St. Francis Xavier University

Lower Campus - St. Francis Xavier

St. Francis Xavier University

St. Francis Xavier University offers what so many of Canada’s top students are seeking: a high quality education, focused principally on the undergraduate, in a vibrant residential setting. Recognized as one of the finest schools in Canada, StFX is meeting the needs of today’s undergraduates through outstanding teaching, exceptional hands-on research experiences, the very best in a residential community, and unique opportunities to make a contribution to communities at home and abroad. This is the StFX way.

It all starts here with Canada’s Premier Undergraduate Experience:

  • Highest Student Satisfaction in Canada;95% of students said they would choose to return to StFX; 96% rated their overall educational experience a positive one; 97% reported that professors are accessible outside the classroom (Maclean’s, February 2009)
  • Ranked number one in Canada no fewer than 5 times by Maclean’s
  • Received A ratings in Globe and Mail annual University Report Card for student satisfaction, quality of education and student/faculty interaction (2008 and 2009)
  • Highest Student Engagement in Canada (set national record in 2009 for student voter turnout – 60.4%)
  • Approx. 90% full-time faculty, which means unparalleled access to faculty from day one to graduation
  • Home to seven Canada Research Chairs
  • Over $175 million in infrastructure investment since 1996.


In the long history of StFX, a lot has changed—but the important things, the things that make us who we are, have stayed the same. During the first half of the 19th century, close to a million famers, labourers and tradesmen came from the British Isles to the shores of Nova Scotia to seek a better life, joining the Acadians and Aboriginal peoples already settled there. StFX was born to serve this mixed bag of people who had ambition and little else. StFX offered the only university-level education in the region at that time and, partnered with the Roman Catholic diocese, maintained strict academic standards in order to give those who wanted it the best education possible.

Over the course of the following decades StFX flourished, expanding its curriculum and bringing the mission of service across Canada and abroad. You might say the school was finding its identity. In the 1930s, that identity was solidified with The Antigonish Movement—a program whose mandate aligned perfectly with StFX’s original principles of community outreach and service to society. In 1959, the Coady International Institute was formed, allowing those principles to be taken to all corners of the globe.

StFX has since grown into a renowned institution that works hard to maintain the qualities it was founded on. We’ve seen numerous changes—changes in faculty, changes in the student body, changes in our academic programs. But, while most of Canada’s smaller universities have either abandoned their roots or consolidated into larger institutions, we’ve vigorously maintained our autonomy, guarded our character, and upheld the same traditions of freedom and service that inspired the men and women stepping onto the eastern Nova Scotian shores a century and a half ago. At StFX, we’re excited about where we’re headed. But we also like to remember where we came from.


Championships. CIS medals. A Gold with Team Canada. StFX’s proud athletic tradition continues to impress.

Top athletes and coaches are drawn to StFX because of our reputation for athletic, as well as academic excellence. Both the X-Men and X-Women varsity teams are consistently among the Canada’s best. StFX has varsity teams for the following sports: Basketball, Football, Hockey, Soccer, Rugby, Cross Country, Track & Field, and Volleyball.

Aside from varsity athletics, there are many intramural and recreational activities available at StFX. Our Fitness and Recreational Services program provides opportunities for recreation, education, and cultural and social interaction.

Living in Residence

Your residential experience at StFX will be unforgettable. That’s why a higher proportion of our students live in residence than anywhere else in the country. High-quality, comfortable living quarters, great food, and great friends.

At StFX, it’s all about customizing your experience—including asking you what type of residence experience you think you’d prefer. You answer that question when you apply, after which we match you to the residence house best suited to you among the following:

Bishops Hall — underwent extensive renovations in 2007, providing students with a high-quality, fully accessible living experience complete with new furniture, modern lounges, big screen TVs and amenities.

Cameron Hall & MacKinnon Hall — Cameron and MacKinnon, the close-knit houses in the older stone residences along lower campus’s tree-lined avenue, are close to Morrison Dining Hall, the library and chapel. Cameron and MacKinnon, the twin limestones, have been beloved residences on campus for generations.

Mount Saint Bernard — MSB provides a variety of residence experiences. The MSB has mail service, as well as a games room and small gymnasium. MSB is linked to academic space and a small food service café.

Lane Hall — Lane Hall, another popular option with first and second year students, is close to classrooms, the library and the Students’ Union.

MacIsaac Hall — This newly-renovated five-storey building is popular with first and second year students, and close to the Students’ Union and athletic facilities. It has the largest double rooms on campus.

Governors Hall — StFX’s newest residence is a popular choice for upper-year students with single and shared suite style rooms, stunning lounges, and full-service kitchens.

Apartment-style — These modern apartment-style residences have been popular with upper-year students, offering the best of both independent and campus living.

Arts and Culture

StFX’s thriving, eclectic arts and culture scene has always been one of its most appealing features. There’s truly something for everyone, which is why our students can be constantly found enjoying StFX’s and Antigonish’s creative side. Here are just a few examples of all the great things to do in and around campus:

  • The StFX Art Gallery, established in 1976 to provide a new cultural dimension for Antigonish, its surrounding regions and the university
  • Theatre Antigonish, a non-profit community theatre under the supervision of professional staff and based in the Bauer Theatre building on the StFX campus
  • Festival Antigonish, the perfect passport to summer entertainment
  • The Antigonish Performing Arts Series, which brings an extensive list of world-renowned touring artists to Antigonish
  • The Great Blue Heron Writing Workshop, an annual summer on-campus workshop through which mid-level writers are invited to participate in one of four genres: fiction, poetry, screenwriting, and creative non-fiction
  • The Antigonish Review, a well-respected literary journal publishing poetry and prose by emerging and established writers.

The sound of music, the rhythm of dance, the rush of live theatre, the beauty of photography, the vigour of political debate—you name it, it’s going on here. The campus is alive with something for every artistic taste.

Want to see and learn more about St. Francis Xavier University? Take a Virtual Tour.

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