University of Calgary

University of Calgary

The University of Calgary is a comprehensive research university, ranked one of Canada’s top seven research universities, combining the best of long-established university traditions with the city of Calgary’s vibrant energy and diversity.

The U of C campus occupies a beautiful, park-like setting covering more than 200 hectares, an area larger than Calgary’s entire downtown. The university is home to scholars in 17 faculties (offering more than 100 academic programs) and more than 30 research institutes and centres.

More than 27,600 students are currently enrolled in undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs. The U of C has graduated 135,000 alumni over its 43-year history, including the Prime Minister of Canada, Stephen Harper.

The university’s four academic priorities are prevalent in all the university’s work.  The four pillars include leading innovation in energy and the environment; understanding human behaviour, institutions and cultures; advancing health and wellness and creating technologies and managing information for the knowledge society.

The U of C is pursuing the biggest single capital expansion in its history. Fuelled by Alberta’s nation-leading economic growth, the university has embarked upon a plan to add capacity for more students and a host of new teaching and research activities. These major developments, including the Taylor Family Library (TFL), a downtown campus and the new Energy, Environment and Experiential Learning building, are fulfilling distinct academic strategies and creating progressive learning environments.

The main campus features over 20 academic buildings—many of which are interconnected by enclosed walkways. The MacEwan Student Centre is a hub of activity at the university, with a food court, wellness centre and large concert hall. There is also a museum and art gallery, four performance theatres, two childcare centres and residences for single students and students with families.

The U of C has 2,761 academic staff actively engaged in research, scholarship and teaching in Canada and around the world, and more than 3,000 staff, making it one of the four largest employers in Calgary. The university produces an economic impact of $1 billion in the Calgary area alone.


The University of Calgary has a full complement of academic programs ranging from pure science to social science in areas such as psychology and economics, to several options in the field of health sciences. With access to several professional schools, including the Haskayne School of Business, the Schulich School of Engineering, the Faculty of Medicine, the Faculty of Law, the Faculty of Education and the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, students keep their options open, and discover their own personal passion. The U of C also encourages multi-disciplinary programs, meaning students can combine their interest areas and create an education that suits them.

The University of Calgary has 17 faculties with more than 60 departments and more than 30 research institutes and centres. The 17 faculties are: Law; Nursing (Calgary); Nursing (Qatar); Social Work; Communication and Culture; Education; Environmental Design; Fine Arts; Haskayne School of Business; Humanities; Kinesiology; Medicine; Schulich School of Engineering; Science; Social Sciences; Veterinary Medicine; Graduate Studies; and Continuing Education.

The university recently opened a campus in Doha, Qatar, offering internationally accredited nursing degrees to students in the Middle East. University of Calgary-Qatar will work with the Hamad Medical Corporation to offer world-class clinical nursing education to educate nurses for clinical specialties and to develop a sustainable nursing workforce. Graduates from the Qatar program will meet the same Canadian and international standards for nursing as students from the Calgary campus.

Canada’s fifth veterinary school and the first newly created program in more than 20 years-the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Veterinary Medicine-opened its doors to students in September 2008. This innovative four-year doctor of veterinary medicine program leverages the principles of integration, collaboration and technology to offer a multi-species/multidisciplinary core as well as four areas emphasis: Production Animal Health, Investigative Medicine, Equine Health and Ecosystem & Public Health.

The Faculty of Medicine and the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine are located on the south campus adjacent to the Foothills Hospital. The Kananaskis Field Station, located a short drive from the city on the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains, and the Rothney Astrophysical Observatory, located in the foothills south of the city, represent satellite institutes of the university.


The university offers quality undergraduate education characterized by the synthesis of research, teaching and learning. We enhance the undergraduate learners’ experience by using a student-centred focus that maximizes opportunities to provide a distinctive learning experience that fully integrates the features of a research university. The university is broadening opportunities for students to take inquiry based courses that lead to greater critical thinking skills, increased exposure to research methods and greater access to leading edge scholars. Students also participate in opportunities for experiential learning, including international study, co-op programs, internships, undergraduate research and community service learning.

Starting this fall, the U of C was the first university in Canada to offer a four-year graduation guarantee to students embarking upon four-year degree programs in the faculties of Communication and Culture, Social Sciences, Science and Humanities. Through a mutual commitment on behalf of students and the university, the Graduation Guarantee program offers incoming students an agreement that ensures they will be able to graduate within four years, or the U of C will pay the tuition for any extra courses needed to finish.

Student involvement beyond the classroom will be recognized as part of a new initiative called the co-curricular record. The record, which will officially launch January 2009, is a first for Western Canadian universities. Funded through Quality Money, a unique partnership between the university and Students’ Union that puts money directly into the hands of students to invest in areas they deem priority, the co-curricular record will be maintained by the student.


