Acadia University

Acadia University

Nova Scotia’s Fundy tides rise and fall by as much as 16 metres daily, making them the highest in the world. The town of Wolfville, Nova Scotia experiences its own tidal effect every September, when more than 3,000 students from around the world come rushing into Acadia University, drawn by its reputation for academic excellence and its focus on providing a personalized education.

“Acadia is a fine university in all kinds of ways – it is palpable – you can feel the commitment to a high quality education and you see it by the awards to faculty and the success of our students and our alumni,” says Ray Ivany, Acadia’s 15th president and vice-chancellor. “Acadia’s commitment to academic rigour and excellence is obviously part of who we are, and part of being a top-tier university in Canada, and in the world.”

Acadia was built on the belief that everyone has a right to higher education, regardless of class, belief, gender, or race. In 1838, at a time when money was scarce, the community pulled together to create a special place for learning. Women knitted and sold mittens to raise funds and canvassed for materials; men felled trees and built the first academic halls – Acadia University was established. Acadia’s stylized “A” depicts crossed axes to remind us of the determination and pride that is the Acadia Spirit. That spirit has sparked many successes for Acadia.

The university has the distinction of being the only Canadian university inducted into the Smithsonian Institution for its pioneering use of technology in the classroom. Acadia professors continue to set the standard for innovative classroom instruction today. Acadia is also the only university to have placed first in all four categories (best overall, highest quality, most innovative, and leaders of tomorrow) in Maclean’s annual reputation survey. In the 18 years that Maclean’s has done this survey, Acadia has ranked as the most innovative undergraduate institution 15 times.

“Acadia’s combination of small, personalized classes and a rich computing environment provides special opportunities for Acadia students,” explains Tom Herman, Acadia’s vice-president, academic. “In particular, the lines between teaching and research become blurred and teachers spend as much time mentoring students in research as they do in standard classroom activities.”

More than 170 years after its founding, the world is witnessing the influence of this liberal arts university – one whose visionary approach to academic excellence is setting a new high-tide mark around the world.

Student Life

A well rounded university education means working hard, and playing hard.  There is a lot going on inside and outside the classroom on our campus.  Check out the links below to learn more about what it means to be an Acadia student.

Vaughan Memorial Library

Located at the centre of campus, the Library provides many services and specialized collections, which support the teaching and research programs of the University. The library collection of over a million titles in all formats is complemented by numerous electronic services and databases.

Athletics and Recreation

We’re proud of Acadia’s strong varsity athletics program – it’s a tradition that dates back to 1875. Acadia holds more conference and national championships than any other university in Atlantic Canada and has the highest number of Academic All-Canadians for primarily undergraduate universities in the country. We are a member of Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) and Atlantic University Sport (AUS). When our varsity teams play, our fans gather to carry on Acadia’s Stand Up and Cheer tradition!

* Varsity Teams: 11
* Athletic Clubs: 15


  • Basketball
  • Football
  • Hockey
  • Soccer
  • Swimming


  • Basketball
  • Cross-country
  • Rugby
  • Soccer
  • Swimming
  • Volleyball

Athletic Facilities:

  • Two gyms
  • Olympic-sized ice surface
  • 25-metre swimming pool
  • Cardio centre
  • Weight training room
  • Racquetball and squash courts
  • Campus store
  • Stadium – featuring the same artificial turf used by the New England Patriots
  • National standard, eight-lane, all-weather track
  • Sports Hall of Fame
  • Sports therapy clinic
  • Snack shop
  • Practice fields
  • Tennis courts
  • Walking and hiking trails
  • Jogging paths.

Want to see and learn more about Acadia University? Take a Virtual Tour.

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