Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University


At Open Learning (OL), we offer more than 55 online and distance programs so you can earn recognized credits and credentials.

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


As an OL 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

General Information


If you are a domestic student, see the program areas pages regarding estimated costs (tuition and fees).

If you are an international student, contact Student Services.

Admission Requirements

Many programs have open admission, but there are exceptions. Please check the program descriptions.

If you plan to attain a credential through Open Learning, please 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 the place-of-residence requirements needed to qualify for financial assistance.

English Language Proficiency Requirement

If you have English as a second (or additional) language (ESL), you may need 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.

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 (ABE)
  Business and Management Studies
  Education and Social Work
  General Studies
  Health Sciences

Before Applying or Registering

Read the program descriptions and course descriptions for courses in that program. See about distance education and course delivery formats. Get an estimate of the program cost.

How to Apply to an Open Learning Program


Choose a program.

Ensure that the program is available and you meet any admission requirements, such as pre-existing education, volunteer and work experience and professional accreditation. Meeting any recommended requirements is strongly advisable.

Pay up-front program fees.



You can apply online or by mail.

If you cannot pay by credit card or are an international student, mail the completed Program Application Form to OL Admissions, along with program fees.

Apply either through Register Now or EducationPlannerBC (EPBC) and pay the program fees with a credit card.

You receive an email stating tuition and fees owing.

Apply Now



Wait to see if you have been accepted. You receive a transfer credit assessment (if you applied for one) and a program plan, which lists all available transfer credit and the courses you need to complete.

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

Looking for More 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 itsContinuing Studiesdepartment.

TRU Campus Distance Education Programs

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


Feel free to contact Student Services if you want to talk with us or have questions about OL's programs and the application process.