Tucked away in the town of Antigonish, N.S., St. Francis Xavier caters mainly to undergraduates in arts, science and business. The university has high academic standards but also promotes the personal development of its students. They are well supported, as they are encouraged to live and learn on a beautiful campus. At StFX, small class sizes challenge students to think critically and contribute to class discussions. “Even with our rich history and traditions, I believe it is important to rethink [the] academic experience and to articulate our promise more clearly to our students,” says StFX’s new president, Kent MacDonald. He wants to increase the school’s global reach through service learning, academic programming and international research. One of the university’s well-known traditions is handing out X rings (a rectangular gold ring with a large black X in the middle) to graduating students. Legend has it that in one episode of Jeopardy!, Alex Trebek remarked that, next to the papal ring, the most recognizable rings in the world were the Super Bowl ring followed by the X-ring. The campus is known for its Ivy League-style architecture, residences made of limestone and pedestrian-friendly layout. With a population of about 20,000 in the surrounding town and county, students get to know some locals by their first names. Many develop a sense of pride and belonging—also known as the X factor.
• Social Justice Colloquium: Students explore the range of human experience from our pre-human roots to our present-day lives.
• Environmental Sciences: This program develops scientific skills to understand and tackle complex environmental issues, preparing students for careers in environmental consulting, pollution remediation and graduate studies.
• Aquatic Resources: An interdisciplinary approach to important water-resource issues such as conservation, climate change, fisheries and aquaculture. It includes a work term and field trips.
• History of Popular Music: Connects pop music through history, from Elvis Presley to the Beatles and from punk rock to hip hop.
• Mind, Self, and Society in Monastic Tibetan Buddhism: An immersion experience in Tibetan Buddhist monasticism includes two weeks of online study followed by one week of meditation, yoga and monastic living at the Gampo Abbey monastery in Cape Breton.
|Minimum entering grades||Tuition||Average class size||Undergraduate students||Residence spaces||Graduation and retention rates|
|$7,058 ($8,341 out-of-province)||1st & 2nd year: 44.2
3rd & 4th year: 24.7
|1,913 (1,018 reserved for first years)||Graduation: 75%