University of Alberta

Rutherford House at the University of Alberta

University of Alberta

The University of Alberta’s vision since its inception more than 100 years ago has been to be one of the world’s great universities for the public good. In the words of our first president, Henry Marshall Tory, the U of A is an institution directed toward the “uplifting of the whole people” in Alberta, across Canada, and around the world. This vision endures in the university’s current vision document, Dare to Discover, and our academic plan, Dare to Deliver.

Under the leadership of our 12th president, Indira Samarasekera, the U of A and its community have created a contoured roadmap for the future—a roadmap that guides this comprehensive, research-intensive university as one of the world’s most respected public universities. At its foundation lie talented people—students, faculty, and staff—who with their creativity, ingenuity, and drive will join in advancing human knowledge and pursuing scientific discovery for the benefit of all.

Neighbouring Presence

The U of A Calgary Centre is located in the heart of downtown Calgary and houses staff from Augustana Campus, External Relations, the faculties of engineering and rehabilitation medicine, and the School of Business. Its purpose is to engage the 20,000-plus Calgary-area alumni, as well as learners, prospective students, donors, and other university supporters.

Student Opportunities

Student groups: There are more than 300 student groups active on campus for nearly every area of student interest: academic, cultural, recreational, and political. The largest, the Dance Club, has been going strong since 1957 and has 1,800 members.

Students’ Union and Graduate Students’ Association: Undergraduate students and graduate students are represented in theovernance process and are served by the Students’ Union and Graduate Students’ Association respectively.

Study Abroad: The University of Alberta strives to enhance opportunities to study internationally through traditional study-abroad programs at dozens of partner institutions. Exchanges are also possible with fellow members of the Worldwide Universities Network, a consortium of 18 top research universities established to facilitate international research and teaching collaborations.

Undergrad research opportunities: It is only natural that a research-intensive university such as the University of Alberta would be nurturing the next generation of researchers through the integration of undergraduate research and teaching. Research is an important theme that threads its way through the undergraduate experience from the first year through to graduation.

Teaching Excellence

The University of Alberta is home to Canada’s largest academic staff association and leads the country with 30 professors who have received national 3M Teaching Fellowships, Canada’s highest award for undergraduate university teaching excellence. All told there are more than 9,000 faculty, librarians, graduate assistants, and other academic staff. Another 6,300+ employees work in a supporting capacity.


The University of Alberta has more than 210,000 alumni worldwide and has alumni branches or branch contacts in 46 areas around the world. Of the 151,703 graduates for whom the university has current addresses:

  • 141,535 live in Canada
  • 116,160 live in Alberta
  • 79,887 live in Edmonton and area
  • 5,150 live in the United States; California is the state with the largest number (1,072)
  • 5,020 live in other countries, with the largest concentrations in east and southeast Asia

Campus Life

Students at the U of A have year round access to many student clubs and organizations, cultural activities and athletics on and off campus. Edmonton’s park system has more “green space” than any other North American city, and its extensive trail system is a joy for bikers, runners, walkers and cross-country skiers. The city is celebrated for its theatre and arts communities, and restaurants and nightlife are only a short walk from campus. The downtown core is minutes away by LRT (Light Rail Transit).

Arts and Culture

On campus and around the city, U of A students will find a rich variety of cultural events. Explore art exhibits at the Fine Arts Building Gallery; visit one of the 35 collections on campus at the University of Alberta Museums, watch musical performances at Convocation Hall or Studio 27, enjoy a show at the Horowitz Theatre; discover fresh talent at Studio Theatre, the Department of Drama’s resident theatre company. The Augustana Campus’s Theatre Centre was the original Camrose Lutheran Church, and seats 100 people. Adjacent to the main campus, the Jubilee Theatre offers ballet, musicals, stand-up comedians, theatre productions, bands, orchestras, dance festivals, awards ceremonies and more.

Edmonton is celebrated for its festivals, arts community, and sports franchises. A short walk from campus, students will find historical Old Strathcona and Whyte Avenue, with their boutiques and coffee shops. Downtown’s Jasper Avenue, home to high-quality restaurants and nightlife, is a few LRT stops away, and, just a few more stations down the line, the Arts District boasts the Winspear Centre of Music and the Citadel Theatre. The Art Gallery of Alberta is currently housed in Enterprise Square, along with several U of A faculties. The West Edmonton Mall is one of the biggest malls in the world, complete with water park, skating rink, arcade and pirate ship, while Rexall Place is home to the Edmonton Oilers and holds all the city’s biggest rock concerts.


Students at the U of A excel in athletics as well as academics. In fact, the U of A is the only university in Canada to win national collegiate championships in all 11 team sports, most recently men’s volleyball in 2008-09.

The U of A varsity teams compete in the Canadian Interuniversity Sport conference. There are 11 women’s teams, known as the Pandas and 10 men’s teams, known as the Golden Bears.

The university boasts the most national championships in major sports in the past 26 years and third all time with 58 national titles, including seven by Pandas volleyball teams, 13 by Bears hockey, and six by Pandas hockey (which became a varsity sport in 1997). As well, 12 coaches have won CIS Coachof the Year awards.

Sports are a big part of student life beyond the varsity ranks, however, with thousands of students participating in intramural and recreational sports each year.

The U of A’s love of sport stretches to the classroom as well: the renowned Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation was the first university faculty of physical education in the Commonwealth (1964).

The U of A has celebrated more than 1,700 Academic All-Canadians (student athletes who maintain an 80 per cent average or better since CIS started keeping track in 1990-91). When compared to the U of A’s sporting excellence over that period, this mix of athletics and academia is unequalled anywhere in Canada.

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