Thompson Rivers University

Founded 1970 | Kamloops, BC

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 2024 Colleges Guide profile.

This profile appears in the 2023 Maclean’s University Guidebook. As part of a partnership with Maclean’s, Thompson Rivers University (TRU) has supplied additional photos and videos as indicated below. TRU did not have editorial input into the wording of the profile itself.

Content provided by Thompson Rivers University (TRU)

Thompson Rivers University offers 140 on-campus programs and another 60 programs through its Open Learning division. They range from apprenticeships and certificates to bachelor’s, law and master’s degrees. A laddering system allows students to move from certificate and diploma programs to degrees. More than 13,000 students study on campus, and almost 16,000 study online—about 1,800 students do both. “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 some can participate in undergrad research even before they reach higher-level classes. TRU’s main 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 and theatre. Recent developments include the Industrial Training and Technology Centre and the Chappell Family Building for Nursing and Population Health. The updated Early Childhood Education Centre includes a non-profit daycare. Business students get practical investment experience at the new Raymond James Trading Lab. A second campus is located in Williams Lake, B.C. The campuses welcome a diverse student population that is nine per cent Indigenous and 20 per cent international.

Standout Programs

• Nursing: The program prepares students to work in a variety of settings, addressing the needs of people from diverse backgrounds with a range of health concerns.

• Software Engineering: Students gain technical knowledge and skills with a wide range of applications in this in-demand field. Co-op terms provide real-world experience and industry contacts.

• Tourism Management: The program provides a solid grounding that blends theory with hands-on learning. Students can choose from three majors: adventure studies, tourism management or entrepreneurship.

Tuition (includes compulsory ancillary fees)


Minimum Entering Grades

High school diploma; some programs require specific courses and higher grades.

Student Body

Undergraduates: Full-time: 9,270 | Part-time: 7,584

Graduates: Full-time: 784 | Part-time: 89

International Students: First-year: 32.9% | Graduate: 59.6%

Male-Female Ratio: 46 to 54

Residence Offerings

Residence Spaces: 1,498 (800 reserved for first-year students)

Residence Costs: Single room: $5,416 to $9,080

Apartment-style: $5,416 to $9,080

Cool Courses

• Coastal Sail Cruising: Develop sailing skills while learning about other aspects of coastal adventure tourism.

• Truth and Rebuilding Canadian Indigenous Legal Relations: Topics include Indigenous laws, colonial foundations of the legal system, and conflict resolution.

Student Life on Campus

Read More
Content provided by Thompson Rivers University (TRU)