As one of Canada’s top seven research universities, innovation, discovery and learning are at the heart of all that we do. Our relentless pursuit of quality in our teaching and research programs is guided by our mission to contribute to the well-being of the people of Alberta, Canada and the world. U of C research funding has risen to $262 million. Research brings significant benefits provincially, nationally and internationally, and is the foundation of Alberta’s economic and social vitality. Multidisciplinary research is core to the university’s teaching and research mandate.

A research partnership between the university and the City of Calgary formed in 2007 called Urban Alliance creates an environment for researchers to develop innovative solutions to real-world problems. The alliance aligns more research projects at the U of C with priority areas identified by the City. Through the Urban Alliance, both organizations pursue common interests in research, development and education, with the goal of finding solutions to the complex issues facing Calgary.

This year Samuel Weiss, PhD’83, director of the Hotchkiss Brain Institute at the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Medicine, earned one of the world’s most prestigious medical science awards, a Gairdner International Award. Weiss is the first medical scientist to receive the award for work done at the University of Calgary. His explorations into the brain have changed the fields of developmental neurobiology and neural regeneration.

Seventy-four U of C researchers are part of a national strategy to make Canada one of the world’s top countries for research and development this year. The Canada Research Chairs improve Canadians’ depth of knowledge and quality of life, strengthen the country’s international competitiveness and help train the next generation of highly skilled people.

Capital Expansion

Hard hats and work crews are a common site at the U of C recently as construction on several projects continue. The projects are part of the university’s capital plan, a major endeavour that encompasses $1 billion in construction and planning activity currently underway.

The University of Calgary’s Child Development Centre is Alberta’s first—and Canada’s second largest—building designed and constructed to LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards, the North American benchmark for environmentally high-performance buildings. The facility, which houses the university’s second child-care facility and a full continuum of researchers, clinicians and frontline workers, is dedicated to child health. The building officially opened in October, 2007.

Construction on the Dr. Fok Ying Tung International House continues and is scheduled for completion by early 2009. The hotel-style building will create new meeting and living space for business leaders, scholars, students and international visitors.

Work on schematic designs for the new Energy, Environment and Experiential Learning building began in January, 2008. The new facility, which will house elements of the Institute for Sustainable Energy, Environments and Economy and state-of-the-art science laboratories, will support experiential learning opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students.

Plans are moving forward for the university’s first High Density Library, a project being developed in tandem with the Taylor Family Library. Construction of both facilities began in the spring of 2008. The Taylor Family Library will create a learning hub on campus, offering students access to expanded academic support services in addition to access to library and cultural resources.

The West Campus Master Plan is a mixed-use concept aimed at transforming the U of C into the campus of the future—meeting more of the daily needs of university stakeholders. The next steps in the project include extensive research and detailed assessment of the implementation plan.

The Government of Alberta has given provisional approval for a downtown campus of about 100,000 square feet, subject to successful negotiation of a lease, creating new learning opportunities for thousands of post-secondary students. One in five University of Calgary students will have an opportunity to study downtown over the course of their degree.

The University currently expects programs offered downtown to include business and continuing education, as well as continued support for the existing pilot projects. The downtown campus will also facilitate the expansion of experiential education opportunities, particularly community-service learning. The U of C expects to complete the location review and have a recommendation by year-end.

U of C’s newest top priority capital project is the National Biomedical Engineering Centre. The centre, to be housed on our main campus, will be a world-class, multidisciplinary research and education facility. It will be a Canadian-first by bringing together university, government and private sector researchers and commercialization experts to accelerate the development and commercialization of biomedical engineering medical devices.

Student Services

Four-year graduation guarantee

Beginning in fall 2008, the U of C will launch a four-year graduation guarantee program that will ensure students from several faculties have the opportunity to complete their degree in four years, guaranteed, or the university will waive any additional tuition fees. For Bachelors of Arts and Bachelors of Science students in the faculties of Communication and Culture, Humanities, Science and Social Sciences, the university will increase spaces in all required courses, offer them more often, and make it easier for students to map out their own BA or BSc degree. For more information, visit

$$$ for students

The University of Calgary is the only Canadian post-secondary institution to put money directly into the hands of students to spend on initiatives they deem priorities. In the past five years, the U of C has given the Students’ Union more than $6.5 million to invest as it wishes. This year’s slate projects include a campus bike initiative, undergraduate peer mentorship programs and a project called co-curricular records, which will acknowledge student involvement on and off campus in a formalized record for future employers.

