Thompson Rivers University

Open Learning

Bachelor of Commerce

Program Description

This degree provides students with the business and management skills necessary to become effective managers and leaders in today's dynamic, global economy. The program blends a practical management education with a broad general education. Students can specialize in a business discipline by choosing from an array of concentrations or pursue a general management degree. Many choose a concentration and go on to complete a professional designation after graduation.

What Can You Do With This Credential?

Graduation from this program may help you meet the entrance requirements for TRU's Master of Business Administration.

Program Requirements

Admission Requirements

Completion of a minimum of 60 applicable credits or a suitable two-year business diploma program

Those assessed as lacking some requirements may be admitted to the degree program provisionally, pending completion of required coursework.

Specific laddering agreements include:

  • Those with a recognized two-year college business diploma receive a block transfer of up to 60 credits toward the degree. Other recognized diplomas are also eligible but may receive a reduced block transfer.
  • Those that have completed the Certified Management Accountants (CMA) program are normally awarded a block of up to 90 PLAR transfer credits for successful completion of the CMA's syllabus, entrance examination, Strategic Leadership program and experience requirements. Those who have completed the Certified General Accountants' (CGA) program receive a block of up to 90 PLAR credits for successful completion of the foundation level courses, PACE level courses, and the mandatory practical experience requirement.
  • Those in the process of completing the CMA or CGA programs are eligible for provisional admission and may take TRU-OL courses concurrent to their CMA or CGA program.

Students who plan to complete a credential through TRU-OL must complete and submit a Program Admission form.

Residency Requirements

A minimum of 15 TRU credits (distance or on-campus)

Degree Requirements

120 credits total, including 45 upper-level credits, with a GPA of 2.0 (C average) or higher for all general education and core knowledge requirements, as follows:

General Education Requirements (18 credits)

3 credits in English
3 credits in natural sciences
6 credits in humanities, social sciences
6 credits in arts and sciences

Core Knowledge Requirements (54 credits)

ACCT 1221, Accounting II (3) or BBUS 2211, Introduction to Financial Accounting (3)
BBUS 2541, Management Accounting (3)
BBUS 2721, Organizational Behaviour I: The Individual and Work Groups (3)
BBUS 3031, Business and Society (3)
BBUS 3121, Financial Management (3)
BBUS 3431, Introduction to Marketing (3)
BBUS 3621, Analytical Decision Making (3) (BBUS 4251, Advanced Management Accounting may be substituted)
BBUS 3811, Introduction to Human Resources Management (3) or BBUS 3841, Labour Relations (3) or BBUS 3661, Strategic Human Resource Management (3)
BBUS 3931, Business Law (3)
BBUS 4701, Business Policy and Strategy (3)
BBUS 1371, Management Information Systems 1 (3)
ECON 1901, Principles of Microeconomics (3)
ECON 1951, Principles of Macroeconomics (3)
MATH 1071, Fundamentals of Mathematics for Business and Economics (3) or MATH 1091, Business Mathematics (3) or MATH 1101, Finite Mathematics (3)
MNGT 1211, Management Principles and Practices (3)
STAT 1201, Introduction to Probability and Statistics (3)

Two courses from the following:

BBUS 3631, Open Communication: Effective Communication Skills (3)
CMNS 1811, Business, Professional, and Academic Composition (3)
CMNS 1291, Introduction to Professional Writing (3)


Public Sector Management Concentration students only may substitute the following public administration courses for certain core knowledge requirements:

BBUS 2721 - BBUS 3129 and BBUS 4099
BBUS 3031 - BBUS 4229
BBUS 3121 - BBUS 4219 or BBUS 4489
BBUS 3811 - BBUS 4319
BBUS 3931 - BBUS 4529
BBUS 4701 - BBUS 4209 or BBUS 4779
ECON 1901 - BBUS 3109
ECON 1951 - BBUS 4459
MNGT 1211 - BBUS 3129

Elective Requirements (33 credits)

Academic and/or applied credits to bring the total number of credits to 120, with 45 of the 120 credits at the upper level

Concentration Requirements (15 credits)

Successful completion (C+ or higher in each course) in one of the following eight concentrations:

  • Accounting Concentration Requirements (15 credits)

    This concentration prepares students to become an integral part of an organization’s financial management team or to enter public practice as an auditor, tax specialist or consultant. Government, non-profit organizations, major corporations, small businesses and high-worth individuals all need accountants to manage their financial affairs. Upon graduation, most students choose to pursue the Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) designation.

    Course Requirements

    BBUS 3201, Intermediate Financial Accounting I (3)
    BBUS 3211, Intermediate Financial Accounting II (3)
    BBUS 3221, Taxation (3)
    BBUS 3251, Intermediate Management Accounting (3)

    One course from the following:

    BBUS 4201, Advanced Financial Accounting (3)
    BBUS 4231, External Assurance (Auditing) (3)
    BBUS 4251, Advanced Management Accounting (3)

  • Finance Concentration Requirements (15 credits)

    This concentration is a demanding program that prepares students to play an important role in the financial industry. The profession is divided into two main fields: managerial finance and investments.

    Investments deal with managing savings in the economy by transferring them to individuals and corporations in need of capital in exchange for an appropriate return. Professionals spend their time designing, pricing, and trading investment instruments such as term deposits, personal loans, stocks, bonds and asset-backed securities to aid in the flow of funds. Some of our economy's biggest corporations, including banks, mutual fund companies, private equity firms and insurance companies, serve as intermediaries in this process.

