7 Worst Universities in Canada

In this article, you will learn about the worst ranked universities in Canada which you may be interested in knowing to facilitate your admission to a Canadian institution. These universities are not generally poor but with respect to ranking, they are usually among the least ranked in Canada.

When it comes to Canada the first place your mind goes to is her post-secondary education, as this country is one of the top education locations in the world.

Her institutions are internationally renowned for offering a top-notch education to all and sundry. Thousands of students from all over the world flock to Canada annually to enjoin in her degree programs as the certificates are recognized all over the world.

Due to her prestige in offering excellent post-secondary education, Canada and her institutions are top ranking in world educational rankings.


However, even with Canada being a prestigious education hub, there are some post-secondary institutions that do not rank as much as others which are recognized as the lowest ranking universities in Canada and thereby considered as the worst universities in Canada though they are still far better than some universities in some countries outside Canada.

Being the lowest ranked or worst university in Canada based on ranking does not mean that such university is entirely useless, they are just poorly ranked by popular ranking platforms within Canada but still compete fairly in world rankings.

They also offer quality education to the best level they can, not quality and their degrees are recognized all over the world just like other Canadian universities because they are accredited. It is perfectly normal that there would be lower-ranking universities if there must top-ranking universities.

Surely not all of the universities in Canada are top of the world there are equally lower ones as well and that is what this article presents to you.

Although these universities may be ranked amongthe worst universities in Canada, they actually can rank higher in other areas like in some of the degree program they offer, in sports or some other extra curricular rankings.

They also receive applications from all international students yearly just like other universities in Canada.

These worst ranked universities in Canada sure have their pecks, they are cheap – that is in tuition fees, hostel fees, etc. – and have a low amount of students which makes available resources go around for every student.

So in general, these lower-ranking Canadian universities could also be good for international students as the rankings they receive do not make them bad options, after all, there are also students there.

How are Canadian universities ranked?

There are a variety of popular platforms that ranks the universities in Canada such as the US News & World Report Ranking, Macleans, World University Rankings, The Higher Education (THE), QS World University Ranking, and Academic Ranking of World Universities which uses almost the same ranking factors.

There are some factors that are put into consideration when ranking Canadian universities which are global research, reputation, publications, quality of programs offered, and the number of highly cited papers.

During rankings, all universities in Canada are taken into consideration and ranked with the same factors. While some make it to the top of the list, others are far below the least.

The ones that make it to the top are known as the top-ranking universities in Canada while the ones below the list are the lowest ranking or worst universities in Canada.

The lowest ranking universities may also come the top when considering specific program ranking factors which doesn’t make them all too bad to attend. They too offer good education and research too.

With this in mind, I will go on to list the worst universities in Canada os which I have a list comprised of just 7 of them.

Worst Universities in Canada

The following are the 7 worst universities in Canada which are also the lowest ranked universities in Canada;

  • Nipissing University
  • Brandon University
  • Thomas University
  • Cape Breton University (CBU)
  • Laurentian University
  • Mount Saint Vincent University
  • Universite de Moncton

Nipissing University

Founded in 1992 and located in Northern Bay, Ontario, Canada overlooking the Lake Nipissing – where it got its name – Nipissing University is among the worst universities in Canada.

It is also ranked by Maclean (a popular platform that ranks Canadian universities) as the lowest ranking university in Canada.

Nipissing University is a primarily undergraduate public liberal arts university known for offering an individualized student experience, small class size, accessible professors, and research opportunities for undergraduate students.

The university has only three faculties: Faculty of Applied and Professional Studies, Faculty of Applied Arts and Science, and the Schulich School of Education as well as the School of Graduate Studies.

Through these faculties, Nipissing University provides over 30 programs in undergraduate and graduate degree programs in full-time and part-time studies. The school also boasts of academic research facilities and receives an annual grant of over $350,000 for research support.

Brandon University

Founded in 1889 and formerly known as Brandon College located in the city of Brandon, Manitoba, Canada. Brandon University is one of the worst universities in Canada as it is ranked at the lowest of Maclean’s reputational ranking.

It is also an undergraduate liberal art and science post-secondary institution with an approximate enrollment of 3375 students in full-time and part-time undergraduate and graduate programs.

The school is mainly made up of undergraduate students and has very few graduate students.

Academic programs are offered through her six faculties: Faculty of Arts, Faculty of Education, Faculty of Science, Faculty of Health Studies, School of Music (one of the best in Canada), and the Faculty of Graduate studies. These faculties and schools of Brandon University offer a variety of bachelor’s and master’s and two diplomas.

This school has a small class size which makes it easy for students to relate closely with professors and there are just enough resources to go around as well.

St. Thomas University

“Teach me Goodness and Knowledge and Discipline” – the motto of St. Thomas University which is a roman catholic affiliated citadel of higher learning and ranked among the lowest or worst universities in Canada.

It was established in 1910 and located in New Brunswick, the university is a public catholic liberal art post-secondary institution.

St. Thomas University strictly offers undergraduate degree programs in Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Applied Science, Bachelor of Education, and Bachelor of Social Work which cover a wide range of academic programs.

The school has a total of 1900 students all undergraduate, this is the school for you if you want to study at an institution with a lesser population.

Cape Breton University (CBU)

The Cape Breton University has been established in 1951 and located in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality, Nova Scotia, Canada. This university is one of the worst universities in Canada due to her ranking position, it is at the bottom as well as the others in this post.

