Study in Ontario

Last updated: 2 September 2020

More international students come to Ontario than any other Canadian province, and for good reason.

Ontario is home to some of Canada's top universities and colleges, leaders in innovation and research. International students can gain a competitive edge as degrees, diplomas and certificates received in Ontario's universities and colleges are held in high esteem across Canada and recognized worldwide.

Ontario caters to all types of student, from those who prefer the big city experience to those who thrive in a small-town environment.

The University of Toronto in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Canada's financial hub (Toronto), its legislative capital (Ottawa), as well as many other cities and thousands of multinational corporations are located in Ontario, offering a wealth of employment opportunities upon graduation. With more than half of Canada's new immigrants settling in the province, Ontario is a place where newcomers can always feel at home.

Got a question about studying in Ontario? Our comprehensive Studying in Ontario FAQ page has the answers. If your question is not included, please contact us today and submit your question.


13.9 million

International Student Population

143,428 (2014 figures)


A map of Ontario

Main Study Destinations

Toronto, Ottawa, Kingston, London, Hamilton


Studying in Ontario: The Advantages

  • Global recognition

    International students gain a competitive edge as degrees, diplomas and certificates received in Ontario's universities and colleges are recognized worldwide.

  • More people, more possibilities

    As Canada's most populated province, and home to its largest city (Toronto) and capital (Ottawa), Ontario is a place where things happen and where big decisions are made. For international students who wish to obtain a Post-Graduation Work Permit and develop their career in Canada, Ontario offers unparalleled employment opportunities.

  • Begin your career, and go far

    A recent report from University Works, and promoted by the Council of Ontario Universities, shows that Ontario university graduates have experienced the highest employment growth of any group of students over the last 10 years, with the highest employment rate (92%) in Canada. They are also earning significantly more, and are more likely to be working at a job related to their studies.

Immigrate After Studying in Ontario

  • Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) International Students Category.

    International students who choose Ontario as their destination in Canada are in a great position to immigrate permanently, thanks to the OINP International Students category, which accepts applications under the following sub-categories:

    • International PhD Graduate Stream — This sub-category targets individuals who have graduated from a PhD program at one of Ontario’s publicly funded universities. A job offer is not required.
    • International Masters Graduate Stream — This sub-category, which is currently operating as a temporary pilot program, targets individuals who have graduated with a Master’s degree from one of Ontario’s publicly funded universities. A job offer is not required.
  • Express Entry

    Candidates for immigration to Canada through the federal Express Entry immigration selection system who have completed their education at a school in Ontario may be awarded a significant number of points on account of their high level of education. Moreover, international graduates of Canadian educational institutions may have obtained important Canadian work experience, another highly valued factor under the Express Entry system.


Destination Schools in Ontario

These institutions are featured due to their size, proximity to urban centres, and tradition for enrolling international students into their student bodies. Learn more about each school by clicking their titles below, which will take you to the relevant page on School Search.

University of Toronto

The University of Toronto is a big-league player, consistently ranking as one of the top 20 public universities in the world. Its reputation as a research institution brings countless accolades.

Signature programs: Architecture, Commerce, Medicine, Engineering, Education

Location: Toronto

The University of Toronto in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

York University

Located north of Toronto and Canada's third-largest public university with nearly 60,000 students, York University has over 5,000 courses spread across 11 faculties.

Signature programs: Business, Law, Environmental Studies, Liberal Arts, Engineering

Location: Toronto

York University in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

University of Ottawa

The University of Ottawa is Canada's second-largest bilingual University, serving more than 250 undergraduate programs and nearly as many graduate programs spread across 10 faculties.

Signature programs: Biomedical Sciences, Law, Medicine, Management

Location: Ottawa

The University of Ottawa in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

University of Waterloo

The University of Waterloo's campuses are innovative, well-funded, and hands on, with a clear mission to become one of the world's most innovative learning destinations.

Signature programs: Actuarial Science, Architecture, Nanotechnology, Commerce

Location: Waterloo

The University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Ryerson University

Ryerson is also a truly urban university located in the middle of Toronto's financial district.

Signature programs: Biomedical Sciences And Biomedical Engineering, RTA School Of Media, Urban Sustainability, Journalism, Aerospace Engineering

Location: Toronto

Ryerson University in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

The University of Western Ontario

Western University is made up of 82 buildings over 1,200 acres across London, Ontario, and is a leading research university in many fields.

Signature programs: Social Sciences, Business, Medicine and Health Sciences, Engineering, Law

Location: London

The University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario, Canada


Other Select Schools in Ontario

Select Schools are those that CanadaVisa has assessed for quality, value, and competency with international students. These schools are accredited by Colleges and Institutes Canada (formerly the Association of Community Colleges of Canada) or are chosen because of proven pathway programs and exemplary student services.