St. Francis Xavier University: Ranking, profile | Maclean's

St. Francis Xavier University

St. Francis Xavier University | Antigonish, N.S. | Founded 1853

Students walk to class at St. Francis Xavier University on Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017. (Photograph by Mikaela MacKenzie)

Tucked away in the small 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. Small class sizes challenge students to think critically and contribute to class discussions. The relationships students build with their professors, staff and one another provide tremendous support as they progress. “The amount of personal attention every student receives and the opportunities that come from living in a 24-7 academic community is the difference between simply getting a degree and preparing for life,” says president Kent MacDonald. A sense of commitment to social justice and community encourages students to get involved beyond the classroom. Nearly 30 per cent of students participate in course-based and immersion experiences through the service learning program, working on real-world issues in communities, locally and around the world. The campus is known for its Ivy League-style architecture, limestone residences and pedestrian-friendly layout. A well-known tradition at StFX is handing out X-rings (a rectangular gold ring with a large black X in the middle) to graduating students. Many develop a sense of pride and belonging—also known as the X factor.

READ: St. Francis Xavier through the eyes of a student

Standout Programs
Public Policy and Governance: Students gain skills in public affairs and leadership, learning how and why government decisions are made, and options for tackling a broad range of local and public issues.
• Climate and Environment: This program takes an interdisciplinary approach to both the scientific and social dimensions of the related but distinct fields of climate and the environment, including the impact of humans.
• Health: This B.A.Sc. degree draws on arts and science, giving students an understanding of the interrelated nature of medical, social, ethical and cultural factors in health.

Cool Courses
Hockey and Canadian Culture: Students immerse themselves in contemporary literature to understand the social, cultural, political and economic nuances of hockey in the Canadian context.
• Fantastic Beasts: Much modern fantasy draws on ancient and medieval myths of beasts and monsters. Students consider the religious origins of the fantastic, and how it continues to resonate in our contemporary world.

Minimum entering grades Tuition Average class size Number of students Residence spaces Graduation and retention rates
Engineering: 75.4%
Arts: 70%
Science: 71%
Commerce: 70%
$7,536 ($8,819 out-of-province) 1st & 2nd year: 45.2
3rd & 4th year: 24.5
Undergraduates: 4,178
Graduates: 484
2,068 (997 reserved for first years) Graduation: 69.8%
Retention: 84.4%

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