online universities in canada

Top 10 Online Universities In Canada | 2024 -2025 Online Programs

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A significant turning point in the history of online universities in Canada occurred in March 2020. The World Health Organization (WHO) recognized COVID-19 as a global pandemic in that month, which prompted Canada’s postsecondary institutions to upgrade (or adopt) online learning platforms and make everything from part-time bookkeeping classes to nursing degree programs available to remote learners. Plans to digitize courses and programs were abruptly shortened from years to weeks.

The epidemic has now left us with a substantially enlarged landscape of online learning possibilities, including new self-paced courses, live online seminars, Augmented Reality (AR) science labs, and a variety of hybrid options in between.

The demand for mature students looking into ways to advance their careers or start completely new ones increased as a result of this greater flexibility. (During this time, demand for online career training programs increased by almost 200 percent, according to CourseCompare.)

Furthermore, the epidemic has compelled academic institutions, instructors, and learners alike to develop their knowledge of how technology may promote better, more fair learning.

Alternatives to remote learning can include not continuing with higher education at all for some students, such as those with families, full-time jobs, or disabilities.

However, we also discovered how, if technology is utilized improperly, it can promote isolation and prevent the kind of social interactions that are essential for a learner to succeed.

In order to produce highly interactive and engaging educational experiences that duplicate the best of in-person learning wherever their students are, Canadian universities must continue to push the edge. They must combine new technologies and developing teaching methodologies.

TeamSpeak or Slack? self-paced, synchronous, or cohort-based? Or twenty microphones in the classroom? Choosing which of Canada’s online institutions and programs is best for you may be difficult with so many greatly better online options and delivery methods available.

The top online institutions in Canada for 2024 have been ranked by CourseCompare after a thorough examination of the country’s changing online landscape.

An algorithm that takes into account a number of fundamental criteria and concepts is used to generate CourseCompare’s annual school rankings. You may read more about our methodology here.


List Of Online Universities In Canada

Here is the list of online universities in Canada, viz;

1. Laurentian University

Laurentian university is among the online universities in Canada. Because of its location in Northern Ontario, Laurentian University takes pride in having a distinctive educational vision. It is the only online university in Canada with a bilingual and trilingual mandate, offering courses in both English and French with a commitment to meeting the postsecondary needs of Indigenous students.

An equally varied selection of 26 degree programs and more than 350 courses is offered online by Laurentian University. These include undergraduate degrees in criminology, sociology, forensic identification, business administration, and Indigenous social work, as well as an MBA and Primary Care Nurse Practitioner M.Sc. program.

online professional growth and certificates Microcredentials are available in a variety of disciplines, including the detection and analysis of fingerprints, the administration and investigation of fire scenes, cardiac care, palliative care, and efficient survey design.

The online universities in Canadian environment of Laurentian

With no set class times, Laurentian’s online universities in Canada model is mostly asynchronous. Although the school advises students to devote 15-20 hours per week to each course, students are free to work at their own speed as long as they meet deadlines for assignments and finish their coursework within the specified academic semesters.

Although students who meet specific distance learning standards may take an invigilated exam at an authorized site, some courses require a final in-person exam.

The Desire2Learn or D2L Brightspace platform, a well-known learning management system (LMS) developed in Canada, is used to provide courses. It offers streamlined and user-friendly online learning as well as communication between students and professors.

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2. Athabasca University

This is another online universities in Canada. The first institution of higher learning in Canada to focus exclusively on online distance learning was Athabasca University in Alberta. The institution was founded in 1973 as Canada’s first open, correspondence-based university, making it a genuine pioneer in the field of distance education.

More than 50 undergraduate and graduate programs, including those in architecture, accounting, data analytics, information security, finance, health administration, and both post-LPN and post-RN nursing degrees, offer more than 980 courses at AU. These programs offer diplomas, degrees, and certificates in business, health, humanities, and sciences.

Project management, digital innovation, workplace wellness, and AI ethics are just a few of the specialized professional development programs, courses, and microcredentials that are available.

