Acadia University: Ranking, profile | Maclean's

Acadia University

Acadia University | Wolfville, N.S. | Founded 1838


Acadia University cheerleaders

Acadia is in tiny Wolfville, with a population just slightly higher than the number of students enrolled, half of whom live on campus. Acadia students spend less time commuting and more time community-building. The 100-hectare site in the Annapolis Valley has ivy-covered walls and sloping lawns dotted with trees. A student-run farm supplies vegetables and herbs. Acadia focuses on an undergraduate liberal arts education in a setting where professors and students easily connect. “You can’t sit on the sidelines here,” says Ray Ivany, who is stepping down as president after eight years. “We challenge the students, but in a way that ensures their success.” The school offers a transcript to certify achievements outside the classroom in volunteering, leadership and professional development. More than 250 students each semester participate in the Sensory Motor Instructional and Leadership Experience (SMILE) program that helps youth with disabilities participate in physical activities. They can also work on service projects through the Institute for Civic Engagement. At the end of the day, students can cheer on one of the school’s 11 varsity sports teams.

READ: Acadia through the eyes of a student

Standout Programs

Community Development: This program balances theory with hands-on learning. Students participate in community projects and gain valuable work experience through professional work placements.

Data Analytics: Students develop key mathematical and computing skills for big data, learning how to extract information and transform it into new discoveries, practical policies and informed decisions; includes co-op opportunities.

The Environment: Acadia has two programs that focus on studying the environment. The environmental science program lets students approach issues from a scientific perspective, while the environmental and sustainability studies program looks at environmental policy.

Cool Courses

Social Entrepreneurship: Business administration students put their education into practice through the creation and management of both not-for-profit and for-profit mission-driven ventures.

History of Rock Music: Study the social, political and cultural history of rock music. Students gather weekly at the university art gallery to listen to, and discuss, key albums and their place in history.

Minimum entering grades Tuition Average class size Number of students Residence spaces Graduation and retention rates
Engineering: 70%; Arts: 70%; Science: 70%; Commerce: 70% $8,007 ($9,290 out-of-province) 1st & 2nd year: 41.2
3rd & 4th year: 18.1
Undergraduates: 3,411
Graduates: 419
1,580 (800 reserved for first years) Graduation: 71.6%
Retention: 78.5%

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