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 120 programs, including degrees, trades, vocational education and qualifying studies. Many programs are unique to Kwantlen, including a brewing diploma and a horticultural degree focusing 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, Kwantlen emphasizes hands-on skills-intensive learning. Students can build on their studies in applied and technical programs by applying their credentials toward bachelor 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. Field schools take students to countries such as Colombia, France and Spain.

Kwantlen also offers Canada’s first “Zed Cred” program, which enables students to earn credentials without spending on textbooks. Students use library materials and other resources to complete academic and career preparation courses, as well as a high school equivalency diploma. In 2019, Kwantlen launched North America’s first ever four-year degree program with zero textbook costs. 

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) $5,476-$11,165 $5,476-$11,165 $5,476-$11,165 $8,406-$19,702 No

Cool Options

  • Technical Apparel Design: Students learn the research, design and business practices of making sporting and outdoor apparel.
  • City Lab: Students collaborate with city staff, faculty and the community to devise solutions aimed at making Surrey more livable, sustainable and engaged.
  • Sustainable Food Systems and Security: Delivered online, this graduate certificate program examines contemporary food systems and food security.

Popular Programs

  • Health Foundations Certificate
  • Bachelor of Arts in Criminology
  • Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A.) in Accounting
  • B.B.A. in Marketing Management
  • B.B.A. in Human Resources Management

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