Since 1877, the University of Manitoba has been driving discovery and inspiring minds through innovative teaching and research excellence. Proudly located in the heart of Canada, UM has a strong and engaged community of students, faculty, staff, alumni, donors and community partners. With more than 148,000 alumni living in 140 countries, our impact is global.
View our interactive timeline showcasing key moments in University of Manitoba history:
On Feb. 28, a bill is passed to establish a “Provincial University”. The University of Manitoba is formed by the federation of three existing colleges—St. Boniface College, St. John’s College and Manitoba College.
Reginald William Gunn, a Métis student of Manitoba College, receives the first degree.
A.K. Isbister bequests the first gift: $83,000 to establish a scholarship and 4,000 volumes that form the University’s library.
Jessie Holmes becomes UM’s first female student.
The first professors are appointed: B.B. Cochrane (Mathematics), Frank Allen (Physics and Minerology), A.H.R. Buller (Botany and Geology), M.A. Parker (Chemistry), Swale Vincent (Physiology and Biology) and Gordon Bell (Bacteriology, Pathology and Histology).
Students begin publication of The Manitoban.
Graduates create the Alumni Association.
Men’s hockey and basketball teams begin using the Bisons moniker.
The War has a dramatic effect on the University not only in enrollment but with the physical presence of soldiers at the Fort Garry residence.
An honorary degree is conferred upon Eleanor Roosevelt. Nat “King” Cole is one of the judges for the best float in the annual Freshie Parade.
Flooding devastates the campus as 1,100 acres of university property becomes submerged.
Baldur Stefansson releases a new variety of rapeseed called Tower, later renamed canola.
The department of native studies is established in the Faculty of Arts.
UM begins its pioneering work in Kenya treating and preventing thousands of HIV/AIDS infections.
English professor Carol Shields wins the Governor General’s Literary Award for fiction for her newest novel, The Stone Diaries.
Three Bison teams capture national championships: women’s basketball, men’s volleyball, and track and field.
UM instructor changes the teaching landscape by launching the world’s first MOOC (massive open online course).
UM research team creates global excitement with discovery of ZMapp, a treatment for people already infected with Ebola.
National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation opens at UM providing Canadians with access to its innovative and progressive archive to foster reconciliation.
Feb 28, 2017
UM’s 140th anniversary is celebrated with a winter festival.
Faculty of Arts graduate Annette Riziki is the recipient of a prestigious Rhodes Scholarship, marking UM’s 99th Rhodes Scholar.
FROM HERE we look to the future
Informed by input from more than 1,000 faculty, staff, students and alumni, our University's strategic plan helps to guide our decision-making and answers the question "What future are we going to create?". Taking Our Place: University of Manitoba Strategic Plan 2015-2020 is a pledge to pursue five priorities that matter most:
- + Inspiring Minds through innovative and quality teaching
- + Driving Discovery and Insight through excellence in research, scholarly work and other creative activities
- + Creating Pathways to Indigenous achievement
- + Building Community that creates an outstanding learning and working environment
- + Forging Connections to foster high-impact community engagement
This plan strengthens the University's statement of commitment to Indigenous achievement, and articulates a pledge to pursue relationships and dialogue with First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples based on mutual trust, respect and reciprocity.
FROM HERE we define ourselves
Since opening its doors in 1877, the University of Manitoba has thrived as a place where students come to learn and be inspired. We offer more than 100 programs and most of our academic departments have graduate studies leading to master's or doctoral degrees.
- Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences
- Faculty of Architecture
- School of Art
- Faculty of Arts
- Asper School of Business
- Faculty of Education
- Faculty of Engineering
- Clayton H. Riddell Faculty of Environment, Earth, and Resources
- Division of Extended Education
- Faculty of Graduate Studies
- Rady Faculty of Health Sciences
- Faculty of Kinesiology and Recreation Management
- Faculty of Law
- Desautels Faculty of Music
- Faculty of Science
- Faculty of Social Work
- University 1
FROM HERE we push our limits
The Engineering Access Program has graduated the most Indigenous engineers in Canada: 125 and counting.
