The 4 Largest Schools in Montreal Today

Montreal city in Canada autumn season colourful threes

The 4 Largest Schools in Montreal Today

Montreal is a rather large city with approximately 1.78 million people living here. It ranks as the second-largest city by population in Canada. Therefore, it is no surprise that it is home to several notable and favored universities. The following universities are in no way the only ones in this city, nor are they necessarily the best. Nevertheless, their innovation, focus on student achievement, and history of graduating trailblazers have enabled them to become some of the most prominent universities in Montreal today. Read on to discover some of the largest schools in Montreal today.

Largest Schools in Montreal Today

The largest schools in Montreal have a deep history, and students travel from all over the world to study at many of them. Take a look below at what makes some of these schools amazing research centers, places to study, and innovative universities.

McGill University

845 Rue Sherbrooke O, Montréal, QC H3A 0G4, Canada

Student Body: Approximately 36,590

McGill University was founded in 1821 and has a rich, vibrant 200-year history. 

This University boasts many accomplishments and first steps in numerous areas, including the following:

  • Being the birthplace of the world's first search engine, Archie.
  • The first indoor hockey game was played in Montreal, with many McGill students as players, in 1875.
  • 1891 saw the invention of Basketball begin. The creation began as a game for unruly kids stuck inside, and the inventor was McGill grad James Naismith.
  • The university was where the first female professor, Carrie Derick, taught in Canada.

McGill University has a good mix of local and international students. Around 30% of the student body comes from outside of Canada. 

McGill is a teaching and research university; the incredible discoveries that have taken place at this university include Sir Ernest Rutherford's work with radioactivity and the ongoing study of epigenetics

McGill University has been a leading contender in science and higher learning opportunities for hundreds of years. Additionally, it has held the title of the number one medical doctoral university for 18 years. Furthermore, it holds the following titles: 

  • #31 worldwide in the QS World University Rankings for 2023.
  • #73 worldwide in the Shanghai Academic Ranking of World University in 2022. 
  • #46 worldwide in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings for 2023.

Notable Alums From McGill University

Notable alums who have attended McGill University and gone on to be incredible trailblazers include: 

  • Burt Bacharach: a modern composer who won six Grammys, one Emmy, and three Oscars. 
  • Leonard Cohen: a Rock and Roll artist, poet, novelist, and singer/songwriter. 
  • Christine Jensen: Jazz saxophonist and composer. 
  • Richard King: Schulich School of Music's Sound Recording associate professor, received 14 Grammys.
  • Sam Robert: Juno award-winning artist.
  • Arthur Erickson: Canadian architect famous for Robson Square and the Museum of Glass.
  • Raymond Moriyama: Architect famous for the Ontario Science Center.
  • Margaret Grenier: Dancers of Damelahamid executive and artist director. 
  • Sean Michaels: Writer of Us Conductors and winner of the Scotiabank Giller Prize.
  • Heather O'Neill: Writer and Novelist, popular for Lullabies for Little Criminals.

Television, Science, and More Alums

  • Jennifer Baichwal: Documentary filmmaker famous for Manufactured Landscapes.
  • Nancy Grant: a film producer whose work includes Mommy.
  • Edward Saxon: Producer of The Silence of the Lambs, Philadelphia and Adaptation, and more incredible work. 
  • Joe Medjuck: Hollywood producer with work that includes Up in the Air, Hitchcock and Ghostbusters 2. 
  • Charles Krauthammer: is a Pulitzer Prize winner, contributing columnist for the Washington Post, and more. 
  • Moses Znaimer: Founder and the CEO of ZoomerMedia Limited and co-founder of Citytv.
  • Jesse Brown: Host and founder of the Canadaland podcast network and journalist. 
  • Alan Emtage created Archie, which was the first Internet set engine. 
  • Jade Raymond: Former vice president at Google and video game executive. She helped launch Watch Dogs and Assasin's Creed. 
  • Gail Simmons: Judge on the Top Chef. She is also a culinary connoisseur. 
  • Deborah Chow: Television and film producer and director. Notable mentions include the Obi-Wan Kenobi miniseries. 
  • James Naismith: Created with inventing the game of Basketball in 1891. Additionally, he presented the football helmet for the first time. 
  • Robert Deluce is the executive chairman and founder of Porter Airlines. 
  • Sir John Abbott: Third Prime Minister of Canada from 1891-1892.
  • Willard Boyel: In 2009, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for inventing the charged-couple device. 
  • Val Fitch: American nuclear physicist and Nobel Prize winner in Physics for disproving the indifference of particle interaction to time direction. 
  • John O'Keefe: 2014 co-winner of the Nobel Prize in medicine and co-discoverer for cell research involving the brain's positioning system. 

