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Best 10 Canadian Universities for Kinesiology Programs 2023

If you are passionate about sports, fitness, or recreation in general, this article will be useful for you as it introduces you to a specialized field called Kinesiology. One of the questions that might come to mind when you hear about this program for the first time is – What is Kinesiology? Kinesiology is a branch of science that studies human movement and muscle function. It addresses the bio-mechanical, physiological, and psychological dynamic principles and mechanisms of movement.

A degree in Kinesiology qualifies graduates for jobs such as sport-team coaches, physical education teachers, recreational therapists, and fitness trainers. Additionally, a Masters or Doctoral degree in kinesiology with some certifications and practising license can help you to become a researcher, sports psychologists, or physical therapists.

In this article, we discuss the best 10 Canadian schools to study kinesiology or other sport-related subjects. Interestingly, these Canadian schools are among the top 50 universities in the world that offers sport-related programs, according to Shanghai Rankings.

The schools are as follows:


10. University of Calgary

Located at the beautiful city of Calgary in the western Canadian province of Alberta is the University of Calgary that stands tall among others in providing high-quality education, outstanding and remarkable research works, and exceptional professional development training to its students.

According to the 2018 Shanghai Rankings (ARWU) for sport-related subjects, the Faculty of Kinesiology at the University of Calgary is ranked 1st both in Canada and in North America, while securing the 7th position globally. More than two-thirds of the publications from this faculty are respected globally. Additionally, 56.1% of the papers from the Faculty of Kinesiology at the University of Calgary are published in top journals, and 60.9% of those papers have more than two or three co-authors from other countries.


9. University of British Columbia

The University of British Columbia (UBC) is, undoubtedly, one of the best schools in the world, when it comes to sciences, engineering, computer sciences, and medicine. However, the tripartite coalition of the university’s Allan Mcgavin Sports Medical Centre, the School of Health and Exercise Science, and the School of Kinesiology has rigidly strengthened UBC sport-related courses.

The kinesiology course at the University of British Columbia is outstanding and excellent. The prominent QS Rankings, in 2018, ranked UBC’s kinesiology program as the best in Canada and fourth in the world. Besides, UBC occupied the second row and the 18th row in the 2018 Shanghai Rankings for the best sport-related schools in Canada and the world, respectively.


8. Laval University

Université Laval is a public research-focused university in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada, that offers high-quality education to the French-speaking populace. Established in 1663, Université Laval is regarded as the oldest French-language university in the whole of North America, and it is one of the largest institutions in Canada.

Although the university might not be a trite contender for subjects like engineering, medicine, and law, it always rubs shoulder with Ivy League institutions when it comes to sport-related subjects.

Impressively, the Department of Kinesiology at Université Laval is ranked 3rd and 19th on the 2018 Shanghai Ranking Table for the best schools to study sport-related programs in Canada and the world, respectively. It is worth noting that citation per paper (CPP) score for the department’s publications, which more than 15% of them are published in top journals, is 100%. This means that the quality of papers that come out from the Department of Kinesiology at Université Laval is one of the best in the world.


7. York University

According to the 2018 Shanghai Rankings, the School of Kinesiology and Health Science at York University is ranked 4th in Canada and 24th in the world for offering exceptional training and education in sport-related fields.

York University has one of the largest kinesiology course offerings in Canada, and it is not a newcomer in global rankings for different sport-related fields. The school offers more than 50 professionally focused practicum courses that allow you to practice what you have been taught in theories and then apply it to real-life situations. Such training include game strategy, event management, and injury assessment.

Apart from the degree certifications, the university also offers certificate programs in athletic therapy, fitness assessment and exercise counselling, and ageing.


6. McMaster University

The topnotch quality of education, research outputs, and academic excellence at McMaster University makes it one of the best universities in the world. Undoubtedly, the Hamilton-based University has carved an indelible mark for itself in fields such as health sciences, social science, science, and engineering.


However, the university has proved its excellence, once again, through its Department of Kinesiology that was ranked fifth in Canada and 32nd in the world for sport-related subjects, according to the 2018 Shanghai Rankings (ARWU).

Moreover, the 2018 QS Rankings ranked the department a bit better than its position on the 2018 Shanghai Ranking Table, as it placed the Department of Kinesiology at McMaster University on the 21st seat globally.


5. Simon Fraser University

When it comes to courses like engineering, pharmacy, law, mathematics, among others, Simon Fraser might not be the most preferred school for many people. However, the SFU Department of Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology is one of the university’s departments that have brought the university to the limelight.

According to the 2018 edition of the Shanghai Rankings, Simon Fraser University is rated sixth in Canada and 33rd in the world under the category of sport-related fields. Interestingly, more than 28% of the sport-related papers from the university are published in top journals, while 56% of those papers are co-authored with international authors.


4. University of Alberta

The University of Alberta, widely known as UofA, is a public research-focused university located in Edmonton, Alberta. Since its inception in 1908, it has not ceased in delivering quality education and raising world leaders.

Hardly will you flip through the first 100 rows of any ranking body without finding the University of Alberta. Its academic excellence, high-quality research works, and exceptional students support service can never be overemphasized.

However, the UofA Faculty of Kinesiology, Sports, and Recreation has made the university proud, once again, for clinching the third position among the Canadian Universities and seventh position in the world for its topnotch sport-related programs, according to the 2018 QS Rankings.

Moreover, it is worth noting that more than 25% of the papers that emanated from the faculty were published in top journals, while 42.8% of those papers have two or more co-authors from other countries.


3. University of Toronto

According to the 2018 QS Rankings for sport-related programs, the University of Toronto is ranked second in Canada and sixth in the world. However, the average-rated quality of papers that emanate from the university’s Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education mars the university’s chances from clinching the first or second spot in this article.

Nevertheless, the graduates of this school are doing exploits all over the world. If you value reputation and academic excellence, you can give the University of Toronto a trial.


2. University of Waterloo

The University of Waterloo is one of the schools that are making giant strides in sport-related fields. It has magnificent sports facilities. Unsurprisingly, the University of Waterloo was ranked 10th in Canada and listed among the best 100 universities in the world for sport-related programs, according to the 2018 QS Rankings.

Additionally, the 2018 Shanghai Rankings inferred that more than 20% of sport-related papers from the university were published in globally reputed journals, while 26.8% of those papers have one or more co-authors from other countries.


1. University of Ottawa

The University of Ottawa is located in the capital city of Canada – Ottawa. UOttawa’s proximity to companies, international institutions, etc. contributes significantly to its success and increases job opportunities for its graduates.

The School of Human Kinetics at the University of Ottawa has tens of leading researchers and professors in their respective areas of specialization. The beautiful and fully kitted sports facilities at the university will leave you amazed.

It is, therefore, unsurprising that the 2018 Shanghai Rankings placed the university as the 10th best school in Canada and 45th in the world when it comes to sport-related fields.


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