Kwantlen Polytechnic University

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

Kwantlen students in class

Rebecca Harbut and students. (Kwantlen Polytechnic University)

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 diploma programs, see the Colleges Guide profile.

Originally established in 1981 as a community college, Kwantlen Polytechnic University has evolved to offer 140 programs—a wide range of degree programs as well as trades, vocational education and qualifying studies—designed with flexibility in mind. Students have the option of building on applied and technical programs by bridging certificate and diploma credentials into bachelor’s degrees. The university recently added a number of graduate and post-baccalaureate diplomas. Class sizes are kept small, with a maximum of 35 students. Co-op education and international learning opportunities are available in many programs. KPU’s “intensive learning environment blends theory with practice and is recognized for its extensive engagement with its communities,” says president Alan Davis, who adds that the university “serves one of the fastest-growing regions in the country.” The school is well established in the Lower Mainland, deepening its local roots through a program of dual-credit pathways—offering some post-secondary courses to high school students from nearby school districts. KPU has five campuses, each with a feel and culture all its own. As the largest campus, Surrey is a hub of activity with a student art gallery, Indigenous Gathering Place, gym and conference centre. Richmond and the new Civic Plaza campus, also located in Surrey, have a metropolitan vibe, while Langley and Cloverdale are closer to more rural areas.

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

Standout Programs
Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems: This program focuses on the science, business and challenges of sustainable farming. Students experience hands-on learning in a seed lab, on research farms and through community engagement projects.
Psychiatric Nursing: Courses are offered in a hybrid or online format. Through practicums, students interact directly with clients in homes, institutions and community settings. Students can choose local, national or international placements.
Policy Studies: This program integrates economics, environmental protection, philosophy, political science and psychology with a focus on sustainability; students apply what they have learned working on real-world sustainability projects.

Cool Courses
CityLab6 Cultivating Community: Through field trips in Surrey, students explore community needs and sustainability solutions, developing and presenting plans to city staff.
Values, Rationality, and Power: Developing Wise Organizational Action: Students learn to navigate the politics within organizations and focus on strategies to manage political dynamics and drive action.

$5,265 (includes compulsory ancillary fees)
Minimum Entering Grades
High school diploma; minimum grade of C+ in English 12 or equivalent; some program entrance requirements may be higher
Student Body
Undergraduates: Full-time: 9,704 · Part-time: 3,271
Graduates: Full-time: 90 · Part-time: 2
International Students: First-year: 24%
Male-Female Ratio: 45 to 55
Housing facts
Residence: Not offered

More Schools: Thompson Rivers UniversityKwantlen Polytechnic UniversityVancouver Island University, Capilano University, Douglas College