101 – Wilfrid Laurier University

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

Last updated: October 1, 2019

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History and Special Characteristics

At Wilfrid Laurier University, community is at the core of who we are and what we do. Students feel welcome here and find their place. Everywhere you look, people are inspired to learn, lead and build lifelong relationships – to give their all and to give back.

Laurier educates with purpose. We are building knowledge that serves society and creating connections that have a lasting impact. Tap in to over 100 years of academic excellence and choose from an expansive range of traditional and innovative programs. With endless opportunities to enhance your degree, you can create an academic experience that’s a personal reflection of who you are and where you want to go.

And it’s not all about the lecture hall. Our students are tomorrow’s leaders, propelled into the world around them, learning to think independently and exchange ideas that catalyze change. They exercise their ability to apply classroom learning to the outside world, creating the perfect blend of theory and experience needed for success.

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 aims high and works hard.

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Enrollment (Fall 2018)

Full-time undergraduate students: 15,244
Full-time graduate students: 1,178
Part-time undergraduate students: 2,726
Part-time graduate students: 805

Total: 19,953

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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 11 departments and interdisciplinary programming span a number of fields in the social sciences and humanities.

We are committed to teaching and research excellence. Leaders in our fields of study, we bring expertise and learning in to 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 one of our many program options; apply for a co-op or an international volunteer placement and consider studying abroad for a term. Whatever path you choose, you can experience the world through Arts.

Arts courses provide opportunities for you to develop important workplace skills, whether you are working toward a career in business, education or the non-profit sector. You’ll learn to challenge assumptions, communicate effectively, think critically and work co-operatively. 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 nearly 5,500 full-time undergraduate and graduate students, and more than 100 full-time faculty members. We offer 31 undergraduate and graduate academic programs across 7 academic departments and are home to several leading-edge research centres.

The Faculty is committed to offering high-quality programs in pure and applied sciences. We share with the rest of the university a commitment to offering students a supportive environment and an enriching experience that prepares them for future success.

Many of our undergraduate programs take an interdisciplinary approach to the study of science, emphasizing how science can be applied to address some of society’s most pressing issues. The end result is graduates who are prepared for whatever life brings after Laurier, whether it’s more schooling, professional programs or employment.

Science faculty members are engaged in high-quality research, the advancement of scientific knowledge and the application of that knowledge to real-world problems. They bring their expertise and enthusiasm for research in to the classroom. Many of our undergraduate students find opportunities to enrich their learning through involvement in Laurier research projects or through co-op work experience.

Programs are diverse and several programs can be completed in either a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science. We also offer double-degree programs that combine 2 science disciplines, as well as double-degree programs that combine Financial Mathematics or Computer Science with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree offered by the Lazaridis School of Business & Economics.

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Lazaridis School of Business & Economics

The Lazaridis School of Business & Economics is one of the most prestigious and selective schools in Canada. We prepare our students for the world that’s coming, not the world of their parents. We believe immersive learning is the key to that preparation. From day 1, Lazaridis School students learn to work in teams, tackling real-world problems that exist now.

Our Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business-accredited programs are among the most selective undergraduate business programs in the country, and our students are among the most engaged. When our students aren’t winning national case competitions, they are leading student clubs and organizations, volunteering in the community or starting their own businesses.

Largest Business Degree Co-op Program

You are encouraged to explore different career options and gain valuable employment experience before you graduate. The Lazaridis School operates the largest business degree co-op program in the country. Our employment rate for our Business Administration and Economics programs was 99.8% in fall 2018 and winter 2019.

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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 providing a creative environment for student success. We limit enrollment to roughly 400 undergraduate and 50 graduate students – a number that is small enough to give you ready access to your instructors, yet large enough to have a full symphony orchestra, 3 choirs, a wind orchestra, an opera program and community music, jazz, chamber music, percussion and contemporary music ensembles.

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

Students begin their studies in the Bachelor of Music or the Bachelor of Music in Community Music. Bachelor of Music students can choose to concentrate in: Composition; Integrated Musical Arts; Music Education; Music History, Theory and Critical Analysis; Self-Directed Studies or Performance. Options for Music Therapy are available in a student’s second year in the Bachelor of Music or Bachelor of Music in Community Music.

With a range of innovative program options, the friendly, people-centred Faculty of Music offers programs that attract students from across Canada and overseas.

Admission to Laurier’s Faculty of Music is based on academic grades, theory test results, an interview with a faculty member, a reference letter and a musical audition. Applicants may submit an optional portfolio of original compositions/recordings.

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Brantford Campus

Laurier’s Brantford campus has quickly established itself as a dynamic institution, offering first-class liberal arts, social sciences and professional programs. Since 1999, the Brantford campus has transformed the downtown core of the City of Brantford into a thriving student community that is home to around 3,000 undergraduate and graduate students. With buildings spread throughout the core of the city, the Brantford campus is literally interwoven into the downtown.

Shaped by its location on the historic Grand River and proximity to the major industrial and consumer markets of North America, Brantford has a thriving business community that is home to a number of global business operations – but people are drawn to the region for so much more. A healthy arts and culture scene, world-class trails system for walking and biking, and a strong slate of festivals and events make Brantford a vibrant place to call home for residents and students alike.

