Calgary, a city nestled in the heart of Alberta, Canada, is not only known for its stunning landscapes and vibrant culture but also for its exceptional educational institutions.

With a wide array of options to choose from, students seeking quality higher education are spoiled for choice.

In this article, we will explore some of the finest colleges and universities in Calgary, shedding light on why students are drawn to them and the unique advantages of studying in this dynamic city.

If you wish to study in a different province or country, you should look at our recommended schools by program.

What makes Calgary an ideal city for education?

Calgary offers a balanced blend of academic excellence, a vibrant cultural scene, a strong economy, and exceptional quality of life. Its diverse range of colleges and universities cater to various interests, making it an ideal destination for pursuing higher education.

The city is also cost-effective for many international students, although the cost of living depends on factors such as choice of accommodation, lifestyle, and personal expenses. On average, it’s lower than in some other Canadian cities, and according to the Global Livable Index of 2023, Calgary ranks among the top places to live in the world.

The city also boasts a plethora of recreational activities, from exploring the nearby Rocky Mountains to enjoying cultural festivals, sporting events, hiking, skiing, and a vibrant arts scene.

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What are the best Colleges and Universities in Calgary?

1. University of Calgary

The University of Calgary stands as a beacon of academic brilliance in the city, it is arguably the best educational institution in the city boasting a comprehensive range of programs from business to engineering, including MBA, MIM, BSc Computer Science, and more, and also a commitment to research and innovation.

The University of Calgary was established in 1966 and is home to over 30,000 students offering over 250 programs to both local and global scholars.

In terms of ranking, the U of C is a member of Canada’s U15 Group of leading public research universities and ranks 242nd in QS World University Rankings 2023. The university’s state-of-the-art facilities, distinguished faculty, and emphasis on experiential learning make it a prime choice for those aspiring to excel in various fields.

The University of Calgary stands out for supporting talents. It extends scholarship options to local and international students, fostering an inclusive and empowering learning environment that propels personal and professional growth.

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In essence, the University of Calgary is Calgary’s academic gem. With diverse programs, affordable fees, and recognition, it’s a transformative educational journey that promises growth and opportunities.

Contact details:

Address: 2500 University Dr. NW, Calgary.

Phone: (403) 220-5110.

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2. Mount Royal University

Mount Royal University is also one of the best public universities in Calgary renowned for its top-notch infrastructure and legacy dating back to 1904.

With diverse undergraduate programs spanning arts, business, science, and more, it caters to a wide range of passions. Affordable tuition fees starting at 14,000 CAD for local students and 28,000 CAD for international students make it a practical choice.

Popular programs like Health Science and Business Administration highlight its commitment to excellence. In essence, Mount Royal University stands as a symbol of academic brilliance, shaping successful futures in Calgary.

Contact details:

Address: 4825 Mt Royal Gate SW, Calgary, AB T3E 6K6.

Phone: (403) 440-6111.

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3. Alberta University of the Arts

Founded in 1926, the Alberta University of the Arts (AUArts) is a hub of artistic innovation and one of the best public universities in Calgary.

Formerly the Alberta College of Art and Design, it offers diverse arts and design programs. With its five Schools covering Visual Art, Craft and Emerging Media, Communication Design, and Critical and Creative Studies.

The Alberta University of the Arts (AUArts) was founded in 1926 and boasts a rich heritage of nurturing talent. While the QS World University Ranking for 2023 isn’t available, its significance in Calgary’s creative landscape is undeniable.

At an average tuition fee of 26,600 CAD, AUArts offers quality arts education. Popular programs like BFA Drawing, BFA Material Science, BDEss Photography, and MFA Glass showcase its commitment to specialized artistic pathways.

Some of the reasons most students go for this school are its small classes and flexible curriculum which empowers students to craft their unique artistic journey.

Contact details:

Address: 1407 14 Ave NW, Calgary, AB T2N 4R3.

Phone: (403) 284-7600.

Related: 12 Best Colleges and Universities in Alberta, Canada | Rankings

4. St. Mary’s University

Established in 1986, St. Mary’s University shines as a beacon of Catholic education and is also one of the best private universities in Calgary accredited by Alberta Advanced Education as an ‘Independent Academic Institution.

With a commitment to providing esteemed yet affordable degrees, St. Mary’s has become synonymous with quality education for both local and international students.

St. Mary’s University offers a range of popular programs such as BA History, BA English, Bachelor of Education, BSc Biology, and BA Psychology. This diverse array caters to a wide spectrum of academic interests, enabling students to pursue their passions.

St. Mary’s University is not only a hub of education but also a nurturing ground for values. Its diverse student body and commitment to both local and international students foster a global perspective, enriching the learning experience.

Contact details:

Address: 14500 Bannister Road SE, Calgary, AB T2X 1Z4.

Phone: (403) 531-9130.

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5. Ambrose University

Established in 1921, Ambrose University stands as a testament to faith-based education. As a private Christian institution, it offers accredited degrees in business, science, and liberal arts, creating a unique blend of academic and spiritual growth. Rooted in Christianity, Ambrose University is dedicated to producing active and committed alumni with strong Christian values.

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Ambrose University is also one of the best universities in Calgary with a student body of nearly 1000+, this institution maintains an intimate learning environment with a faculty ratio of 1:4. This close-knit community ensures personalized attention, fostering meaningful connections between students and faculty members.

