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Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

Welcome to the Mature Students' Corner

At TRU, there are two classifications for mature students:

  1. Mature students are defined as any applicant of at least 19 years of age who has not graduated high school or completed their Adult Graduation Diploma. Students classified as mature may have the grade level admission requirement waived, (for example grade 11, grade 12, etc.), but they are still required to meet a program’s other admission requirements and all course pre-requisites.
  2. Mature students are another category/term for students who are coming to TRU later in life—who may have other life commitments—but are not needing to use the mature student status for admission.

Mature students are an important and valuable part of TRU’s student body. The life experience and hands-on skills that these students bring into the classroom are additional learning opportunities for other students, as well as faculty.

Did you know that 47% of our on-campus students are 25 years or older? It’s never too late to learn—and we’re here to help you make that first move.

How do I get started as a mature student?

Our Future Student Advisors are here to answer your questions and can be reached by:

Children and family are welcome at in-person appointments.

If you are interested in self-identifying as Indigenous, connect with one of our Qelmúcw Future Student Advisors to get support with funding, pathway options and Indigenous student services.

Career Planning

Connect your education to the career you want with our Career and Experiential Learning department.

Prospective students can now connect with one of our coordinators to explore their career outcomes through their learning here. Email to book your appointment.

Credit for life learning with PLAR

A process called Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) determines whether the knowledge, skills and abilities you have acquired outside of postsecondary education can be used toward academic credits. Volunteer and paid work, industry-based training, professional development workshops and seminars, Continuing Studies, and private study can all be considered in an assessment. If you’re interested in learning more, please visit the PLAR site.

Although it is a rigorous evaluation process to determine how your prior life and work experience can earn you academic credits, using PLAR as a starting point for your post-secondary education can save you time and money when completing your certificate, diploma or undergraduate degree.

Learning through TRU

Diploma and certificate programs, while less extensive than a degree program, can help students develop valuable professional skills and prepare them thoroughly for their careers.

Compared to an undergraduate degree, these credentials may fit your personal and professional goals more seamlessly by:

  • Being more affordable
  • Taking take less time to complete
  • Allowing for a better work-school balance
  • Honing your professional expertise or adding to it
  • Helping you explore a new career interest
Undergraduate degree programs

Whether your prior education is a high school diploma or a certificate/diploma program that you are laddering from, pursuing your bachelor’s degree is a rewarding commitment.

At TRU, there are many open admission programs that make it easier to get started on your bachelor’s degree; if you don’t meet the program requirements for these degrees, you can take the required courses while enrolled in the program.

Students of any age may be interested in enrolling in an undergraduate degree to:

  • Improve future career prospects
  • Increase earning potential
  • Dive into your interests and get in-depth knowledge
  • Prepare for advanced studies
  • Get hands-on experience and access to undergraduate research opportunities
Post-baccalaureate diploma programs

If you are interested in continuing your learning with a post-baccalaureate program, there are lots of options for you to explore. A post-baccalaureate credential allows you to build upon your existing undergraduate degree, enhance employment opportunities, prepare for a career change or pursue professional development.

Our post-baccalaureate programs are highly specific and used to specialize in a certain subject. We offer 22 different post-baccalaureate programs, either through on campus delivery or by a distance through Open Learning.

Graduate degree programs

If you are interested in getting your master’s degree, a bachelor’s degree is a prerequisite.

And while a master’s program can be more challenging and the course load more extensive, the completion time is typically shorter than a bachelor’s degree and includes more opportunities for hands-on practice or fieldwork and research.

Most of our graduate programs have flexible completion options, like online delivery or different thesis/project pathways you can choose from.

With all of our graduate degrees, there are many opportunities for you to work with expert faculty and begin building your academic network.

Pursuing a graduate degree will also allow you to:

  • Specialize your area of interest
  • Have better job security
  • Access higher paying jobs
  • Expand career opportunities and/or change careers
  • Prepare you for pursing a PhD
Open Learning and online delivery

Furthering your education from your own space, at your own pace, is another possibility through TRU’s Open Learning Division.

And with 31 being the average age of Open Learning students, studying from a distance is a popular option for those looking to add to their education while having full-time life commitments.

Another aspect of studying online that’s unique to TRU is the ability to get started within a course or program almost immediately. Most Open Learning courses allow you to enroll and start your course the same day, which helps you keep the momentum as you begin your studies.

If you are interested in completing your education online, Open Learning offers 140 courses and 60 programs—entirely from a distance.

Funding your education

If you are considering completing post-secondary education here, there are funding and financial aid supports designed to help make this dream a reality.

If you come from a low-income background, explore which part-time grants and bursaries you qualify for.

Entrance scholarships and awards are also an option, but are typically more competitive.

There are also government financial aid options, external funding opportunities, and other financial supports (including additional grants and scholarships) available through StudentAidBC. If you need financial advising when navigating your funding options, connect with one of our Student Awards & Financial Aid Advisors.

Senior Citizens Tuition Waiver

Students aged 65 or older at the start of their course(s) may be eligible for a reimbursement of their tuition. All other non-tuition fees, including Student Union fees, apply.

Accessibility Services

Having equal access to educational opportunities by reducing physical, attitudinal and systemic barriers is an integral part of TRU’s commitment to open learning for all.

Explore the accessibility services we offer to find the accommodation that’s right for you.

Next Steps

Thinking you’re ready to make your move here? We’re here to answer any questions, provide guidance and support you through the process.

Connect with one of our Future Student Advisors to get started!

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