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List of universities in the Canadian Prairies

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Title: List of universities in the Canadian Prairies  
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Subject: Athabasca University, University of Winnipeg, Brandon University, University College of the North, Providence University College and Theological Seminary, Lakeland College (Alberta)
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List of universities in the Canadian Prairies

Universities in Canada's provinces and territories

The Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC), an organisation composed of Canadian universities, defines two distinct types of post-secondary institutions in Canada: universities and colleges. Universities grant university degrees, which include bachelor's degrees, master's degrees, and doctoral degrees; and colleges, also known as community colleges, provide diplomas.[1]

Canada's post-secondary opportunities revolve around a wide range of university options. Throughout Canada's 13 provinces and territories, there are 98 universities to choose from. With a population of over 34 million as of 2012,[2] 1.8 million are enrolled in a specific University.[3] This averages out to 25 thousand students per university. Programs are offered to graduating high school students through choice, however, students must maintain specific entering averages, which generally range from 65-85%, depending on criteria set by the chosen university. On campus residences are available at 95% of universities in Canada.[4] Most include a meal plan and general utilities. Residence is optional at all post-secondary campuses.

Degree programs last 4 years in addition to possible co-op opportunities and college affiliation for a hands-on approach to programs. Tuition is based on program material and content which varies in price. A first year student will experience a broad range of courses while "program specific courses" begin in year two, based on internal university acceptance. In other words, a set GPA (Grade Point Average) must be achieved in order to advance.

The Canadian post-secondary education system creates a wide range of opportunity for the future generation of students in addition to graduates who want to continue gaining knowledge. Canada is a multicultural society, creating boundless routes for success for each individual. Graduates go on to experience major employment opportunities bringing valuable up-to-date knowledge to companies around the world. Canadian universities offer a higher level of education to meet the needs of individuals who desire a higher level of learning.

Table symbols:

L – Language (not including language study programs) (E – English, F – French, B – English and French)
E – Established
U – Undergraduate enrolment
P – Postgraduate enrolment
T – Total enrolment


Post-secondary education in Alberta is regulated by the Ministry of Enterprise and Advanced Education.[5] There are six universities in Alberta, eleven public colleges, two polytechnical institutes (which grant degrees), and seven private colleges (all of which grant degrees). Most private colleges refer to themselves as "university colleges", but are not legally universities, although they grant equivalent degrees.[5]

Edmonton, the province's capital city, is home to the University of Alberta, the province's oldest and largest university, and Grant MacEwan University. There are also two universities in Calgary: University of Calgary and Mount Royal University (although the University of Lethbridge has a campus downtown as well).

In 2009, a bill was passed by the Alberta legislature that allowed the two public colleges that offered degrees (MacEwan College in Edmonton and Mount Royal College in Calgary) to rename themselves universities.[6] Mount Royal College was renamed Mount Royal University on September 3, 2009 [7] and Grant MacEwan College became Grant MacEwan University on September 24, 2009.[8]

Institution Location(s) Language Year Established Undergrad Student Enrolment (Population) Post grad Student Enrolment (Population) Total Student Enrolment (Population) Notes
Athabasca University Athabasca, Calgary, Edmonton E 1970 36,240 3,460 39,700 [9]
Grant MacEwan University Edmonton E 1971 11,721 0 11,721 [10]
Mount Royal University Calgary E 1910 10,670 0 10,670 [11]
University of Alberta Edmonton, Camrose, Calgary B 1906 29,250 6,930 36,180 [12]
University of Calgary Calgary, Edmonton E 1966 23,320 6,540 29,860 [13]
University of Lethbridge Lethbridge, Edmonton, Calgary E 1967 7,930 300 8,230 [14]

British Columbia

There are eleven public universities and four private universities in British Columbia. Seven of these universities – Capilano University, Emily Carr University of Art and Design, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Trinity Western University, Simon Fraser University, and the University of British Columbia – are in the Metro Vancouver region, the most populated region of British Columbia, and four of them – Vancouver Island University, Royal Roads University, the University of Victoria, and the University Canada West – are on Vancouver Island. Two public universities, Capilano University and Kwantlen Polytechnic University, and one private university, Quest University, are primarily undergraduate institutions.

The oldest university in the province is the University of British Columbia, established in 1908.[15] Five institutions in British Columbia were officially designated as universities on September 1, 2008:[16] Capilano University, Emily Carr University of Art and Design, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, the University of the Fraser Valley, and Vancouver Island University. University enrolment in British Columbia ranges from Quest University with 350 students to the University of British Columbia with 45,484 students.

The biggest provider of online and distance education in BC is Thompson Rivers University, Open Learning (TRU-OL). With over 400 individual courses and more than 57 programs available for completion by distance and online learning, students can take a variety of programs such as: adult secondary school completion; certificates and diplomas, including advanced and post-baccalaureate; associate degrees; and bachelor's degrees. Considering distance students, Thompson Rivers University's enrolment is 22,036 (8964 of which is distance).

