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Study Electrical Engineering in Canada

Study Electrical Engineering in Canada – Universities, Courses and Career Options

by Dushyant Patni

Electrical engineering is referred to as the design, building and maintenance of electrical control systems, machinery, and other equipment. It may seem like an isolated field, but it  crossovers with mechanical and civil engineering more often than not. The term electrical engineering is often confused with electronics engineering. Given below are some of the differences between the two: 

1. Electrical engineering deals with electrical machinery and issues regarding the generation, transmission and distribution of electrical energy, electric control functions in factories, motors, etc.

2. Electronics engineering, on the other hand, deals with devices like diodes, semiconductors, and fields like analog electronics, digital electronics, microelectronics and embedded systems, etc. 

This article seeks to explore the top universities, courses and career options available to international students who wish to pursue a degree in electrical engineering in Canada. Study Abroad

Study Electrical Engineering in Canada – Universities and Courses  

1. University of Toronto 

Course Offered  Bachelor of Applied Science in Electrical Engineering
QS Global University Rank 29
QS Subject Rank 18 (Electrical and Electronic Engineering)
International Students 24,625 
Start Month September 
Total Course Fee CAD 234, 720 

About the course – University of Toronto is the top ranked higher education institute in Canada. The Electrical Engineering courses offered by the university is taught by professors who are conducting cutting-edge research on topics like renewable energy networks, stable grid systems etc. At the U of T, the electrical and computer engineering programmes are housed within the same departments which allows the students to interact with their peers and professors from a related field. In fact both degrees share a common curriculum in the first two years, with subjects like engineering design, communication, math, digital systems, electronics etc. However, in the higher years of your programme, you will be focusing on one of the following areas of study:

  • Analog and Digital Electronics
  • Communications
  • Signal Processing & Control 
  • Computer Hardware and Networks
  • Electromagnetics & Energy Systems 
  • Photonics and Semiconductor Physics 
  • Software

Do you need IELTS to pursue higher studies in Canada? Read the blog – Study in Canada without IELTS

2. University of British Columbia 

Course Offered  Bachelor of Engineering in Electrical Engineering 
QS Global University Rank 51
QS Subject Rank 42 (Electrical and Electronic Engineering)
International Students 14,553
Start Month May (first week)
Total Course Fee CAD 184,965

About the course – The Electrical Engineering programme offered by the UCB consists of a diverse field of study with students being able to focus on anything from electronic properties of microscopic devices to generation and power distribution on international power grids. The first year of the programme is devoted to bringing the fundamentals of the students up to speed while the later years of the programme are flexible with students being allowed to focus on the areas of electrical engineering they find most interesting. Some of the fields covered in the course are: 

  • Renewable and sustainable energy systems 
  • Grid operation and control 
  • Automotive electrical power systems 
  • Energy control for industrial and manufacturing processes

The university also offers courses in nanotechnology and microsystems to make sure that electrical engineers are aware of the latest advances that are impacting the field of electronics, computing and sensing. 

3. University of Alberta 

Course Offered  Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering
QS Global University Rank         113
QS Subject Rank 101 (Electrical and Electronics Engineering)
International Students       8,828
Start Month September 
Total Course Fee CAD 104,008 

About the course – The University of Alberta is ranked highly in Canada and the world, and is a public research-oriented university that maintains an excellent reputation in fields like humanities, sciences, engineering, business etc. 

The electrical engineering program at the University of Alberta is designed to equip you with the tools needed to navigate a career in this rapidly evolving field. You will gain foundational knowledge and hands-on experience in dealing with electrical devices, energy management and distribution systems and other avenues related to the field. The faculty of engineering is highly regarded due to the following factors: 

  • Globally renowned professors 
  • State-of-the-art laboratories 
  • Highly engaging methods of classroom instruction 
  • Access to highly specialised facilities and areas of research 
  • McMaster University
Course Offered  Bachelor of Engineering in Electrical Engineering 
QS Global University Rank         140
QS Subject Rank 151 (Electrical and Electronics Engineering)
International Students       4,261
Start Month September 
Total Course Fee CAD 161,972 

McMaster University is renowned for its 129-year old tradition of fuelling its student’s curiosity and leading them towards making new discoveries. It is one of Canada’s top 3 research intensive universities and has earned an international reputation for creating solutions to various problems that affect people in their daily lives. 

The Bachelor in Electrical Engineering programme offered by McMaster is a broad and classical discipline with ample room for students to specialize in computer engineering and biomedical engineering based on the foundational knowledge of electrical engineering. The programme is focused heavily on: 

  • Physical design of electronics
  • Electromagnetics and communication systems 
  • Power systems
  • Sustainable energy
  • Computer hardware/software

The programme also involves a capstone project which is open ended. It means that students will get the chance to apply their acquired knowledge and develop their own innovative technology to solve real-world problems.


4. University of Waterloo 

Course Offered  Bachelor of Applied Science in Electrical Engineering 
QS Global University Rank         173
QS Subject Rank 49 (Electrical and Electronics Engineering)
International Students       10,530 
Start Month September 
Total Course Fee CAD 205,224 

The University of Waterloo has been ranked as Canada’s most innovative university by various academic ranking publications for the past 25 years. They offer the world’s largest co-operative education programme where students are given the chance to work for industry giants like Google, Facebook and Amazon while they are still earning their degrees. 

