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Canada U15 Research Universities

Do you intend to pursue a PhD in Canada? Then it's a good idea to look for one of Canada's top U15 universities.

The U15 Group of Canadian Research Universities was founded in 1980 by five Ontario-based universities as a collective of the country's leading research-intensive universities. While each institution pursues its educational and research missions, the U15 Directorate works towards a common goal for all members. The university aims to promote long-term development, sustainable research policy, and higher education in Canada and worldwide.

Furthermore, U15 institutes account for 80% of all competitive university research in Canada. These research universities are critical to the growth of the Canadian economy, and the faculty and students at these institutions generate life-changing ideas. You can read the blog and get all details regarding the U15 universities in Canada. 

U15 Group of Canadian Universities: Overview

In search of a Canadian research university? Choose U15 universities.

  • The U15 Group is made up of 15 Canadian research universities.
  • These universities conduct approximately 80% of all competitive research in Canada.
  • They run USD 8.5 billion in research each year.
  • The group is responsible for 75% of all doctorates awarded in Canada.
  • In Canada, U15 receives 79% of all competitively allocated research funding.
  • U15 contributes more than USD 36 billion to the Canadian economy each year.
  • It owns 85% of all university technology licences in Canada.
  • U15 owns 81% of all university patents in Canada.

Why Study at U15 Universities?

The following are the top five reasons to study at one of the U15 universities.

  • You will be able to explore and learn at the best research universities.
  • It will allow you to work at the federal level and help improve research conditions alongside policymakers.
  • You will be helping to create high-impact data products.
  • You can seek expertise to evaluate policies by connecting with leading experts in various fields.
  • You can also collaborate on research with government officials, policymakers, and private and public organisations.
  • You can participate in research programs and represent your university on global platforms.

Members of U15 Universities in Canada

As mentioned previously, U15 is a group of 15 research-intensive universities in Canada. We have given below the list of these universities.  


Year of Establishment

QS World Ranking 2023

University of British Columbia



University of Alberta



McGill University



Dalhousie University



University of Ottawa



Queen’s University



McMaster University



Western University



University of Manitoba



University of Calgary



University of Saskatchewan



University of Montreal



University Laval



University of Waterloo



University of Toronto



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Role of U15 Universities

The U15 essentially creates a forward-thinking research environment in which universities can continue to conduct ground-breaking research by

  • Maximising the benefits of university-based research excellence.
  • Working with policymakers at the federal level to improve fundamental research conditions.
  • Create high-impact data products and conduct university research for internal and external audiences.
  • Connect leading experts from all fields with those looking for assistance in analysing public policy or news.
  • Collaborate on research with industry, government, the public sector, and other partners; and
  • Participate in a global network of research-intensive university organisations and represent university research worldwide.

Importance of U15 Research Universities

The U15 is home to world-class researchers using extensive research infrastructure to make discoveries in their field. These 15 institutions conduct significant fundamental research, train future citizens, leaders, and entrepreneurs, and collaborate with the private, public, and government sectors to encourage and capitalise on knowledge sharing. Furthermore, comprehensive and high-quality university research is the foundation for innovation, one of the country's key competitive advantages.

General Eligibility Criteria

To study in Canada, a candidate must meet the following requirements.

  • To pursue a Bachelor's degree in Canada, a candidate must have completed their 10+2 from a recognised educational institution with a minimum of 70% overall.
  • A student must have completed a four-year Bachelor's degree with a minimum aggregate of 70% to pursue a Master's degree.
  • IELTS or TOEFL English language proficiency test scores and GMAT/GRE scores may be required.

Admission Process

The application process takes several months and begins months before classes start. There are two main intakes to study in Canada: Fall and Winter.

Here is a simple 5-step process to study U15 research universities.

  • Shortlist your favourite universities and courses.
  • Compile all your documents, such as SOPs, essays, certificates, and LORs, as well as exam scores, such as IELTS, TOEFL, GRE, GMAT, etc.
  • Meet all application deadlines and apply for housing, a student visa, and scholarships/student loans.
  • Accept the offer letter and meet your teachers, classmates, and roommates virtually.
  • Obtain your visa and fly to your dream university.

Understanding U15 at an International Level

The U15 member universities are at the forefront of research excellence in Canada and worldwide. The U15 is an essential member of the international research community. Also, the U15 joined the Global Network in 2014, a group of networks of research-intensive universities. The Global Network connects U15 to the world's top research-intensive universities.

U15's Global Network partners include

  • Association of American Universities (AAU)
  • Association of East Asian Research Universities (AEARU)
  • C9 League (China)
  • German U15
  • Group of Eight (Go8) Australia
  • Hong Kong 3
  • League of European Research Universities (LERU)
  • RU11 (Japan)
  • Russell Group (UK)

As a member of the Global Network, the group commits to anticipating university research interests on a global scale. As a signatory to the Hefei Statement, Leiden Statement, Tokyo Statement, and Sorbonne Declaration, the U15 joined the Global Network partners.

These 15 universities not only provide cutting-edge research and innovation to Canada but also help to strengthen the economy. These universities provide necessary advice and analysis on higher education along with research and development. 

If you want to study at one of the U15 universities, contact AECC overseas education specialists, and we will gladly walk you through the process. We will offer end-end services FREE of cost.



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