University of Guelph: Ranking, profile | Maclean's

University of Guelph

University of Guelph | Guelph, Ont. | Founded 1964


University of Guelph. (Jason Jones/University of Guelph)

The University of Guelph grew out of three founding colleges: the Ontario Agricultural College (1874), the Ontario Veterinary College (1862) and the Macdonald Institute (1903). Guelph embraces its expertise in food, the environment and communities. It’s home to a global DNA barcoding project aimed at ensuring food security and protecting endangered species. The focus on this type of research is paying off: Guelph attracts some $150 million a year in funding for wide-ranging projects. That may explain why science students study in glitzy new labs. Arts students are just as lucky. The writer-in-residence program attracts heavyweights such as Jane Urquhart; award-winning author Lawrence Hill teaches creative writing; and theatre students are taught by the prolific Sky Gilbert. “Research is critical to developing innovations that benefit people, animals and the environment,” says president Franco Vaccarino. “Canada’s food university has a 150-year legacy in agri-food and a reputation for innovation and discovery.” The campus is centred around Johnston Green, which is ringed by mature oaks and beautiful century-old buildings. It has its share of brutalist architecture that flourished in the ’60s and ’70s—the cavernous MacKinnon arts building and the expansive South Residences—but the welcoming green space of the arboretum is a boon for the whole community.

READ: The inside scoop on life at Guelph

Standout Programs
• Food Science: Focuses on the processing and product development of safe and healthy foods; draws on chemistry, microbiology, agriculture, industrial technology and more.
• Biomedical Engineering: This hands-on major relies on engineering design and problem-solving to focus on improving human health. Students complete design projects beginning in first year.
• Guelph-Humber: This partnership allows students to study at Humber’s Toronto campus, earning an honours degree and a college diploma in four years. Students have a choice of seven disciplines, including early-childhood education and kinesiology.

Cool Courses
Ideas Congress (ICON): The course is grounded in real-world issues. Students work in teams to create a pitch for a sustainability project, building the problem-solving and teamwork skills so valuable in the workforce.

Minimum entering grades Tuition Number of students Residence spaces Graduation and retention rates
Engineering: 83%
Arts: 75%
Science: 78%
Commerce: 76%
$7,603 Undergraduates: 26,195
Graduates: 2,479
4,780 (4,100 reserved for first years) Graduation: 72.4%
Retention: 92.6%

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