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Getting to Know Kelowna’s University & Colleges

a view of the okanagan valley with UBCO kelowna university in the centre, surrounded by greenery, mountains and the lake in the background

Taking the next step in post-secondary education is a big one and deciding where to go can feel overwhelming. Whether you’re already living in Kelowna or looking to move to Kelowna for school, there are plenty of college and university options available to you. While this list doesn’t cover every institution in the area, we’ve put together some of the most popular choices with campus information to get you started.

Okanagan College

birds-eye view of the Okanagan College campus with Kelowna, with Okanagan lake and mountains in the background
The Okanagan College campus in Kelowna’s Lower Mission [photo credit Okanagan College]

Okanagan College is known for their small class sizes, supportive learning environments and practical, hands-on education through their apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship trades programs. Subjects range from arts and sciences to business, health, technologies, upgrading, special education, and continuing studies. 

Campus Life

There are also on-campus and off-campus housing options depending where you are in life. If you’re staying on campus, you’ll have plenty of access to sports and rec facilities, libraries, and more. Food choices include the cafeteria, the Infusions Dining Room next door, Marmalade Cat Cafe in the Trades building, and Kekuli in the Centre for Learning. Plus, there are plenty of organized events like movie nights, bbqs, and games to help new friendships grow stronger. 

two images side by side, the first is an exterior view of the Trades building at Okanagan College, the second is an exterior view the Health building
The Trades Building (left) and Health Building (right) at Okanagan College [photo credit Okanagan College]
interior view of the okanagan college centre for learning, showing a modern design with a wooden circle centre room for studying and connecting with students
Okanagan College’s Centre for Learning [photo credit Okanagan College]


OC is closest to the Shore, at just 1.1 kilometres away, so your commute would be a quick walk or drive to school. 

1000 K. L. O. Rd, Kelowna, BC
13 min walk (1.1 km) from The Shore

Sprott Shaw in Kelowna

a study area in Kelowna's Sprott Shaw College, with three students sitting at a table working on laptops and a logo sign on the wall
Students learning at the Sprott Shaw College Kelowna Campus [photo credit Sprott Shaw College]

Located downtown, the Sprott Shaw Kelowna campus is a great place to be if you want to experience fine dining, shopping, and entertainment while getting a great education. Programs include nursing & health care, childcare & community support, business, and administration. 

With monthly start dates, you can choose when to begin your education journey. If you’re in one of the health care programs, you’ll be able to get hands-on experience with Kelowna General Hospital and Interior Heath thanks to close ties that Sprott Shaw has to the community. 

two images side by side of sprott shaw college's partnership with Kelowna general hospital, showing patients being examined and assisted, with students in scrubs
Students getting hands-on experience at the Kelowna General Hospital [photo credit Sprott Shaw College]

Campus Life

Their modern campus is clean and simple, with plenty of spaces for collaborating with your fellow students and smaller classes so you can really connect with your teachers for immersive learning. 


Being a block off Harvey Avenue between Ellis and Bertram street, the campus is easy to access by vehicle with more than enough available parking. There are also four major bus routes within walking distance of the campus: the 97, 2, 9, 10 and 11 so you have plenty of options of how to get to school. 

546 Leon Ave Suite 200, Kelowna, BC
8 min drive (3.5 km) from The Shore

four young women walking down a corridor in the sprott shaw college kelowna campus, laughing and smiling
Students at the Sprott Shaw College Kelowna Campus [photo credit Sprott Shaw College]

First College

Whether you’re just out of school, wanting to upgrade some skills, or looking for a career change, First College is another excellent education option in Kelowna. Their mission is to prepare you for a variety of occupations with a dedication to quality and a love for lifelong learning. Programs include RMT training, business, health care, science and tech, and languages. 

Students holding their diplomas outside the First College campus in Kelowna [photo credit First College]

Campus Life 

Enjoy plenty of hands-on training, with smaller class sizes and a faculty who bring their experience from being in the field. While they don’t have on-campus residences, they are dedicated to helping you find a place to call home during your time with them. 

Massage tables and supplies ready for the RMT program at First College [photo credit First College]


Just like Okanagan College, First College is located downtown so getting to school is a quick zip under 10 minutes from the Shore. Alternatively, you can grab the 1 or the 8 to get yourself there in under 30 minutes. 

