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Full-time Associate Certificate 7985acert

Business Fundamentals

Fall 2020 Delivery Mode: ONLINE

  • This program will be delivered online for the Fall semester.
  • Your education is our priority and we will continue to deliver the applied instruction, collaborative experience, and industry connections that you expect from BCIT.
  • Students should be prepared to attend some synchronous online sessions during regular school hours (Monday to Friday, 8:30am – 5:30pm PST). Student schedules will be available in late August 2020.

The Business Fundamentals (BFUN) program provides an academic path for international and permanent resident students whose first language is not English (and do not meet the general English requirements) to enter a full-time diploma program in the School of Business at BCIT. Upon completion students can enter a number of full-time and part-time diploma programs with credits from the Business Fundamentals program or, if you already have a degree or diploma, enter with an advanced standing.

For some students who want to study a shorter program in business, the Business Fundamentals program also provides an excellent opportunity to learn basic Canadian business skills and improve their English competency.

Domestic students - English as primary language

If you aren’t ready to study full time in the School of Business but want to attend during the day time, then this program will give you the necessary courses to enter into the diploma programs on a more gradual basis. You can study the first level of a program while continuing to work, or because you want to study in a less intense program. When you are finished the Business Fundamentals program, you will be ready for advanced placement to level 2 of most diploma programs in the School of Business, or enter a part-time diploma in a variety of fields.

Students who don’t meet the regular program entrance requirements can also enroll in this program and take the prerequisite English and Mathematics courses to ensure your application to the diploma program is complete.

International students and/or English as second language

International and ESL students sometimes find the challenges of a transition to Canada and instruction in English and the intense BCIT programming too much to meet. By studying in the Business Fundamentals program, students can work up to the high level of work and English competency that is needed to succeed in the diploma programs.

The Business Fundamentals program has several pre-entry levels of English language instruction available that help bridge you to the level of English you need to succeed at BCIT. Class sizes are kept small to ensure there is more attention to your individual needs.

At the end of the program, you will be eligible to receive an Associate Certificate and apply for entry into most business diploma programs at BCIT.

Credit Transferability:

The majority of our courses can be transferred to most educational institutions in BC. Also, we have articulation agreements with several industry, government and education partners that allow students who have taken courses or programs at these organizations to apply for transfer of their credits to BCIT.

For details, contact Student Information and Enrollment Services at 604-434-1610 or toll-free at 1-866-434-1610 (Canada and United States only) to leave your name and number for a Program Advisor to return your call.

For more information, contact the International Student Centre by email at or call +1-604-432-8816. You can also visit the office at BCIT’s Burnaby campus – Building SW1 Room 1170.

Program Entry

COVID-19 Notice to Applicants

Please visit Admission during COVID-19 to learn how BCIT Admissions is supporting applicants. At this time, there are no program-specific changes for applying to this program.

Application processing

This program is open to applications:

  • March 1st* to December 15th for the Winter (January) intake
  • July 2nd* to April 15th* for the Spring (May) intake
  • October 1st* to August 15th* for the Fall (September) intake

*or next business day

Applications are considered for a specific intake.

Entrance requirements

Applicants must meet all entrance requirements and will be accepted on a first qualified basis as long as space remains.

* International students attending an English as a Second Language school in British Columbia should contact the Business Fundamentals program head for possible equivalencies.

Note: A valid study permit is required for international students and must be submitted in person to the International Student Centre prior to start of classes.

Read more about how to meet BCIT’s entrance requirements

Recommended for success

It is strongly recommended that you assess your fundamental mathematical skills. The Mathematics Self-Diagnostic Test [PDF] is voluntary. If you find these problems difficult, we strongly recommend that you attend OPMT 0199. You should be able to do this exercise in about an hour, after which you should compare your answers with the correct ones supplied. If you scored less than 20 out of 26 correct, you should seriously consider upgrading your mathematical skills.

Students are encouraged to take the COMM 0015 - English Competency Assessment and the COMM 0033 - English Speaking and Listening Assessment before starting the program as a high placement result will reduce the number of English courses required to complete the program. COMM 0015 and COMM 0033 are administered every few weeks at BCIT.

Apply to program

To submit your application:

  • Include proof of meeting all entrance requirements.
  • Convert all transcripts and supporting documents to PDF files.
  • Have a credit card ready to pay the application fee.
Apply Now

Learn more about how to apply

Scheduled intakes

January, May and September.

Costs & Supplies

Bring Your Own Device

Students are required to have their own laptop. Please refer to the Bring Your Own Device Specifications [PDF] for requirements.

Laptop costs vary depending on the configuration chosen, but will likely range from approximately $1,000 to $2,000.

