Thompson Rivers University

Thompson Rivers University | Kamloops, B.C. | Founded 1970

Courtesy TRU

TRU 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.

This profile appears in the 2022 Maclean’s University Guidebook. As part of a partnership with Maclean’s, Thompson Rivers University (TRU) has supplied additional photos and videos as indicated below. TRU did not have editorial input into the wording of the profile itself.

Video provided by TRU

Overlooking the city of Kamloops in the heart of British Columbia, Thompson Rivers University’s main campus is flanked by 40 km of pine-shaded hiking trails and is a short drive from hills and lakes where hiking, skiing and mountain biking offer a break from classwork. This close proximity to nature influences campus; TRU is committed to sustainability and has won international awards for its efforts.

The university has 140 on-campus programs and another 60 programs through its Open Learning division. Those programs range from trades to bachelor’s and master’s degrees, with a laddering system that allows students to move from certificate and diploma programs to degrees.

“At TRU we believe education comes through many paths. From our unique mix of programs, available on campus and online, whether academics or trades, students will find a university like no other,” says president Brett Fairbairn.

The university has a second campus in Williams Lake, while its Open Learning division allows students to take some, or all, of their courses online. Students come from the region and around the world, contributing to a diverse university community where everyone belongs.

Students are seen and heard in small classes, and some participate in undergrad research even before they reach higher-level classes. New facilities have opened up in the last few years, including the Industrial Training and Technology Centre, Chappell Family Building for Nursing and Population Health, Raymond James Trading Lab and Early Childhood Education Centre. 

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

Standout Programs

  • Human Rights and Social Justice. This master’s program connects students with local and regional social justice issues designed to engage and empower communities. Students choose from four unique study options to gain hands-on experience in a global context. 
  • Tourism Management: The program provides a solid grounding in running a tourism business. There are two streams—adventure studies or tourism management—as well as study abroad options.
  • Software Engineering: Students gain technical knowledge and skills as they apply engineering principles to computer software. Two co-op terms are included.

Cool Courses

  • Mountain Studies: Examine mountain environments, sustainability, communities, resorts, arts and activities.
  • People, Places and Landscapes: Introducing Human Geography: Topics include population dynamics, economic patterns, geopolitics and globalization.

Tuition (includes compulsory ancillary fees)

Minimum Entering Grades
High school diploma; some programs require specific courses and higher grades

Student Body
Undergraduates: Full-time: 9,270 · Part-time: 7,584
Graduates: Full-time: 784 · Part-time: 89
International Students: First-year: 32.9% · Graduate: 59.6%
Male-Female Ratio: 45 to 55

Housing Facts
Residence Spaces: North Tower, 574; McGill Residence, 302; East Village, 490 (750 reserved for first-year students)
Residence Costs: Double room: $8,400 Single room: $5,416 to $9,080 · Apartment-style: $5,310 to $8,900


More Schools: University of British ColumbiaUniversity of VictoriaDouglas CollegeBritish Columbia Insititute of TechnologyUniversity of Victoria