Kwantlen Polytechnic University

Kwantlen Polytechnic University | Surrey, B.C. | Founded 1981

Kwantlen Polytechnic plumbing student and instructor

Plumbing instructor Sven Rohde with student John Lehbauer. Equipment donated by Rinnai to Kwantlen Polytechnic. (Kwantlen Polytechnic)

Kwantlen offers a range of degree, diploma and certificate programs and is profiled in both the Maclean’s Universities Guidebook and the Maclean’s Colleges Guide. To learn more about the school’s degree programs, see the Universities Guidebook profile.

Originally established in 1981 as a community college, Kwantlen Polytechnic University has evolved to offer more than 170 programs, including degrees, trades, vocational education and qualifying studies. Many programs are unique to KPU, including a brewing diploma and a horticultural degree that focuses on urban ecosystems. The school has five campuses in Surrey (two locations), Langley, Cloverdale and Richmond. The largest campus is in Surrey. Richmond has a metropolitan vibe, while Langley and Cloverdale are closer to more rural areas.

As a polytechnic, KPU emphasizes hands-on skills-intensive learning. Students can build on their studies in applied and technical programs by applying their credentials toward bachelor’s degrees. Class sizes are kept to 35 students, and experiential learning opportunities abound. Co-op options are available in programs that range from accounting to criminology to environmental protection. Virtual exchanges give students extracurricular and academic opportunities in countries such as Mexico, Colombia and Germany.

In 2019, KPU launched North America’s first ever four-year degree program with zero textbook costs. Students use KPU-published open textbooks, library materials and other resources to complete courses and programs. This fall, students are able to pursue eight diploma, degree and certificate programs free of textbook fees, along with more than 850 courses.

READ: An insider’s guide to the best hangover breakfast, place to study and more on campus


Size of school Tuition (degree) Tuition (diploma) Tuition (certificate) Tuition (post-graduate) Residence offerings
Large (10,000 full-time students or more) $5,489-$11,386 $5,489-$11,386 $5,489-$11,386 $8,572-$20,094 No

Cool options

  • Mechatronics: This diploma combines engineering, technology and electronics. Students get hands-on experience with modern technology, such as robotic arms, in the mechatronics lab.
  • Health Science: Prepare for work in public or private sectors, including jobs in health research, practice, management and product production.
  • Product Design: Students invent prototypes, bring designs to market and work with industry professionals. Learn to create ethical, tangible products.

Popular Programs

  • Accounting
  • Marketing Management
  • Criminology
  • Psychology
  • Human Resources Management

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