BEST 10 Public Universities In Canada

It’s not hard to figure out why Canada remains among the top choice for many overseas students pursuing higher education.

Besides excellent quality and variety of education programs, Canada is a destination with cheap tuition fees, most of which are offered by Canadian public universities.

In other words, students looking to study in Canada are likely to target public universities.

So if you are looking for an ideal state Canadian university, we’ve done the dirty work. All you have to do is go through this review list and see which interests you best.

List of the Best Public Canadian Universities

More than 15,000 academic programs are offered by 96 public universities in Canada, through which graduates develop their critical thinking, research, and leadership abilities. 

State-owned Canadian universities that offer competitive tuition fees are found in different regions of the country. We have reviewed Canadian universities in Alberta, Columbia, Calgary, Toronto, Montreal, Newfoundland, and Ontario.

Public universities based in Ottawa, Quebec, Saskatchewan, and Toronto, Canada, are also included in the review.

  1. Athabasca University
  2. Emily Carr University of Art and Design
  3. Memorial University of Newfoundland
  4. Mount Allisson University
  5. School of Higher Technology – University of Quebec
  6. Brandon University
  7. OCAD University
  8. Brescia University College
  9. Carleton University
  10. Mount Royal University

Athabasca University

We recommend Athabasca University (AU) from the Alberta region in Canada as one of the best public universities to consider.

It is a fast-growing online university and open education institution with over 43,000 student bodies coming from 87 countries worldwide.

Athabasca University offers more than 850 courses, all of which are taught in the English language. The institution ranks 83rd among the best universities in Canada, and 9th among the best universities, specifically in Alberta, where it is based.

International students must pay between $9,730 and $16,500 as tuition fees, depending on the program and course.

Emily Carr University of Art and Design

From British Columbia, another public university worth considering is the Emily Carr University of Art and Design.

The institution has 1,800 students and is considered one of the best in fine arts education.

Based in Vancouver Town in Columbia, Canada, Emily Carr University offers more than 15 courses across different academic programs under fine art, all of which are taught in English.

The tuition fees for International Students at Emily Carr University are between $7,700$ and $16,600

The institution ranks 70 among the best universities in Canada, but on listing the best Columbia university, it takes the 13th position.

Memorial University of Newfoundland

The Memorial University of Newfoundland is another public university in Canada, but the best one can find in the Newfoundland region of the country.

It is based in Fredericton town and is considered one of the largest universities in Atlantic Canada. Here, students are offered over 300 program options.

The Memorial University of Newfoundland has more than 19,000 students from more than 115 countries.

The courses at this university are administered in English, and students can expect to pay between 3,200 and 11,400 tuition fees per academic year.

Memorial University has been ranked number #1 best public university in Newfoundland, but it sits in the 24th position on the best Canadian university’s official listing.

Mount Allison University

Another public university in Canada worth considering is Mount Allison University. Although it is a small, primarily undergraduate liberal arts and science institution, it ranks 3rd best in the entire region of New Brunswick, Canada.

Here, about 2,500 students are exploring over 50 courses that are learned in the English language. This university’s tuition cost is relatively affordable compared to most other universities in Canada.

The school is based in Sackville, New Brunswick, on Canada’s East Coast, and is considered one of the cheapest public universities in the state.

School of Higher Technology – University of Quebec

  • Tuition Fee: between $16,100 and $22,700 for international students
  • School of Higher Technology – University of Quebec Admission Requirement Page 
  • School of Higher Technology – University of Quebec Tuition Details Page 

The University of Quebec, also known as the School of Higher Technology, specializes in teaching and applied research in engineering and technology transfer.

If you are looking for a public university in Canada where you will receive training in engineering and research organized for a practical and innovative approach, this is worth considering.

It is one of the best public Canadian universities in the Quebec region. Located in Montreal, this university has about 8,600 students and offers more than 85 courses in engineering and research.

The course is in French, so international students need to bear this in mind. The University of Quebec may not be the cheapest public university in Canada due to its relatively high tuition compared to most other public universities. Still, it has a solid reputation and excellent education delivery.

Brandon University

Located in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Brandon University is another ideal option to consider when searching for public universities in Canada.

It is a student-focused institution that trains local and international students through more than 50 courses under different academic programs. The school boasts up to 3,400 student bodies and administers its practices in the English language.

The tuition fee at this Canadian public university is pretty decent, and it is ranked 59th among the best universities in Canada overall but among the top 3 in Manitoba.

OCAD University

International Students pay between $ 25.400 and $33.100 as tuition fees at OCAD university. It may be a wise public university option in Canada, particularly for people interested in studying in Toronto. Still, it is not the cheapest option as far as public universities are concerned.

OCAD university is based in the heart of downtown Toronto and has about 4,600 students with over 30 courses offered there.

Courses are taught in English, and the school is one of the best options for international students who want to attend school in Canada.

Brescia University College

Brescia University College is an affiliate of Western University. It is not only a public university but also doubles as Canada’s only women’s university.

Based in London, Brescia University College trains about 1,400 students studying up to 40 courses.

The school teaches in the English language and charge between $18,200 and $42,500 as tuition fee for international students.

It is ranked among the best 30 universities in Ontario but sits in the 91st position as the best in Canada.

Carleton University

Next on this list of public universities in Canada is Carleton University.

With more than 30,000 students currently studying here, the Carleton university offers over 60 courses under different academic programs. It is a dynamic, research-intensive institution.

Carleton university is another Canadian public university based in Ontario but in Ottawa, which means it is an English-speaking university.

The tuition fees at this public university are pretty decent but do not cut it on affordability compared with other incredibly cheap public universities in different regions of Canada.

Mount Royal University

Lastly, Mount Royal University has a solid reputation for personalized learning. Despite being a public institution, this is where you can consider enrolling if you prefer smaller class sizes.

The school has been operating for the past 100 years and has about 11,670 students with over 52 courses.

Mount Royal University is another Canadian public university based in Calgary, Alberta, that is ideal for international students, tuition-wise.

Are Public Universities in Canada Free?

Unfortunately, no university in Canada offers free tuition cost to both domestic and international students.

When you see a Canadian public university that claims to be free, it means specific programs in the school are backed by fully-funded scholarships that will fund students’ complete education. So technically, that financial aid can make the tuition-free of charge.

So looking for free public universities in Canada would be a goose chase. It would be best if you focused on the various scholarship options universities offer to cover the entire cost of studying and living in Canada.

When a school in Canada offers free tuition, it means they have financial aid for students that can cover the cost of their entire study in the form of scholarships.

How Many Public Universities Are in Canada?

Canada presently has 97 public universities offering up to 15,000 study programs, with students at these universities ranking top in English and French-speaking countries. It is worth admitting that university studies in Canada are affordable.

Public universities that administrate courses in the French language are primarily found in Quebec.


Undoubtedly, studying in Canada is an excellent alternative for those looking for an affordable degree as an international student.

Canada can offer low tuition rates for international and domestic students through these public universities.

Despite not being private, these Canadian public Universities reviewed in the above article boast of ease and comfort of living and excellent reputations.

Public universities are sure ways to go if you’re looking for affordable degrees in Canada.

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