Ministry of Advanced Education

B.C. Post-secondary Education - Overview

British Columbia offers a wide range of post-secondary options so students in this province can have the best possible education – with more choices and more access, closer to home.

Public Institutions

Over 1,900 programs are offered at B.C.'s 25 publicly funded post-secondary institutions:

  • 11 universities – including five new universities effective Sept. 1, 2008.
  • 11 colleges – serving rural and metropolitan communities in B.C.
  • Three institutes – offering a variety of specialized programs.

Learn more about degree approval and quality assurance at public institutions.

Universities in B.C. offer an array of undergraduate degree programs and a range of programs at the graduate level. Some also offer courses and programs in trades, vocational, and career technical studies leading to certificates and diplomas, as well as developmental programs that prepare adult learners for post-secondary studies. Some universities undertake original and applied research in a range of disciplines, while others undertake applied research and scholarly activities in support of their programming. 

Colleges offer developmental programs that prepare adult learners for post-secondary studies, as well as courses and programs in trades, vocational, career technical and academic studies leading to certificates, diplomas, associate degrees and applied degrees.

Institutes are organized according to career, vocational and technical specialties, covering a variety of occupations. They may offer credentials from certificates to degrees. One institute has an Aboriginal focus.

One-stop access to online learning in the province is available through BCcampus, a collaboration of all B.C.'s public post-secondary institutions.