Ambrose University caters not only to academic aspirations but also to spiritual growth. It offers a range of programs such as Master of Divinity, Diploma in Christian Studies, MBA, Masters in Christian Studies, BA History, BA Psychology, and Bachelor in Music. This diverse curriculum speaks to its commitment to a well-rounded education.

Contact details:

Address: 150 Ambrose Cir SW, Calgary, AB T3H 0L5.

Phone: (403) 410-2000.

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6. Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT)

The Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) stands as a dynamic hub of polytechnic education. With a competitive edge and a global outlook, home to over 12,000 students representing 97 countries. But its impact reaches far beyond traditional classrooms, with an additional 43,000 students enrolling in apprenticeships, corporate training, and continuing education programs.

Founded in 1916, SAIT’s Applied Research and Innovation Services exemplify its commitment to hands-on learning and innovation.

By bringing together ideas and technologies from students, faculty members, and entrepreneurs, SAIT creates commercialized products that have a real-world impact.

This emphasis on real-world skills ensures that graduates are job-ready and equipped to contribute effectively in their chosen fields immediately upon graduation.

Contact details:

Address: 1301 16 Ave NW, Calgary, AB T2M 0L4.

Phone: (403) 284-7248.

Related: 14 Best Art Schools In Alberta To Get Into

7. Bow Valley College

Founded in 1965, Bow Valley College shines as a cornerstone of community education, it is one of the best public, board-governed colleges in Calgary offering a diverse range of certificate, diploma, and degree programs, setting a standard for accessible and quality education.

This institution has campuses spanning Airdrie, Banff & Canmore, Cochrane, High River, Okotoks, Strathmore, and The Entrepreneur Centres, creating a network of accessible educational opportunities.

Bow Valley College stands as a beacon of inclusivity, particularly for students with disabilities. Its top-ranked status attests to its commitment to providing an exceptional educational experience for all.

Bow Valley College’s curriculum not only imparts knowledge but also incorporates innovative solutions, preparing students with practical skills for their entry into the workforce.

Bow Valley College’s impact goes beyond its traditional academic programs. It extends a helping hand to newcomers through language and skill programs, making it a welcoming place for those embarking on new journeys in Calgary.

Contact details:

Address: 345 6 Ave SE, Calgary, AB T2G 4V1.

Phone: (403) 410-1400.

Related: 12 Best Dental Schools In Alberta: Calgary, Edmonton.

8. Sundance College

Sundance College also makes our list of the best colleges in Calgary. With a team of compassionate industry experts at its core, the college is committed to its students’ educational and career success. This commitment is evident in their holistic approach to student development, ensuring a higher level of success post-graduation.

Sundance College’s career-focused diploma programs cover a range of disciplines including Business, Health, Hospitality, Legal, and Technology.

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Their comprehensive offering includes both online and in-person courses, allowing students flexibility in their learning. This tailored approach and program quality set them apart.

As one of the best colleges in the city, Sundance College’s philosophy is student support and success. Graduates emerge as confident, capable professionals, well-prepared for their chosen fields. The college prioritizes students’ needs, ensuring a pleasurable learning experience and individualized attention.

Contact details:

Address: 128 28 St SE G, Calgary, AB T2A 6J9.

Phone: (403) 455-9010.

Related: 12 Best Culinary Schools In Alberta To Get Into

Frequently Asked Questions About Studying in Calgary

Considering pursuing higher education in Calgary, Canada? Here are some frequently asked questions about studying in this dynamic city, along with their informative answers:

How do I choose the right college or university in Calgary?

Research is key. Consider factors like program offerings, faculty reputation, campus facilities, industry connections, and location. Visit campuses if possible and seek advice from current students or alumni to make an informed decision.

Are there scholarships available for international students in Calgary?

Yes, many colleges and universities in Calgary offer scholarships and financial aid to international students based on merit and need. Research the institutions you’re interested in to find out about their scholarship opportunities. Also, check our scholarship portal for related updates.

Can I work while studying in Calgary?

Yes, international students in Canada, including Calgary, are allowed to work part-time during their studies. There are also opportunities for co-op programs, internships, and post-graduation work permits to gain practical experience.

What is the job market like in Calgary for graduates?

Calgary has a strong job market, especially in sectors like energy, technology, healthcare, and finance. The city’s economy offers ample opportunities for graduates to find internships and full-time positions aligned with their field of study.

Is Calgary a safe city for international students?

Yes, Calgary is considered one of the safest cities in Canada. The city’s friendly community and low crime rates ensure a safe environment for international students to live and study in.

How is the transportation system in Calgary for students?

Calgary offers an efficient public transportation system, including buses and a light rail transit (LRT) system, making it easy for students to navigate the city and access their campuses.

Can international students stay in Calgary after graduation?

Yes, international graduates have the option to apply for a post-graduation work permit (PGWP), allowing them to work in Canada for up to three years after completing their studies. This can lead to permanent residency opportunities.


In conclusion, Calgary stands as a hub of educational excellence with a diverse range of colleges and universities that cater to various academic and career aspirations.

From its world-class institutions to its vibrant city life and economic opportunities, studying in Calgary is a decision that promises a holistic, enriching, and transformative educational experience.

Embarking on your educational journey in Calgary opens doors to endless opportunities for personal and professional growth.


Agbai Obasi
Agbai Obasi

Agbai Obasi is the founder of and related brands; he is currently a master-level student of Information Security Systems Management, managing the security operations of this site; in his spare time, he creates tailored blog contents that speak directly to the needs and interests of students. Visit his website below to stay updated with cybersecurity industry insights, best practices, and more.

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