    In managerial finance, professionals arrange required financing for an organization's daily operations and future growth. Sources of capital such as lines of credit, corporate paper, term loans, mortgages, bonds, leases, venture capital and IPOs are used to finance seasonal build-ups in working capital and major asset purchases. In doing this, financial managers are careful not to expose the organization to unacceptable levels of risk by over borrowing or leaving exposures to currency or interest rate fluctuations unhedged.

    Upon graduation, an increasing number of students go on to complete a professional designation such as the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) or Certified Financial Planner (CFP) or one of the many financial training programs offered by the Canadian Securities Institute.

    Course Requirements

    BBUS 3151, Investments I (3)
    BBUS 4151, Investments II (3)
    FNCE 3180, Risk Management and Financial Engineering (3) (TRU on-campus course) or Athabasca University's FNCE 403, Risk Management (distance course)

    Two courses from the following:

    BBUS 3221, Taxation (3)
    BBUS 3451, Professional Selling (3)
    FNCE 4130, Advanced Financial Management (3) (TRU on-campus course) or Nipissing University's ADMN 3117, Financial Management II (3) (distance course)
    FNCE 4160, Portfolio Management (3) (TRU on-campus course) or Athabasca University's FNCE 470, Portfolio Management (distance course)
    FNCE 4180, International Financial Management (3) (TRU on-campus course) or Nipissing University's ECON 3127, International Financial Management (3)
    FNCE 4190, Financial Institutions Management (3) (TRU on-campus course) or Nipissing University's ADMN 2116, Management of Financial Institutions (3)(distance course)

  • General Management Concentration Requirements (15 credits)

    This concentration is designed for students who do not want to specialize in a specific area of business but would like to take an array of courses instead to receive greater breadth in their management education or who want to focus on a specialized field of their own choosing. Many positions in business require the varied skills that a generalist can offer.

    Course Requirements

    Approved 3000- and/or 4000-level courses (normally BBUS or BUEC, with a minimum of 6 credits at the 4000 level.

  • Human Resources Management Concentration Requirements (15 credits)

    Human resources management professionals are the employee relations specialists who manage employee planning, recruitment, selection, compensation, training and development, health and safety and evaluation. They are also active in labour relations, taking the lead in union contract negotiations, grievance handling, including mediation and arbitration, and all other employee-related matters such as wrongful dismissal, personal harassment and privacy. This concentration prepares students to pursue the Certified Human Resource Professional (CHRP) designation, which is increasingly becoming a requirement for advancement in the field.

    Course Requirements

    6 credits of approved 4000-level BBUS courses: BBUS 4661, Managing Change (3) or BBUS 4681, Leading Projects to Success (6) or BBUS 4833, Effective Leadership (3)
    BBUS 4135, Motivation and Productivity (3)

    Two courses from the following (remaining course satisfies the core HRM Labour Relations requirement):

    BBUS 3661, Strategic Human Resource Management (3)
    BBUS 3811, Introduction to Human Resource Management (3)
    BBUS 3841, Labour Relations (3)

  • Marketing Concentration Requirements (15 credits)

    This concentration prepares students to assume one of the most important roles in business. Marketers are a company's creative force focusing on the marketing mix also known as the four "Ps" - product, price, promotion and place. They devise potentially profitable new product ideas that meet the needs of specific target markets and then develop and execute the detailed plans needed for their implementation. Other employees in accounting, finance or human resource management simply assist marketing professionals in this primary task and depend on them to generate the revenues required for survival.

    Course Requirements

    BBUS 3481, Marketing Research (3)

    Four courses from the following:

    BBUS 3451, Professional Selling (3)
    BBUS 3471, Consumer Behaviour (3)
    BBUS 3511, International Business (3)
    BBUS 3651, Marketing for Managers (3)
    BBUS 4431, Retail Marketing (3)
    BBUS 4471, International Marketing (3)
    BBUS 4481, Integrated Marketing Communication (3)
    BBUS 4491, Business-to-Business Marketing (3)
    BBUS 4411, Services Marketing (3)

  • Public Sector Management Concentration Requirements (15 credits)

    This concentration provides students with the knowledge and skills required to work in a leadership capacity in federal, provincial, local or First-Nations government or in the non-profit sector. It is offered in collaboration with the University of Victoria and acceptance into courses is subject to their approval. Students interested in public administration should consider TRU-OL's Bachelor of Public Administration, which is also offered in association with the University of Victoria.

    Course Requirements

    Two courses from the following:

    BBUS 3119, Introduction to Public Administration (3)
    BBUS 3149, Public Sector Research and Analysis (3)
    BBUS 4239, Local Government in British Columbia (3)
    BBUS 4459, Urban and Regional Economics (3)
    Select courses from the following list, to bring the total concentration courses to five:
    BBUS 4079, Managing Service Delivery (3)
    BBUS 4219, Financial Management (3) (may not be used to satisfy the core financial management requirement)
    BBUS 4379, Program Evaluation and Performance Measurement (3)
    BBUS 4469, Local Government Land Use Planning (3)
    An approved 3000- or 4000-level course

  • Technology Management Concentration Requirements (15 credits)

    This concentration is intended for students who have previously completed a technology-related diploma. Courses in the concentration normally consist of credits completed in technology prior to admission. Upon graduation, students are well prepared for management positions in the IT industry.

    Course Requirements

    BBUS 4681, Leading Projects to Success (6)
    Nine credits from a technology area


A grade of C+ or higher is required in each concentration course. In practice, this is what is required by the Associate Dean when approving courses for graduation.

Students are responsible for consulting with their TRU-OL program advisor to ensure that the courses they select are available and appropriate for their program of study and their educational goals. Students who proceed without approval may find that a course does not meet requirements and may be subject to transcript assessment fees.


Email Student Services for more information.

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