Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University


At TRU Open Learning (OL), we offer more than 55 online and distance programs to increase your access to education and help you earn recognized credits and credentials.

When you complete an Open Learning certificate, diploma or degree program, you are awarded a credential from Thompson Rivers University (TRU), which is an accredited public post-secondary institution and a member of Universities Canada and the BC Transfer System. OL, which helped to found the Canadian Virtual University-L'université virtuelle canadienne (CVU-UVC), operates in collaboration with BCcampus.


As an Open Learning program student, you enjoy:

  • A Program Advisor, to provide you with a program plan and guide you through your studies
  • The opportunity to accelerate your program completion and save money through prior learning assessment and recognition (PLAR)
  • Usually, transfer credit for previously earned credits completed at other institutions toward a TRU credential: see BC Council on Admissions and Transfer (BCCAT)
  • The benefits of our strategic partnerships with other educational institutions, community organizations, and professional, industry and business associations
  • Practice-based learning in some programs and independent study in most programs
  • Flexibility and choice
  • Student services, such as help with writing and math, library assistance for distance learners, financial aid and awards (depending on your place of residence and the program you choose

Program Information

Admission Requirements

Many programs have open admission, but there are exceptions. Please check the descriptions and details for the program in which you are interested.

If you plan to attain a credential through Open Learning, please read about program admission and fill in a Program Admission Form, then send it to OL Admissions.

Residency Requirements

Residency requirements are the number of credits that you must complete at a post-secondary institution before you can graduate with a credential from that institution. They are stated in the program descriptions and can be met by:

      1. Taking courses with TRU (either with OL or on-campus)
      2. Taking courses with TRU's consortium partner, the University of Victoria (UVic)
      3. Acquiring credit through prior learning assessment and recognition (PLAR)

Residency requirements differ from place of residence requirements needed to qualify for financial assistance.

English Language Proficiency Requirement

If you have English as a second or additional language, you may be required to provide evidence of your proficiency in English.

Financial Assistance

You can apply for financial assistance if you meet specific place of residence requirements. See Student Awards & Financial Support for details.

Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR)

PLAR allows you to earn academic credits for knowledge, training and skills gained through work and life experience.

There is generally no limit on the amount of PLAR that can be used for credit toward OL programs in which PLAR applies. And we accept PLAR credit from any BC post-secondary institution that has formally adopted the recommended BC provincial standards regarding PLAR. However, PLAR credit awarded by OL toward a TRU credential may not be transferrable to other institutions.

Program Areas

Adult Basic Education
Business and Management Studies
Education and Social Work
General Studies
Health Sciences

Before Registering or Applying

Be sure to familiarize yourself with the course descriptions  for courses in your chosen program. Also, read  about distance education and course delivery formats.

How to Apply to an Open Learning Program


Choose a program and pay the fees.

Make sure that the program is available and that you are eligible to apply for it. Understand and meet any admission requirements, such as pre-existing education, volunteer or work experience, or professional accreditation. Meeting any recommended requirements is strongly advisable.

Each program has fees that you must pay in full before your application can be successful. For example, a transcript assessment fee is required if you ask for a transfer credit assessment.



Complete a Program Application Form and send it to OL Admissions.

To apply online, either through TRU (Register Now) or BC Education Planner, please be prepared to pay the application fee with a credit card. If you cannot pay by credit card or are an international student, email, fax or mail the completed Program Application Form to OL Admissions, along with the fee.

You will then receive an email, stating tuition and fees owing.

Apply Now



Wait to see if you have been accepted. You will receive a transfer credit assessment, if you have applied for one, and a program plan. The program plan lists all available transfer credit and the courses to be completed.

International transcripts and/or credentials must first be evaluated by International Credential Evaluation Service (ICES).

Looking for More Programs?

Transfer, Continuing Studies and Extension Programs

OL is a member of Canadian Virtual University-L'université virtuelle canadienne (CVU-UVC), a collaboration of Canadian universities that offer online and distance programs.

CVU-UVC Logo Image

Consider taking a distance program through our consortium partner, the University of Victoria (UVic), through its Continuing Studies department.

TRU Campus Distance Education Programs

Through its Faculty of Science and its School of Business and Economics, TRU also offers some distance programs and courses that are unaffiliated with OL.


Email Student Services if you want to talk with us or have questions about Open Learning's programs.