101 – Wilfrid Laurier University

University program information changes regularly. For the most up-to-date details, view the online application.

Last updated: October 3, 2017

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History and Special Characteristics

Wilfrid Laurier University has been known for academic excellence for more than 106 years. But in-class learning is only part of the equation. Putting knowledge to work in the real world is a hallmark of the Laurier experience, and it’s something employers value in our graduates.

Co-op work terms, work-study programs, and community service-learning opportunities are designed to help our students relate what they learn in the classroom to what they experience outside of it.

Our students graduate with experience that prepares them for success throughout their lives.

No matter how you choose to live your Laurier experience, you’re a Golden Hawk, which means you’re part of a tight-knit, supportive community that knows how to aim high, work hard and take advantage of some truly amazing opportunities to make a difference.

Ask any of our over 100,000 graduates and they’ll tell you that their experience at Laurier helped to shape the people they are today.

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Enrollment (Fall 2016)

Full‑time undergraduate students: 14,865
Full‑time graduate students: 938
Part‑time students: 2,793

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Faculty of Arts

With more than 5,000 undergraduate and graduate students, the Faculty of Arts is the largest and most diverse faculty at Laurier. Our 16 departments and interdisciplinary programming span a number of fields in the social sciences and humanities.

We are committed to teaching and research excellence. As leaders in our fields of study, we bring expertise and learning into the classroom, honour the scholarship of those who have come before us, and challenge students to combine critical thinking with a commitment to global understanding.

Think Arts

As a Laurier Arts student, you can create a personalized academic journey that fits your passions. Concentrate on a single field of study or combine 2. Add a minor area of specialization, or 1 of our many program options. Apply for a co-op or an international volunteer placement, and consider studying abroad for a term. Experience the world through Arts.

Arts courses provide opportunities for you to develop important workplace skills, whether you are working towards a career in business, education or the non-profit sector. You’ll learn to challenge assumptions, communicate effectively, think critically and work cooperatively. Most importantly, you’ll be able to put ideas and issues into local, global and historical perspectives.

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Faculty of Science

Laurier’s Faculty of Science has more than 4,500 undergraduate and graduate students. We offer a full range of academic programs, including several interdisciplinary programs, in our 8 departments.

Our faculty members are engaged in high-quality research, advancing scientific knowledge, and applying this knowledge to real-world problems. We are also home to several leading-edge research centres.

Our faculty members bring their expertise and enthusiasm for research into the classroom, and many of our undergraduate students find opportunities to enrich their learning through involvement in Laurier research projects or through co-op work experience. Our programs emphasize using science to address some of society’s most pressing issues, and leave our graduates well positioned to pursue productive careers.

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Lazaridis School of Business and Economics

The Lazaridis School of Business and Economics is one of the most prestigious and selective schools in Canada. We teach our students to think for themselves, ensuring they can adapt to a world of ever-growing complexity. Our alumni are making a difference in the world – and you can, too.

From day 1, students learn to work in teams tackling current, real‑world problems. Our AACSB‑accredited programs are among the most selective undergraduate programs in the country and our students are among the most engaged.

Business students can choose to specialize in 1 of the following areas:

  • Accounting
  • Business & Sustainability
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Finance
  • Human Resource Management
  • Insurance & Risk Management
  • International Business
  • Marketing
  • Marketing Communications
  • Supply Chain Management

Double‑degree programs combine the Business Administration program with either a Bachelor of Arts in Financial Mathematics or a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science at Laurier. Or the Business Administration program can be combined with the Bachelor of Computer Science or the Bachelor of Mathematics at the University of Waterloo.

Economics students can concentrate in Financial Management or Accounting. Students in Economics programs can also add the Management Option to their degree.

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Faculty of Music

Laurier’s renowned Faculty of Music is dedicated to fostering artistic and scholarly development of the highest calibre and to providing a creative environment for student success. Laurier’s most intimate undergraduate faculty, the Faculty of Music has approximately 350 to 400 full‑time students enrolled.