The Rady Faculty of Health Sciences College of Pharmacy is considered one of the strongest in the country, ranking first place on the national licensing exams in five of the last 10 years.
The University attracts promising scholars like Schulich Leader scholarship recipient Michael Kehler. A first year mechanical engineering student, his goal is to specialize in aerospace technology.
FROM HERE we experience the world
At the University of Manitoba we believe an exceptional student experience is built on the foundation of innovative teaching that encourages students to learn, thrive and grow through unique experiential and engagement activities both on and beyond campus.
Undergraduate Research Awards are awarded to 172 students annually, across all disciplines. The awards provide students with the opportunity to be mentored by a professor of their choice for 16 weeks during the summer (May to August) and receive a $7,000 monetary award, all while gaining valuable experience in their field of interest.
This year, the University launched a new Community Leadership Development Program empowering students to create positive change in our communities.
FROM HERE we find solutions
University of Manitoba graduate students are the future leaders of our communities, our businesses and our government. They fuel innovation with their expertise, generating wealth in our province.
Every year, graduate students showcase their research at the Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) competition. Students are challenged to share their findings in only three minutes, offering the public an opportunity to learn the latest in research.
Master of city planning graduate Madeleine Koch was recognized with a Donald Schon Award for Excellence in Learning from Practice for advancing reconciliation with her thesis on partnerships among government and First Nations peoples.
Jesslyn Janssen and Ahmad Byagowi launched the business Cerenic after their second-place win in Game Changer: Manitoba’s Idea Competition, showing how a finger prick blood test and virtual reality spatial navigation test can help diagnose Alzheimer’s Disease. Byagowi is now an instructor at the University in the Faculty of Engineering.
FROM HERE we celebrate who we are
This past year UM welcomed over 2,500 First Nations, Métis and Inuit students, including close to 300 graduate students. We are home to one of the largest Indigenous student populations in Canada.
Our Pathways to Indigenous Achievement plan reflects the life-changing nature of education, benefiting both individuals and communities.
At UM you'll find some of the country's brightest stars in Indigenous research, including Warren Cariou, Canada Research Chair in Narrative, Community and Indigenous Cultures.
In 2018, the University celebrated the 29th Annual Graduation Pow Wow honouring the achievements of over 450 Indigenous graduates.
FROM HERE we evolve
Innovative spaces enrich the student learning experience. The Fort Garry campus sets the stage for important discoveries, transforming itself with modern facilities while preserving the historic buildings that have defined the campus for more than a century.
The University of Manitoba is home to the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, which officially opened its doors in 2015. The Centre is dedicated to preserving the truth of Residential Schools and advancing reconciliation.
The Taché Arts Project has created custom-designed facilities for the Desautels Faculty of Music, the School of Art and the theatre program, where students, faculty and the community can learn, rehearse, perform and create.
The Visionary (re)Generation Master Plan for the Fort Garry campus was approved by the Board of Governors, and is the University’s official guide for campus planning, development and design. Indigenous Design and Planning Principles informed this plan.
FROM HERE we collaborate
The majority of the province’s future health professionals learn their craft at the Bannatyne campus. Adjacent to the Health Sciences Centre, the nine-building complex focuses on collaboration across disciplines.
UM has graduated over 27,000 doctors, nurses, pharmacists, dentists, dental hygienists and rehabilitation specialists, playing a key role in developing expertise and excellence in generations of health-care professionals.
The Rady Faculty of Health Sciences will further position UM as an international leader in interprofessional education, research and practice.
The Bannatyne Campus Master Plan envisions a vibrant, sustainable urban environment: a new building housing the College of Nursing, additional green space and improved pedestrian and cycling paths.
