British Columbia's post-secondary institutions offer everything from short-term courses to four-year degree programs, including:
- English as a Second Language (ESL)
- Career-based programs
- Trades and vocational programs
- Technologies and technical programs
- Degree programs
- Graduate programs at the Masters and PhD levels
- Online learning
Public Post-Secondary Institutions
A list of public post-secondary undergraduate program information is available at the Education Planner website. This service provides detailed program information about post-secondary undergraduate programs available in B.C. universities, colleges and institutes. You can use this website to search for programs in several different ways, including by field of study, length of program, institution, region, and type of credential.
Degree Granting Private Institutions
The number and range of post-secondary institutions and degree programs in B.C. are being increased through the Degree Authorization Act. This is integral to government’s commitment to access and choice in education and to a top-notch post-secondary education system.
For a current list of institutions and programs that have received ministerial consent, visit the Degree Authorization website.
Non-Degree Granting Private Institutions
To find out more about private career training institutions and opportunities in B.C., visit the website of the Private Career Training Institutions Agency (PCTIA).
English as a Second Language (ESL)
There are also many opportunities to learn English as a second language in British Columbia. Both public and private post-secondary institutions provide ESL programs. Private institutions offering ESL are not regulated by the government. Some public and some private ESL institutions are members of industry based organizations such as Languages Canada, which is a relatively new national, member-based organization. For more information contact your public post-secondary institution, or visit the Languages Canada website.
British Columbia is also home to a world-acclaimed transfer system, which means you can move easily from one qualification level to the next and from one post-secondary institution to another. This gives you the flexibility to choose the study path that best suits your educational goals.
Post-secondary international students can transfer between programs of study and institutions without applying for changes to their study permits. For more information about transferring between institutions in British Columbia, visit the website of the British Columbia Council on Admissions and Transfer (BCCAT).
Most institutions have international education offices that help students from outside Canada.
You may also choose to earn your British Columbia qualification without leaving home through on-line, distance and supported open learning (this is also called distributive learning). This approach can be helpful if you cannot afford to take time out of work for full-time study. Distributive learning is helpful for students who are looking for a study experience that combines interactive media with online courses.
BC Campus, a collaboration of B.C.’s public post-secondary education institutions, offers an one-stop access point to online learning courses available across the province.
Click on the BC Campus Course Finder to explore all the on-line courses offered by BC’s post-secondary education institutions.