As you can see, McGill is an incredible University that helps shape the lives of students who move on to accomplish incredible feats. 

McGill University Campus - Montreal - Canada
McGill University has a deep and rich history that spans over 200 years.


University of Montreal

2900 Edouard Montpetit Blvd, Montreal, Quebec H3T 1J4, Canada

Student Body: 66,972

The University of Montreal is a gorgeous campus with 40 buildings and three metro stations. This university began in 1878 with one goal: to allow students to continue their education beyond high school. 

When attending the University of Montreal, students have options in countless studies. Several areas of study include:

  • Advanced Neuromusculoskeletal Physiotherapy
  • Anthropology
  • Applied Humanities
  • Biology
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Cellular Biology and Pathology
  • Chemistry
  • Dentistry
  • Epidemiology
  • Genetic Counselling

These areas do not even touch the tip of the iceberg regarding the scope of study at this university. 

The University of Montreal ranks number four in Canada in research. There are 465 research units and a 682 million dollar income.

In addition, combined with affiliate schools Polytechnique Montreal and HEC Montreal, the University of Montreal ranks number one in Quebec as the top epicenter for University education.

Not all students who attend this university are from Canada; approximately 10,000 international students attend this university. 

Notable Alumni who have attended the University of Montreal include:

  • Pierre-Elliott Trudeau: Was a Canadian politician, lawyer, and 15th Prime Minister of Canada. 
  • Lousie Arbour: Was a UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, former Canadian Supreme Court justice, and former International Crisis Group CEO.
  • Hubert Reeves: Was a Canadian Astrophysicist.
  • Lucille Teasdale: A pediatric surgeon and physician who worked in Uganda.

These are only a handful of the incredible students who have attended the University of Montreal; in fact, there have been approximately 450,000 students graduating from these campuses. 

University of Quebec at Montreal

405 Rue Sainte-Catherine Est, Montréal, QC H2L 2C4, Canada

Student Body: 35,212

University of Quebec at Montreal is a research University that ranks number one in Quebec and eighth in Canada. Furthermore, innovation takes center stage at this campus, and the university is making great strides in many areas, including social economy and public relations. 

Although the University of Quebec at Montreal is a French-speaking campus, many students travel worldwide to attend this campus. There are around 4,000 international students. 

The University of Quebec at Montreal has graduated approximately 300,846 students and given 418,660 degrees. Students have around 350 areas of study to choose from. 

Were ready to take on the real world. Shot of a diverse group of students on graduation day.
College is a stepping stone to a brighter future for many people.

©PeopleImages.com – Yuri A/Shutterstock.com

School of Higher Technology University of Quebec

1100, Rue Notre-Dame Ouest, Montreal, Quebec, Canada 

Student Body: Between 10,000 and 14,999

The School of Higher Technology University of Quebec, also known as ETS, is a science and technology University that offers degrees in electrical engineering, distributed computing, information technology engineering, and more. 

This school began in 1974 and has a larger student body. The acceptance rate for the School of Higher Technology University of Quebec is between 70 and 79 percent. If students are looking for an excellent place to study science or technology, this university's reputation precedes it. It ranks number 29 out of 84 Universities in Canada for Engineering. 

In Conclusion

The popular and education-focused universities on this list are great places to study. Not only do students who initially are from Canada enjoy attending these schools, but students travel from all over to receive an education in one of these largest schools in Montreal. 

Whether the focus is on science, technology, or something more general, such as applied humanities, students can find a great school to increase their education in one of these institutions. 

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