About Capilano University

Mission Statement

      At Capilano University, our mission is to enable student success in current and continuing studies, in a chosen career, in the pursuit of knowledge, and in contributing effectively as responsible citizens in a rapidly changing and diverse global community.

General Information

      Capilano University has earned an international reputation for quality teaching, programs and services. We strive to instill the knowledge, skills, motivation and attitudes that will enable our students to become independent thinkers and learners, and to contribute effectively in a rapidly changing world.

      Capilano is well known for providing a solid academic foundation and is committed to developing new and innovative programs in response to market demand. We offer a complete range of preparatory courses, university transfer courses, business and management studies, creative and applied arts programs, health and human services programs, plus a range of services in support of student learning and success. Credentials awarded include bachelor degrees, associate degrees, post-baccalaureate diplomas, advanced diplomas, certificates and statements of completion.

      Our main campus is in North Vancouver, located in a natural environment on the slopes of the North Shore and only a 20-minute drive from downtown Vancouver. The beauty of the campus and the quality of education attract students from around the world. Capilano University also has regional campuses in Squamish and Sechelt that serve the communities of Howe Sound and the Sunshine Coast. The total number of students enrolled in credit programs totals approximately 6,700. An additional 7,000 students register in non-credit courses each year.

      At Capilano University, students are safe, comfortable and challenged, and find the individual attention that can make a difference to their achievements. It is our goal to ensure that our students come first — not only at Capilano, but in all of their pursuits.

University Transfer

      Capilano University provides a solid academic foundation that can lead to many educational and career opportunities. Our academic courses are transferable to universities in British Columbia and elsewhere in Canada. We offer a range of options to meet your educational goals, including:
  • Associate degrees in Arts or Science
  • Bachelor degrees: Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies, Bachelor of Music Therapy, Bachelor of Tourism Management, and Bachelor of Business Administration
  • Post-baccalaureate programs in Environmental Science, Asia Pacific Management, Latin American Management and Art.

Career and Employment-Oriented Programs

      Capilano offers a variety of employment-oriented programs leading to certificates, diplomas and degrees. These are constantly reviewed to ensure that you are taught the latest techniques and skills required in today's workplace. Advisory committees, composed of business and community leaders and employers, review and recommend the content of all career and vocational programs.

Preparatory Courses

     Capilano University offers a full range of preparatory courses to assist you in meeting your educational and career goals, such as Adult Basic Education (ABE), English as a Second Language (ESL), Adult Special Education, and Alternative Career Training. After upgrading or refreshing your skills, you may seek employment or move into a career or university transfer program of study.

International Students

      Currently, 607 international students from 45 countries are studying in 42 programs at Capilano. International students may select from any of our programs for which they are qualified.

Continuing Education

      Continuing Education offers lifelong learning opportunities to thousands of students who enrol each year in non-credit courses for personal and professional development, or pure enjoyment. Innovative programming is available for all ages beginning with Community Music School through to Eldercollege, and a wide variety of programs in between, such as arts, career development, film studies, computer training, business and finance, communications, languages, adult music and natural history. Capilano also offers short-term language training programs that can be combined with recreational and cultural activities. Homestay is available.

Student Profile

Of the approximately 6,700 students enrolled in credit programs during the fall of 2007:
  • 37.58% are enrolled in university transfer; 51.62% in career/vocational programs; 10.80% in developmental programs 
  • 72% are full-time; 28% part-time
  • 59% female; 41% male
  • 44% are residents of the North Shore; 28% are residents of Vancouver and Burnaby; the remaining 28% come from the rest of the Lower Mainland, British Columbia, Canada and around the world.
  • Approximately 70% of all North Shore grade 12 graduates who go directly into full-time study in the B.C. college, institute and university college system choose Capilano University.   


      Capilano was founded by the school boards and residents of North Vancouver, West Vancouver and Howe Sound through referendum in 1968. Classes that first year were held in a small building on the grounds of West Vancouver Secondary School.

     Initial enrolment that first year was 784 students. Today, Capilano has blossomed into a publicly-funded learning institution that serves 6,500 credit and 7,000 non-credit students annually. It has approximately 785 employees.

      In 1973, Capilano opened its permanent 34-acre campus in the Lynnmour area of North Vancouver. That same year, it also established a regional centre in Squamish to serve the Howe Sound communities of Squamish, Whistler, Mount Currie and Pemberton. In 1977, Capilano opened the Sechelt campus to serve the communities of the Sunshine Coast.

University Growth/Campus Development

A master site plan outlines the most recent development of the North Vancouver campus:
  • Construction of the Cedar building was completed in 1991. It added three floors of classroom and faculty office space, plus a 90-seat lecture theatre.
  • The Sportsplex was completed in the fall of 1991. This marked the beginning of the development of the south campus.
  • The new Library building opened in 1993, tripling the size of the existing library space.
  • In September 1994, Capilano's Squamish campus held a ground-breaking ceremony to mark the beginning of construction of a new campus, which opening in May 1995.
  • The Birch building was completed in 1996. It houses a 380-seat performance theatre, classrooms and student services, and also provides teaching space to accommodate 400 full-time students.
  • Capilano's new Child Care Centre was completed in 1996. At 7,100 gross square feet, it can accommodate 79 children, from infants to five year olds.

Training offer

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