Minister Sajjan Reaffirms Intent to Restore University Status at Royal Military College Saint-Jean

News Release

December 1, 2017 – Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec – Department of National Defence/Canadian Armed Forces

Strong, Secure, Engaged, Canada’s new defence policy, recognizes that the long-term success of Canada’s military depends on the women and men who make up the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF). Our people, across all ranks, and from all walks of life, are our most important asset, and they are at the core of the new defence policy.

Defence Minister Harjit S. Sajjan today met with students and staff at Royal Military College Saint-Jean (RMC Saint-Jean) to highlight the Government’s commitment to restore RMC Saint-Jean’s degree granting status, and providing the necessary resources for university-level teaching to begin in August 2018.

Canada’s Defence Policy: Strong, Secure, Engaged commits to restoring RMC Saint-Jean’s full university status to help prepare the next generation of Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) leaders for success. The college is slated to issue its first university degrees in May 2021.

Restoration of RMC Saint-Jean’s university status will not only serve to strengthen cross-cultural skills within the officer corps, but will also enhance bilingualism within the CAF. This approach will broaden the reach, accessibility, and opportunity for young Canadians interested in pursuing a future with the CAF.

The initial university program offered at RMC Saint-Jean will be a Bachelor of Arts focused on international studies and the college will continue to explore the potential to introduce additional studies in the areas of anthropology, sociology, cultural studies, and foreign languages.


“Re-establishing full university status at RMC Saint-Jean is very important to the Canadian Armed Forces, as it will promote the bilingualism of our officers, while contributing to their development through university programs adapted to the current and future complex security environment in which we operate.”

Defence Minister Harjit S. Sajjan

“The vitality of our official languages is a priority for our government. Today’s announcement is excellent news for Quebec and for Francophones across the country, as we follow through on our commitment to provide cadets with increased access to officer training in French. I will continue working with all ministers and departments to protect and promote French and English across the country.” 

The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Minister responsible for Official Languages

“RMC Saint-Jean will have a university program focused on current and future operational needs in the CAF. Just like the Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston, RMC Saint-Jean integrates, evaluates, and develops its officer cadets in preparation for a brilliant career in the CAF.”

Rear-Admiral Luc Cassivi, Commander, Canadian Defence Academy

“By renewing RMC Saint-Jean’s university affiliation, the CAF will be better placed to meet current and future operational needs. The four pillars of academics, leadership, physical education and bilingualism have always been a source of pride for the Canadian Military Colleges.  I am proud that officer cadets attending RMC Saint-Jean will once again benefit from these four pillars, in a university environment, as they study and train to become future leaders in the CAF. 

Colonel Gervais Carpentier, Commandant, Royal Military College Saint-Jean 

Quick Facts

  • In early February 2017, Royal Military College Saint-Jean (RMC Saint-Jean) received confirmation from the Ministère de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement supérieur du Québec that the 1985 Charter was still active and welcomed our proposal to offer an International Studies program.  While we are waiting for a letter of accreditation from the province, which will give us the right to grant Bachelor’s of Art in International Studies, we are planning in anticipation that university-level teaching will start August 2018.

  • RMC Saint-Jean currently retains the authority to deliver an undergraduate curriculum, as granted by the 1985 Charter.

  • In support of the CAF’s recruitment goals, restoring RMC Saint-Jean’s university status was identified as a priority in Canada’s Defence Policy: Strong, Secure, Engaged

  • Currently, RMC Saint-Jean ensures officer cadets have a seamless transition from high school to university by providing college-level studies in science and social sciences. Each two-year program is offered in the first language of the student and includes the preparatory year and first year.

  • The mission of RMC Saint-Jean is to educate duly selected CAF members in order to instill them with the competencies required to maintain excellence in the profession of arms.

Associated Links


Byrne Furlong
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of National Defence    
Phone: 613-996-3100

Media Relations
Department of National Defence
Phone: 613-996-2353
Toll-Free: 1-866-377-0811

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