The university has enrollment of about 17,000 full-time and part-time undergraduate students, 781 full-time and part-time graduate students, and has over 500 in faculty and staff. Laurier has been transitioning from a primarily undergraduate university to a mid-size research university. In the 2016 Maclean's magazine survey of Canadian universities, Laurier was ranked 10th out of 15 comprehensive universities in Canada. Among Ontario universities, Laurier was behind Waterloo, Guelph, York, and Ryerson but ahead of Windsor and Brock.
Home of Faculty of Social Work, downtown Kitchener. Formerly St. Jerome's high school.
The Registrar's Report for Winter 2016 indicates that the six most popular majors at Laurier, across the entire university, were (in order): Business, Communications Studies, Psychology, Criminology, Economics, and Biology.
The internationally renowned Faculty of Music at Laurier is considered one of the best in the country, with programs in performance, music education, composition, music history, church music, theory and music therapy. In addition, Laurier is home to the Penderecki String Quartet - an internationally recognised group playing largely new compositions. The music faculty boasts two performance spaces, the Theatre Auditorium and the Maureen Forrester Recital Hall (named after the famous contralto and former chancellor of Laurier). The faculty also attracts a greater percentage of students from outside Ontario than any other faculty at Laurier. Laurier's Music program offers the only master's degree in Music Therapy. Laurier's strength in "music and business education" had been identified as one of the reasons that Waterloo Region is a "powerful educational hub" by former University of Waterloo president, and now Governor-General of Canada, David Johnston.
Laurier is the headquarters of the Academic Council of the United Nations System (ACUNS) which has been hosted by Yale, Brown and Dartmouth. The ACUNS' goal is to strengthen the study of international organizations and to create strong ties between the academic community and diplomats within international organizations.
Laurier is also a prominent partner in the new Balsillie School of International Affairs, opened in Uptown Waterloo in 2008. The school offers three programs: a masters in arts in global governance, a masters in international public policy and a PhD program in global governance.