York University

York University. Education in Canada. Study Abroad.

York University Details

  • Country : Canada
  • City : Toronto
  • Acronym : YU
  • Founded : 1959
  • Students (approx.) : 53000
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Welcome to York University!

Founded in 1959, York University is proud to be one of Canada’s most socially responsive and engaged universities. The second largest university in Ontario and third largest in Canada, with more than 50,000 students, 7,000 faculty members and staff, and 300,000 alumni, York is a dynamic and diverse community committed to academic excellence balanced by real-world experiential education.

York’s 11 faculties and 25 research centres are engaged in finding innovative solutions to the most pressing local and global challenges of our time. With the largest liberal arts program in Canada, York also offers outstanding business and law degrees at the Schulich School of Business, Canada’s Global Business School™, and Osgoode Hall Law School, internationally renowned as one of Canada’s largest and most distinguished law schools. Our Lassonde School of Engineering offers the only Space Engineering program of its kind in Canada, and is undergoing a major and innovative expansion with the completion of the School’s iconic new home, the Bergeron Centre for Engineering Excellence. York’s School of the Arts, Media, Performance and Design (AMPD) is one of North America’s premier centres for education in the arts, offering a digital media program that is the only program in the Greater Toronto Area to integrate science, technology, communications and the visual, performing and media arts.

As a provincial Centre for Excellence for French language education, our Glendon College, located in a parkland in the heart of Toronto, offers a university education unique in Canada and beyond for its combination of quality academic offerings, campus experience and commitment to bilingualism.

We are also proud that, with the support of the Ontario government, York University will bring a new, 21st-century campus to the vibrant and growing Markham Centre, in collaboration with our partners, the City of Markham, The Regional Municipality of York and Seneca College. In direct response to increasing demand for high-quality education in Ontario’s new economy, the campus will offer professionally-relevant academic programs and workplace-based learning opportunities to over 4,000 students. With easy access to transit, major employers and research hubs, the York University Markham Centre will be a truly integrated, urban campus.

2015-2016 promises to be a year of tremendous opportunity, optimism and growth. I look forward to meeting many of you in the coming months as we continue to forge York’s bright future together.

Mamdouh Shoukri
President and Vice-Chancellor

Schools / Colleges / Departments / Courses / Faculties

School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design

A premier destination for the development of creative talent across the arts, AMPD incubates artistic and intellectual leadership, creative experimentation, cultural innovation, and imaginative solutions for our interconnected world.

Faculty of Education

We strive to provide passionate, creative people with an inspiring environment in which they can gain the tools they need to motivate students and actively contribute to the evolution of education.

Faculty of Environmental Studies

Established in 1968, the first Faculty of its kind in Canada, ES is dedicated to inspiring active-learners and engaged citizens through innovative programs and cutting-edge research that will change the world.


As Canada’s only fully bilingual campus specializing in liberal arts, Glendon’s beautiful mid-town Toronto campus has a strong tradition of preparing future leaders with an international vision.

Faculty of Graduate Studies

Graduate Studies provides pan-university support and leadership for graduate education at York, and is dedicated to enhancing the academic and professional experiences of our graduate students.

Faculty of Health

Health’s five degree programs are Kinesiology & Health Science, Psychology, Nursing, Health Policy & Management and Global Health. Students learn in classrooms, labs and with community partners.

Lassonde School of Engineering

The Lassonde School of Engineering is the home of the Renaissance Engineer – where students discover their passions and gain real perspective.

Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies

The largest of York’s Faculties, LA&PS is home to a rich diversity of programs in the social sciences, humanities and professional fields, led by award-winning faculty whose research has global impact.

Osgoode Hall Law School

Osgoode’s Juris Doctor, Graduate and Professional Development programs offer extraordinarily rich and varied perspectives on law taught by the country’s leading scholars and finest practitioners.

Schulich School of Business

Schulich’s faculty ranks within the top echelon of management research globally. The School is ranked #1 in the world in faculty research in the fields of responsible business and sustainability.

Faculty of Science

A hub of excellence and innovation, the FSc is home to scientists of international stature, broadly engaged with advancing human knowledge, and dedicated to stimulating learning in and beyond the classroom.


York University was established in 1959 as a non-denominational institution by the York University Act, which received Royal Assent in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario on 26 March of that year. Its first class was held in September 1960[ in Falconer Hall on the University of Toronto campus with a total of 76 students.

The policy of university education initiated in the 1960s responded to population pressure and the belief that higher education was a key to social justice and economic productivity for individuals and for society. The governance was modelled on the provincial University of Toronto Act of 1906, which established a bicameral system of university government consisting of a senate (faculty), responsible for academic policy, and a board of governors (citizens) exercising exclusive control over financial policy and having formal authority in all other matters. The president, appointed by the board, was to provide a link between the two bodies and to perform institutional leadership.

In the fall of 1961, York moved to its first campus, Glendon College, and began to emphasize liberal arts and part-time adult education. It became independent in 1965, after an initial period of affiliation with the University of Toronto (U of T), under the York University Act, 1965. Its main campus on the northern outskirts of Toronto opened in 1965.

Murray Ross, who continues to be honoured today at the University in several ways – including the Murray G. Ross Award, was still vice-president of U of T when he was approached to become York University’s new president. At the time, York University was envisaged as a feeder campus to U of T, until Ross’s powerful vision led it to become a completely separate institution.

In 1965, the university opened a second campus, the Keele Campus, in North York, located in the Jane and Finch community. The Glendon campus became a bilingual liberal arts college led by Escott Reid, who envisaged it as a national institution to educate Canada’s future leaders, a vision shared by Prime Minister Lester Pearson, who formally opened Glendon College in 1966.

The first Canadian undergraduate program in dance opened at York University in 1970. In 1972, Canada Post featured the nascent institution on 8¢ stamps, entitled York University Campus, North York, Ont. The first Canadian PhD. program in Women’s Studies opened with five candidates in January 1992.

Its bilingual mandate and focus on the liberal arts continue to shape Glendon’s special status within York University. The new Keele Campus was regarded as somewhat isolated, in a generally industrialized part of the city. Petrol storage facilities are still located across the street. Some of the early architecture was unpopular with many, not only for the brutalistdesigns, but the vast expanses between buildings, which was not viewed as suitable for the climate. In the last two decades, the campus has been intensified with new buildings, including a dedicated student centre and new fine arts, computer science and business administration buildings, a small shopping mall, and a hockey arena. The Aviva Centre tennis stadium, built in 2004, is a perennial host of the Canada Masters tennis tournament. As Toronto has spread further out, York has found itself in a relatively central location within the built-up Greater Toronto Area (GTA), and in particular, near the Jane and Finch neighbourhood. Its master plan envisages a denser on-campus environment commensurate with that location. Students occupied the university’s administration offices in March 1997, protesting escalating tuition hikes.

On November 6, 2008, the York University Senate suspended classes because of a strike by CUPE Local 3903. The local represents contract professors, teaching assistants, and graduate assistants. Classes resumed on Monday, February 2, 2009 after back-to-work legislation was passed by the Ontario Legislative Assembly.

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