The electrical engineering programme at the university teaches students the fundamentals of: 

  • Electromagnetism
  • Circuits
  • Algorithms
  • Instrumentation

Students are also given the chance to gain industry experience directly from the first year by participating in paid co-op work terms in some of the best electrical engineering labs in North America.

5. Carleton University

Course Offered  Bachelor of Electrical Engineering 
QS Global University Rank                     651 
QS Subject Rank 251 (Electrical and Electronic Engineering)
International Students                     5,371 
Start Month January (winter semester) and September (fall semester)
Total Course Fee CAD 147,451 

 Considered to be the best comprehensive learning institute in Canada, Carleton University is held in high regard due its dynamic and research-intensive learning environment. The university prides itself on being the chosen destination by students from over 100 countries. Carleton’s innovative approach to classroom instruction, interdisciplinary relationships between the learning programmes and an international outlook towards research are all factors that make it one of the top universities in the country.

The electrical engineering programme at Carleton allows the following specialisation to its students: 

  • Radiofrequency
  • Microwave circuits
  • Integrated circuit design 
  • Semiconductor and nanoscale technology 
  • Electrical energy and power distribution 

Another important thing to note is that Carleton is one of the few universities in Canada that has facilities for manufacturing integrated circuits. Students can design and fabricate their own integrated circuits at the university. 

NOTE: All course fees given above are an approximate representative of the total course fee for the duration of the programme. Students are advised to research carefully before applying as the cost may vary at the time of application. 

Study Electrical Engineering in Canada – Career Options 

Electrical engineering jobs generally entail being responsible for implementing and designing components for anything runs on electricity. After you have completed your degree, the following are the typical employers/industries for electrical engineers: 

  • Consultancy firms
  • Civil or Government services
  • Computing
  • Telecommunication industry
  • Construction 
  • Energy
  • Manufacturing
  • Transport
  • Utilities 
  • Armed forces

Electrical engineers generally get to work in a variety of places from laboratories to office buildings and construction sites. Your involvement and location generally depends upon your role in the project you have been assigned. As you advance in your career, electrical engineers also have the option to switch to more managerial duties where instead of working under a team leader, you are expected to lead a team of your own to complete a given project. The following are some of the tasks that are generally expected from an electrical engineer:

  • Designing and maintaining electrical instruments and equipment
  • Implementing and improving devices based on the project requirements
  • Supervising and training project staff
  • Inspecting completed projects to gauge their adherence to design standards
  • Applying principles of electrical theory to engineering projects 

An entry level electrical engineer with less than 1 year of experience can expect to earn an average of CAD 57,307 (excluding bonuses and overtime pay). The table given below breaks down the average salaries offered to mid-career (5-9 years experience) electrical engineers by some of the top employers in Canada: 

Company Average Annual Salary 
SNC-Lavalin Inc.  CAD 73,000
Tetra Tech, Inc. CAD 85,000
Stantec Consulting Ltd.  CAD 81,000
Amec Engineering Services  CAD 93,000
IBI Group, Inc.  CAD 82,000
KGS Group CAD 77,000
Bombardier CAD 66,000
Hatch CAD 64,000

Electrical engineers in Edmonton, Alberta earn an average of 16.2 percent more than the national average, with engineers in Montreal and Mississauga earning the least at 7.5% and 6.8% less than the national average respectively.Study Abroad

Study Electrical Engineering in Canada – FAQs

Q. What is electrical engineering?

A. Electrical engineering refers to the practice of designing, building and maintaining electrical control systems, machinery and equipment. The field isn’t isolated as it overlaps with mechanical and civil engineering disciplines.

Q. What is the difference between electronics and electrical engineering?

A. The terms ‘electronics engineering’ and ‘electrical engineering’ are sometimes used interchangeably by the general populace, but the two fields are separate from each other even if some of the areas they focus on might touch upon each other. An electrical engineer focuses on the large scale production and distribution of electrical power while an electronics engineer is more concerned about smaller electronic circuits and computational technologies.

Q. What is the curriculum of an electrical engineering degree like?

A. A majority of undergraduate degrees in electrical engineering contain elements of electronics engineering too. Overall, the focus is on developing your analytical, technical and engineering design skills. Throughout the duration of your course, you will be taught subjects like:

Communication Engineering
Data Analysis
Signal Processing
Digital Design
System Modelling and control

Q. What should I study in school if I want to become an electrical engineer?

A. Mathematics is one of the foundation stones of any engineering degree and you will be required to have done further or advanced mathematics by a large number of institutes that you apply to. In addition, science subjects like chemistry, physics along with computer sciences will give you a solid base to start your engineering degree. However, many universities also have an option where you can choose a humanities or social science elective to supplement your social and communication skills to help you in your professional career.

Q. Who are some famous electrical engineers from history?

A. The most famous electrical engineer of all time and the patron saint of the internet is Nikola Tesla. He was a physicist, inventor and mechanical engineer along with his credentials as the creator of AC current, discovery of the rotating magnetic field and the Tesla coil. He was also a pioneer in the discovery of radar technology, X-rays, remote controls and dynamos.

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