Institution Location(s) L E U P T Notes
Capilano University North Vancouver E 1968 7,500 0 7,500 [17]
Emily Carr University of Art and Design Vancouver E 1925 1,870 28 1,898 [18]
Fairleigh Dickinson University Vancouver E 2007 78 0 78 [19]
Kwantlen Polytechnic University Richmond, Surrey, Langley, and Cloverdale E 1981 16,811 0 16,811 [20]
Quest University Squamish E 2002 300 0 300 [21]
Royal Roads University Victoria E 1995 (June 21) 887 3,385 4,272 [22]
Simon Fraser University Burnaby, Surrey, & Vancouver E 1965 29,697 5,507 35,204 [23]
Thompson Rivers University Kamloops E 1970 13,072 100 13,172 [24]
Trinity Western University Langley E 1962 2,130 730 2,860 [25]
University of British Columbia Vancouver & Kelowna E 1908 (March 7) 41,700 8,630 50,330 [26]
University of Victoria Victoria E 1963 18,863 3,542 22,405 [27]
University Canada West Victoria E 2005 350[dated info] 0 350[dated info] [28]
University of the Fraser Valley Abbotsford, Chilliwack and Mission E 1974 8,124 40 8,164 [29]
University of Northern British Columbia Prince George E 1990 (June 21) 3,068 490 3,558 [30]
Vancouver Island University Nanaimo, Duncan, Parksville, & Powell River E 1969 6,116 163 6,279 [31]


There are seven universities in Manitoba, which are under the responsibility of the Ministry of Advanced Education and Literacy.[32] Five of these universities—Booth University College, Canadian Mennonite University, the University of Manitoba, the University of Winnipeg, and the Université de Saint-Boniface—are in Winnipeg, the capital and largest city in the province. The Université de Saint-Boniface, established in 1818, is the oldest university in the province and is the only French language university in western Canada. Booth University College, formed in 1982, is the newest. University enrolment in Manitoba ranges from Booth University College with 250 students to the University of Manitoba with 26,800 students.

Institution Location L E U P T Notes
Booth University College Winnipeg E 1982 250 0 250 [33]
Brandon University Brandon E 1899 3,140 120 3,260 [34]
Canadian Mennonite University Winnipeg E 1944 600 0 600 [35]
University College of the North The Pas & Thompson E 1966 2,400 0 2,400 [35]
University of Manitoba Winnipeg B 1877 23,640 3,160 26,800 [36]
University of Winnipeg Winnipeg E 1871 9,394 453 9,847 [37]
Université de Saint-Boniface Winnipeg F 1818 930 54 984 [38]

New Brunswick

There are eight chartered universities in New Brunswick; four public universities,[39] governed by the Ministry of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour,[40] and four private institutions including an online university. New Brunswick holds the distinctions of having the first English-language university in Canada and the first public university in North America, (the University of New Brunswick);[41] and also the first university in the British Empire to have award a bachelor's degree to a woman, (Mount Allison University) in 1875.[42] St. Thomas University and University of New Brunswick have campuses in the province's capital of Fredericton and UNB also maintains a campus in Saint John. St. Thomas University is the only public university in the province that does not offer graduate-level programs. Established in 1785, the University of New Brunswick is the oldest public in the province, and the Université de Moncton is the newest, formed in 1963. Public university enrolment ranges from Mount Allison University with 2,486 students to the University of New Brunswick with 10,587 students. Of the three private universities, Crandall University is the largest with enrolment expected to reach 1,200.

Institution Location(s) L E U P T Notes
Kingswood University Sussex E 1945 300 0 300 [43][dated info]
Crandall University Moncton E 1949 685 0 685 [44][dated info]
Mount Allison University Sackville E 1839 2,678 16 2,694 [45]
St. Stephen's University St. Stephen E 1975 100 0 100 [46][dated info]
St. Thomas University Fredericton E 1910 2,494 0 2,494 [45]
University of Fredericton Fredericton E 2005 [45][dated info]
University of New Brunswick Fredericton & Saint John E 1785 9,061 1,577 10,638 [45]
Université de Moncton Moncton, Shippagan, Edmundston F 1963 5,281 683 5,964 [45]

Newfoundland and Labrador

The Degree Granting Act of Newfoundland and Labrador regulates degree-granting universities in the province.[47] The only university in Newfoundland and Labrador,[39] Memorial University of Newfoundland, has campuses in two cities, in St. John's, the capital of Newfoundland and Labrador, and on the west coast of the province, in Corner Brook. With 18,172 enrolled students, it is the largest university in Atlantic Canada.[48]

