What is a Polytechnic

What is a Polytechnic?

A Canadian polytechnic is a publicly-funded college or institute of technology that offers a wide range of advanced education credentials - four year Bachelor's degrees, advanced diplomas, certificates, as well as in-class training for apprenticeship programs. Polytechnic programs are skills-intensive and technology-based. Hands-on, experiential learning opportunities are integral to the curriculum, providing students with practical training for jobs in demand. Canada's polytechnics also solve real R&D and commercialization problems for Canadian firms because of their close partnership with industry.

How is polytechnic education different from other forms of higher learning in Canada?

A polytechnic education combines the practical approach of a college education and the depth of study usually associated with a university program. The competitive advantage of a polytechnic education for graduates is the seamless transition from education to employment, fostered by experiential learning opportunities. 

Distinctive features of Canada's polytechnics are:

  • Ability to offer four year Bachelor’s degrees,
  • Broad range of technical, technological, vocational and professional training programs from apprentice training to diplomas and certificates, as well as post-graduate credentials,
  • Strength in applied research and industry innovation, combined with a track record of success in federal research funding competitions
  • Location in key economic regions of Canada which have significant socio-economic activity and concentration of firms,
  • Large enrolment of local, regional, national and international students.

To learn more about the value of polytechnic education, please click here for a video from Dr. Glenn Feltham, President and CEO of NAIT