Cape Breton University


CBU traces its roots to 1951 when the “St. Francis Xavier University Sydney Campus”, also referred to as “Xavier Junior College” (XJC), was opened in downtown Sydney as a satellite campus of St. Francis Xavier University. Growth during the 1950s saw several buildings opened on this site.

In 1968 the “Nova Scotia Eastern Institute of Technology” (NSEIT) opened in 1968 on the Sydney-Glace Bay Highway, immediately east of Sydney. This institution focused on business technology and trades and its development was largely enabled by federal and provincial funding at a time when the coal and steel industries in Industrial Cape Breton were facing serious challenges.

In 1974, the first university college in Canada was established on Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia through an amalgamation of the Nova Scotia Eastern Institute of Technology and Xavier Junior College. The Xavier Junior College was affiliated previously with St Francis Xavier University. The University College of Cape Breton became a public degree-granting institution, and retained technical and vocational programs from the former Nova Scotia Eastern Institute of Technology. Cape Breton University was established by the Cape Breton University Act.

Why choose Cape Breton University ?
Student Services

Student Services is all about you, the CBU student. Student needs can vary from the simple to the complex and having helpful staff in place to assist, guide, encourage and direct you, if needed, is important to your overall campus life experience.

Health services, counseling services, financial aid guidance, writing development support, disability needs and concerns and assistance for international students new to Canada are some of the many things that you many need to sort out and resolve. CBU also has a Chaplain on campus in addition to, international student advisors, academic and career advisors, a financial aid advisor, a clinical social worker, a full-time nurse and a part-time physician. Visit the Learning Commons and Student Life Centre to find out more.

Estimated Cost of Living

The budget of each student will vary depending on their needs, tastes, program and choice of accommodation. The cost of living in Cape Breton isn’t as high as other areas of the country, but it is higher than other parts of the world.

Below is a cost breakdown of what International Students can expect to pay for one year of full-time study in an undergraduate program at Cape Breton University for the 2014/15 academic year.

Tuition and Applicable Fees

Tuition $6,380.00 (based on 5, 6-credit courses)
International Fee $6,490 (based on 5, 6-credit courses)
Studets’ Union Fee $195.00 (based on 5, 6-credit courses)
Campus Activity Fee $60.00 (mandatory)
International Medical & Dental $732.00 (mandatory)
Total Tuition & Fees $13,857.00

On Campus Living Expenses

Residence $6,636.00 (September ’14 – April ’15)
Meal Plan $4,680.00 (September ’14 – April ’15)
Damage Deposit $100.00

Students should also allow for approximately $1000-$1500 for textbooks and supplies.  Spending money for extracurricular activity should be considered as well according to the individual.

An international student who intends to register in full-time studies in an undergraduate program and live on campus can expect to have charges of approximately, $25,273 Canadian dollars.

How to apply
  • If you have attended Cape Breton University in the past and have been away for more than one academic year please download and complete the admission application available here. Please place your student ID number on the top of the first page of the application to indicate that you are a former student. You do not have to pay the application fee if you have attended Cape Breton University in the past and have put your student ID number on your application. You can mail or fax a copy of your application to the address/number indicated on the application.
  • Applicants to Cape Breton University’s Master of Business Administration (Community Economic Development) – MBA (CED) – program must follow the application process prescribed by the School of Business. For more information please visit Applications for the MBA (CED) program are available for downloading here.
  • The deadline for receipt of applications to the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN) program is February 28th. The deadline for applications for all other programs for September is September 1st.
  • Applicants to Cape Breton University’s Bachelor of Education – BEd – program must follow the application process prescribed by the School of Graduate & Professional Studies. For more information please visit the School of Graduate and Professional Studies. The application kit for the BEd program is available for downloading here.
  • If you are applying for the Master of Education (MEd) program please contact the School of Graduate & Professional Studies at 902-563-1304 as there is a separate application process through Memorial University.

All supporting documentation including transcripts, credentials and proof of English Language Proficiency, must be official.

Admission Requirements
General Undergraduate Admission Requirements

An overall average of 65% is required for all students applying to most CBU credit programs based on high school performance. Additional requirements may apply to specific programs.

If space permits, CBU will accept all candidates who can verify that they have met the minimum entry requirements established by CBU for the programs in which they wish to enroll.

Note: CBU does not guarantee that applications completed after August 1, will be processed for September registration.

Admission Paths

Students may enter Cape Breton University by any of three paths, subject to restrictions of space and program capacity.

  1. High school graduates who satisfy the admission requirements of their chosen program.
  2. Students who transfer from another post-secondary institution and who are in good standing at that institution and who satisfy the admission requirements for their chosen program. Transfer students may be able to obtain credit in their CBU programs for courses taken elsewhere.
  3. Students may also be admitted as non-traditional learners.

Students who enter CBU through any of the above paths and who have not made a final decision in a program may register as students in No Specific Program.

Applicants will be required to submit official documents (e.g. transcripts from other institutions) when they apply for admission. Normally these documents are sent directly from the other institutions to CBU.

Students will also require the approval of the relevant School Dean to register at another university or college while attending CBU.

Life at Cape Breton University is one of opportunity, diversity and academic excellence. Receive a world-class education, while embracing adventure in a safe and academically challenging location.

At Cape Breton University more than 900 international students from over 32 countries call CBU home. Students from countries including China, Saudi Arabia, Bermuda, Egypt, Russia and Kuwait study and learn with Canadian students. While attending this university, you experience Canada and meet the world all at once.

The university’s distinctive blend of degree and diploma programs allows students to design an education ideally suited for success in the liberal arts, business, science and technology. Complimenting its leading academic programs, CBU offers a variety of activities to shape a well-rounded education. From nationally recognized sports teams, award-winning literary publications to world-renowned musicians, and unique theatre productions, you’ll find it all on this campus.

Cape Breton University is located on Grand Lake Road in Sydney, Nova Scotia. CBU is in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality, Nova Scotia’s second largest municipality, with a population of 110,000 people. The campus is 10 kilometers from the heart of downtown Sydney. The town of Glace Bay is just five kilometers from CBU. While these are the areas closest to the university, you can get anywhere in Cape Breton by car within two hours.

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