York University is an interdisciplinary research and teaching university. It was founded in 1959 in response to the rapid growth of Toronto's metropolitan area. It was created with support from the North Toronto YMCA, which was interested in the promotion of adult education, and from major business and professional establishments. In 1961, York moved to the Glendon campus, and the main campus in Downsview opened in 1965.
York expanded rapidly in the 1960s, establishing new faculties and programs such as Atkinson College for part-time degree studies, the Centre for Research in Experimental Space Science, the Institute of Social Research and the Faculty of Administrative Studies. Osgoode Hall Law School, established in the 19th century by the Law Society of Upper Canada, became affiliated with York in 1968.
York offers undergraduate and graduate programs. Its 11 faculties include arts, education, environmental studies, fine arts, health, science, engineering, Glendon college and graduate studies. Osgoode Hall Law School and the Schulich School of Business are both considered to be pre-eminent academic global leaders. York offered Canada's first PhD in Women's Studies and the first international MBA, and it has 28 research centres including the Nathanson Centre on Transnational Human Rights, Crime and Security.
York is the third largest university in the country. It has an academic community of approximately 55 000 students and 7 000 faculty and staff, as well as 250 000 alumni worldwide. York's motto is "Tentanda Via" ("The Way Must Be Tried") and its colours are white and red.