The universities in Vancouver are as diverse as the city itself, and include some of the best universities in Canada, including the University of British Columbia—one of the top medical schools in Canada—and Simon Fraser University. Universities in Vancouver are home to thousands of students, including a large population of international students. Universities in Vancouver also include many specialized colleges and institutions like the Vancouver Film School. In this blog, we’ll look at some of the top universities in Vancouver, admissions statistics, how to apply and tips to get accepted!

Disclaimer: BeMo does not endorse or affiliate with any universities, colleges, or official test administrators. The content has been developed based on the most recent publicly available data provided from the official university website. However, you should always check the statistics/requirements with the official school website for the most up to date information. You are responsible for your own results. 

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List of Colleges and Universities in Vancouver Top Universities in Vancouver How to Apply to Universities in Vancouver Why Study at Universities in Vancouver? How to Get Into Universities in Vancouver FAQs

List of Top Colleges and Universities in Vancouver 

  1. University of British Columbia
  2. Simon Fraser University
  3. University Canada West
  4. Vancouver Community College
  5. Vancouver Film School
  6. Langara College
  7. British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) – Downtown Campus
  8. Capilano University
  9. Columbia College
  10. Emily Carr University of Arts & Design
  11. Alexander College
  12. Corpus Christi College

Top Universities in Vancouver

Below are some of the top-ranked universities in Vancouver, admissions statistics and a brief profile on each school.

1. University of British Columbia (UBC) – Vancouver Campus

Acceptance rate: 49%

Average GPA: 3.7

The University of British Columbia is one of the best universities in Vancouver and indeed in Canada, sometimes called one of the “Canadian Ivy League” schools. It is also a top research university not only in Canada but around the world, and has one of the lowest university acceptance rates in Canada. UBC welcomes over 65,000 students from all across Canada as well as international students from over 140 countries.

UBC is also the home of the only medical school in British Columbia and one of the best medical schools in Canada, the UBC Medical School. UBC also has one of the best MBA programs in Canada at the Sauder School of Business, and one of the top pharmacy schools in Canada.

2. Simon Fraser University (SFU)

Acceptance rate: 58%

Average GPA: 2.5-3.3, depending on program

As one of the top universities in Vancouver and in British Columbia, Simon Fraser University (SFU) is consistently ranked as one of the best research institutions and a world leader in innovation and sustainability. The university has extensive programs in engineering, health sciences, computer science and humanities and social science.

3. University Canada West

Acceptance rate: 80%

Minimum Grade: 65%

The University of Canada West is a business-oriented university in Vancouver, so it’s an excellent option for those who want to find the best undergrad business schools or who want to pursue an MBA. The university has 3 undergraduate business degrees and two online business degrees:

  • Bachelor of Commerce
  • Bachelor of Arts in Business Communication
  • Associate of Arts
  • Online Bachelor of Commerce
  • Online Bachelor of Arts in Business Communication

4. Langara College

Acceptance rate: 85%

Minimum GPA: 2.5

Langara College, although not as large an institution as UBC and SFU, is a well-known and highly ranked institution in British Columbia. The college offers hundreds of programs in the arts, sciences, business, humanities and social sciences, and health sciences. In particular, Langara is home to one of the best nursing school programs in Canada.

5. Vancouver Community College

Acceptance rate: 75%

Minimum GPA: 2.5

The Vancouver Community College offers a variety of courses in business, design, health sciences, esthetics, culinary arts, hospitality, arts and technology, as well as academic upgrading, apprenticeship courses and university transfer courses.

6. Capilano University

Acceptance rate: 72%

Minimum Grade: 60%

Capilano University is a teaching-focused public university in North Vancouver. It is one of the top-ranked universities in Canada, offering more than 100 degree programs in design, film, business administration, kinesiology, interdisciplinary studies and early childhood education and more.

7. Columbia College

Acceptance rate: N/A

Minimum Grade: 60%

Columbia College allows enrolled students to take up to 60 credits at first and second level before transferring to other major universities across Canada. In addition, Columbia College offers associate degree programs and an English for Academic Purposes program, which can benefit students who want to study as an international student in Canada but need to meet English Language Proficiency requirements. Columbia College is also a more affordable option for transfer students when it comes to tuition and costs.

8. Emily Carr University of Arts & Design

Acceptance rate: 78%

Minimum GPA: 2.5

The Emily Carr University is ranked as the top university in Canada for art and design, and ranked 24th in the world for studies in art and design. The school is named after Emily Carr, an influential Canadian author and painter. The Emily Carr University offers three undergraduate degree programs in the arts, with a wide variety of available majors:

  • Bachelor of Design
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts
  • Bachelor of Media Arts

All applicants must have a minimum GPA of 2.5 and submit a portfolio to apply. Applicants can apply directly through the university’s website or through the EducationPlannerBC portal.

How to Apply to Universities in Vancouver

To apply to universities in Vancouver, students can apply directly through the schools’ online application portals. Or, students can choose up to 4 universities in British Columbia to apply to through the EducationPlannerBC portal. Note that students can only use this centralized application service for public institutions. Private colleges such as the Columbia College, University of Canada West, BCIT, Alexander College and Corpus Christi College must be applied to individually.

