There are three categories of membership in the Association as follows:
Institutional Members shall be those universities and colleges named in the Schedule to the Act of Parliament incorporating the Association and such other Canadian universities and university-degree level colleges as are from time to time approved for Institutional Membership by the Board and subsequently approved by a vote of the Voting members, provided that each of such universities and university-degree level colleges, including those federated with, affiliated to or a constituent portion of a university, shall satisfy the following conditions:
1. It has the powers it purports to exercise pursuant to authority granted by the Crown or by Statute or by formal agreement with its affiliated or federated university, or the university of which it is a constituent portion;
2. It has governance and an administrative structure appropriate to a university, including:
3. It has an approved, clearly articulated and widely known and accepted mission statement and academic goals that are appropriate to a university and that demonstrate its commitment to:
4. It has as its core teaching mission the provision of education of university standard with the majority of its programs at that level.
5. It offers a full program or programs of undergraduate and/or graduate studies that animate its mission and goals, and that lead to a university degree or degrees conferred by itself or, if federated or affiliated with, or a constituent of a university, by the parent institution. Indicators will include:
6. Its undergraduate degree programs are characterized by breadth and depth in the traditional areas of the liberal arts and/or sciences, and first degrees of a professional nature – such as medicine, law, teacher education, engineering – have a significant liberal arts and/or sciences component.
7. It has a proven record of scholarship, academic inquiry and research, expects its academic staff to be engaged in externally peer reviewed research and to publish in externally disseminated sources, and provides appropriate time and institutional support for them to do so. Indicators of this commitment will include policies and programs pertaining to the creation of knowledge, the development of curriculum and the execution of research projects.
8.Its approach to the protection of academic freedom respects the spirit of the Universities Canada Statement on Academic Freedom which was approved by the membership on October 25, 2011 and as may be amended by the membership from time to time.
9. If it is a freestanding institution, neither in a formal relationship of affiliation or federation nor a constituent portion of a member university, it has in the academic year in which it makes application for membership, and has had in the two preceding years, an enrolment of at least 500 FTE. For further certainty, institutions that are not freestanding institutions are not required to have an enrolment of at least 500 FTE
10. If it is a constituent of an Institutional Member, its application for membership is supported by its parent institution.
11. It operates on a Not-for-Profit basis.
12. It satisfies the Board, after receiving a report by a visiting committee appointed by the Board, that it is providing education of university standard and meets the criteria for membership in the Association.
An institution that does not meet all of the criteria for membership may not re-apply for a period of three (3) years.
(Universities Canada members are invited to reaffirm their adherence to the criteria for membership in the association every five years commencing in 2005.)
Regional and Provincial Members shall be the Association of Atlantic Universities, the Bureau de coopération interuniversitaire, the Council of Ontario Universities, the Council of Western Canadian University Presidents and such other regional and provincial organizations that are from time to time recommended for membership by the Board and are approved by a vote of the Voting Members, provided that each of such organizations has region-wide membership in the area it purports to represent.
Associate Members shall be national organizations of university and college personnel that are from time to time recommended for associate membership by the Board and are approved by vote of Voting Members, provided that each of such national organizations shall satisfy the following conditions:
1. it has objects consonant with those of the Association;
2. it is not a government department or agency;
3. it has a Canada-wide membership;
4. it represents major academic or administrative divisions or interests within universities and university-degree level colleges.