Guide to The Top Universities in BC

In addition to its beautiful coasts and mountains, BC is known as the home of some of the top universities in Canada! If you’re looking to attend school in BC, we’ve got you covered. Here’s your guide to the top universities in BC.

University of British Columbia

Vancouver & Kelowna

UBC is not only one of the top universities in BC, but it’s also one of the top universities in Canada! If you like to be surrounded by mountains and beaches, this is the campus for you. You’ll always keep busy with the vast amount of clubs available, with anything from the surfing club to the pottery club. For a full overview of the campus and admissions process, visit our blog post on what you need to know before applying to UBC! 

Simon Fraser University

Vancouver, Burnaby, & Surrey 

Simon Fraser University (SFU) is another one of the high-ranking universities in BC. Maclean’s recently named it the top comprehensive university in Canada. This distinction recognizes their research activity and wide range of programs. SFU is best known for its health sciences and physiology programs. It also tends to be a very popular location for filmmakers, so on your way to class, you might catch a behind-the-scenes glimpse of some of your favourite moves or TV shows! 

University of Victoria


A 90-minute ferry ride from Vancouver will land you at this beautiful university! The University of Victoria (UVic) is known as Canada’s best comprehension university for preparing students through co-op learning. They are also honoured for their research and scholarship achievements!

British Columbia Institute of Technology


The British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) is one of the largest universities in BC! Their programs include applied and natural sciences, business and media, computing and IT, engineering, health sciences, and trades. If you’re looking for an innovative environment, you found it! Their learning spaces include a state-of-the-art  Aerospace Technology Campus, a Marine Engine Room Simulator, and the only Prosthetics and Orthotics training program in Western Canada.  

University of Northern British Columbia

Prince George, Fort St. John, Terrace, Quesnel

The University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) is a small, research-intensive university with its main campus located in Prince George. This university was ranked as one of Canada’s top three best small universities for ten consecutive years according to Maclean’s magazine! Higher Education World UNiversity Rankings also recognized UNBC as being an elite university globally. Check out UNBC and what it could offer for your degree!

Capilano University

North Vancouver & Sechelt

If you want to be close to nature, Capilano University (CapU) can be the place for you! Their jazz, film, animation and performing arts programs in particular draw students. Some of CapU’s graduates even later became Juno nominees! Held in high regard are also the paralegal, early childhood care and education, music therapy and design programs.

Emily Carr University of Art and Design


If you’re pursuing studies or a career in art, ECUAD is the place to be in BC! They encourage experimentation at the intersection of art, design, media and technology. Whether you’re into design, fine arts, or media arts, you’ll find a space to engage your creativity. 

Kwantlen Polytechnic University

Surrey, Richmond, Langley, Cloverdale, Civic Centre

Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) boasts over 120 diverse programs, including career, vocational trades and technology programs. Some of their unique programs include the only graphic design for marketing program in Canada, one of the two fashion design degrees in the country, and the only undergraduate journalism program in region.

Nicola Valley Institute of Technology


The Nicola Valley Institute of Technology (NVIT) is BC’s Indigenous public university! If you’re looking for a career in wellness, technology, governance, or land and economic development,this is the place for you! 

Quest University Canada


Quest is Canada’s first independent, not-for-profit, secular liberal arts and science university! If you want an innovative approach to your undergraduate, Quest will appeal to you. With small class sizes, innovative scheduling, and a novel curriculum, you’ll achieve a unique education. 

Royal Roads University


Located in one of Canada’s most beautiful National Historic Sites, Royal Roads University has a long history of excellence. Their flexible admission policy recognizes formal and informal learning. They also strive to establish community through small classes and group projects. If you’re looking to transfer from another university or pursue graduate studies, this is the university for you. 

Thompson Rivers University


Hiking trails, ski hills, and lakes surround Thompson Rivers University (TRU) in Kamloops! They offer a range of programs, from apprenticeships and certificates to bachelor’s, law and master’s degrees. Their “laddering system” allows you to continue pursuing your education by easily transitioning from certificate to diploma and degree programs. 

Trinity Western University


Trinity Western University (TWU) is Canada’s largest private Christian university. If you’re looking to pursue liberal arts at a faith-based institution, TWU is for you! Their Nursing program in particular draws many students.  

University Canada West


University Canada West (UCW) is a business-oriented university that offers MBA and Bachelor degrees. If you’re looking for a program to prepare you for the workplace, you’ll find it at UCW. 

University of the Fraser Valley

Abbotsford & Chilliwack

The University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) stands out for its career-focused education. They offer a wealth of programs in agriculture, arts, social sciences, business, computer information systems, fine arts, health sciences, sciences and technology, and more. Located close to the US border, UFV has mild weather, with less than 14 days of snow a year, stunning sights and beautiful west-coast rainforests. 

Vancouver Island University

Nanaimo, Cowichan, & Powell River

Located on the beautiful coast of BC, Vancouver Island University (VIU) offers undergraduate degrees in arts, business, education and science. Their small class sizes are a particular draw for students. If coastal and marine research interests you, they also offer a Deep Bay Marine Field Station for hands-on learning and research. 

With this overview, you should have a good idea of the potential universities in BC that you might want to apply to!

If you want support in submitting your application, GrantMe can help you stand out. We provide personalized scholarship matches, essay editing, and mentorship from past winners to maximize your success. Complete our short scholarship eligibility quiz to learn more about how GrantMe can help you achieve your post-secondary goals. 

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