To apply to most universities in Vancouver, applicants first need to meet the general admission requirements. For applicants in Canada, this means an average high school grade score of 65% and above, sometimes higher for more competitive programs. International applicants also need to complete and English Language Proficiency test in order to apply.

Individual programs may have additional admission requirements, depending on the institution. Some additional application components you may need to prepare for EducationPlannerBC include:

Working on college essays or personal statement? Check out these stellar examples:

Why Study at Universities in Vancouver?

Vancouver is one of the top destinations for those who want to study in Canada as an international student. With a diverse, international population, an active arts and nightlife, Vancouver is a very popular for students in Canada and abroad. It offers good student quality of life in one of Canada’s largest cities, as well as spectacular appeal in some of the most beautiful scenery in the world.

The universities in Vancouver are world-class in education and research, offering excellent learning opportunities and career prospects for students. If you want to know how to get into grad school, the universities in Vancouver have some of the best graduate programs in Canada at UBC and SFU.

How to Get Into Universities in Vancouver

Getting into the universities in Vancouver means you’ll need more than excellent grades. Whether you’re an international student or domestic student, many of the top universities can be quite competitive and selective. Here are our top 5 tips for applying to the top universities in Vancouver.

Want to know how to get accepted to Canadian universities?

1. Don’t neglect your grades

Some of the universities in Vancouver have fairly low minimum grade requirements for admission, and while some programs or universities might seem easier to get into than others, your grades are still an important part of getting into university, as admissions wants to see that you are prepared for the academic rigors of their programs. If you want to know how to get into college with a low GPA, especially if you’re applying to a competitive program, it’s wise to do what you can to boost your grades before graduation or retake courses if you need to. While the universities in Vancouver will look at the entirety of your transcripts, only your highest grade in each course will be considered, so retaking courses won’t necessarily count against you.

2. Diversify your application

Aside from your GPA or grades, your EducationPlannerBC application or your application to individual schools needs to be strong, unique and competitive for the best chance of acceptance. This means highlighting your unique experiences and attributes, finding the best extracurriculars for college, writing a strong personal statement and securing positive reference letters, if required.

The more qualitative parts of your application are what make you stand out from the applicant pool. Remember, admissions decisions aren’t made just based on grades, but on what you bring to the student community at a particular school. Showcase your strengths and diversity in your application to stand out from the crowd.

3. Research your schools and programs

Researching the universities in Vancouver you plan to apply to will give you a better idea of what admissions committees are looking for in applicants and how you can highlight those attributes in your application, such as your personal statement or activities.

For instance, UBC and Simon Fraser University are both well-known and respected research institutions, so demonstrating that you have high school research experience in a research resume in your application will certainly be an advantage.

4. Know your application requirements and deadlines

Whether you’re using the unified EducationPlannerBC service or an online application, it’s critical to double check all the requirements and deadlines. Staying organized will keep you from missing deadlines or making mistakes in your application that could get you rejected straight away. Since you may be working on more than one application at a time, write down important dates and tasks early on so you stay on track.

5. Ask for professional help

Hiring a Canadian university admissions consultant or talking with an international student advisor can take off some of the stress of applying, as well as give you some professional feedback and guidance on crafting the strongest application possible. For international students and out-of-province students, it’s a good idea to get some expert help, since admissions to universities in Vancouver tend to be more competitive for non-British Columbia students.


1. How many universities are in Vancouver?

There are 5 public universities in Vancouver, including the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University, University of Canada West, Emily Carr University of Art and Design and Capilano University. Vancouver is also home to many smaller universities and colleges. 

2. What can you study at universities in Vancouver?

Vancouver is home to many of British Columbia’s top universities, so the possibilities for learning are near endless. In particular, students who are interested in studying the arts, business, social sciences and humanities, science and health sciences can find many excellent programs. Vancouver is also the home to many universities and colleges offering programs in areas like film study and design. 

3. What are the best universities in Vancouver?

The best universities in Vancouver, by reputation and ranking, are the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University. These are both top-ranking research universities in Canada and around the world. Both are well-known as institutions of educational excellence and ground-breaking research. 

4. Is UBC or SFU better?

The University of British Columbia ranks higher than Simon Fraser University, both in Canada and worldwide. UBC is also seen as more prestigious and renowned within Canada.

5. What GPA do you need to get into universities in Vancouver?

Most universities in Vancouver require a minimum GPA of 2.5 to get accepted. However, some more competitive programs might have higher admission requirements or higher average scores, so it’s best to have as high a GPA as possible to remain competitive.

6. How do I get into universities in Vancouver as an international student?

International students who are applying to universities in Vancouver need to meet minimum admission requirements and apply directly to the university of their choice through the online application portal. Typically, admission requirements are to have a minimum grade average of 70% or equivalent and submit proof of English Language Proficiency.

7. How do I apply to universities in Vancouver?

To apply to public universities in Vancouver, students can use the EducationPlannerBC online portal. To apply to all private colleges and universities in Vancouver, use the school’s unique online application portal.

8. Is it hard to get into universities in Vancouver?

While most universities in Vancouver have generally high acceptance rates and straightforward admission requirements, some programs may be more competitive than others due to a high number of applicants or stricter admissions criteria. For instance, the acceptance rate at UBC is only 49%, which is quite selective. Whereas the acceptance rate for other universities in Vancouver is between 70-80%.

To your success,

Your friends at BeMo

BeMo Academic Consulting


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