University of Lethbridge

The University of Lethbridge (also known as uLethbridge, uLeth, and U of L) is a publicly funded comprehensive academic and research university, founded in the liberal education tradition, located in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada, with a second campus in the city of Calgary, Alberta. The main building, University Hall, sits among the coulees on the west side of the Oldman River.

University of Lethbridge
MottoLatin: Fiat Lux
Motto in English
Let there be light
ChancellorCharles Weaselhead
PresidentDr. Michael J. Mahon
ProvostDr. Andrew Hakin
Academic staff
Location, ,
CampusUrban, 185 ha (460 acres) or 1.85 km2 (0.71 sq mi)
ColoursBlue & Gold         
AffiliationsAUCC, IAU, U Sports, ACU, CWUAA, CUP.


The University of Lethbridge, established in 1967, is a comprehensive academic and research institution (CARI) offering over 150 undergraduate degree programs in the Faculties of Arts & Science, Management, Education, Health Sciences and Fine Arts. It is home to a School of Graduate Studies, with over 50 masters and PhD programs and offers an engineering transfer program. The university is well known for its emphases on liberal education, experiential learning, interdisciplinary research, and co-op programs. In 2017, the university established a School of Liberal Education.

University Hall, designed by architect Arthur Erickson and completed in 1971 within the coulee landscape west of the Oldman River, has received international acclaim for its architectural originality and functional design. The university has since expanded to include a library, the Centre for Sport and Wellness, Anderson Hall, Student's Union building, Alberta Water and Environmental Science Building, Markin Hall, the Canadian Centre for Behavioural Neuroscience, Community Stadium, Penny Building (downtown), a new Science and Academic Building and several residences. The university also has a satellite campus in Calgary, offering degree programs through evening and weekend courses in management and health sciences.


The latest development at the University of Lethbridge is the "Destination Project", the first phase of which was a new $280M 38,500 square metres (414,000 sq ft) science and academic building. This facility, officially opened in September of 2019[4], features laboratory and teaching facilities, as well as "outreach" and "maker" spaces. The building homes over 100 faculty researchers in physics, astronomy, chemistry, biochemistry, biological sciences, neuroscience, and psychology. In 2018, it was shortlisted for the World Architecture Festival[5]


The president of the University of Lethbridge, Mike Mahon, is in his second term and has led the institution since July 1, 2010. Mahon, who previously held the role of the dean of the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation at the University of Alberta, is also the chair of the Board of Universities Canada. The University of Lethbridge president was compensated at $484,966.16 in 2018, in addition to receiving $34,879.34 in "other" remuneration. (


The University of Lethbridge offers both graduate and undergraduate degrees in four faculties and three schools, as described below.

The university is accredited under Alberta's Post-Secondary Learning Act[6] and is considered a "comprehensive academic and research university" (CARU), which means offer a range of academic and professional programs that generally lead to undergraduate and graduate level credentials, and have a strong research focus.[7]


The University of Lethbridge provides special first-year bridging programs for Aboriginal students. The University of Lethbridge's Niitsitapi Teacher Education Program with Red Crow Community College was developed in partnership with specific Aboriginal communities to meet specific needs within Aboriginal communities.[8]


The University of Lethbridge is a research-intensive university, named "Research University of the Year" in the undergraduate category in 2012, and consistently ranks highly in terms of TriCouncil funding, especially in the sciences, but increasingly in all fields of scholarly inquiry [9]. It is home to 60 research chairs, 8 Fellows of the Royal Society of Canada, and 2 Order of Canada recipients.

The university is home to 15 centres and institutes, which transcend traditional disciplinary boundaries, including include the Alberta Gambling Research Institute (AGRI), Alberta RNA Research and Training Institute (ARRTI), Alberta Terrestrial Imaging Centre (ATIC), Canadian Centre for Behavioural Neuroscience (CCBN), Canadian Centre for Research in Advanced Fluorine Technologies (C-CRAFT), Centre for the Study of Scholarly Communication (CSSC), Centre for Culture and Community (CCC), Centre for Oral History and Tradition (COHT), Centre for Socially Responsible Marketing (CSRM), Health Services Quality Institute (HSQI), Institute for Child and Youth Studies (I-CYS), Institute for Space Imaging Science (ISIS), Prentice Institute for Global Population and Economy, Small Business Institute (SBI), and Water Institute for Sustainable Environments (WISE).

The university's infrastructure in the sciences and information technology is accessible to undergraduate students and the university is a provincial leader in terms of undergraduate involvement in publishable and translational faculty research and innovation.

Faculties and schools

The University of Lethbridge offers over 150 degree programs. It has seven faculties and schools that administer its bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees.

  • Faculty of Arts and Science
  • Faculty of Education
  • Faculty of Fine Arts
  • Faculty of Health Sciences
  • Dhillon School of Business
  • School of Graduate Studies
  • School of Liberal Education

The Faculty of Arts and Science offers 9 pre-professional programs in dentistry, journalism, law, medicine, nutrition and food sciences, optometry, social work, and veterinary medicine, as well as an engineering transfer program, through which students take their first year at the University of Lethbridge before completing their degrees at the University of Alberta or the University of Saskatchewan.