Music students benefit from small class sizes with distinguished faculty, and world‑class facilities including an on‑site Music Therapy clinic.

Music students can choose to concentrate in Composition; Comprehensive; Music Education; Music History, Theory & Critical Analysis; Performance; or Community Music. Options for Music Therapy are available in a student’s second year in the Bachelor of Music.

With a range of innovative program options, the friendly, people-centered Faculty of Music offers programs that attract students from across Canada and overseas. In 2013, Laurier was named Canada’s Best Music Campus by CBC Radio.

Admission to Laurier’s Faculty of Music is based on academic grades, theory test, an interview with a faculty member and a musical audition.

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Brantford Campus

Laurier’s Brantford campus has quickly established itself as a dynamic institution offering first‑class liberal arts, social science, and professional programs.

Recent program additions include the following:

  • LLB (University of Sussex) and BA (Laurier) in either Criminology, Law & Society, or Human Rights & Human Diversity
  • Bachelor of Fine and Applied Arts in Game Design & Development
  • Bachelor of Arts in Indigenous Studies (must be combined with another major)
  • Bachelor of Arts in Policing (must be combined with another major)
  • Bachelor of Design in User Experience Design
  • Bachelor of Arts in Labour Studies & Career Development

Other program offerings:
Bachelor of Business Technology Management; Bachelor of Arts in Community Health; Criminology; Digital Media & Journalism; English; Health Administration; History; Human Rights & Human Diversity; Law & Society; Psychology; Social & Environmental Justice; Youth & Children’s Studies; Bachelor of Arts and Science in Public Health; and Bachelor of Social Work.

Our partnership with most Ontario colleges allows you to enter Laurier’s Brantford campus with relevant transfer credits from more than 40 diploma programs. Class sizes are small, and first‑year students are guaranteed residence.

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Entrance scholarships are automatically awarded to full‑time, first‑year students based on your final grades as of June 30; no application is required.

The university offers a large number of competitive scholarships and awards for students in all years of university. These are granted based on a range of criteria: interests, involvement, financial need, outstanding academic achievement and more. To apply for competitive awards, students should fill out the Laurier student profiles, which are available beginning in early June and continuing into the fall term. Based on the information provided in these profiles, we will match students with any awards for which they are eligible.

View a complete list of scholarships and awards.

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Students entering postsecondary studies for the first time may qualify for an entrance bursary. Based solely on financial need, entrance bursaries are worth a maximum of $2,000.

In your upper years at Laurier, you can apply for the General Tuition Bursary.

For information on our bursaries, visit wlu.ca/studentawards.

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The majority of residence rooms are reserved for first‑year students who have never attended a postsecondary institution. Residence is guaranteed to first‑year students who submit their application and non-refundable deposit by the June 1 deadline. More information on applying to residence will be relayed to students when they receive an offer of admission.

Students registered with Accessible Learning on either campus will be placed in a residence that is appropriate to their needs.

The Waterloo Campus features a variety of residence layouts, including both single and double bedrooms in apartment style and dormitory style.

The Brantford Campus offers exclusively apartment‑style residences, with 80% of the bedrooms being singles.

Our Residence Learning Communities (RLCs) and Learning Clusters are themed-residence environments where students share a common interest, major or coursework. Designed to extend opportunities for learning and development beyond the classroom, these residence communities offer students enriched opportunities to network with peers, faculty and staff through programs held in residence and off campus.

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Additional Admission Information

Admission is based primarily on 4U/M (or Grade 12) courses.

Students can choose to complete the optional Applicant Background Summary (ABS) form, which is due in mid-April. This form provides students with an opportunity to present extracurricular information that could be used for admission consideration.

Applicants to the Faculty of Music are required to attend an audition/interview and do not need to submit the ABS form.

