Okanagan College

Okanagan College is a public, post-secondary institution with over 120 degrees, programs, diplomas, and certificates. Located in British Columbia, Canada, Okanagan College is one of the largest colleges in the state with four regional campuses. It is also the second-largest trade school in British Columbia and offers six engineering technology diploma programs. Addressing everything from entrepreneurial aspirations to engineering schools, Okanagan College aims to develop all the required skillsets for the professional world, in all its students. It states as imparting correct, adequate and accurate knowledge its prime priority.

Over five percent of the entire region’s population wishes to seek admission into the College. Okanagan College has four campuses, based in Canada. They are- Penticton campus, Kelowna, Vernon campus, and Salmon Arm, with the Kelowna Campus being the largest. 

Okanagan College University

Okanagan College is one of the leading colleges in British Columbia, Canada. It offers a wide range of degrees, diplomas, programs and certificates in an array of courses. Okanagan College has been serving students for more than 55 years, transforming lives and communities through quality education and training; still continues to do so. The college connects with the region it serves through its academics and values.

Speaking of values, Okanagan College holds sustainability as one of its core values. It is famous for its Sustainable Construction Management Technology (SCMT) Programme. Playing its role in saving the Earth, the College is home to an array of highly sustainable facilities including The Jim Pattison Centre of Excellence.  Opened in 2011, the Jim Pattison Centre of Excellence received LEED® Platinum certification in 2015. In an independent review conducted by Corporate Knights magazine, the building was voted the greenest post-secondary building in Canada in 2016. 

Opened in September 2016, Trades Complex at the Kelowna campus was renovated and expanded to achieve LEED® Platinum standards and henceforth has received a number of awards for achievements in design and sustainability. The Centre of Excellence at the Kelowna campus, which opened in 2009, is also LEED® Gold certified.

Some fast facts about Okanagan College are:

  • Four major campuses (in Kelowna, Penticton, Salmon Arm, and Vernon) serve more than 21,292 people annually.
  • Annually, over 21,000 students look to Okanagan College for courses and programs. 
  • Not only does it provide students various opportunities within the premise, but also has a partnership with more than 20 institutions from around the globe, such as in Asia, Europe, America, and Australia.
  • Within the Okanagan College region, there more than 25 18-hole golf courses. In addition, there are more than 160 licensed wineries and four world-class ski resorts in it.

Okanagan College Courses

Okanagan College offers students a wide array of courses and programs to choose from. The college, offering over 120 certificates, diplomas, degrees and programs, provides over 1850 course options, from different streams, for students to pick from. 

Okanagan College provides numerous programs in apprenticeship, trades, vocational training, continuing education, and other academic courses. In addition, the college also offers programs in University Science and Arts, health, technology, and adult basic and special education.

Okanagan College holds many in-house programs that are unique to the College. It is home to the Sustainable Construction Management Technology (SCMT) program, which is the institution’s unique program, based out of The Jim Pattison Centre of Excellence at the Penticton campus. The program not only provides the students with practical, hands-on education about the current world situation but also helps design techniques and technologies for the emerging of green buildings.

The major courses are given in the table below:

Civil Engineering Technology
Electronic Engineering Technology
Food, Wine, and TourismBusiness Administration(Tourism and Hospitality Management)Bachelor of Business Administration (Tourism and Hospitality Management)Culinary Arts
Pastry Arts
BusinessBusiness Administration
Commercial Aviation
Bachelor of Business AdministrationAccounting Assistant
Accounting/ Bookkeeping
Administrative Assistant
Computer ScienceComputer Information SystemsBachelor of Computer Information SystemsAdvanced Geographic Information Systems (GIS)Audio Engineering and Music Production
Health and Social DevelopmentEarly Childhood EducationHuman KineticsBachelor of Science in NursingCertified Dental Assistant
Health Care Assistant
ArtsCommunications, Culture and Journalism StudiesCriminal and Social JusticeModern Languages
Advanced Certificate in Communication

In addition to these, the college provides a unique, two-year diploma program of water engineering technology. Also, it offers six engineering technology diploma programs.