FROM HERE we build character
Among the elite interuniversity sport programs in Canada, Bison Sports boasts more than 350 athletes across nine sports: basketball, cross country, football, golf, hockey, soccer, swimming, track and field, and volleyball. #GOBISONS
Bison teams have won 44 U Sports national championships, including the most recent victory in women’s hockey at the end of the 2017-18 season.
Since 1990, UM has consistently ranked among the country’s top 10 universities for producing the most Academic All-Canadians. In 2017-18, UM produced the largest number in the school’s history with 123.
Bison athletes also make an impact beyond sports. Through the student-led University of Manitoba Athletic Council, they participate in community outreach programs like Bisons Against Bullying and Bison Book Buddies.
FROM HERE we add vitality
We encourage Manitobans to make life vibrant, rewarding and fun. More than 25,000 people use our recreation facilities at both campuses every year.
The Active Living Centre is a 100,000-square-foot facility and offers 1,000 free weights and accessories, 160 pieces of cardio equipment, a 12-metre climbing wall and a 200-metre elevated running track.
The University of Manitoba community believes in a holistic approach to wellness. Each year, more than 35,000 students, staff and community members engage with the University of Manitoba through Recreation Services memberships, programs and recreation facilities.
In 2016 the Active Living Centre was recognized by the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA) with the Outstanding Sports Facility Award for design and functionality. This is the first time in 30 years that a Canadian facility has received this honour. Explore the Active Living Centre
FROM HERE we learn to lead
More than 148,000 UM alumni are forging their paths in 140 countries around world.
UM alumnus Dr. James Peebles [BSc(hons)/58, DSc/89] was one of three recipients of the 2019 Nobel Prize in Physics. He earned the honour for his pioneering discoveries regarding the evolution of the cosmos.
An advocate for Indigenous women, UM alumna and Manitoba Métis Federation member Alana Robert [BA (Hons)/16] is a recipient of the national 2020 Indspire Award for her work fighting gender-based violence.
FROM HERE we see beyond
Indigenous high school students come to campus to experience hands-on research through the Verna J. Kirkness Science and Engineering Education Program, which encourages more First Nations, Métis and Inuit students to pursue careers in these fields.
For four decades, Mini U has captured the imaginations of children and invited them to explore our amazing world. At Mini U, children are given the opportunity to discover the sciences, connect with their creativity and be inspired to be physically active and develop leadership skills.
Through outreach, science camps and various community-based projects, UM’s Biomedical Youth Program works with inner-city school teachers and students to help capture young imaginations and build an interest in science at an early age.
Throughout the year, President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. David T. Barnard hosts Visionary Conversations– a series for people who love exploring tough questions about the topics that fascinate us.
FROM HERE we we drive discovery and insight
Canada Research Chairs (CRCs) are the country’s top experts in a chosen field. UM is home to more than 85 endowed and sponsored research chairs, including an allocation of 52 Canada Research Chairs, a Senior Canada 150 Research Chair, a Canada Excellence Research Chair and a Canada Excellence Research Chair Laureate.
Our researchers are making contributions that have a global impact. UM ranks 17th among Canada’s top 50 research universities for attracting research grants and contracts
We are home to more than 50 research centres, institutes and shared facilities that promote the exchange of ideas and provide collaborative research environments that stimulate multidisciplinary research and development.
In 2019/20 UM research received $192.2 million in sponsored research income. As Manitoba’s only research-intensive university, we fuel the local economy and enhance our community’s success.
FROM HERE we innovate
Each year the University of Manitoba has numerous research collaborations with industry partners that are facilitated by the flexible intellectual property strategy we established in 2013. This approach often leverages programs such as Mitacs as well as tri-council funding.
The University has garnered eight Synergy Awards for Innovation, established by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada to recognize outstanding university-industry collaboration.
Game Changer: Manitoba’s Idea Competition is an exciting contest that gives all Manitobans an opportunity to identify global problems and work in teams to devise innovative, game-changing solutions. Team Bee Box was the winning team in 2018 for their solution to boost Manitoba bee hive populations through subscriptions to a monthly ‘Bee Box’ containing locally sourced bee products.
