Carleton University is a comprehensive university located in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. The enabling legislation is The Carleton University Act, 1952, S.O. 1952. It was founded on rented premises in 1942, and grew to meet the needs of women and men who served in World War II, and later became Ontario's first private, non-denominational college. It would expand further in the 1960s, consistent with government policy that saw increased access to higher education as a social good and a means to economic growth. Carleton is a public university that offers more than 65 undergraduate and graduate programs across a wide range of disciplines. Carleton, which has produced more than 140,000 alumni, is reputed for its strength in a variety of fields such as humanities, international business, engineering, physics, entrepreneurship, computer science, and many of the disciplines housed in its Faculty of Public Affairs (including international affairs, journalism, political science, political economy, political management, public policy and administration, and legal studies).
It is named after the former Carleton County, Ontario, which included the city of Ottawa at the time Carleton was founded. Carleton County, in turn, was named in honour of Guy Carleton, 1st Baron Dorchester, an early Governor-General of British North America. As of 2017, Carleton has enrolment of more than 25,000 undergraduate and more than 4,000 postgraduate students. Its campus is located west of Old Ottawa South, within close proximity to The Glebe and Confederation Heights, and is bounded to the north by the Rideau Canal and Dow's Lake and to the south by the Rideau River.