Thompson Rivers University

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Thompson Rivers University

Kamloops, the largest population centre in the regions now known as the Thompson-Okanagan and Cariboo-Chilcotin, was chosen by the BC provincial government as the site for one of several new two-year regional colleges to provide academic and vocational programs outside the urban centres served by the province’s three universities.[4][5] The Province founded Cariboo College in 1970, and classes for 367 full-time and 200 part-time students began in September, 1970, initially out of the Kamloops Indian Residential School facilities.

Cariboo offered two-year academic programs that enabled students to transfer to UBC and the newly established Simon Fraser University (SFU) and University of Victoria (UVic). The college also began vocational training programs to serve the needs of forestry, mining, and other industries in the region. Cariboo’s vocational division, now known as the School of Trades and Technology, was established following the move of the college to the new campus under construction on McGill Road in September 1971. In May 1972, BC Premier W.A.C. Bennett officially opened the vocational wing. By provincial mandate, Cariboo amalgamated with the Kamloops Vocational School in 1974, providing training for occupations in demand in Kamloops and the region.[6]

In 1978, Cariboo was officially designated as a College with corporate status under the British Columbia Colleges and Provincial Institutes Act, gaining its own board independent of the school boards that had previously governed it. The Act also created the Open Learning Institute (OLI), which would later become TRU-Open Learning, to provide academic programs and vocational training by distance throughout the province to people that were unable to access post-secondary education due to geographic isolation or other reasons.[7] The following year, the Universities Act gave OLI power to grant baccalaureate degrees in arts or science in its own name.[8]

In the course of 20 years, the college’s population increased from 30 faculty serving 367 full-time and 200 part-time students in its first year, to 259 full-time and 124 part-time employees serving 3,047 full-time and 2,205 part-time students in 1990. As enrollment rose, Cariboo built over a dozen new facilities and an on-campus student housing complex, also renovating and expanding older buildings. In 1971, Cariboo opened a satellite campus in Williams Lake, BC, 285 kilometres north of Kamloops, offering programs to surrounding communities, including remote aboriginal populations. In 1985, the Williams Lake campus moved to the 55,000 square-foot Hodgeson Road facility, which would later close due to seismic instability.[6]

In 1989, Cariboo was one of three colleges chosen by the Province to become a new entity, a “university college”, in order to provide degrees in regional centres. Cariboo’s five bachelor’s degrees—Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Education, Bachelor of Business Administration, and Bachelor of Science in Nursing—were initially developed and granted under the oversight of the province’s three established universities, UBC, SFU and UVic. When the first graduates received their degrees in June 1991, Cariboo was renamed the University College of the Cariboo (UCC).[6][9][10]

In January 1995 the College and Institute Amendment Act gave UCC the authority to independently grant degrees.[11] Several new programs launched that decade, including five more bachelor’s degrees and the Adventure Guide Diploma. Construction in the 1990s included a cost-recovery-based joint proposal between UCC and the student society to complete the 53,000 square foot, student-focused Campus Activity Centre, after a change in provincial legislation in 1990 allowed the college to borrow money privately for development.

UCC began to offer master’s degree programs in collaboration with UBC and SFU in 2002, gaining the authority to grant applied master’s degrees autonomously in 2003.[6] The following year, the BC government announced UCC would become the province’s newest university.[12][13]

In March, 2005, Thompson Rivers University (TRU) was incorporated under the Thompson Rivers University Act. The Act amalgamated the University College of the Cariboo with the BC Open University and other aspects of the Open Learning Agency, converting UCC’s university council into a senate, and creating a planning council for Open Learning. UCC president Dr. Roger Barnsley continued at the helm of the new institution. The Province designated TRU as a special purpose university which would continue to offer undergraduate and master’s degrees, vocational training and adult basic education, undertake research and scholarly activities, and with the addition of Open Learning programs and courses, would provide an open learning educational credit bank for students.[14]

TRU’s inaugural convocation was held March 31, 2005, along with the installation of its first chancellor, Nancy Greene Raine. Prime Minister Paul Martin was TRU’s first official visitor the following day.[6] The Master of Business Administration, TRU’s first autonomous master’s degree program, began that September.