Students with special case or extenuating circumstances can submit a separate letter, as well as third party supporting documentation to the Recruitment & Admissions office by either mail or email. Students may also choose to disclose a disability and should provide all supporting/current documentation, including third-party letters of support, to the Recruitment & Admissions office. Visit our website for more information about how you can support your application.

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English‑Language Proficiency

Students attending Laurier must have excellent proficiency in the English language to benefit from university instruction presented in English.

If your first language is not English, you will be required to submit acceptable evidence of your English proficiency to our Recruitment and Admissions office. Students who are academically admissible but do not meet the English proficiency requirements will be awarded an offer of admission with a condition of English proficiency. Students can meet their English proficiency condition by providing an official transcript satisfactorily demonstrating a minimum of 3 years’ study in an institution that teaches in the English language, or an acceptable score on 1 of the following tests (Note: Double‑degree programs with the University of Waterloo may require higher scores, and not all testing services may be accepted. Visit Undergraduate Admissions Toolkit for details):

  • TOEFL: Internet-based testing: an overall score of 83 or higher with a minimum score of 20 in each component. Paper-based testing: 560 or higher. An overall score of 90 with a minimum of 20 in Reading and Listening, and a minimum of 25 in Speaking and Writing is required for double-degree programs with the University of Waterloo.
  • MELAB: An overall score of 85 or higher. An overall score of 85 with a minimum of 80 in each component, and a minimum of 3 in Speaking for co-op programs, is required for double-degree programs with the University of Waterloo.
  • IELTS: An overall score of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each band.
  • CAEL: An overall score of 70 or higher (each band 60 or higher). An overall score of 70 with a minimum of 60 in Reading and Listening, and a minimum of 70 in Writing and Speaking is required for double-degree programs with the University of Waterloo.
  • PTE (Pearson Test of English): An overall score of 59 or higher. An overall score of 63 with a minimum of 65 in Writing and Speaking is required for double-degree programs with the University of Waterloo.
  • CEA (Cambridge English: Advanced): Overall score of 176.
  • Successful completion of the appropriate ESL program through the Laurier English & Academic Foundation (LEAF) program.

Find more information about English-language proficiency.

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Learn English at Laurier

The LEAF program provides training in academic English to help prepare students for their future undergraduate studies. Students who do not meet our English language requirements, or who have an English proficiency condition listed on their offer of admission, can choose to pursue an intensive English as a Second Language (ESL) program offered by one of our education partners or attend our Laurier English and Academic Foundation (LEAF) program.

The LEAF program, which is offered at our Brantford campus, is made of up of 5 levels and students can submit their IELTS or TOEFL score to determine which level of LEAF they will start in, or write a placement test when they arrive in Brantford.

To find out which level of LEAF you could be eligible for, or for more information, contact us at leaf@wlu.ca or 519.756.8228 x5621 or visit our website.

Note: All information is subject to change.

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Accessible Learning

The Accessible Learning Centre builds strong partnerships with students with disabilities to ensure their academic success. Early identification is vital, and students can register with the Accessible Learning Centre as soon as they accept their offer of admission to Laurier.

Laurier encourages you to contact the Accessible Learning Centre to inquire about services and facilities for students with disabilities. You and your families or teachers may direct inquiries to 519‑884‑0710 ext. 3086, or email accessible learning.

Find more information about Accessible Learning.

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Visit Laurier

We encourage all interested applicants and their families to tour campus and experience Laurier for themselves. Campus tours of both our Waterloo and Brantford campuses are available most days of the week. You are also invited to attend 1 of our open houses, or several other event days, that we host throughout the year.

Both campuses offer open houses in November and March of each year.

To view our upcoming events or to book a campus tour, please visit our website.

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Contact Information

Recruitment & Admissions
Wilfrid Laurier University
75 University Ave. W.
Waterloo ON  N2L 3C5

Telephone: 519‑884‑0710, ext. 3385
(touch‑tone phones only)
Email: chooselaurier@wlu.ca

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