In this article we’re going to focus solely on engineering as a degree and why you should consider Canada as your study destination for this subject. 


What is engineering?


First things first, it's important to understand that there are different disciplines within the field of engineering. So, you first need to decide whether you’re interested in civil, chemical, mechanical, marine, biomedical, or aerospace engineering, to name a few. In a general sense, engineering uses science, technology, and mathematics to solve problems.


Real-life examples include building roads, bridges, buildings, aeroplanes, medical equipment and so on. Engineering seeks to solve problems to help simplify and ease our everyday lives. This makes engineering a particularly rewarding profession as you can see the direct impact of your work and how this benefits people and society. 


In Canada, there have been many notable engineering feats that have directly benefitted the world. For example, the first pacemaker, invented by Canadian engineer John Hopps in 1949 who studied electrical engineering at Manitoba University.


The first internet search engine, Archie, which was created by Alan Emtage at McGill University and the electric wheelchair, developed by Ontario-born George Klein in 1953 who studied mechanical engineering at the University of Toronto. These examples reflect the prestigious reputation of engineering courses in Canada and the importance of research in the country. 


High-quality programs


A degree from a Canadian institution is considered to be a valuable asset, as with other top destination such as the USAUK, and Australia. Canada is one of the most educated countries in the world, with half of the population being college-educated. This means that an engineering degree from an accredited Canadian institution will be recognised and well-regarded across the world.

This is beneficial for any international students wanting to travel for work or move to another country after graduation. Plus, Canadian institutions emphasise work experience and students are encouraged to do placements during their studies, which looks great to future employers


Browse popular engineering courses in Canada:



Learn more about the different engineering disciplines.


Top universities in Canada for engineering courses according to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2021 are:


  • (1st) University of Toronto (18th in the world)
  • (2nd) University of British Columbia (34th in the world)
  • (3rd) McGill University (40th in the world)
  • (4th) McMaster University (69th in the world)
  • (5th) University of Montreal (73rd in the world)


Some of these universities offer foundation years to build a solid foundation of knowledge in mathematics, science, technology, chemistry, and physics. For example, engineering students at the University of British Columbia can complete a co-op work term either abroad or in Canada to gain experience. During this time, you can work with up to five companies and can even earn up to CAD 80,000 during your degree. 


Scholarships for engineering students


Engineering is vital for development, growth, and prosperity and so these skills are in high demand across many parts of the world. Canada is no exception to this. Many Canadian universities, and government bodies award funding to engineering students in particular.


For example, the NSERC postgraduate scholarship provides financial support to talented students in natural sciences or engineering programs at accredited Canadian universities.


Find out more about scholarships in Canada for international students or use our scholarship search tool for further funding opportunities.


High Salaries


Another factor that makes Canada an appealing country for engineers is that the salaries are high and there is constant demand across all sectors. The average salary for an engineer in Canada is CAD 71,000 per year. Entry-level positions start at around CAD 41,000 while experienced engineers can expect to be paid up to CAD 113,000.

Of course, salaries vary according to the type of engineering, experience, and location. But overall, engineers are well-paid in Canada and due to the shortage of skills in this area, graduates are highly sought after. What’s great about engineering is that the skills and knowledge are highly transferrable and can be used across different industries. Find out more about the unexpected careers of engineering graduates.


Entry requirements for engineering courses in Canada


Undergraduate engineering


Many engineering programs are highly competitive and so having top grades will help you land a place. Most programs will expect you to have studied maths and science-related subjects such as chemistry or physics at A-level (or equivalent). Exact entry requirements vary according to each institution so make sure you check the university website for specific details. Undergraduate engineering degrees in Canada typically take four years to complete as is the case for most other subjects. 


Postgraduate engineering


To be eligible for a masters engineering course in Canada, you will need an undergraduate degree and an average GPA of 3.0. Although, this can vary depending on the type of engineering program and the institution. 


English language requirements


For both undergraduate and postgraduate engineering courses, you will need to demonstrate your English language proficiency. Several tests are accepted in Canada including IELTS, TOEFL, PTE and so on. Required scores vary depending on the institution and program however many schools require an IELTS score of 6.5 or more with no component lower than 5.5. Be sure to check with your prospective university. 


As you can see, engineering is a desirable course in Canada, offering plenty for international students. Are you ready to apply? Use our course matcher tool to find the right course, university and destination. Make sure you also check out our guide on applying to a university in Canada for top tips and specialist advice.


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