The 11-storey TRU Residence and Conference Centre building, a 580-room apartment-style student residence, opened in 2006. In 2007 the current Williams Lake campus opened on Western Avenue, and all Open Learning operations (TRU-OL) relocated from Burnaby to the new BC Centre for Open Learning building on the Kamloops campus.[6]

Dr. Kathleen Scherf was installed as TRU’s second president in 2008, but was dismissed by TRU’s board of governors in 2009. Roger Barnsley returned to serve two more years as president during the search for Scherf’s replacement. Dr. Alan Shaver was installed as TRU’s third president in 2011, and the Honourable Wally Oppal was installed as chancellor.

The university gained membership in the Research Universities Council of BC (RUCBC) in 2011.[15] The Brown Family House of Learning, TRU’s first LEED Gold-certified building, opened in 2011 and was the initial home of TRU Faculty of Law, the first new law school to open in Canada in over 30 years.[16] TRU Law moved into a 44,000-square-foot space in the newly renovated Old Main building in December 2013. Law’s first graduating class convocated in June 2014.

In the 2014-15 academic year, TRU had a total headcount* of 25,748 students, of which 11,957 were on campus. International students made up 15 percent of TRU’s on-campus student population (10 percent overall), with China, India and Saudi Arabia topping the list of over 70 countries of origin. Aboriginal students made up 10.5 percent of the student body. Open Learning students, domestic and international, totalled 11,903 students. (*Due to the fact that some students are dually enrolled in on-campus and Open Learning courses, the total headcount gives the unique total for the entire institution, not a sum of on-campus and Open Learning students.)

Thompson Rivers University Canada is a public research and learning institution which serves over 24,954 students through its campuses in Kamloops and Williams Lake, and distance learning courses. More than 3500 international students from 100 countries aspiring to study in Canada join the University every year. TRU is accredited to Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) for providing associate, bachelor and master degree programs. The University is the third in British Columbia with this accreditation and the first one to achieve it in less than 3 years.

The University offers bachelor and master degree programs for the students in areas like economics, accounting, business administration, adventure studies, chemistry, etc. Thompson has several international partnerships through its TRU World division. It gives out CAD 2.5 million worth of scholarships to the students in the form of awards, bursaries or grants every year. It also offers residence options and allows students to live on the campus and avail several facilities.

Highlights

University TypePublic
LocationKamloops, British Columbia
Establishment Year1970
No. of campuses2
No. of residence halls3
No. of students25,000+
No. of faculty members400+
Average Class size24
Financial AidScholarships, bursaries, awards, loans, and grants
Work study programAvailable

Thompson Rivers University Ranking

Ranking agencyRanking
Edurank#1 in Kamloops
#48 in Canada
#1714 in world
UniRank#46 in the country
#1493 in the world

Thompson Rivers University Campus

  • Thompson Rivers University popularly known as TRU is nestled in two campuses; Kamloops and Williams Lake campuses, located on the traditional territory, in British Columbia’s southern interior.
  • The main campus of the university is the Kamloops campus which stands across the confluence of the North Thompson and South Thompson rivers where the school derived its name.
  • Features of Kamloops campus-the main campus of the University includes over 80 active student societies and clubs, 12 athletic teams, including basketball, WolfPack varsity volleyball, soccer, and badminton, wireless internet access across the entire campus.
  • It has close proximity to major urban centers like Vancouver, Calgary, and Seattle.

Thompson Rivers University Residence

  • TRU offers on-campus accommodation to students in 3 halls of residence; North Tower, McGill residence and East Village.
  • Application for residency is done online and a 100 CAD non-refundable application fee is required.
  • Annual housing fee ranges from 3,975 CAD to 7,100 CAD depending on the apartment of residence, the type of room, and the amenities available and they include a 50 CAD non-refundable mandatory residence life activity fee.
  • Students can also choose the home stay program where they are allowed to live with Canadian families. To ensure the effectiveness of this program, well-established network of experienced host families are available and every family is well-inspected and interviewed.

Thompson Rivers University Courses

  • Thompson Rivers University offers a plethora of bachelor programs, masters programs, post-baccalaureates, certificates/diploma, and some other postgraduate programs.
  • There are 140 programs on campus and more than 60 online programs.
  • Courses are taken by students in the open learning to get ahead in his/her field or expand knowledge/expertise while students who take the program wishes to work toward a certificate, diploma or bachelor’s degree in health sciences, education, business, etc.
  • Thompson Rivers offers Adult Basic Education, Community Programs, and English as a Second Language (ESL) program.