Institution Location(s) L E U P T Notes
Memorial University of Newfoundland St. John's, Corner Brook & Harlow, UK E 1925 15,418 3,495 18,913 [45]

Nova Scotia

Map of Nova Scotia, Canada, showing the locations of university main campuses

There are 10 universities in Nova Scotia.[49] Six of these – the Atlantic School of Theology, Dalhousie University, Mount Saint Vincent University, the NSCAD University, Saint Mary's University, and the University of King's College – are located in the Halifax Regional Municipality, which is the capital of Nova Scotia and the largest urban area in Atlantic Canada. The oldest university in the province is the University of King's College, established in 1789, and the newest is Cape Breton University, established in 1974. University student enrolment in Nova Scotia ranges from 125 students at the Atlantic School of Theology to more than 18,000 at Dalhousie University.

Several universities in Nova Scotia have strong religious connections. The University of King's College, originally founded in Windsor, was the first college to obtain university powers in British North America, at a time when Upper Canada had no government of its own. It has always remained under the control of the Church of England. Dalhousie University, originally known as Dalhousie College, was established in Halifax in 1820 with the help of the Presbyterian Church, and Acadia University was founded by Baptists. Catholics formed Saint Mary's University, Mount Saint Vincent University, and Saint Francis Xavier University.[50]

Institution Location(s) L E U P T Notes
Acadia University Wolfville E 1838 3,607 647 4,254 [45]
Atlantic School of Theology Halifax E 1971 0 124 124 [45]
Cape Breton University Sydney E 1974 3,140 204 3,334 [45]
Dalhousie University Halifax & Truro E 1818 14,423 3,931 18,354 [45]
University of King's College Halifax E 1789 1,180 10 1,190 [45]
Mount Saint Vincent University Halifax E 1873 2,923 1,036 3,959 [45]
NSCAD University Halifax E 1887 942 29 971 [45]
Saint Francis Xavier University Antigonish E 1853 4,815 343 5,158 [45]
Saint Mary's University Halifax E 1802 6,904 682 7,586 [45]
Université Sainte-Anne Church Point F 1890 435 20 455 [45]


There are 23 publicly funded universities in the Canadian province of Ontario that are post-secondary education institutions with degree-granting authority.[51] There are also 17 privately funded, religious universities.[52] Each of these institutions were either established through an Act of the Legislative Assembly or through a Royal Charter.[53] Students apply to public universities in Ontario through the Ontario Universities' Application Centre.

The oldest university, the University of Toronto, was established in 1827, and the newest university, Algoma University, was established in 2008. The largest university in terms of enrolment is the University of Toronto, which has campuses in three locations: St. George Campus (the university's main campus), Scarborough Campus, and Mississauga Campus.[54]

Institution Location(s) L E U P T Notes
Algoma University Sault Ste. Marie E 2008 1,150 0 1,150 [55]
Brock University St. Catharines E 1964 15,747 1,259 17,006 [56]
Carleton University Ottawa E 1942 20,950 3,300 24,250 [57]
Dominican University College Ottawa B 1900 190 54 244 [58]
Lakehead University Thunder Bay & Orillia E 1965 7,300 750 8,050 [59]
Laurentian University Sudbury & four locations[note 1] B 1960 8,200 600 8,800 [60]
McMaster University Hamilton E 1887 22,940 3,130 26,070 [61]
Nipissing University North Bay & two locations[note 2] E 1909 6,300 400 6,700 [62]
OCAD University Toronto E 1876 3,450 0 3,450 [63]
Queen's University Kingston & Herstmonceux, UK E 1841 16,700 3,850 20,550 [64]
Saint Paul University Ottawa B 1965 430 350 780 [65]
Tyndale University College Toronto E 1982 850 0 850 [66]
Redeemer University College Ancaster E 1982 955 0 955
Royal Military College of Canada Kingston B 1876 1,040 660 1,700 [67]
Ryerson University Toronto E 1948 30,200 1,570 31,770 [68]
Trent University Peterborough & Oshawa E 1963 7,700 360 8,060 [69]
University of Guelph Guelph & four locations[note 3] E 1964 19,800 2,280 22,080 [70]
University of Ontario Institute of Technology Oshawa E 2002 8,846 518 9,203 [71]
University of Ottawa Ottawa B 1848 33,000 5,700 38,700 [72]
University of Toronto Toronto & two locations[note 4] E 1827 60,660 14,100 74,760 [73]
University of Waterloo Waterloo & three locations[note 5] E 1957 20,500 3,660 24,160 [74]
University of Western Ontario London E 1878 29,500 4,600 34,100 [75]
University of Windsor Windsor E 1857 14,700 1,480 16,180 [76]
Wilfrid Laurier University Waterloo & three locations[note 6] E 1911 13,750 1,000 14,750 [77]
York University Toronto B 1959 46,640 5,650 52,290 [78]

Prince Edward Island

There is one university in Prince Edward Island that is authorized to grant degrees.[39] Higher education in the province falls under the jurisdiction of the Higher Education and Corporate Services Branch within the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development.[79] The only university in the province, the University of Prince Edward Island, is in the province's capital of Charlottetown. The institution resulted from an amalgamation of Prince of Wales College, a former university college founded in 1834, and Saint Dunstan's University, founded in 1855.[80]

Institution Location L E U P T Notes
University of Prince Edward Island Charlottetown E 1969 4,251 304 4,555 [45]


Map of Quebec, Canada, showing the locations of university main campuses

There are 17 universities in the largely French-speaking Canadian province of Quebec, all of them accredited by the Conférence des recteurs et des principaux des universités du Québec.[81] Of the seventeen universities, only three are anglophoneConcordia University, McGill University and Bishop's University -, the rest (14) are francophone- École de technologie supérieure, École Polytechnique de Montréal, HEC Montréal, Université de Montréal, and Université du Québec à Montréal – are located in Montreal, in Montreal, the most populated city in Quebec, and three of them – École nationale d'administration publique, Institut national de la recherche scientifique, and Université Laval – are based in Quebec City, the province's capital. The Institut national de la recherche scientifique and École nationale d'administration publique do not offer undergraduate level programs.

The oldest university in the province is Université Laval, established in 1663. Two institutions, both established in 1974, are the most recently designated universities in Quebec: École de technologie supérieure, which is part of the Université du Québec network, and Concordia University. University enrolment in the province of Quebec ranges from the Institut national de la recherche scientifique with 480 students to the Université de Montréal with 55,540 students.

Institution Location L E U P T Notes
Bishop's University Sherbrooke E 1843 2,240 20 2,260 [82]
Concordia University Montreal E 1974 32,347 6,462 43,944 [83]
École de technologie supérieure Montreal F 1974 4,050 630 4,680 [84]
École nationale d'administration publique Quebec City, Montreal, Gatineau, Saguenay & Trois-Rivières. F 1969 0 1,880 1,880 [85]
École Polytechnique de Montréal Montreal F 1873 4,060 1,490 5,550 [86]
HEC Montréal Montreal F, E, S 1907 9,390 2,590 11,980 [87]
Institut national de la recherche scientifique Quebec City and Montreal (métro Sherbrooke) F 1969 0 480 480 [88]
McGill University Montreal & Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue E 1821 23,758 8,756 32,514 [89]
Université de Montréal Montreal F 1878 41,055 14,485 55,540 [90]
Université de Sherbrooke Sherbrooke F 1954 13,490 6,010 19,500 [91]
Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue Rouyn-Noranda F 1970 2,260 390 2,650 [92]
Université du Québec en Outaouais Gatineau F 1970 4,360 1,090 5,450 [93]
Université du Québec à Chicoutimi Chicoutimi F 1969 5,140 1,030 6,170 [94]
Université du Québec à Montréal Montreal F 1969 33,100 6,570 41,670 [95]
Université du Québec à Rimouski Rimouski and Lévis F 1969 4,620 810 5,430 [96]
Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières Trois-Rivières F 1969 9,160 1,450 10,610 [97]
Université Laval Quebec City F 1663 27,530 10,270 37,800 [98]


There are three universities in Saskatchewan.[39] The Government of Saskatchewan must establish statutes individually to degree-granting universities; these statutes outline the authority of each institution, their regulations, and bylaws.[99] The First Nations University of Canada and the University of Regina are both in Regina, the province's capital, and the University of Saskatchewan is in Saskatoon, the most populous city in Saskatchewan. The University of Saskatchewan is the oldest university in the province, founded in 1907, and the First Nations University of Canada is the newest, established in 1976. The University of Saskatchewan is also the largest university in Saskatchewan with 18,620 students, and the First Nations University of Canada (FNUC) is the smallest with 840 students. The First Nations University is the only Canadian university that caters to the needs of First Nations students. It was originally called the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations, and once formed, it entered into a federated agreement with the University of Regina to create the Saskatchewan Indian Federated College (SIFC). This Agreement allowed FNUC to become an independently administered university-college that served First Nations students.[100] The First Nations University of Canada is the only university in the province that does not offer graduate-level programs.

Institution Location(s) L E U P T Notes
First Nations University of Canada Regina, Saskatoon & Prince Albert E 1976 840 0 840 [101]
University of Regina Regina, Saskatoon & Swift Current E 1911 10,690 1,480 12,170 [102]
University of Saskatchewan Saskatoon E 1907 16,430 2,190 18,620 [103]

See also





External links

  • Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada
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