Mount Saint Vincent University

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Coordinates: 44°40′15″N 63°38′47″W / 44.67083°N 63.64639°W / 44.67083; -63.64639

Mount Saint Vincent University
MountSaintVincentUniversity logo.jpg
Former names
Mount Saint Vincent Academy (1873-1925), Mount Saint Vincent College (1925-1966)
Motto Veritas ad Deum ducit (Latin)
Motto in English
"Truth Leads to God"
Type Public liberal arts university
Established 1873
Endowment $22.122 million [1] (end of year 2013)
President Mary Bluechardt
Vice-Chancellor Mary Bluechardt
Students 2,433[2]
Undergraduates 2,292
Postgraduates 141
Location 166 Bedford Highway
, Nova Scotia, Canada
B3M 2J6
Campus Suburban
Colours blue     
Nickname Mystics
Affiliations AUCC, IAU, CBIE, CUP.
Mascot Monty the mountain lion

Mount Saint Vincent University, often referred to as The Mount, is a primarily undergraduate public university located in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, and was established in 1873. Mount Saint Vincent offers Undergraduate programs in Arts, Science, Education, and a number of professional programs including Applied Human Nutrition, Business Administration, Child and Youth Study, Public Relations, and Tourism and Hospitality Management. As well, the Mount has 13 graduate degrees in areas including Applied Human Nutrition, School Psychology, Child and Youth Study, Education, Family Studies and Gerontology, Public Relations and Women’s Studies. The Mount's first doctorate program, a PhD in Educational Studies, is a joint-initiative with St. Francis Xavier University and Acadia University. The Mount offer 10 full undergraduate degree programs and four graduate degree programs online.[3]

The university attracts many students in part because of its small class sizes, specialty programs, and location. The Mount has Canada Research Chairs in Gender Identity and Social Practices as well as Food Security and Policy Change. This institution is unique nationwide as it has a Chair in learning disabilities, Master of Public Relations program, Bachelor of Science in Communication Studies, and numerous other programs, faculty, and research initiatives.[4]


Mount Saint Vincent University Entrance from the Bedford Highway, Halifax

Established by the Sisters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul as a women's college in 1873, the Mount was one of the few institutions of higher education for women in Canada at a time when women could not vote. The original purpose of the academy was to train novices and young sisters as teachers, but the Sisters also recognized a need to educate other young women.[5] Over the ensuing years, the order developed a convent, schools, an orphanage, and health care facilities throughout the Halifax area, as well as across North America.

Charles Welsford West (architect) designed the Romanesque chapel and annex (1903–05) at Mount St. Vincent Academy (now University). He served as the Architect, Nova Scotia Public Works & Mines 1932-1950[6]

By 1912, the Sisters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul recognized the need to offer greater opportunity through university education and adopted a progressive[clarification needed] plan to establish a college for young women. It was two years later, in 1914 that the Sisters partnered with Dalhousie University, enabling Mount Saint Vincent to offer the first two years of a bachelor's degree program to be credited toward[clarification needed] a Dalhousie degree.

In 1925, the Nova Scotia Legislature awarded the Mount the right to grant its own degrees, making it the only independent women’s college in the British Commonwealth.[7] By 1951, degrees were offered in Arts, Secretarial Science, Music, Home Economics, Library Science, Nursing and Education.

Sidney Perry Dumaresq (architect) designed major alterations to the Chapel (1926); dormitory and classroom building (c. 1930).[8]

A new charter was granted in 1966 and the College became Mount Saint Vincent University, bringing forth the establishment of a Board of Governors and Senate. This was also a period of tremendous growth – with enrolment increases, new construction and new agreements. In 1967 the Mount began admitting men as students. The University continued to evolve with the expansion of programs during the 1970s and entered into several new fields, including Child Study, Public Relations, Gerontology, Tourism and Hospitality Management, Cooperative Education and Distance Education. In July 1988, the Sisters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul officially transferred ownership of the institution to the Board of Governors.


