In 1875 the college conferred on Grace Annie Lockhart the first baccalaureate awarded to a woman in the British Empire, and in 1882 it granted to Harriet Starr Stewart the first Bachelor of Arts degree awarded to a woman in Canada. In 1886 the charter of the college was amended and the name became University of Mount Allison College. The word "College" was gradually and unofficially dropped over the years.
With a liberal arts and science approach, Mount Allison offers an education that is personalized and interdisciplinary. It counts approximately 2600 students and a low 16:1 student-to-faculty ratio which enhances student to student and student to professor interactions. Degrees are awarded in Arts, Commerce, Fine Arts, Music, and Science, with more than 40 majors and minors to choose from and the flexibility for students to create their own degree. The Faculty of Science is the only faculty to offer graduate studies, with Master's degrees in biology and chemistry.
The University also offers many undergraduate research opportunities, sometimes as early as the second year of studies. Approximately 40% of Science students are directly involved in research and nearly half of the scientific papers produced by professors are co-authored by an undergraduate student.
To date, Mount Allison has produced 50 Rhodes Scholars, the highest number per capita of any Canadian university. It also boasts the second-largest endowment per student in Canada. Alumni include artist Alex Colville; industrialist Wallace McCain; former NB Lieutenant-Governor Hon. Margaret McCain; CFL football player Eric Lapointe; journalist Ian Hanomansing; Canadian lawyer and businessman Purdy Crawford; senator and former P.E.I. premier Catherine Callbeck; Celtic musicians the Barra MacNeils; industrialist John Bragg; Dr. Byron Jennings, deputy science division head at TRIUMF, Canada's national laboratory for particle and nuclear physics; BMO Financial Group vice-chair Hon. Kevin Lynch; and senator and former Nova Scotia premier John Buchanan.
Mount Allison is located in a classic university town, with book shops, coffee houses, art galleries, and theatres. The largely residential student body has access to more than 140 clubs and societies, as well as a vibrant intramural program and more than a dozen varsity and club sports teams, known as the Mounties. Mount Allison's attractive campus consists of 77 acres of historic architecture, modern facilities, and well-kept grounds.
The University's motto is "Litterae, Religio, Scientia" ("Writing, Divinity, Knowledge") and its colours are garnet and gold.