The online universities in Canada environment of Athabasca

As a “open” university, Athabasca takes pride in its incredibly adaptable model, which makes higher education simple and accessible from application through graduation. Regardless of prior schooling, anyone 16 years of age or older may apply for admission to AU.

The majority of courses have no prerequisites, and admittance into programs is not competitive. Every month, classes start on the first and are never full. Even final exams can be scheduled at your convenience. Coursework can be finished on your own schedule.

The open online model used by AU successfully eliminates many of the conventional barriers to higher education. More than 70% of the students at this school are the first members of their families to graduate from a four-year university, according to school statistics.

In order to improve access to education for overseas students and students in remote locations, AU partnered with Amazon Web Services (AWS) for the first time in 2018 as a Canadian institution.

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3. University of Fredericton (UFred)

University of Fredericton is one of the online universities in Canada.  Private, for-profit University of Fredericton, also known as UFred, was established in 2005. The success of the school’s business and leadership-focused programs has helped it establish a solid reputation. All of its programs, as well as those of the university’s administration, faculty, and staff, are entirely online.

Through its Sandermoen School of Business and School of Occupational Health and Safety, which are both entirely online, UFred offers a narrow range of certificate, degree, and diploma programs (OHS).

OHS programs offer certificates and diplomas in areas such as ergonomics, environmental systems, psychological health and safety, and OHS.

The Master of Business Administration, however, is the flagship program at UFred and consistently ranks first among the top online MBA programs according to CourseCompare.

Students have the option of nine leadership specialties, including innovation, consulting, professional selling, human resources, business analytics, and cybersecurity, through the comprehensive and multidisciplinary program. Aspiring leaders at all professional stages can also choose from pre-MBA, MBA, and executive MBA certificates.

The Online Universities in Canada environment of Fredericton

Depending on the program or course, UFred’s program delivery and your educational experience may change. Some courses—including a number of MBA courses—are totally self-paced, while others are instructor-led and feature live virtual lectures, debates, and presentations delivered using online collaboration platforms like WebEx. Even programs with live components, like the online MBA, allow you to schedule classes around your schedule and finish in as little as 18 months.

Business courses in particular place a strong emphasis on interaction and peer-to-peer learning, with students working in cohorts to complete projects utilizing cloud-based applications like Google Docs and Google Sheets as well as online collaboration tools like Skype, Zoom, and WebEx.

Maximum enrollment in instructor-led courses and activities is 25 students to enable efficient student-faculty interaction and networking opportunities.

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4. Queen’s University

When talking about online universities in Canada. Queen’s university most be mention among the online universities in Canada. With the introduction of courses by mail in 1889, Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, became the first university in North America to provide distant learning. More than 4,000 students “attend” Queens online today as they pursue a variety of academic degrees, certifications, and microcredentials.

In its ten schools—which include law, the esteemed Smith School of Business, education, health sciences, engineering and applied science, and the arts and sciences—Queens’ provides more than 140 online courses. It also grants various postgraduate degrees.

19 free self-directed courses, including ones on entrepreneurship, behavioral assessment methods, and neuroscience for neurotech, are part of a comprehensive menu of microcredentials that advance careers.

The online universities in Canada environment of Queen’s University

At Queen’s, online courses are created with interaction and teamwork in mind. Engagement from professors and peers is strongly valued, and communication and teamwork are stressed through group projects and online conversations.

The school’s proprietary OnQ platform, based on the well-known Desire2Learn system used at universities across Canada and beyond, is used to provide courses. Some departments and programs have their own unique technologies to encourage online cooperation and learning.

The majority of Queen’s online courses are asynchronous. Even though some programs are live, students can arrange their own learning by having access to recordings whenever they choose. There are specified start and finish dates for courses, and there are deadlines for tasks as well.

In-person components are used in some programs and courses to promote experience learning and practical skill development that cannot be duplicated online.

A bachelor in mining engineering technology includes on-site field placements to help students gain real-world experience, while health sciences, for instance, may require intensive weeklong on-campus sessions.


5. Royal Roads University

This is one of the Online Universities In Canada. A public university with learning models created to fit around active schedules and employment, Royal Roads University is primarily aimed toward postgraduate and older students.