The Brantford campus offers students programs from the faculties of Human & Social Sciences, Liberal Arts and Social Work, and from the Lazaridis School of Business & Economics.

Recent program additions include:

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

Other program offerings:

  • Bachelor of Business Technology Management (through the Lazaridis School of Business & Economics)
  • Bachelor of Arts in Community Health
  • Criminology
  • Digital Media & Journalism
  • English
  • Health Administration
  • History
  • Human Rights & Human Diversity
  • Indigenous Studies
  • Law & Society
  • Psychology
  • Youth & Children’s Studies
  • Bachelor of Arts and Science in Public Health
  • Bachelor of Social Work

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

Every year, you can apply for competitive scholarships, awards and bursaries by completing an online student profile about yourself. Awards are granted based on the information you provide, including your interests, involvement, financial need, academic achievement and more. The application process begins in June and there are up to 3 profiles to complete once you accept your offer.

View a complete list of scholarships and awards on the Tuition, Scholarships and Financial Aid website.

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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 up to a maximum of $1,500.

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

International students are not eligible to apply for the entrance bursary or Laurier Tuition Bursary.

For information on our bursaries, visit the Tuition, Scholarships and Financial Aid website.

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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, if you submit your application and non-refundable residence deposit by the June 1 deadline. More information on applying to residence is provided to students when they receive an offer of admission.

Students who require special consideration in the room-assignment process based on a documented medical need or disability must submit a completed Residence Disability and Medical Verification form as part of their application. Forms will be reviewed to determine if any housing accommodations need to be considered when finalizing room placements.

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 course work. 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.

Students who are attending Laurier for the first time and living off campus can still feel connected to our community through Laurier’s supports for off-campus students, which act as a virtual residence for students at both our Waterloo and Brantford campuses. Through the Laurier Off-Campus University Students (LOCUS) program, students will receive all of the support and fun of residence life, without the building.

Read more about Living at Laurier.

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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 April 29, 2020. 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.

If recent or present circumstances have impacted your ability to achieve a strong academic standing, email a personal statement to Laurier. It is your decision to disclose any supporting details.

Read more about how you can support your application.

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English-Language Proficiency

If your first language is not English, you must provide evidence of your English proficiency. You can submit a minimum score on a test of English proficiency or complete the Laurier English & Academic Foundation (LEAF) program.

You may request an exemption from the English proficiency requirement if you studied in an English-language school system on a full-time basis for a minimum of 3 years. Read more about exemption instructions.

If you meet the academic requirements for your program, but do not meet Laurier’s English proficiency requirement, you may receive an offer of admission that is conditional upon completing the LEAF program. You must first be eligible for LEAF program levels 3, 4 or 5 to receive an offer. After successfully completing level 5, you can begin studying in your program full time.

Read more about the LEAF program.

English Proficiency Minimums

Language Test Minimum Score
Test of English as a Foreign Language
83 overall
20 in each component
International English Language Testing System
6.5 overall
6.0 in each band
Canadian Academic English Language Assessment
70 overall
60 in each band
Pearson Test of English Academic
59 overall
Cambridge Assessment English
176 overall

Note: All scores must be presented at the minimum or higher.

Read more about English-language proficiency.

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Learn English at Laurier

The Laurier English and Academic Foundation (LEAF) program is an academic English program designed for future Laurier students to prepare them for success in university. Offered at Laurier’s Brantford campus, the LEAF program allows students the opportunity to begin their studies in the level that most closely aligns with their English proficiency, according to their most recent English proficiency test score.

Students who are academically admissible to the University and eligible for LEAF program levels 3, 4 or 5 will receive a conditional offer of admission to an academic program. After successfully completing the LEAF program, students may progress into full-time undergraduate studies.

LEAF Program Level Eligibility

IELTS Score TOEFL Score LEAF Level
6.0 65 5
5.5 50 4
5.0 35 3

All accepted tests of English proficiency may be used to determine LEAF program eligibility. Read more about LEAF program eligibility.

For more information, email the LEAF program, call 519-756-8228, ext. 5531, or visit the LEAF website.

Note: All information is subject to change.

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Accessible Learning

The Accessible Learning Centre ensures access to academic accommodations for students with documented disabilities. Accessible Learning supports and encourages students’ independence and self-determination by offering a variety of services and resources delivered in a respectful, confidential and professional manner. Current documentation is required to register.

Students are encouraged to register with the Accessible Learning Centre over the course of the summer to avoid the September rush and to ensure accommodations are in place for the start of the fall term. Staff are available to respond to any questions regarding the registration process and the documentation guidelines; students can email the Accessible Learning Centre or call the Centre at 519-884-0710, ext. 3086.

Students who require accessible accommodations in residence must follow the registration process outlined in the online residence application form. Residence applications are due June 1, 2020.

Read more 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, in person or online through our virtual tours.

Campus tours of both our Waterloo and Brantford campuses are available most days of the week. You are also invited to attend one of our open houses, or several other event days, that we host throughout the year.

Annual open houses are held in November, March and May at the Waterloo and Brantford campuses.

To view our upcoming events or to book a campus tour, 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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