Simon Fraser University (SFU)

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

Simon Fraser University in Burnaby
Photo source: SFU


Where is SFU located?

The main SFU Burnaby 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 take a 30-40 minute 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. You can do some impulse shopping and find lots of amazing café and restaurants nearby!

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 has a wide range of courses and programs to choose from compared to other universities in the Vancouver Area. In addition, SFU offers extensive practical experience, also known as co-op programs for students. It provides opportunities for students to gain insider knowledge about the industries and expand their professional network while they are studying. Most SFU students believe they are fully equipped to enter the workforce once they graduate with the help of the strong curriculum and co-op programs.

How Many Students are at SFU?

Because of its high reputation, there are around 30,00 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 Health Sciences (BSc): This program combines basic science courses with health sciences courses, which builds a base for applied health sciences. The program explores topics ranging from Pharmacology, and toxicology to molecular biology and genetics.

SFU Economics (BA): SFU’s BA in Economics program is a very competitive and highly regarded program. The courses explore human behavior from understanding financial crises to environmental issues.

SFU Computer Science (BA or BSc): Students can choose their bachelor’s degree depending on the courses they build their degree towards. Topics ranging from artificial intelligence to complexity theory are explored.

SFU Biology Sciences (BSc): The degree first explores biology in broad terms and offers students three concentrations to choose from: Cells, Molecules, Physiology (CMP); Ecology, Evolution, Conservation (EEC); or Open concentration.

SFU Humanities (BA): This program takes its students back in time. The following topics and more may be explored: Art History, Classics, Hellenic (Greek) studies, and Religious Studies.

Is SFU Good for International Students

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

  • Global Connections Program: A 1:1 peer-support program that matches news students from international pathways with community leaders.
  • Global Community Peer Educators: Peer Educators will plan events and programming to establish meaningful connections and to support the intercultural awareness and understanding of the SFU community.
  • 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.

What are The Extracurricular Activities at SFU

Photo source: SFU Clubs Day

Simon Fraser University is one of the biggest universities in BC, which explains a large number of resources and activities it can provide to its students to entertain, and engage with the student community.

SFU School Club

There are over 60 social clubs at SFU with topics ranging from Chess to Game Development, Hip Hop to Religious Fellowships, and Social Help to Women in Business. You are passionate about something? You will find a club about it. Check out the full list of SFU’s Student Society Clubs here.

SFU Athletics

SFU has a reputable athletic team across the country as well as the world. Many students and alumni of SFU compete at the Olympic Games and continue their athletic careers professionally in Canada and overseas. SFU currently has the following athletic teams: Basketball, Golf, Cross Country, Football, Soccer, Softball, Swimming, Track & Fields, Volleyball, and Wrestling.

Is SFU Expensive?

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

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 of 16 weeks each, and reach term has its own enrollment and final examinations:

Fall Term: September – December

Spring Term: January – April

Summer Term: May – August

When to Apply For SFU

Each school term has its own application period, and be mindful to double-check the application deadlines before applying to your 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

How to Transfer to SFU

The programs at SFU are competitive to get in, and it is a good option start your education in other institutions and colleges first, then transfer to SFU. Here are several programs that allows you to transfer:

SFU – Douglas Degree Program

When you enroll in this program, you can complete your BA or BSc by taking courses in both institutions freely. You only need to complete the required courses with added flexibility. You will later get a degree from SFU.

SFU – Langara Degree Program

The Simon Fraser University (SFU) – Langara Degree Program also allows students to study in both institutions freely. Students can complete the requirements of a Bachelor of Arts (BA) Degree or Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree from Simon Fraser University.

Fraser International College (FIC) University Transfer Program

Fraser International College is located on SFU’s Burnaby Campus. FIC’s programs are designed to offer a direct pathway to SFU’s second year. FIC students must complete a minimum of 10 courses and meet the minimum GPA requirement of the program they would like to take at SFU. You can learn more about the FIC – SFU University Transfer Program here.

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.

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 more 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

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. You can select the campus location: Burnaby, Vancouver, Surrey to narrow down the searches.

Off-campus Student Residences

GEC Burnaby Heights

Another option to live off-campus is to look for off-campus student housing around Vancouver. GEC Living is the largest student housing provider in Vancouver, it offers 3 different locations that are close to the SFU campus (3 locations)

The key advantage for GEC are its flexible lease, fully furnished suites, professional management and student focused services/events.

Students who are living in GEC Burnaby Heights only need to take 18 mins bus ride to SFU Burnaby main campus.

If you are a student at SFU’s Downtown Campus, GEC Viva is only a 15-minute walk away from your classes. As SFU does not have its own housing downtown, GEC Viva is a great option to stay at an all-inclusive facility near your institution.

**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 need housing, keep informed about our new residence by following us on social media and checking our website regularly.

If you are planning to study at SFU and wondering what’s around the neighborhood, don’t hesitate to check out our blog: Top 8 Restaurants Near SFU Burnaby Campus [2022], we have carefully selected 8 restaurants that will give you an authentic taste!