Thompson Rivers University Application Process

The University accepts applications from international students for semester starting in January, May and September. Completed applications and supporting materials are encouraged to be submitted before deadlines. Late applications can only be considered if space is available.

How to Apply?

The international student admission process for Thompson Rivers University has been described below:

Application Portal: EducationPlannerBC application portal

Application Fee: 100 CAD

Application Deadlines:

SemesterDeadlines
JanuaryOctober 1
MayFebruary 1
SeptemberJune 1

Admission Requirements: The following documents must be submitted along with the application for admission:

  • Official transcripts
  • Degree Certificate (if awarded undergraduate degree is not indicated on transcript)
  • Letter of Intent
  • Proof of Official Name Change (if applicable)
  • Two Reference Letters (one academic and one professional reference)
  • Additional documents (any documents that might support the application)
  • Scanned copies of original/official transcripts (or certified copies) of secondary school grades and any post-secondary institutions

English language requirements

Applicants are required to meet minimum English language proficiency requirements either by taking the TRU English Placement Test (EPT) with an acceptable score or providing an acceptable English language proficiency with minimum test score (TOEFL, IELTS, etc.)

TestMinimum Requirements
IELTS6.5+ with no bands below 6.0
TOEFL IBT88+ with no section below 20
TOEFL PBT570
TOEFL CBT230
Duo lingo110 and above
MELAB81 and above
CanTEST4.5+ with no component score below 4.0
CAELOverall 70+ with no subtest below 60

Thompson Rivers University Cost of Attendance

The tuition fee for different programs offered at the Thompson Rivers University varies. The estimated cost of attendance for the 2020-2021 academic sessions is presented on the table below:

FeesUndergraduate (CAD)Graduate (CAD)
Tuition7,320 – 24,3265,217 – 33,630
Housing (depending on choice of residence)3,500 – 7,9503,500 – 7,950
General Fees (library, activity, Student Society, U-Pass, etc)542 per semester542 per semester
Health Fee75 per month75 per month
TRUSU Extended Health & Dental Plan248 per year248 per year
Estimated Cost of Textbooks100-500 per semester100-500 per semester
Total13,788 – 35,24411,885 – 44,748

Thompson Rivers University Scholarships/Financial Aid

  • Thompson Rivers University offers comprehensive financial aids in forms of bursaries, scholarships, awards, work-study, loans, and grants.
  • Students who have completed at least a semester of studies at the University are eligible for more than 500 aids and prizes are available.
  • 43% of eligible entrance scholarship applicants were offered a scholarship award and 96% of scholarships offer worth above 1000 CAD is awarded annually to students with an 85% average or higher.
  • Some of the scholarships available to international students include:
Scholarship NameEligibility CriteriaAmount Awarded
International Athletic ScholarshipsEligible sports discipline include: Badminton, Baseball, Basketball, Soccer, VolleyballVariable
Engineering ScholarshipsEnrolled in a two-year Engineering Transfer program3000 CAD
TRU Law International Student AwardStudents enrolled in the Juris Doctor program5000 CAD
International Social Media Ambassador AwardEnrolled as a full-time student in minimum 9 credits for the semester appointed as an Ambassador Minimum GPA of 2.5 on 4.0Variable

Thompson Rivers University Alumni Network 

Thompson Rivers University alumni members are entitled to the following benefits:

  • Career resources
  • Alumni Association scholarships and bursaries
  • Reunion planning assistance
  • Alumni Access Card that allows discount on accommodation and travel, professional development, retail and merchandise, services, sports and entertainment.

Notable alumni include:

  • Lorne Cardinal – Canadian television actor
  • Steven Galloway – Novelist
  • Daniel Hayes – Actor
  • John Gordon Perrin – Canadian volleyball player
  • Jim Cotter – Canadian curler

Thompson Rivers University Placements

  • Students can get job placements while still studying at Thompson Rivers University under the work and study program. Under the program, students are allowed to work up to 20 hours per week and earn on an average 2400-3000 CAD per month.
  • Students can be granted a work permit for Canada for up to two years after graduation if they study for up to two-year at TRU. The average annual salary of the University graduates according to PayScale is 66,306 CAD.
  • A student can earn up to 120,000 CAD per year living in Canada and a salary range from 30,200 CAD to 534,000 CAD per year.
DegreeSalary
Bachelor’s degree53,886 CAD
Diploma21 CAD an hour
Apprenticeship35 CAD an hour
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