532 Leon Ave Second Floor, Kelowna, BC
9 min drive (3.7 km) from The Shore

Centre for Arts and Technology

exterior view of landmark building three, the home of kelowna's centre for arts and technology college campus
Landmark 3 – home to The Centre for Arts and Technology campus [photo credit CAT]

The Centre for Arts and Technology (CAT) is considered to be Canada’s premier college when it comes to technical training and digital arts. Programs include graphic design, animation, network security, filmmaking, photography, audio engineering, interior design, fashion design, and event planning and then helps place them in the best companies in the fields.

two images side by side, the first showing two students and an instructor working on a soundboard during an AV class, the second showing four students around a model holding lighting props and a camera during a photography program college class
Students getting hands-on experience in the Audio Engineering and Professional Photography programs
four students sitting at desks with computer monitors in a classroom decorated with interior design photos and diagrams, highlighting CATO college interior design program
Students attending a lecture in the Interior Design program [photo credit CAT]

Campus Life

Being an arts and technology school, there’s lots of personality. Prepare yourself for fully decorated spaces around the holidays (especially Halloween) and enjoy a campus that’s big enough to have everything you need without being overwhelming. 

100-1632 Dickson Avenue, Kelowna, BC
9 min drive (4.7 km) from The Shore

University of British Columbia Okanagan

a birds eye view kelowna in a valley surrounded by mountains and the lake in the background, with kelowna's university of british columbia okanagan campus in the centre
An aerial view of the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan campus in Kelowna [photo credit UBCO]

UBC’s Okanagan campus, or UBCO, offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs across a variety of subjects. From the arts to sciences, medicine, and more – their programming is ever evolving. Many degrees even allow a multi-disciplinary approach to studying across different subjects.

Campus life

Two campuses plus the Endowment Lands mean plenty of exciting things to do and see without having to leave your new home. Most of your academics will take place on the Lower Campus while student life happens on the upper campus with on-campus student housing, childcare, and rec buildings. The UBC Endowment Lands (West Campus Lands) are a 103.6-hectare (256-acre) parcel of agricultural land reserved for future research and recreational uses.

Over the next 15 years, there will be some big changes at UBCO as it grows. Promises of expansion when it comes to research, teaching, residences, and commercial spots will be able to handle the larger capacity of students attending the university as well as residents wanting to live on campus.

kelowna's university UBCO campus tower 2 interior, showing students walking to and from classes and others sitting at desks studying
Students on campus at UBCO [photo credit UBCO]

Student life

The University Centre holds most of what will keep you busy while at UBCO – student club spaces, a cafeteria and pub, a movie theatre, a multi-faith space, plus a few centres and clinics where students can get mental and physical health support. There are plenty of orientation programs, commuter Collegia spaces, volunteer opportunities, and mentorship options to help you find your space and fit right in at school!

The UBCO library is a feat of academic excellence. It has plenty of useful information through books and multimedia you can use for papers and research studies, as well as bookable spaces where you can get together with fellow students for projects and study time. Be sure not to miss the Commons building, which offers a variety of spaces designed1 to encourage student potential and foster teamwork, intellectual engagement, and creativity.

a close up of a sign board at the university of british columbia okanagan, with a map of the campus and arrow guides to different buildings on campus
Navigating the UBCO campus in Kelowna [photo credit UBCO]


UBCO’s may seem like it’s further out of town than the college choices above but thanks to the direct interchange with Highway 97, downtown Kelowna can be reached within a 20 minute drive. It’s also close to Kelowna International Airport for easy access for out of town students.

UBC Okanagan’s Exchange is the northern terminus for bus routes into town, up to Lake Country, Vernon, and beyond. If you’re feeling motivated, campus is also connected to the regional bikeway, Okanagan Rail Trail, and the John Hindle Drive multi-use pathway.

3333 University Way, Kelowna, BC
21 min drive (13.9 km) from The Shore

Come for School, Stay for the City

As a city with a thriving technology sector, a growing healthcare industry, and a robust tourism industry, there’s plenty of opportunity for post-school work in a variety of fields after your time at one of our exciting college or university campuses. As well, our city’s proximity to major western cities like Vancouver or Calgary via a well-connected transportation infrastructure makes it easy for graduates to access job opportunities across the region.

If you do come to Kelowna for school, be sure to check out our favourite spots to stock up on groceries, where to find some fun with our Kelowna nightlife guide, and of course where to grab the best breakfasts and brunches for the morning after.

Home at the Shore

If you decide to live off campus, The Shore is a great place to call home while you’re in town studying. With a full kitchen of modern appliances, in-suite laundry facilities, and lightning fast high speed internet, you’ll have access to all you need to succeed academically. 

Explore our suites.

The Shore Kelowna exterior with Lakeshore road in the foreground along with gyro beach's volleyball courts, and the city of kelowna in the background
The Shore Kelowna – a modern apartment-hotel complex in Kelowna’s Lower Mission Neighbourhood