The universities in Montreal are some of the best universities in Canada, and are located in one of the top cities for university students in the world. There are 4 major universities in Montreal, dozens of smaller collegiate institutions and numerous technical and vocational colleges known as CEGEPs. The universities in Montreal are an excellent choice for francophone and bilingual students looking for world-class education in a diverse and exciting city. In this blog, we’ll look at the top universities in Montreal, admission statistics and requirements, and tips on how to get into universities in Montreal.

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List of Universities in Montreal Admissions Statistics for Universities in Montreal Top Universities in Montreal How to Apply to Universities in Montreal Why Study at Universities in Montreal How to Get Into Universities in Montreal FAQs

List of Universities in Montreal

Below is a list of the main universities and colleges in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Montreal is also the home of numerous technical and vocational colleges, or CEGEPs, as well unique institutions like the National Theatre School of Canada and the Montreal National Circus School.

1.      University of Montreal

2.      McGill University

3.      Concordia University

4.      University of Quebec – Montreal campus

Admissions Statistics for Universities in Montreal

Top Universities in Montreal

1. University of Montreal

Acceptance rate: 51%

Minimum GPA: 3.0

Average R Score: 29.930

Number of applicants: N/A

The University of Montreal is ranked as one of the best universities in Canada, and is also the home of the University of Montreal Medical School, one of the top medical schools in Quebec, and the HEC Montreal school of business. It is affiliated with the Polytechnique Montreal school of engineering. Like many of Canada’s top universities, it is a leading research university.

2. McGill University

Acceptance rate: 39.5%

Average R Score: 32.362

Average GPA: 3.85

Number of applicants: 42,968

McGill University is widely considered one of the best universities in Canada, leading only behind the University of Toronto. McGill is home to some of the best medical, engineering and business programs in the country. It is a prestigious research university and is home to the largest population of international students in Canadian research universities.

3. Concordia University

Acceptance rate: 78%

Minimum GPA: 2.0

Average R Score: 28.358

Number of applicants: ~40,000

Concordia is an English-language university offering some of the best experiential learning programs in Montreal. Compared to other universities in Montreal, it is less selective and easier to get into. Concordia, while not as well-known as McGill or UMontreal, is highly ranked both globally and in Canada, with excellent programs in art and design, communication and media, education and finance.

4. University of Quebec Montreal (UQAM)

Acceptance rate: 50%

Minimum GPA: 3.0

Average R Score: 27.216

Number of applicants: N/A

The University of Montreal is the top research university in Quebec, offering more than 300 undergraduate programs at the main Montreal campus and 4 regional campuses. It has a strong reputation for its programs in law, business, humanities and the arts.

How to Apply to Universities in Montreal

Universities in Quebec do not have a common application system. Applicants need to fill out an application directly through the university of their choice. If you’re not sure how to apply to Canadian universities, specifically any located in Quebec, you will need to visit the school’s website directly to find out application requirements and steps.

Admission Requirements

Admission requirements vary depending on the university and the program you’re applying to. In general, you will need to meet the minimum required grade or R score (for Quebec applicants), complete all prerequisite coursework and fill out the online application form. Any applicants who do not speak French as their first language will also need to provide proof of language proficiency.

For Quebec students, you will need to submit your Diplôme d’études collégiales (DEC). Canadian applicants from other provinces will need to submit high school diplomas and transcripts to the institution.

International students and US students will need to include their high school finishing certificate and transcripts, based on their high school curriculum in their home country.

If you are planning to apply for university in Canada as an international student, you will have additional requirements and application steps. International students should note that once you receive an offer of acceptance from a university in Montreal, you will be required to secure a study authorization permit from the government of Quebec.

Bilingual Studies in Montreal

While it is not strictly necessary to be bilingual to study at select universities in Montreal, the city itself is largely French-speaking and bilingual. The universities in Montreal offer comprehensive French immersion programs and bilingual study programs for all students.

So, even if you are attending an English-language institution and do not speak French, you have the opportunity to enroll in language courses to help make your day-to-day experience a little easier! Being at least somewhat bilingual will also help if you want to study in Canada as an international student, and it can have some advantages. For instance, French-speaking students from France and Belgium pay less tuition at universities in Quebec than other international applicants!

Why Study at Universities in Montreal

Montreal is one of the top destinations for university students worldwide, boasting a multicultural, diverse population and a place as Canada’s cultural hub. It is the second most populous city in Canada, and home to the most francophone residents in North America.

Montreal has some of the country’s top-ranking universities, offering excellent programs in both French and English, Canada’s official languages. Student life is consistently top-ranking, too, with plenty of social and professional opportunities, affordable accommodation and easy access to resources like transportation and health care.

