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Montréal: City of Knowledge

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Montréal is often described as a “software” city, not only because of the thriving IT sector, but because the certain “je-ne-sais-quoi” that is so quintessentially Montréal is not just the bricks and mortar of its historic sites and cutting-edge architecture. It’s the creative energy, French flavour and mosaic of cultures and languages that makes Montréal so cosmopolitan and open to the world. And, with 11 world-renowned institutions of higher education, Montréal is a hive of innovation, breakthrough research and the de facto academic capital of Canada.

The stats to back it up

Every year, 43,000 degrees are awarded to students in Montréal, feeding the largest pool of new graduates in Canada (25% to be exact). Some 185,000 students call Montréal home, and the city ranks first in Canada for the number of research centres, and amount of money invested in university research. As a multilingual, multicultural city, Montréal attracts more than 25,000 international students from over 150 countries, the largest group of foreign academics in Canada.

The world-class of 2013

Montréal has four world-class universities making the variety of education available here a giant degree buffet. The bedrock of Montréal’s brainpower is McGill University, Université du Quebec à Montréal (UQAM), Université de Montréal (UdeM), and Concordia University. Each institution makes distinctive contributions to research, development, and international exchanges.
McGill University is a part of the “Canadian Ivy League.” It was even dubbed “The Harvard of Canada” in an episode of The Simpsons. Ranking in the top 100 best universities worldwide, McGill is recognized for nearly 200 years of groundbreaking research and discoveries. One of McGill’s most important contributions was the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, drafted by John Humphrey (BCom’25, BA’27, BCL’29, PhD’45, then a Professor of Law at McGill).


Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) has the largest School of Management in North America, and one of the largest Arts programs in Canada. It is known for Environmental Science, Tourism Management, and Communication.


Concordia University’s dual campuses are known for their leading programs in Cyber Security, Digital Media, Journalism, and The Center for Studies in Behavioral Neurology. They also boast a prestigious Fine Arts school, producing alumni that go on to make waves in Theater, Dance, and Film. For the third consecutive year in 2009, Concordia was named the Canadian university with the most graduates becoming CEO of a Fortune 500 company.


Université de Montréal (UdeM) is the largest research institution in Quebec, and second largest in Canada. Nestled on the northern side of Mont Royal, UdM’s beautiful campus is dominated by the Art-Deco tower of the Roger-Gaudry Building.

Specialized knowledge

In addition to the four universities mentioned above, Montréal has an additional seven institutions of higher learning: École nationale d’administration publique, École Polytechnique Montréal, École des technologies supérieures, Télé-Université, University of Sherbrooke in Longueuil, HEC Montréal and the Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS).

HEC Montréal is the affiliated business school of UdeM, and the oldest management school in Canada. It is one of only two schools in North America to hold a triple accreditation in management education (AACSB, EQUIS, & AMBA). The Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS) is a post graduate university associated with UQAM, conducting research in four broad sectors: Water, earth and the environment; energy, materials, and telecommunication; human, animal, and environmental health; and urbanization, culture, and society.

Montréal brings new meaning to the term “geek-chic” – and has hundreds of thousands of bright minds learning to become the world pioneers of tomorrow.

Photo credit: McGill University, UQAM / Nathalie St-Pierre,, Concordia University.

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