About 70% of RRU students continue to work while enrolled in the institution’s online and hybrid programs, which have been in operation since the 1990s.

RRU offers a concentrated selection of 20 totally online and 57 hybrid programs in a variety of fields, including business, communication, environmental science, executive education, leadership, tourism, and hospitality management.

The course catalog places a strong emphasis on education that is business, management, and leadership-focused in keeping with its concentration on mature and working students. An obligatory, non-credit course on academic integrity serves as the program’s introduction.

The online universities in Canada  environment Royal Road University

The majority of the courses in RRU’s course catalog are hybrid courses, which combine online and on-campus learning. The majority of blended programs are typically online, but many also call for a lengthy, immersion on-campus residency that includes rigorous in-class work as well as team projects and extracurricular activities.

Although challenging, the intensive and extremely interactive residence is frequently cited by students as one of the program’s highlights.

There may be synchronous and asynchronous lectures as well as homework with due dates in fully online courses. Even though the programs are entirely online, group projects and active involvement in debates and online forums are regarded as the cornerstone and a crucial component of the overall learning experience.

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6. University of Waterloo

The University of Waterloo is frequently cited as one of online universities in Canada most cutting-edge postsecondary schools and was a pioneer in online learning. The University of Ontario has been offering online education since 1997, four years before Wikipedia was founded.

Since then, its Center for Extended Learning has developed a vast course catalog with over 600 courses across 40 undergraduate and postgraduate disciplines, including the arts, engineering, environmental, health, mathematics, and science, as well as a varied selection of individual courses like history of the Internet, strategies for the workplace, applied epidemiology, business law, and Vikings! (Yes, there is an exclamation point in the course name.)

Additionally to its selection of degree programs, Waterloo offers more than 170 online professional development courses and certificate programs in fields like business administration, computers and IT, languages, project management, sales and marketing, and writing and publishing.

The online universities in Canada  Environment of Waterloo University

Cohort-based learning means that a whole class progresses through a syllabus and schedule at roughly the same rate. This is true of all of Waterloo’s online degree programs. While there is some flexibility in the timetable, it is advised that you spend 10 to 12 hours per week on coursework for each subject, including readings, lectures, group projects, and assignments.

Assignments, tests, and examinations have fixed due dates, albeit the majority of exams can be completed in a single 24-hour period.

Lessons are delivered at regular intervals and don’t call for scheduled online attendance in professional development courses and certificates, which are more independent.


7. Thompson Rivers University

Accessibility, flexibility, choice, and credibility are the four basic pillars that Thompson Rivers University accepts and uses to guide its educational philosophy.

The open-model institution, which has its headquarters in British Columbia, strives to make postsecondary education as accessible as possible by having few admission requirements and requiring continuous enrollment in most programs.

With over 60 programs offering over 550 courses in subjects like the arts, business and management, education, health sciences, nursing, science, social work, trades and technology, and tourism, TRU students are blessed for choice.

Aspiring students can complete high school prerequisites or some TRU program requirements with the aid of the tuition-free adult basic education program.

The online universities in Canada Environment of Thompson

Even with the option of self-paced or accelerated programs, TRU offers students the greatest degree of flexibility in terms of their preferred learning method. With self-paced programs, students can enroll at any time, begin learning, and complete the course in 30 weeks at their own pace. This flexibility extends to the date of the final test.

Paced programs have set semesters and are cohort-based. Anatomy and microbiology are two examples of individual courses that have lab sessions that call for in-person participation.

Online courses at TRU place a strong emphasis on individualized instruction and interaction with lecturers. To receive direct conversation and inspiration, students collaborate and speak with teachers directly via phone, email, and the school’s course management system.

Additionally, TRU employs devoted program advisers who work with students to create lesson plans that will help you reach your learning objectives.

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8. University Canada West (UCW)

A private institution with a strong emphasis on business and career education is University Canada West. Since its establishment in 2004, the for-profit organization with headquarters in Vancouver has built a reputation for providing cutting-edge career-enhancing education that places a strong emphasis on leadership and compelling corporate communication.