For Quebec students, tuition at the universities in Montreal is also cheaper than anywhere else in Canada, which is a major draw. For some French-speaking international students, the tuition rates are much lower than at other universities in North America, too.

Overall, Montreal is one of the most popular choices for university students, and for good reason. For students who don’t speak French, you can still study at the universities in Montreal, and even take the opportunity to learn the language while you do.

How to Get Into Universities in Montreal

Want to know how to get accepted to Canadian universities? Usually, it starts with earning competitive grades or a good GPA, but getting into universities in Montreal comes with some additional requirements, such as language proficiency and using the university application choices strategically.

Check out our tips for getting into universities in Montreal below:

1. Have a competitive GPA or R Score

One of the first things universities in Canada look for is your GPA, or R score in the case of universities in Montreal. Whether you’re a Canadian high school graduate or Quebec CEGEP graduate, your academic record is the first hurdle to getting into university in Montreal. Check the minimum academic requirements for your target school, as some of them, like McGill University, have annual cut-offs for admissions. If you need to boost your grades, talk to an academic advisor on how you can get into college with a low GPA or improve your grades before you finish school.

2. Get good recommendation letters

A common requirement for universities in Quebec for specific programs are college recommendation letters. In some cases, your reference letters can make the difference between acceptance and rejection. Take the time to find strong recommendation letter writers who can write you a glowing review. It’s best to ask teachers, counselors, employers or supervisors you have worked with closely and who know you well. Provide them as much direction and time to write your letter as you can, and don’t forget to follow up with them!

3. Submit a strong personal statement

Out-of-province and international students will sometimes be asked to submit additional application materials, such as a college essay or personal statement. Use this opportunity to diversify and strengthen your application. The majority of accepted students are from Quebec, so to get in as a non-Quebec applicant you really want to stand out by telling your story in a personal statement.

Want some tips for writing a personal statement or college essay? Watch this video:

4. Create a well-rounded CV

Universities in Montreal want to see that you have strong extracurriculars for college and that you’ve had an impact in your community or professional organizations. Some applications might ask for a resume or CV, or a detailed look at your activities and hobbies. Fill these out with meaningful and important activities that demonstrate your skills and talents.

5. Use strategic program choice

Many universities will offer you the choice to select your first, second and third choice of program in the application. This is so, if your first choice is full or you’re not admitted, you might still find a spot in a second or even third program. If you are admitted, even if it’s not to your first choice, accept it! You always have the option to transfer later on, and there may be spots in your desired program that open up later if a students drops out.

6. Meet the language proficiency

Whether you’re English-speaking, French-speaking or bilingual, you may need to submit a test of language proficiency for your chosen program, depending on your country of origin and your primary language. It’s best to complete this test early on and achieve as high a score as possible, since some universities may have cut-off scores. If you’re not bilingual but you’re interested in learning a second language, there are admission pathways you can take which include language courses, too.


1. How many universities are there in Montreal?

There are 44 universities in Montreal, ranging from the major universities like McGill to the vocational colleges and polytechnics.

2. Is it hard to get into universities in Montreal?

Some of the universities in Montreal are quite competitive and have low acceptance rates, while others are a bit easier to get into. For instance, McGill has a fairly competitive acceptance rate as the #2 university in Canada. Whereas Concordia University, while still a major school, has a much higher acceptance rate.

3. Do I need to speak French to get into university in Montreal?

No! You do not need to be bilingual or French-speaking to study in Montreal. There are some universities in Montreal that are English-language instructed. However, being bilingual in Montreal will make day-to-day life easier for students.

4. Do universities in Montreal accept international students?

Yes; the major universities in Montreal accept international students, and in fact Montreal is one of the best cities for foreign students in the world.

5. Are universities in Montreal good for students?

Yes, the universities in Montreal boast a good student experience all around, and student life in Montreal is generally very active and exciting.

6. What are the major universities in Montreal?

The 4 major universities in Montreal are the University of Montreal, McGill University, University of Quebec and Concordia University.

7. Is it expensive to study in Montreal?

Montreal’s universities generally have lower tuition rates, especially for Quebec students! Even for international students, tuition fees tend to be lower than other places in Canada.

8. Are there any English universities in Montreal?

Yes; McGill University and Concordia University both offer university degree programs in English. 

To your success,

Your friends at BeMo

BeMo Academic Consulting

Please note: although we have made every effort to provide the most accurate information, admissions information changes frequently. Therefore, we encourage you to verify these details with the official university admissions office. You are responsible for your own results. BeMo does not endorse nor affiliate with any official universities, colleges, or test administrators and vice versa.  


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