Mount Saint Vincent University

Mount Saint Vincent University

Nestled into a wooded hill, overlooking the Halifax Harbour, sits Mount Saint Vincent University. The Mount is a small university whose size belies its strength, offering a unique mix of undergraduate degrees in liberal arts and sciences and an array of professional programs including Applied Human Nutrition, Business Administration, Child and Youth Study, Education, Public Relations, and Tourism and Hospitality Management. Co-operative education is offered in three of these professional programs. In addition, 13 graduate programs build on and enhance undergraduate program strengths.

All of our programs are infused with a commitment to making a positive difference to society – locally and around the world. Over 4,000 women and men from across Canada and 60 countries take advantage of the Mount’s programs and unique sense of community through on-campus classes, or at a distance.

The Mount is nationally recognized for its small class sizes. Faculty members are invested in the success of each and every student, whom they quickly come to know by name. Lively group discussions, personalized attention, and small team projects enhance learning and create classes that are enriched by the background and experience of each student.

Teaching excellence is a hallmark of the Mount. Faculty members are not only the recipients of prestigious teaching awards, but students see the difference too. In a recent survey, 95 per cent said the quality of the teaching was high and that faculty was accessible outside of class time to help advance their learning.

With a focus on applied research, the Mount is leading studies that provide real solutions to some of the most significant challenges facing Nova Scotia, Canada and the world. In fact, the Mount ranks among the top undergraduate universities in Canada for Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council grants.


The history of the Mount is a story of humanity and growth. From its inception, the University has been concerned about the welfare and fortune of individuals and communities, at home and abroad. Established by the Sisters of Charity in 1873, the Mount was one of the only institutions of higher education for women in Canada. At a time when women could not vote, the Mount provided an opportunity for women to learn and participate equally in society.

The original purpose of the academy was to train novices and young sisters as teachers, but the Sisters also recognized a need to educate other young women and therefore opened the academy to young women who lived in the city of Halifax.

By 1912, the Sisters recognized a need to offer greater opportunity through university education. In keeping with their progressive thinking, they immediately adopted a plan to establish a college for young women. To ensure that the education provided by the future college would be of the highest quality, Mother Mary Berchmans Walsh sent a number of Sisters to earn doctoral degrees at institutions such as Notre Dame, the Sorbonne, Fordham, and the Catholic University of America.

In 1925, through the efforts of such people as Dr. Mary Evaristus Moran, S.C., the Nova Scotia Legislature passed a bill granting a charter to Mount Saint Vincent College empowering it to grant its own degrees. With that, Mount Saint Vincent College became the only independent women’s college in the British Commonwealth. It offered degrees in Education, Nursing and Arts.

Student Residence

Living in residence will add a whole new dimension to your university years. Apart from the convenience of living close to all campus resources – e.g. computer room, language labs, science labs, library, games room, gym — you also have the opportunity to become more involved in campus life. Investigate the possibilities, take advantage of the residence leadership opportunities, and make the most of your university experience.

The Mount offers three different types of on-campus housing for you to choose from.

From the traditional dorm style single and double rooms of Assisi, to the townhouse option of the Birches, to the premium single style and apartment style accommodations of Westwood.

There’s something to suit every personality, allowing you to become independent at your own pace.  Which residence is for you?

Art and Culture

Through its exhibitions and programs, the MSVU Art Gallery functions as a visual arts resource for Mount Saint Vincent University, communities served by the University, Metro Halifax residents and art publics everywhere. Admission is always free of charge.

MSVU Art Gallery reflects the University’s educational aims by devoting a significant part of its activities to the representation of women as cultural subjects and producers. This program focus is balanced with exhibitions on themes in visual culture which are relevant to university academic programs and/or constituencies served by MSVU Art Gallery. Artists and artisans from the Atlantic region are represented, often in the early stages of their careers. The Gallery’s exhibitions and programs are funded in part by Nova Scotia Tourism, Culture, and Heritage, and by the Canada Council for the Arts.

Athletics and Recreation

Mount Saint Vincent University recognizes the importance of staying active. We are committed to providing students and community members with the fitness and recreational programs they need to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Our facility provides everything from fitness classes and intramural sports to special programs for children in our community. The University also has many Varsity sports teams awaiting you. In this section you will be able to find information on all of these things, and much more.

Our varsity teams are making a name for themselves as some of the best in the region and the country. The Mount Varsity Program is a member of the Atlantic Colleges Athletic Association (ACAA) and the Canadian Colleges Athletic Association (CCAA). Our Athletes compete at a national level in Women’s & Men’s Soccer, Women’s & Men’s Basketball, and Women’s Volleyball.

Want to see and learn more about Mount Saint Vincent University? Take a Virtual Tour.

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