Degree Authorization

B.C.’s post-secondary system uses a rigourous degree quality assurance review process to ensure degree quality and equivalency across degree levels and institutions. Using this approach makes B.C. degree credentials transferrable in Canada and internationally, and is consistent with pan-Canadian degree level standards.

The degree authorization process is administered by the Degree Quality Assessment Board – an independent advisory board appointed by the Minister of Advanced Education, Skills & Training.

Institutions Authorized to Grant Degrees

Degree Authorization Act

The Degree Authorization Act requires private and out-of-province public post-secondary institutions to obtain consent from the Minister of Advanced Education, Skills & Training if they wish to grant or confer a degree in British Columbia.

The Act also requires private and out-of-province public post-secondary institutions that wish to use the word “university” in their name to either obtain consent from the minister to do so, or be authorized by a British Columbia statute to do so.

The Act applies to all private and out-of-province public post-secondary institutions. It does not apply to British Columbia public post-secondary institutions. 

In addition to the exemption for British Columbia public post-secondary institutions, the Act contains the following exemptions:

  • Institutions may advertise or provide a program leading to a degree if the institution does so under an agreement with another institution that has authority to grant degrees in B.C. and the other institution actually grants the degree
  • The definition of “degree” in section 1 of the Act specifically exempts theological degrees
  • Trinity Western University and Seminary of Christ the King have had legislative authority to grant academic degrees in British Columbia since 1988 and 1966 respectively. These institutions are required to obtain ministerial consent before offering any new academic degree programs they were not already offering on April 11, 2002, when the Act was introduced in the provincial legislature

Use the resources below to discover more about regulations and policies regarding private and out-of-province public post-secondary education in British Columbia.