The college has designed the courses in a way to respond to the needs of employers for specialized skills in high-demand occupations, utilize students’ potential and develop their skill set to the maximum.

Okanagan College Courses for International Courses

Okanagan College offers its students a wide range of programs in University arts and science, business, apprentices, trades, health, technologies, adult special education, and continuing studies.

Not only does the College attract local students, but students from all over the globe lookup Okanagan College to pursue their studies in their desired stream. Students from approximately 60 countries enroll in different courses in this college.

From previous records, programs that shown to be of interest to international students include: 

  • ESL courses/language training 
  • Vocational and trades programs 
  • Four-year degrees in both Business and Computer Information Systems. 

Many international students choose the university transfer program, which allows students to make a smooth transition and cost-saving entry into many of Canada’s most prestigious universities. Under this program, courses like history, literature, psychology, chemistry, biology, physics and gender studies are included. The faculty are university-educated academics who nurture their students and deeply care about them. The College has a long history of successful study tours, student exchanges, and customized group training programs.

Total International Students951
Male/ Female Ratio1: 1.04
Number of campuses4
International Students’ Websitehttps://www.okanagan.bc.ca/Programs/Areas_of_Study/International_Education.html


With the total number of enrolled students crossing the mark of 8000, Okanagan is one of the leading colleges in the region. Students studying here are always satisfied with the education provided to them. 

To name a few of the many rankings of the university, here are some:

  • Okanagan College has earned the Education Quality Assurance (EQA) designation, which certifies that this college is at par or exceeds quality assurance standards set by the province of British Columbia, Canada.
  • In 2018, Okanagan College was ranked 82nd in Canada in the Canadian University ranking (UniRank) chart.
  • In 2018, the international University ranking (UniRank) of Okanagan College was 4675th in the world.

IELTS Requirements

Aspiring students need to fulfill the eligibility criteria in order to seek admission in the College. The students must have the following documents in order to get admission in the College:

  • Official transcripts
  • Proof of English proficiency {IELETS, TOEFL or Okanagan College English Language Assessment (OCELA)}
  • Program admission requirements
  • Slip of Payment of the admission deposit
  • Any other conditions noted in the admission letter must be satisfied by the given date in the notification according to the semester in-take.
  • Passport

To show proficiency in the English language, students need to provide proof of English Proficiency in seek admission into any course. They are required to submit documentation of their exam score of TOEFL, IELTS or Okanagan College English Language Assessment (OCELA). The criteria for the same is given below:

IELTSAn overall band score of 6.5
TOEFLMinimum of 550 (paper-based), 213 (computer-based), or 79 (Internet-based)
Okanagan College English Language Assessment (OCELA)An overall score of at least 6

College Programs

Okanagan College, established in 1963, has grown into one of the most prestigious institutions in British Columbia. Situated in Kelowna, British Columbia, the college offers external accreditation for many of its programs, including business, health, engineering technologies, and trades.

  • It offered an array of certificates, diplomas, degrees, and programs including apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship trades programs, with the number exceeding 120. 
  • The various programs offered by the College are designed in a way to utilize the full- potential of the students’, offer them the best facilities and make them ready for the professional world, with all the required skills and techniques.
  • The College offers baccalaureate degrees in Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) and Bachelor of Computer Information Systems (BCIS) and also has a unique diploma program of a two-year water engineering technology.
  • In addition to this, Okanagan College offers six engineering technology diploma programs.
  • The college has an average class size of 20 students.
  • Not only students from the region wish to seek admission in the college, but students from all around the globe wish to enroll themselves in different courses in this college.

College Fees for College Students

Okanagan College attracts students from all around the globe to seek admission in the college. The college is home to approximately 1,000 international students from over 40 countries, who are currently studying at Okanagan College. 

The feed pattern for international students is given below:

Registration fees:

The registration fee for processing an international student application is $100 CAD. This fee must be paid while filling out the application form and is a non-refundable fee. 