The Agility program in Innovation and Entrepreneurship was launched at the university in 2015. This program encourages transdisciplinary innovation, including social innovation, and will soon include a large makerspace in the new science and academic building to complement existing, specialized makerspaces. The university also partners with tecconnect (Economic Development Lethbridge), RINSA, and other organizations to encourage the production of spinoffs and collaboration with industry.


University rankings
Global rankings
Times World[10]1001+
U.S News & World Report Global[11]1358
Canadian rankings
Times National[10]30
U.S News & World Report National[11]36
Maclean's Undergrad[12]5
Maclean's Reputation[13]35

The University of Lethbridge was ranked fifth in Canada in the primarily undergraduate university category for Maclean's 2020 university rankings.[12]


The university is represented in U Sports by the Lethbridge Pronghorns, formerly known as the Chinooks. They have men's and women's teams in basketball, ice hockey, judo, rugby union (women only), soccer, swimming, and track and field. They lack teams in volleyball after the men's team was cut in 1988 and the women in the early 1990s. The Pronghorns have won national championships in men's hockey (1994) and women's rugby (2007, 2008, 2009).[14] The university has an intramurals program.

The home gymnasium for the Pronghorns is First Choice Saving Centre, which includes 3 full-size basketball courts, an indoor track field, a rock-climbing wall, and an exercise room. The construction was finished in 2006 and is open to public on a membership basis.

An outdoor stadium is situated in the southern campus and opened in fall of 2009. It is the home for Pronghorns soccer teams and the women's rugby team.

The men's and women's ice hockey teams play at Nicholas Sheran Arena located just west of the university campus.

The University of Lethbridge Art Gallery has one of the largest collections in Canada of 19th and 20th-century Canadian, American and European art, with over 13,000 pieces including drawing, print making, painting, photography, sculpture and installation.

The previous director, Jeffrey Spalding, spearheaded this nationally renowned art collection. Josephine Mills was appointed director/curator of the Art Gallery in 2001 and maintains a strong exhibition, publication, and research program.

The collection quickly outgrew available archiving and storage space, so a new building was completed in 1999 to house large works. Additional renovations were made in 2000 and 2003 to update a study area for the collection and an incoming/outgoing art handling area.

In 2006, a comprehensive registration database was made available online of the University of Lethbridge collections.

Lineage and establishment

ChancellorTerm startTerm end
Louis S. Turcotte19681972
James Oshiro19721975
Van E. Christou19751979
Islay M. Arnold19791983
William S. Russell19831987
Keith V. Robin19871991
Ingrid M. Speaker19911995
Robert Hironaka19951999
Jim Horsman19992003
Shirley DeBow20032007
Richard Davidson20072011
Shirley McClellan20112015
Janice Varzari20152019
Charles Weaselhead2019
PresidentTerm startTerm end
Russell J. Leskiw (acting)19671967
Sam Smith19671972
William E. Beckel19721979
John H. Woods19791986
Gerald S. Kenyon (acting)19861987
Howard E. Tennant19872000
William H. Cade20002010
Michael J. Mahon20102023

See also


  1. "Town Hall Meeting will update budgetary process". University of Lethbridge. 2009. Archived from the original on March 22, 2012.
  2. "Discover U of L". University of Lethbridge. 2009. Retrieved October 10, 2009.
  3. "Continued balanced growth as University of Lethbridge establishes another enrolment record". University of Lethbridge. 2018. Retrieved September 25, 2018.
  4. "Big Bang Weekend: Science Building Grand Opening | University of Lethbridge". Retrieved 2019-09-16.
  5. "Education-Future-Project". Retrieved 2019-09-16.
  6. Government of Alberta (February 1, 2019). "Post-secondary learning act". Statutes of Alberta, 2003: Chapter P-19.5 via Alberta Queen's Printer.
  7. "Types of publicly-funded institutions". Government of Alberta. Retrieved March 28, 2019.
  8. "The University of Winnipeg" (PDF). Archived from the original on 2008-06-26. Retrieved 2015-08-28.
  9. "Research Universities of the Year 2012" (PDF). Research InfoSource. Retrieved 19 December 2012.
  10. "World University Rankings 2020". Times Higher Education. TES Global. 2019. Retrieved 14 September 2019.
  11. "Best Global Universities in Canada". U.S. News & World Report. U.S. News & World Report, L.P. 21 October 2019. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  12. "Canada's best Comprehensive universities: Rankings 2020". Maclean's. Rogers Media. 3 October 2019. Retrieved 4 October 2019.
  13. "Canada's best universities by reputation: Rankings 2020". Maclean's. Rogers Media. 3 October 2019. Retrieved 4 October 2019.
  14. "Championships - Women's Rugby". U Sports. Retrieved April 12, 2019.

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