Mount Saint Vincent University offers 38 undergraduate degrees in liberal arts and sciences and an array of professional programs including Applied Human Nutrition, Business Administration, Child and Youth Study, Public Relations, Science Communication and Tourism and Hospitality Management. Following consolidation of post-secondary programs across Nova Scotia in the 1990s, the Mount became home to the only education program in the Halifax area. The Mount houses 16 research centres and institutes.[9]

Academic programs are supported by a wide variety of electronic and print research resources in the MSVU Library.[10] Research services include drop-in reference assistance, research appointments and classroom workshops.

Mount Saint Vincent University is the only university in Canada to offer a Master of Public Relations program (MPR).[11] The MPR program graduated its first class in October 2009.[12] The Canadian Public Relations Society (CPRS) recognizes MSVU's MPR program for excellence in PR education in its Pathways to the Profession guide.[13]

The Department of Applied Human Nutrition has an accredited dietetic program. The University is accredited by a professional organization such as the Dietitians of Canada and the university's graduates may subsequently become registered dietitians.

The faculty of Education is home to the only school psychology graduate program in Atlantic Canada. Graduates of this program are eligible to become registered psychologists in Nova Scotia and several other provinces in Canada.[14]

Mount Saint Vincent University is home to the Centre for Women in Business, a not-for-profit university business development centre (UBDC), dedicated to assisting with entrepreneurial activities both within the university and throughout Nova Scotia. Founded in 1992 by the University's Department of Business & Tourism, this remains the only UBDC in Canada with a primary focus on women. The Centre has served more than 7500 clients over the past 18 years.

In addition to these programs, Mount Saint Vincent University also has numerous programs for youth, such as summer camps, and chess tournaments.

During the 1995 G7 summit, Mount Saint Vincent University awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree to Hillary Clinton.

Art Gallery[edit]

The Mount Saint Vincent University Art Gallery is located on the first floor of Seton Academic Centre. The gallery opened in 1971 as a resource to Mount Saint Vincent, communities served by the university, artists, Metro Halifax residents and art publics everywhere. Admission is always free of charge.

MSVU Art Gallery reflects the University’s educational aims by devoting a significant part of its activities to the representation of women as cultural subjects and producers. Its exhibitions explore various forms of cultural production, highlighting the achievements of Nova Scotian artists and themes relevant to academic programs offered by the university.[15][16]


The education department assists St Joseph's Teachers College in Kingston, Jamaica with its two-year part-time bachelor's and master's degrees in Primary Education.


Home to the Mystics, the Mount competes in the Atlantic Colleges Athletic Association (ACAA) in Women’s & Men’s Basketball, Women's & Men's Soccer, Cross Country and Women’s Volleyball. The Mystics hold a number of regional championship titles in all sports. Both the Men’s and Women's Basketball teams were undefeated for two straight years in regular season play (2006–07, 2007–08) and went on to capture silver at the national championships in 2007-08.

Notable graduates[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Year end 2013
  2. ^ "Full-time plus Part-time Enrollment" (PDF). Association of Atlantic Universities. 2016-10-01. Retrieved 2017-01-20.
  3. ^ "Mount Saint Vincent University". Archived from the original on 2014-08-19.
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Music at Mount Saint Vincent University". Mabel H. Laine, Margaret Young, Encyclopedia of Music in Canada.
  6. ^ Biographic Dictionary of Architects in Canada 1800-1950 Charles Welsford West (architect)
  7. ^ Our History, Mount Saint Vincent University. Archived 2009-09-06 at the Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ Sidney Perry Dumaresq
  9. ^ "Mount Saint Vincent University". Archived from the original on 2014-08-19.
  10. ^ MSVU Library
  11. ^ "Public Relations and Communication Studies". Mount Saint Vincent University. Retrieved 8 May 2014.
  12. ^ Lovett, Akiko. "First Masters of Public Relations class graduates from the Mount". Mount Saint Vincent University. Retrieved 8 May 2014.
  13. ^ "Public Relations and Communication Studies". Mount Saint Vincent University. Retrieved 8 May 2014.
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^

External links[edit]