Online Application: 

The only means to pay this application fee is through online mode. No other mode, offline or delivery, will be accepted. This could lead to the disqualification of the candidate from applying to the College.

The online application fee can be paid by the students through Credit Card only (Visa, MasterCard, and American Express)

Tuition Deposit

A non-refundable deposit is to be made by the candidate in order to hold your seat in your program and therefore, will open your registration for your classes. This deposit will be applied to your tuition fees; is payable by the date noted in your letter of admission. The balance of tuition and student fees supposed to be paid before the classes start.

Students can pay the Tuition Deposit through the following means:

  • Cash or cheque in person
  • Flywire (International payment methods only, including international credit cards)
  • Credit Card (Canadian only) my Okanagan under the Student Tab/ Online Payment (Secure Page)

Estimated International Costs:

Aspiring students are expected to have enough money to cover the costs of their tuition, accommodation and living expenses while in Canada ($19,000 to $24,000 CAD per year including tuition).

Students who opt for a minimum of three courses will still be considered full-time students and have a lot of the benefits that this offers. These include a more manageable course load, and the opportunity for off-campus work provided they meet all Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada requirements. These prices do not include student association fees (applicable to ESL for Academic Purposes, Certificate, Diploma and Degree programs only).

Student Fees and Development and Technology Fees:

All students studying at Okanagan College are required to pay student fees each semester. These student fees include student activity fees (about $50), development and technology fees (about $150), and student union fees ($80). Though, the exact amount is calculated once you register for classes.

Okanagan College Offer Letter

Okanagan College, for any given program, usually does make several rounds of admission offers until the program has been filled. The Office of the Registrar sends out the letter of offer of admission to an applicant which indicates a response deadline by which the applicant must notify Okanagan College of their decision to accept the offer of admission. The acceptance of an offer of admission by the applicant must be accompanied by payment of a non-refundable, non-transferable offer acceptance tuition deposit. This payment will be fully applied to the payment of the student’s assessed tuition fees.

There are some programs that have a second deposit, which must be paid if the student wants to retain his/ her seat in the program. The second deposit will also be fully applied toward payment of the student’s assessed tuition fees.

By accepting the offer of admission and paying the non-refundable, non-transferable offer acceptance tuition deposit – and second deposit if applicable – by the deadline(s), the applicant will be assured of a seat in the program, and will be block registered into the respective courses, or will be given a registration time to register in their desired courses, depending on their program.

Applicants who decide to accept an offer of admission after the deadline date indicated in their offer of admission will be granted admission to the program subject only if there is space available in the program.

College Review

According to a survey, 100 percent of bachelor’s degree graduates were very satisfied with their education. Moreover, 94 percent of apprentices surveyed said they were also satisfied with their education. Also, 93 percent of the students who took diplomas, certificates or associate degrees said they were satisfied or very satisfied with their education.

On a number of websites online, Okanagan College has received a rating of 4.2/5 on the basis of 48 votes.

College Student Review

Okanagan College encourages and motivates students to get involved and participate in recreational activities, both on and off-campus. With a major emphasis on sport and fitness activities, Okanagan College has a gymnasium and fitness center as it feels sports is a vital component to lead a successful, rewarding and enjoyable college experience. They motivate students to have fun and be active

Okanagan College believes that Campus Recreation programs can enhance the quality of student life and therefore offers an array of recreational activities, programs, and events. These activities, programs, and events are provided free or at a nominal/ minimal charge to the College students.

Online Courses

Okanagan College offers numerous credit courses to students through the online medium or by distance education, allowing students throughout the Okanagan College region and beyond, to complete courses independently. The credits earned through it may be applied to Okanagan College degree, diploma and certificate programs.

Okanagan College’s usual application, registration and refund policies apply to distance education students as well.

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About the Author

Rachit believes in the power of education and has studied from the top institutes of IIIT Allahabad, IIM Calcutta, and Francois Rabelias in France. He has worked as Software Developer with Microsoft and Adobe. Post his MBA, he worked with the world’s # 1 consulting firm, The Boston Consulting Group across multiple geographies US, South-East Asia and Europe.

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