Master of social work researchers and Centre on Aging supporters build intergenerational connections through research and discussion of aging issues.
FROM HERE we inspire minds
Advancing the University’s commitment to embed Indigenous perspectives into learning, discovery and engagement, eight new Indigenous scholars have joined UM in 2018. Joining more than 30 others who work across the university, they will enhance our classrooms across disciplines and help create pathways to Indigenous knowledge and achievement.
The Assistive Technology Lab opened in 2016 to provide a space for students who require speech-to-text or text-to-speech programs. Two thousand of our students have identified accessibility requirements.
In 2016 the Faculty of Architecture was identified as having one of the top interior design programs in the world by Azure, an architecture and design magazine. It is the only Interior Design program in Canada to offer Council for Interior Design Accreditation at the master’s level.
UM's Film Studies program offers students Canada’s only opportunity to create a feature length film, working with peers in a collective context and a range of production roles.
FROM HERE we make it possible
Professionals from all over the world enrolled in our Applied Business Management program during its inaugural year. Designed for international students, the program provides language support, workplace experience and develops the management skills needed to launch a career in Canada.
Extended Education offers more than 100 certificate and diploma courses for students of all ages, educational and professional backgrounds, and geographic locations, making for a truly diverse student population.
Our unique partnership programs are designed to provide students with the training and education that is in demand by major organizations who hire tens of thousands of employees.
In the past year, more than 10,000 students took a course through Extended Education, benefitting from the collaborative efforts among faculties across both campuses.
FROM HERE we explore
We’re home to St. Andrew’s College (Ukrainian Orthodox), St. John’s College (Anglican), St. Paul’s College (Roman Catholic) and University College (secular), providing smaller classes and creating community.
The Arthur V. Mauro Centre at St. Paul's College celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2016 with its first international conference organized by the Peace and Conflict Studies Graduate Student Association.
Across 19 locations, our libraries house more than 2.9 million items, and offer access to 75,000-plus print and electronic journals, and over 1.1 million e-books. Through the libraries’ digital collections website, the public can explore more than nine million digital resources, including images, newspapers, books, videos and sound recordings.
The Icelandic Collection is a unique find among Canadian university libraries. With nearly 27,000 volumes, it is the largest collection of Icelandic materials in Canada and the second largest in North America.
FROM HERE we create opportunities
Philanthropic support affects the lives of our students in meaningful ways and fuels research that shapes our province and world. Last year, the generosity of our donors resulted in in 80 new awards, including more than 50 scholarships, prizes, travel awards or fellowships and 25 bursaries.
Our donors encourage our students to go further. In 2017-18 students received more than $18 million in awards, opening doors to new discoveries.
Our donors know the University of Manitoba shares their vision of a better future. In 2017-2018 outright gifts and pledges to the University totaled more than $38 million.
Our graduates give back to their alma mater - more than 23,000 alumni have shown their support to the Front and Centre campaign.
FROM HERE we invest in the future
Donors have helped grow the University of Manitoba endowment fund into one of the largest of its kind, with returns among the highest of all Canadian universities. Students for generations to come will benefit from this generosity through scholarships, bursaries and awards.
“The money I received from the Pitblado scholarship allowed me to invest more time volunteering at our law clinic, helping people and learning practical skills.”
– Omri Golden-Plotnik, 3rd year Law student, Pitblado Scholarship recipient 2016
“I am thankful for your organization’s assistance to help pay for tuition and textbooks. Every little bit makes a world of difference in my life.”
– Chanse Kornik, 3rd year electrical engineering student, Recipient of ENGAP Awards 2015 through 2017
“I cannot thank the Murphy Foundation enough for their financial support of my studies. Just as important is the confidence in my dissertation work and future research potential that is represented by being a multi-year recipient of this award.”
– Brenda Peters-Watral, 5th year PhD Candidate, College of Nursing, Murphy Foundation Graduate Award in Oncology Recipient 2014 through 2017