Thompson Rivers University

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

This profile appears in the 2019 Maclean’s University Guidebook. As part of a partnership with Maclean’s, Thompson Rivers University has created and supplied additional photos and material as indicated below. Thompson Rivers University did not have editorial input into the wording of the profile itself.

A photo of students walking around Thompson Rivers University

Photo courtesy of Thompson Rivers University

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.

Diverse and open with spectacular views. Thompson Rivers University offers 140 programs on a scenic campus, with everything from trades and technical courses to undergraduate degrees and master’s programs. TRU is also home to Open Learning, which gives students a choice of 60 online programs they can study wherever they live.

Located in Kamloops, in the heart of British Columbia, TRU gives students the advantage of small class sizes, the availability of undergraduate research and a centrally located campus that is minutes from malls, restaurants and services.

The combination of on campus and online options is rare among Canadian post-secondary institutions.

More than 26,000 students study at TRU either on campus or online. They consist of 10 per cent Indigenous students and more than 30 per cent international students from around the globe.

“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. Students benefit from small class sizes and can participate in research projects even before they reach higher-level classes.

TRU’s campus is flanked by 40 km of pine-shaded hiking trails and is a short drive from ski hills and lakes. The Old Main building is a hub of student services, including a student employment centre, lounge, wellness centre, fine arts gallery and theatre. The $30-million Industrial Training and Technology Centre opened this year and construction is under way on a $31-million Nursing and Population Health building. The campus welcomes a diverse student population that is 8 per cent Indigenous and more than 31 per cent international.

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Standout Programs
•  Bachelor of Software Engineering: Students apply engineering principles to the design, development and implementation of software. The program emphases project-based learning and includes co-op work terms and a one-year design capstone project.
•  Bachelor of Business Administration: Students gain a strong grounding in core business subjects, including a capstone course in business strategy. They can keep their courses general or choose a major, specialize in economics or take courses for post-graduation pursuit of professional designation.
•  Bachelor of Tourism Management: Students learn about the issues surrounding tourism at the local, regional, national and international levels while getting to travel through Study Abroad and field schools. They can earn a double degree by completing their fourth year in the Netherlands, thus earning tourism degrees for Canada and Europe.

Cool Courses
•  Economics of Climate Change: This course tackles climate change from the perspective of policies that have been developed to address it. Students explore the science and economics of climate change.
•  Engineering Graphics: Using computers and CAD software, students tackle orthographic projection, technical sketching, and engineering graphic standards and conventions.

1) Tuition for full-time degree programs: $5,174.30 for Canadian/domestic students
2) Tuition for full-time diploma programs: $4,374.98 to $7,663.30 for Canadian/domestic students
3) Tuition for full-time certificate programs: $4,148.64 to $5,174.30 for Canadian/domestic students
4) Tuition for full-time post-diploma/post-degree/graduate certificate programs: $5,174.30 for post-baccalaureate programs for Canadian/domestic students

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

Student Body
Undergraduates: Full-time: 9,036 · Part-time: 8,866
Graduates: Full-time: 445 · Part-time: 253
International Students: First-year: 34.2%
Graduate: 45.6%
Male-Female Ratio: 46 to 54

Residence Spaces
1,122 (approx. 570 reserved for first-year students)

Residence Costs
Apartment-style: $5,180 to $8,750 (these costs are an average for two semesters depending on apartment configuration)


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