The educational offerings at UCW are modest and narrowly focused, with two bachelor’s degree programs in business communication and commerce, respectively. The online master’s in business administration program, which lasts two years and includes courses from Facebook Blueprint, Salesforce, Shopify, Riipen, and the Digital Marketing Institute, is the most popular course offered there. Additionally, DMI and Facebook provide digital marketing credentials to MBA graduates.

A selection of business-focused online microcredentials, such as those in blockchain entrepreneurship, data and web analytics, online e-commerce, and corporate social responsibility, are available for those looking for bite-sized career boosters.

The online Universities In Canada  Environment of University Canada West

The design of UCW’s online courses is geared for maximum adaptability and self-paced study. You can efficiently manage your own learning schedule because there are no scheduled classes and all course materials – excluding quizzes and exams – are made available on day one.

Small class numbers at UCW, with no more than 28 individuals each class, maximize interaction between students and teachers. UCW courses emphasize clear and effective communication, even in the virtual environment. Each program includes weekly virtual office hours in addition to group assignments, discussion boards, and other cooperative activities.

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9. McGill University

The McGill University in Montreal consistently rates as one of the best online universities in Canada universities in the nation and one of the hardest to get into. According to a survey conducted in 2021, McGill has the greatest average marks of any university in Canada, with 86% for the arts and 91–93% for the sciences.

However, the majority of McGill’s online offerings are devoted to certificate programs and professional development courses in fields including Indigenous business management, graduate ESL, applied cybersecurity, and agile project management.

Both legal translation and public administration and governance diplomas are available. Only alumni of Quebec’s CEGEP nursing programs are eligible for the university’s freshly launched online Bachelor of Nursing degree.

Massive open online courses (MOOCs), which are accessible to everyone and are free and flexible learning possibilities, are provided by another online platform called McGillX. For a $62 cost, learners can obtain validated certifications.

The online universities in Canada Environment Of McGill university

Given McGill’s emphasis on credentials for job growth, the majority of online programs are designed to meet working schedules and lifestyles. The average weekly workload for courses is four to five hours, and they are mostly asynchronous and self-paced.

Live internet programs are typically planned in the evenings, outside of regular business hours. These interactive features, including polls, virtual whiteboards, breakout rooms, and other interactive tools, are used to facilitate participation during these live online classes.

With an emphasis on problem-based learning and interaction with both peers and faculty, the two diploma programs are blended, mixing self-paced learning with live, scheduled classes, timed assignments, and instructor-led learning.

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10. Mount Royal University

This is another online universities in Canada. Calgary-based In 1996, Mount Royal became the first institution to provide a self-paced learning program, allowing political students to decide whether to attend class and to work at their own pace. The catch was that a C+ was the highest grade that could be earned in the self-paced option.

Fortunately, since then, the institution has significantly broadened its strategy and currently provides more than 50 entirely online certificate and diploma programs in business, health sciences, education, and the arts.

The specific subjects of study include a wide range of industries, from interior design to newborn nursing and funeral services to machine learning, pediatric mental health, digital marketing, and police foundations. There are some programs that are also available in a fast-track style, which uses a more rigorous learning schedule to help you reach your learning objectives more rapidly.

MRU launched micocredentials in 2024 and is expanding its selection of possibilities for advancing your career. It is creating a new course in applied machine learning and currently offers three microcredentials in ESG Reporting.

The online universities in Canada environment of Mount Royal

MRU provides a variety of online programs and courses that are both synchronous and asynchronous. The pace of asynchronous learning can change; although some courses may be fully self-paced, others may have predetermined schedules and due dates for assignments.

While there is no live interaction during asynchronous classes, there may still be group projects and discussion boards for students to interact with one another.

Programs are available with extremely flexible timetables to assist students in finishing their coursework while juggling other obligations.

For instance, students may need up to three years to complete their coursework even though the addiction studies program can be finished in as little as two semesters. In a similar vein, the three-year, four-course requirement for the esports management credential permits flexible study.

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