[2023] Ultimate Guide to Simon Fraser University (SFU)

March 9, 2023   |   6 Min. Read

Simon Fraser University (SFU) is one of the most community-engaged comprehensive universities in Canada. With a wide range of activities and programs at both undergraduate and graduate levels, SFU is one of the top choices for both domestic and international students in Vancouver.

Simon Fraser University in Burnaby
Photo source: SFU

Where is SFU Located?

SFU Burnaby Main Campus is located at 8888 University Dr, Burnaby, B.C. V5A 1S6. It is nestled on top of Burnaby Mountain, with a variety of shops and restaurants in and around the campus area. Students only need to take a 30-40 minutes bus ride to downtown Vancouver.

SFU Surrey Campus is located at 13450 102 Ave Unit 250, Surrey, B.C., V3T 0A3. It is in the heart of Surrey and on top of Central City mall. SFU Surrey Campus is easily accessible from the Surrey Central Station, which is right across the street.

SFU Vancouver Campus is located at 515 W Hastings St, Vancouver, B.C., V6B 5K3. It has two major buildings, which are minutes away from Waterfront Station and Gastown.

Why Choose SFU? What is SFU Known For?

“SFU ranks Canada’s #1 Comprehensive University.”

Maclean’s Magazine’s 2022 University rankings

Simon Fraser University offers a wider range of courses and programs to choose from compared to other universities in the Vancouver Area. In addition to its strong curriculum, SFU offers extensive practical experience, also known as co-op programs for students. These programs provide opportunities for students to gain insider knowledge about the industries and expand their professional network while they are studying. According to SFU website, over 85% of the SFU co-op students get hired within three-month of graduation through the network they built in their co-op placements. So, most SFU students believe they are fully equipped to enter the workforce once they graduated.

How Many Students are at SFU?

Because of its high reputation, there are around 30,000 students every year, which includes almost 9,000 international students from 135 countries.

What are The Popular Programs at SFU?

Interested in studying at SFU? Wondering what program would be the best fit for you? We have listed some popular programs below:

SFU programs are known for its extensive co-op education network, which provide students with numerous opportunities to work and gain practical experience in their desired industries.

Is SFU Good for International Students

Despite the large student population, SFU students can make intercultural connections through campus-wide events and informative programs. Here are some resources SFU provides for its international students:

  • International Student Advising:  For students who choose to take online classes and/or stay in their home country, SFU offers various advising options. You can make a phone call, use the virtual drop-in services (via Zoom), or get help via live chat.

Is SFU Expensive?

To apply for SFU, you need to pay an admission fee of $81.00. (You must re-apply each time you send an application.)

For domestic students: Starting from $203.8 per credit, and most academic courses are 3 credits, so it would be $611.4 per course, and the tuition fee will be based on how many courses/credits you are taking per term.

For international students: Starting from $1,059.15 per credit, and most academic courses are 3 credits, so it would be $3,177.45 per course, and the tuition fee will be based on how many courses/credits you are taking per term.

* Note that if you are studying at Beedie School of Business, School of Engineering or School of Computing Science, the tuition fee will be higher than other schools and facilities.

When do Classes/Terms Start at SFU?

There are three academic terms (16 weeks each), and every term has its own start date and final examinations:

  • Fall Term: September – December
  • Spring Term: January – April
  • Summer Term: May – August

The majority of classes are offered during the fall and spring terms, only a limited number of courses available during the summer term.

When to Apply for SFU?

Each school term has its own application period, and be mindful to double-check the application deadlines before applying for the program at Simon Fraser University.

  • Fall (September) 2023 – October 1, 2022 – January 31, 2023 (For high school applicants only)
  • Fall (September) 2023 – March 1, 2023 – April 15, 2023 (For Post-Secondary/transfer applicants only)
  • Summer (May) 2023 – December 1, 2022 – January 15, 2023
  • Spring (January) 2023 – August 1, 2022 – September 15, 2022

Usually, students would either apply for SFU in fall or spring semester.

Does SFU have Dorms? Where do SFU Students Live?

Yes! Simon Fraser University provides on-campus housing for students, however, only the Burnaby campus has student residences. In addition, some SFU students are likely to live in off-campus housing which is offered and managed by a third party in Vancouver.

SFU On-campus housing

Photo Source: SFU Residence

The SFU Burnaby campus offers 5 residences for undergraduates, housing about 1,500 students from around the world.

For first-year students:

  • North Towers is tailored for first-year undergraduate SFU students. It is a traditional-style, private single-room residence located next to the dining hall.
  •  East/West Towers are the newly completed residences for first-year students, and it offers an exciting community with private single rooms and lots of amenity spaces for the students.

Note that all students staying at North and East/West Tower need to purchase a meal plan.

For upper-year students:

  • Shell houses and McTaggart-Cowan Hall are two common options for students to choose from, both have shared washrooms, kitchens, and lounges. It provides greater opportunities to meet new friends and mingle with your hallmates.
  •  Living at Townhouses is like creating your own small family, it is good for senior SFU students to prepare the life outside of university!

All residences have a fixed lease – at least one school term (4 months).

SFU Off-campus Housing

Simon Fraser University has partnered with Places4Students, a student housing rental website, that listed a lot of housing options near the SFU campus. Students can select the campus location: Burnaby, Vancouver, Surrey to narrow down the searches.

Off-campus Student Residences

GEC Burnaby Heights

Another option is to look for off-campus student housing around Vancouver. GEC Living is the largest student housing provider in Vancouver, it has different locations that are close to the SFU campuses

  • GEC Burnaby Heights – the only student residence in Burnaby, 18 minutes by bus to SFU Burnaby main campus.
  • GEC Viva – the only student residence in downtown Vancouver, 15 minutes by bus to SFU Vancouver campus

GEC offers fully furnished housing units, featuring all essential amenities you need, free unlimited Wi-Fi, on-site management team and a centralized security system. This makes GEC student accommodation an excellent option for SFU students, as they can avoid spending extra money on furnishing a new place and spend lots of time on public transit to the campus.

**GEC is set to launch its biggest residence in Surrey Central, the GEC Mega Center soon. If you study at SFU’s Surrey Campus and looking for off-campus student housing, keep informed about the new residence by following GEC on social media and checking GEC website regularly.

To conclude, SFU is a highly-ranked university in Vancouver that offers many undergraduate and graduate programs with co-op opportunities. The university also provides a range of resources and programs to support its international students, including peer educators and online advising options.

To expand your educational options, we have compiled a list of universities and colleges in Vancouver that may interest you.