Ministry of Advanced Education

Private Post-secondary Education

Private post-secondary institutions have a long history of offering educational programs in British Columbia. Institutions must meet different regulatory requirements to offer degree level programming and career training.

The Degree Authorization Act allows private post-secondary institutions to apply for ministerial consent to offer and advertise degree programs, grant degrees, and use the word "university" in the province.

Private career training institutions in British Columbia are regulated under the Private Career Training Institutions Act, Regulations and Bylaws.

Private Institutions*
Private and out-of-province public institutions must be authorized to deliver degree programs under the Degree Authorization Act.  There are currently 20 private and out-of-province public institutions offering degree programs in B.C.

Private career training institutions are regulated under the Private Career Training Institutions Act. There are more than 300 private career training institutions registered with the Private Career Training Institutions Agency (PCTIA) – a crown agency established by government. Private language training institutions can voluntarily register with PCTIA.

On April 17, 2014, the Government of British Columbia announced that the Ministry of Advanced Education will assume direct responsibility for the regulation of private career training institutions from PCTIA.

Presently there are 16 theological institutions established in British Columbia with statutory authority under a Private Act to grant theological degrees only. 

* Included under this section are non-B.C. public degree granting institutions as they are governed by the same legislation as private institutions in BC.

For more information about private post-secondary education in British Columbia, please visit the following web pages:

Degree Granting Authorization
This site provides information about the Degree Quality Assessment Board and the degree granting authorization process for public, private and out-of-province institutions that wish to offer degree programs in British Columbia.

Non-Degree Granting Private Institutions
This site provides information about the Private Career Training Institutions Agency (PCTIA), private career training institutions, and private institutions providing language programming such as English as a second language (ESL).

Being an Informed Student:
Information for prospective students of Private Institutions

This site provides information to help prospective students to find the programs and institutions that best suit their educational goals.