Health and recreation

The University of Calgary features some of the finest athletic facilities in the country, featuring Canada’s only covered speed skating oval and home to the fastest ice in the world. The Oval also houses the Canadian Sport Institute, a high-performance training centre and two Olympic-sized rinks where the reigning women’s gold medal hockey team trains. There are also tennis courts, a triple gymnasium, a yoga studio, an Olympic-size swimming pool, weight rooms, jogging tracks and a huge indoor climbing wall. Nearby is the home of U of C Dinos football team, McMahon Stadium.


Student Health and Wellness offers excellence in the provision of services and resources that are central to all students meeting their potential for well-being—mind, body and spirit. A new and improved Students’ Union Wellness Centre will combine University Health Services, the Counselling Centre, the Multi-Faith Chaplain’s Centre as well as other services into one location. The Wellness Centre will have increased medical capacity, with more part-time doctors, and expand its massage and chiropractic capacity. Dental services will also be offered.

Native Centre

The Native Centre at the U of C is an excellent resource for First Nations students, with staff providing ongoing academic, social and cultural support to First Nations students. Personal advising and career counselling is available, as well as peer support from graduate students. The centre organizes many recreational activities that promote awareness and appreciation of Aboriginal culture. It also provides outreach courses to First Nations communities in the Calgary area.


The University of Calgary Athletic Department was created in 1964 with male teams named the Dinosaurs and female teams the Dinnies. Both genders eventually came to play under the Dinosaurs name until 1998 when the name was officially changed to ‘Dinos,’ a nickname familiar to athletes, students and fans. Since 1964, the Dinos have brought home 120 Canada West Conference Championships and 36 CIS National Championships. The Dinos consist of 22 teams competing in 12 varsity sports (men’s and women’s— basketball, volleyball, hockey, soccer, swimming, wrestling, track and field, cross county running, tennis, golf, men’s football and women’s field hockey).

Residence Services

For the U of C student the university experience is bigger, richer and more personal while staying in residence. Life in U of C residence offers a blend of academic and personal growth that makes a university education special. The goal is to provide a living and learning environment that promotes academic success, personal growth, leadership and responsibility. Experience shows that students in residence are more likely to continue their studies after their undergraduate years and they are more likely to pursue graduate studies and demonstrate excellence in their careers. Residence students’ close proximity to class, to faculty, to peers and to study groups facilitates an interactive, accessible and supportive university learning lifestyle. Student family housing, dormitory and apartment style residences are available to students. Residence Services offers all first-year students guaranteed residence if they apply between January 15 and April 30.

International Students & Study Abroad

In the 21st century, global challenges and issues are at the forefront of the forces that shape our world and our communities closer to home. The U of C’s commitment to internationalization reflects the growing importance that international efforts play in developing a world-class university and education. UCGlobal supports internationalization by recognizing it as an integral part of the economic, political and social realities of our campus and the wider community. There are over 2,100 international students from 100 countries at the U of C and, approximately nine percent of undergraduate international students are exchange students, here for only one or two semesters (terms).  Internationalization of the university is a priority for the U of C and international students add much to the life and diversity of the campus. The university is committed to offering more students opportunities for study and travel abroad and already has over 125 active student exchange agreements as well as a number of field schools and group study opportunities. Currently more than 1000 undergraduates per year include study abroad as part of their degree program.

Graduate Students

In striving to provide a world class scholarly atmosphere for its graduate students, the University of Calgary pursues the highest levels of excellence in research and teaching at the graduate level. The faculty provides leadership and support for excellence in graduate education and research to about 5,400 graduate students in 52 programs. For general inquiries, call 403-220-4938.

Career Services

Students looking for help with their job search and career planning questions can access all the resources they need to succeed at Career Services. Career fairs, information and networking events provide students the opportunity to connect with potential employers and discover career options. The Career Services website hosts JobLink, an online job board restricted to U of C students, and offers access to OptimalResume, a resume, cover letter and interview application specifically customized to help students create effective documents and develop strong interview skills. In addition to the variety of career related web resources, a team of advisors are available for personal appointments to help students develop resumes/cover letters, job search strategy and work through their career planning process, including co-operative and internship program requirements. Career Services is dedicated to helping students access the tools and resources they need to successfully land the job.

About Calgary

Nestled in the foothills of Canada’s Rocky Mountains, Calgary, labelled as the Heart of the New West, is a safe, clean and vibrant city that offers the best of all worlds: a cosmopolitan city of over 1 million people and breathtaking outdoor adventure in pristine wilderness.

Calgary boasts the fastest growing economy in Canada and is rated one of the top five cities in the world to live. It is estimated the city will generate more than 90,000 new jobs over the next five-years. Calgary has the highest personal income in Canada, the largest concentration of entrepreneurs and the highest per capita concentration of head offices in Canada.

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