CBU admits both undergraduate and postgraduate students into her four faculties: School of Arts and Social Science, School of Professional Studies, Shannon School of Business, and School of Science and Technology.

However, undergraduate students are more of the populace at CBU and the academic programs are offered both in part-time and full-time studies.

Cape Breton University is home to over 5,500 students from Canada and countries from all over the world.

Laurentian University

Although Laurentian University may be among the worst universities in Canada it is the largest bilingual provider of distance education in Canada.

The university was established in 1960 and located in Greater Sudbury, Ontario. Most of her education is focused on undergraduate programs but also offers a few graduate-level degrees.

Laurentian University has six faculties for undergraduate study which offers a bachelor’s degree and a Faculty of Graduate of Studies that offers masters and doctoral degree programs.

The faculties: Faulty of Management, Faculty of Medicine, Faculty of Health, Faculty of Science, Engineering and Architecture, Faculty of Arts, Faculty of Education, and the Faculty of Graduate Studies offers both national and international students a wide variety of both undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

UPDATE: Laurentian University has greatly improved in ranking over time. Some platforms now rank it 34th best university in Canada.

Mount Saint Vincent University

Mount Saint Vincent University was established in 1873 and located in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

The university has a small amount of students, with over 3,300 undergraduates and 1,100 postgraduate students coming from Canada and sundry.

Offering over 40 undergraduate degrees in the Arts, Science, Education, and Professional Studies and 13 graduate degrees in a wide range of academic areas including School Psychology, Human Nutrition, Public Relations, and Women’s Studies, etc.

Mount Saint Vincent University has 16 research centers and institutes and other state-of-the-art facilities to enable students to develop their potential through hands-on research.

Universite de Moncton

Also known as U de M, Universite de Moncton was established in 1963 as a French-language university and it still is.

According to Maclean’s reputational ranking, U de M is at the bottom list which makes it to our list of worst universities in Canada.

It also ranks top in other factors and recognized as the largest French-language university in Canada outside Quebec.

If you are fluent in French or from a French-speaking country and you want to go to a university in Canada without a language barrier, then this is the school for you.

Universite de Moncton has three campuses located in Moncton, this is the main campus, Edmundston, and Shippagan.

The main campus at Moncton has eight faculties namely; Faculty of Administration, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Faculty of Education, Faculty of Engineering, Faculty of Graduate Studies, Faculty of Health Science and Community Services, Faculty of Sciences, and lastly the Faculty of Law.

Through her faculties, Universite de Moncton offers national and international admissions into a wide variety of undergraduate and postgraduate degree programs.

There are also top-notch research facilities and libraries to facilitate student’s learning and help them develop their skill for life after school.

These are the 7 worst universities in Canada and as I mentioned earlier, that doesn’t make them unsuitable for Canadian or international students as they still have their laudable good sides. There aren’t many such universities fit for this list in Canada which is why we could only come up with just seven and we hope they are useful to you.



  1. Most of the universities on this list are oriented towards serving the regional needs of employers – so they fit into a classification of “Primarily Undergraduate”, which implies they are not research focused but teaching focused with an eye to the needs of regional employers for people who possess undergraduate level education, communications and critical thinking skills.

    Thus they don’t have a national profile, and rank low in major university guides due to guide metrics which will measure how often a professor & publications are cited elsewhere, research budgets, etc.

    If you are a foreign student examining study in Canada most likely prestige is going to be a factor, and for the aforementioned reasons the universities on this list would not normally be candidates.

    I assess students examining Canada for post secondary education are typically interested in medicine, engineering, math & CS, science, architecture and/or planning or an applied discipline such as business or economics. I would suggest such students would normally look to Univ of Toronto, Univ of Waterloo, McGill University, Univ of British Columbia, McMaster University, Queens University, Univ of Ottawa, Carleton University, Western University and some others which all have some renown in several of these subjects.

    A note for the wise. Univ of Waterloo is not classified as a “Doctoral” institution and in some rankings will appear lower then some of the other CAD universities. This is as it does not have a School of Medicine or a law school as Waterloo’s emphasis has for decades been Math, CS, Engineering and Science/Applied studies oriented. Medicine and law faculties are always produce the most research publications on an annualized basis, and thus are always the most cited leading to ranking systems that use this criteria to rank such universities higher. Don’t be fooled. UofWat and UofT are the top dogs in Canada. They are also generally the hardest academically in their engineering/math/science programs and have very high 1st yr failure rates in many of the aforementioned programs.

    All universities in Canada have to meet certain national criteria in order to obtain federal funding. Thus while certain universities may have a research focus or element of prestige the overall base level of education is relatively equal. Only the few private universities in Canada actually should typically be avoided. Most of these private universities “prey” on foreign students who confuse their status with public universities and the generally overall good education reputation Canada possesses. Never come to Canada for enrollment in a private university.

  2. Why is Laurentian University here? It is a very good school, I went to UofT and switched to Laurentian and I personally feel like I learned more in Laurentian.

  3. Remove Laurentian University from this list. The quality of that school exceeds all schools in this list. It has one of the best mining and geo engineering programs in North America, and it offers over 32 graduate and post-graduate programs.

    1. Being on this list does not in anyway mean that a university is bad, it was stated clearly at the beginning of this article.

      If all best students are put in class and given a test, someone will come first, same way, another will come last but this does not in anyway mean that the person who came last is no longer an intelligent student. The same way it is with this list.

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