Wilfrid Laurier University

Wilfrid Laurier University | Waterloo, Ont. | Founded 1911


Wilfrid Laurier girls soccer


Wilfrid Laurier University has been an integral part of the Kitchener-Waterloo community for more than a century, and Brantford, Ont., since it opened a campus there in 1999. The main campus in Waterloo is squeezed mostly onto a single city block, so it can feel intimidating from the outside, though intimate from the inside. The $103-million Lazaridis Hall, which houses the school of business and economics and the math department, opened to students in September 2016. Laurier benefits from the city’s tech cluster of nearly 1,000 companies that generate billions in annual revenue and includes offices of Google and BlackBerry. But it’s not all about profits; Laurier students like to give back. Meal Exchange, a Laurier student initiative, has expanded to 42 campuses across Canada. The Community Service-Learning program partners roughly 1,500 students a year with community agencies, and the school was the first in Canada to officially recognize extracurricular activities with a co-curricular record. “Laurier is known for its outstanding student experience, which reflects our efforts to integrate academic excellence with experiential learning and provide many opportunities for personal growth,” says Max Blouw, who wraps up 10 years as president. (Deborah MacLatchy will succeed him.)

READ: Where to find the best watering hole and more on campus

Standout Programs

Business Administration:  This program uses case-based instruction, simulation games, student projects, co-op and visits from business executives to give students exposure to real-world business issues; double degree options and specializations are available.

Game Design and Development: Offered at the Brantford campus, the program develops skills not only in game design, project management and entrepreneurship, but also considers how transformative games are used in areas such as education, corporate training, health care and more.

Law and Arts:  This dual pathway allows students to earn a bachelor of arts from Laurier and a law degree from the University of Sussex in the U.K. in only six years.

Cool Courses

Game of Thrones and Medieval Culture: Students in this medieval studies course analyze the Game of Thrones phenomenon and how it relates to medieval culture, storytelling and reasons for its broad appeal.

Billionaires, Beavers and Banditos: This North American studies course looks at politics, culture, society—and stereotypes—as well as the ties between Canada, the United States and Mexico.

Minimum entering grades Tuition Average class size Undergraduate students Residence spaces Graduation and retention rates
Arts: 70% to 84%
Science: 74% to 90%
Commerce: 88% to 90%
$7,207 1st & 2nd year: 88.3
3rd & 4th year: 37.7
Full-time: 15,096
Part-time: 2,245
3,285 (3,114 reserved for first years) Graduation: 77%
Retention: 86.7%

More Schools: University of WaterlooUniversity of GuelphWestern UniversityMcMaster UniversityConestoga College


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