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About the University of Calgary

The University of Calgary is Canada’s leading next-generation university – a living, growing and youthful institution that embraces change and opportunity with a can-do attitude. Located in the nation’s most enterprising city, the university has a clear strategic direction – Eyes High – to become one of Canada’s top five research universities by 2016, grounded in innovative learning and teaching and fully integrated with the community of Calgary.

As a comprehensive academic and research institution, the University of Calgary inspires and supports discovery, creativity and innovation across all disciplines. Through the Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning, under construction now, the university will take the lead in educational innovation by researching the most effective methods for engaging students, by supporting faculty to be the best teachers they can be and by providing some of the most innovative learning spaces available anywhere in North America.

The University of Calgary attracts and nurtures the talent that drives new knowledge creation, improves lives and betters our world. In this rich learning environment, the university serves over 31,000 students in more than 200 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs, and provides the community with diverse lifelong learning opportunities. International study, volunteer, work, and research programs provide global context while promoting diversity and excellence in learning, teaching and research.

The University of Calgary stands out among Canadian universities in how it actively engages students in leadership development in all areas – the arts, athletics, science, medicine, engineering, volunteerism and business. It is also a leader in sustainability with its set of values embraced by the campus through teaching, leadership and campus operations.

Research and Education

As a member of the U15 leading research-intensive universities in Canada, the University of Calgary is ranked one of the Top 10 research universities in the country. As a comprehensive research institution, the university houses 73 Canada Research Chairs and more than 80 research institutes and centres working to find solutions to some of the most challenging problems facing society today. It has over 1,800 academic staff actively engaged in research, scholarship and teaching in Canada and around the world.

Innovation, discovery and learning are at the heart of all that we do. Our relentless pursuit of quality in our teaching and research programs is guided by our mission to contribute to the well-being of the people of Alberta, Canada and the world. Research brings significant benefits provincially, nationally and internationally, and is the foundation of Alberta’s economic and social vitality. Interdisciplinary research is core to the university’s teaching and research mandate.

The university offers a high quality undergraduate education that is characterized by the synthesis of research, teaching and learning. We mean to enhance the undergraduate learners’ experience by using a student-centred focus that maximizes opportunities to provide a distinctive learning experience that fully integrates the features of a research university. The university is broadening opportunities for students to take inquiry-based courses that lead to greater critical thinking skills, increased exposure to undergraduate research and greater access to leading edge scholars. International study, volunteer, work, and research programs give graduates global context while promoting diversity and innovation in teaching and research.

The U of C is the first university in Canada to offer a four-year graduation guarantee to students embarking upon four-year undergraduate degree programs in the faculties of Arts and Science. The guarantee program offers incoming students an agreement that ensures they will be able to graduate within four years, or the university will pay the tuition for any extra courses needed to finish.

Students at the University of Calgary are officially recognized for their involvement in campus activities outside of the classroom. The co-curricular record is an initiative that encourages and fosters a campus culture of volunteerism and community involvement amongst its students.

The University of Calgary stands out among Canadian universities in how it actively engages students in leadership development in all areas – the arts, athletics, science, medicine, engineering, volunteerism and business. It is also a leader in sustainability – living a set of values embraced by the campus through teaching, leadership, and campus operations.

Our efforts are to raise our global profile, enhance the quality of our undergraduate and graduate programs, promote innovation and excellence in scholarly activity and provide significant returns and tangible benefits to our community and economy.


The MacEwan Student Centre is a hub of activity at the university. There is also a museum and art gallery, four performance theatres, two childcare centres and residences for single students and students with families.

The U of C is currently expanding the Engineering Complex, establishing the Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning, and creating new residences.

The Cumming School of Medicine and the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine are located on the south campus adjacent to the Foothills Hospital. Satellite institutes of the university include, the Kananaskis Biogeoscience Institute, located a short drive from the city on the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains, the Rothney Astrophysical Observatory, located in the foothills south of the city and a campus in Doha, Qatar, offering internationally accredited nursing degrees to students in the Middle East. Development of the university’s west campus is currently taking place, and is the site of the new Alberta Children’s Hospital.

The University of Calgary features some of the finest athletic facilities in the country, The Olympic Oval is an international speedskating facility and houses the Canadian Sport Institute, a high-performance training centre and two Olympic-sized rinks where the reigning women’s gold medal hockey team trains. There are also tennis courts, a triple gymnasium, a yoga studio, an Olympic-size swimming pool, weight rooms, jogging tracks, an Outdoor Centre offering equipment rentals, courses and instruction, and a huge indoor climbing wall. Nearby is the home of U of C Dinos football team, McMahon Stadium.


The University of Calgary has two governing bodies:

  • The Board of Governors is the corporate body charged with the management and control of the University, its property, revenue, business and affairs.
  • The General Faculties Council (GFC) is responsible for the academic affairs of the University, subject to the authority of the Board of Governors.

Each Faculty has a Faculty Council empowered to determine the Faculty's programs of study, conduct examinations, provide for the admission of students, determine conditions for withdrawal, and to authorize the granting of degrees, subject to conditions imposed by the General Faculties Council.

The Students' Union and the Graduate Students' Association provide for the administration of the affairs of students and the promotion of their general welfare.

Coat of Arms/Logo

The University of Calgary combines the best of long-established University traditions with Calgary's frontier spirit of originality and innovation.

Our logo was designed to reflect that spirit. The logo has two components: the Coat of Arms (including the escroll with our motto) and the wordmark. The coat of arms represents and respects our historical roots while the more contemporary wordmark reflects our focus on the future and leading edge.

The Coat of Arms consists of a shield, an escroll containing the motto and the wordmark in either a horizontal (with the wordmark to the right of the crest) or vertical (with the wordmark below the crest) format.

The shield consists of two parts, the upper part (the chief) separated from the lower (the base) by an arched line symbolizing the Chinook arch. The ground colour of the chief is scarlet, commemorating the North West Mounted Police under whose influence Western Canada was settled. Upon this colour is a pair of open books bound in gold. Between the books is a white rose, symbolic of Alberta. The ground colour of the base is gold, indicative of golden sunshine or golden grain. Upon this is a black bull's head with red horns and crossed staves bearing red flags, reminiscent of the family crest of Lt. Col. J.F. Macleod, the NWMP officer who founded Fort Calgary.

Below the shield, printed on an escroll, is the university's motto, "Mo shuile togam suas" (translated as "I will lift up mine eyes"), rendered in Gaelic uncial letters. The scroll is white; the draped ends are red. They were granted to U of C in 1966 by Lord Lyon King of Arms at Edinburgh.

Official Colours

The university has three official colours that appear in the Coat of Arms:

Red PMS 485; Gold PMS 116 and Black.


The University has an official tartan that incorporates the U of C's official colours of red, black and gold in its design. It was designed by Jim Odell, a U of C Education and Fine Arts graduate and accredited in a ceremony presided over by Duncan Paisley of Westerlea, President of the Scottish Tartans Society and director of the Register of All Publicly Known Tartans.

The Mace

Certain formal occasions involve the use of special regalia, the significance of which is now symbolic but most of which has practical origins. In early times the mace was used first as a weapon to protect and second as a symbol of authority.

The mace carried into Convocation is a symbol of the authority of the Chancellor. It represents the Crown and the authority vested in the Chancellor to grant degrees. It is always carried in front of the Chancellor at Convocation. One interesting tradition in the use of maces is that if the real authority (the Queen) was present in person, the mace would be inverted.