University of Prince Edward Island

The University of Prince Edward Island is a public university in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada, and the sole university in the province. Founded in 1969, the enabling legislation is the University Act, R.S.P.E.I 2000.


The university traces its roots back to 1804, when Lt. Governor Edmund Fanning and the Legislative Council of Prince Edward Island called for the establishment of Kent College. By 1820, the first Kent College building, known as "the National School", or James Breading's School was erected. Later succeeded by Central Academy, which received a Royal Charter in 1834.
The Colleges were renamed for the Prince of Wales in honour of the future King Edward VII in 1860. The University of Prince Edward Island also traces its roots back to its two earlier predecessor organizations, St. Dunstan's University and Prince of Wales College, founded in 1855 and 1860 respectively. The two institutions were merged in 1969 by the government of Alex Campbell as part of a campaign to integrate the Island's Roman Catholic and Protestant communities, which had previously maintained the two separate institutions of higher learning. Holland College was later created to fill the void left by the merger of Prince of Wales College into the university.
The University of Prince Edward Island is a non-denominational university established in 1969 by the amalgamation of Prince of Wales College founded in 1834, and St. Dunstan's University founded in 1855. The first student to enroll was Elizabeth Rollins Epperly, who would later become president. Its predecessor institutions ceased to operate although St. Dunstan's still retains its charter and the lands that were home to Prince of Wales became the campus for Holland College. UPEI is located on the former St. Dunstan's campus.


On 8 May 2004 Canada Post issued 'University of Prince Edward Island, 1804-2004' as part of the Canadian Universities series. The stamp was based on a design by Denis L'Allier and on a photograph by Guy Lavigueur. The 49¢ stamps are perforated 13.5 and were printed by Canadian Bank Note Company, Limited.


UPEI's campus, located at the corner of Belvedere and University Avenues in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island's capital city, is built on 134 acres of land. The Confederation Trail runs alongside its eastern boundary.
Original SDU buildings in the central quadrangle have been renovated to retain integrity of their exterior aesthetic design while meeting modern standards. Main Building, built in 1854, and Dalton Hall, built between 1917 and 1919, are on the registry of Historic Places of Canada.
The War Memorial Hall is a landmark building on the campus of UPEI. Built as a men's residence building in 1946, Memorial Hall honours alumni who had enlisted and died in the First World War, and in the Second World War.
Over the past three decades, UPEI has experienced significant growth with many new buildings integrated into the campus, including Central Utility Building, Duffy Science Centre, Blanchard Hall, Bernardine Hall, Robertson Library, Atlantic Veterinary College, Chi-Wan Young Sports Centre, Wanda Wyatt Dining Hall, Food Technology Centre, K.C. Irving Chemistry Centre, W.A. Murphy Student Centre, MacLauchlan Arena, Bill and Denise Andrew Hall residence facility, expansions to the Atlantic Veterinary College, Regis and Joan Duffy Research Centre, a research and development laboratory which is home to the National Research Council of Canada, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, and other partners, and Don and Marion McDougall Hall. The most recent addition is the Health Sciences Building, home to the School of Nursing and Applied Human Sciences programs.
In October 2004, the UPEI administration undertook an official campus plan to improve the aesthetics of modern buildings constructed since the amalgamation which do not enhance the original SDU design, and to take overall campus aesthetics into account for future developments on and adjacent to the campus.


The current President is Dr. Alaa Abd-El-Aziz, installed July 1, 2011. The current chancellor is Catherine Callbeck, who was installed on September 29, 2018.


UPEI's seven faculties and one school offers a wide range of programs and degrees to undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students. Co-op programs have been established in Business Administration, Computer Science, Physics, and Dietetics.
Master's and Doctoral degree programs were first introduced through the Atlantic Veterinary College and, beginning in 1999, a Master of Science degree was offered through the Faculty of Science. In that same year the first students were admitted to the university's new Master of Education program. As of 2010, in addition to the MEd graduate program, the Faculty of Education offered a PhD in Educational Studies. The university also now offers a Master of Arts in Island Studies. Recently the Faculty of Business Administration began offering an Executive Master of Business Administration degree. Since 1998, The Centre for Conflict Resolution Studies has been offering courses leading to a Certificate in Conflict Resolution Studies. The Master of Applied Health Services Research program is coordinated by the Atlantic Research Training Centre.
The Faculty of Education offers one-year post-degree bachelor's degrees with specializations in international, adult, and indigenous education, French immersion and human resources development, a Master of Education in leadership in learning, and a PhD in Educational Studies.
The Department of Applied Human Sciences has an accredited dietitian program. The university is accredited by a professional organization such as the Dietitians of Canada and the university's graduates may subsequently become registered dieticians.
The Faculty Development Office provides professional development courses applicable to many sectors and industries, including development programs for administrative assistants and new managers; collaboration, conflict, and communication training; and, financial management courses.


In Maclean's 2020 Guide to Canadian Universities, UPEI was ranked in eleventh in the publication's category for "primarily undergraduate" Canadian universities.


UPEI manages over $17 million in annual research expenditures. The on-campus biosciences and health research facility is used by researchers from UPEI, National Research Council, and Agriculture and Agri-Foods Canada.
UPEI houses the L.M. Montgomery Institute, founded in 1993, which promotes scholarly inquiry into the life, works, culture, and influence of the Canadian writer, L.M. Montgomery. The collection of novels, manuscripts, texts, letters, photographs, sound recordings and artifacts and other Montgomery ephemera.

Student life


The UPEI Panthers have nine teams playing in the Atlantic University Sport and the Canadian Interuniversity Sport, including men's and women's ice hockey, soccer, basketball, as well as women's field hockey and rugby union and co-ed swimming.
The UPEI campus provides its students with many athletics amenities typically found on university campuses. The is a public recreation facility located on the campus and includes two hockey rinks as well as two 25-metre swimming pools. In 2009 UPEI inaugurated the UPEI Alumni Canada Games Place which was built in part to host the 2009 Canada Games. It consists of a "class 2" eight-lane 400-metre running track and rugby field that has spectator seating for 1,335.


UPEI accommodates 434 students in three residences, Bill and Denise Andrew Hall, Blanchard Hall, and Bernardine Hall. Bill and Denise Andrew Hall has two-room suites with single bedrooms. In Blanchard Hall, each suite has two single bedrooms with a kitchenette and a living room. Bernardine Hall offers suites with two double bedrooms and a shared bathroom. Although the hall is co-ed, one floor is female-only.

UPEI/SDU/PWC notable people

List of Presidents

In 2015 each of the first 5 presidents were recognized as Founders of the University.
Being a long-standing university and college in the Maritime province of Prince Edward Island UPEI/SDU/PWC have been in a position to provide education to a long list of people who have gone to notable achievements. The most well known graduate is Lucy Maude Montgomery, author of "Anne of Green Gables" and other books. The most distinguished Saint Dunstan's graduate may be James Charles McGuigan, Cardinal-Priest of Santa Maria del Popolo in Rome.


Following is a partial list of Past Honorary Degree Recipients from UPEI: