Simon Fraser University: Ranking, profile | Maclean's

Simon Fraser University

Simon Fraser University | Burnaby, B.C. | Founded 1965


The Simon Fraser University Surrey Campus on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. The campus is part of Central City, a facility that is also home to a mall, grocery stores and offices. (Photograph by Taehoon Kim )

Since opening its doors in 1965, Simon Fraser University has spread to the downtown core of Vancouver, as well as the suburb of Surrey. All three campuses have developed strong ties with their local communities. One example is UniverCity, a model sustainable community with a current population of 5,000 residents, which SFU Community Trust is developing on Burnaby Mountain. The main campus is known for its Arthur Erickson-designed buildings, which have since fallen into disrepair, though the chemistry wing was recently renovated. Still, the mountain views are stunning. A three-semester system provides flexibility and the university has extensive co-op offerings. SFU also runs a grants program that parallels the government-funded Undergraduate Student Research Awards in the sciences, social sciences and humanities. Although still a young university—it celebrated its 50th anniversary three years ago—the school does well in international rankings. “SFU has become internationally recognized for the quality of its educational programs and research, and we’re committed to building on these strengths as we continue to engage the world,” says president Andrew Petter.

READ: What life is like on Simon Fraser’s burgeoning campus

Standout Programs
• Sustainable Energy Engineering: This interdisciplinary program focuses on how to use renewable energy in building a more sustainable world.
• Innovation and Entrepreneurship: This certificate program, open to undergraduates in all disciplines, provides a hands-on learning environment in which students learn and apply market-based approaches to innovation and venture development.
• Geography: Taking an interdisciplinary approach, students learn how issues such as environmental problems, resource management, regional development, cultural differences and globalization are interrelated and must be addressed holistically.

Cool Courses
• Squamish: In recent years, the Squamish language was on the brink of extinction. A not-for-profit organization from the Squamish Nation community has partnered with SFU to teach students the language.
• Introduction to Contemporary and Popular Dance Forms: This new course is the first of its kind in Canada and introduces students to the fundamentals and cultural context of bhangra, hip hop and Jamaican dance. The class organized a massive bhangra flash mob before a Canucks game last year.

Minimum entering grades Tuition Average class size Number of students Residence spaces Graduation and retention rates
Engineering: 85%
Arts: 80%
Science: 85%
Commerce: 83%
$6,427 1st & 2nd year: 75.6
3rd & 4th year: 36.8
Undergraduates: 25,321
Graduates: 4,331
1,623 (727 reserved for first years) Graduation: 67.7%
Retention: 84.5%

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