Tuition fees

International students

A $3,000 non-refundable, non-transferable commitment fee is due upon acceptance to the program.

Your tuition deposit for first term is $11,000.*

The balance of the tuition deposit, the total minus the commitment fee, is $8,000 and is due 60 days prior to the start of the program.

Domestic students

A $200 non-refundable, non-transferable commitment fee is due upon acceptance.

Your tuition deposit for first term is $3,200.*

The balance of tuition deposit, the total minus the commitment fee, is $3,000 and is due 60 days prior to the start of the program.

Please see the Part-time Studies fees and refunds section of the website for more information on course tuition fees.

*Please note: Tuition is charged each term on a course by course basis and will vary depending on your English placement and course selection. Courses for international students are charged at 3 times the domestic rate. Any remaining balance from your deposit is available for the second term tuition, and any charges beyond the $11,000 are due on registration.

Other anticipated expenditures during your studies are:

  • Local Transportation: approximately $100/month
  • Textbooks: approximately $1,400/program
  • Medical Insurance: approximately $750/year

Living expenses, tuition fees, textbooks, supplies, lab fees and medical insurance costs are the responsibility of the student.

Refund policy

The Business Fundamentals (BFUN) commitment fee is non-refundable.

Students withdrawing from classes will follow the part-time studies refund deadlines.

International students denied a Study Permit by Canadian authorities can find information on the International fees and refunds section of the website.


Class hours

Most classes are between 8:30am - 5:30pm, Monday to Friday at the Burnaby Campus. Some classes may be scheduled in evening or weekends depending on course availability.

Program delivery

Students will be registered into classes according to their ultimate program of choice. Students entering without a degree or diploma are typically registered in the following courses in their first term of study:

Students are normally required to take a minimum of five courses, including at least one COMM course, and must continue to advance in their level of English. Course selection for subsequent terms is determined by meeting with the program advisor. Students may only change their courses with program head approval, and must meet prerequisites for advanced-level courses.

After completing the required courses, students must choose between two options to complete their credential, as described below. Option 2 is only available to students who currently hold a degree or diploma. Students in both options will be eligible for the Associate Certificate.

Program matrix

Professional English Language Development Courses (as needed): Credits
Depending on your English placement, you may be required to take one or more of the following supplementary and prerequisite English courses.
  COMM 0003 Technical Communication Skills for ESL Students 2 0.0
  COMM 0004 Technical Communication Skills for ESL Students 3 0.0
  COMM 0005 Technical Communication Skills for ESL Students 4 0.0
  COMM 0029 Speaking and Listening Skills for ESL Students 1 0.0
  COMM 0030 Speaking and Listening Skills for ESL Students 2 0.0
  COMM 0071 Technical Communication Skills for ESL Students 1 0.0
Required Courses (minimum 12.0 credits) Credits
  COMM 1106 Introduction to Business and Technical Communication (With Language Development Component) 3.0
  COMM 1117 Introduction to Intercultural Business Communication & Workplace Diversity 3.0
  MKTG 1323 Effective Public Speaking 3.0
  FMGT 1100 Accounting 1 4.0
  FMGT 1152 Accounting for the Manager 3.0
  FMGT 2152 Accounting for Management 5.5
Option 1 (minimum 22.0 credits) Credits
This option is available to all Business Fundamentals students.

The following additional courses are required for direct entry into level 2 School of Business diploma programs:

Required Electives (16.0 credits)

  BSYS 1001 Business Information Systems 1 - Office 2016 3.0
  BUSA 1060 Canadian Business and Society 3.0
  ECON 2100 Microeconomics 3.0
  MKTG 1102 Essentials of Marketing 3.0
  OPMT 1110 Business Mathematics 4.0

Open Electives (6.0 credits)

Choose a minimum of 6.0 additional elective credits to apply for entry to level 2 of one of the following programs:

Full-time School of Business diploma programs: Part-time School of Business diploma programs:
Option 2 (minimum 21.0 credits) Credits
You must currently hold a degree or diploma to be eligible for this option.

The following additional courses are required for advanced placement into School of Business diploma programs.

Required Electives (6.0 credits)

  COMM 2202 Business and Technical Correspondence 3.0
  COMM 2203 Business and Technical Reports 3.0

Open Electives (15.0 credits)

Choose a minimum of 15.0 additional elective credits to be eligible to apply for advanced placement into level 2 or 3 of one of the following programs:

Full-time School of Business diploma programs: Part-time School of Business diploma programs:
Total Credits: 33.0

Transfer credit

Do you have credits from another BC/Yukon post-secondary school? Do you want to know if they transfer to courses here at BCIT? Check out BCIT's Transfer Equivalency Database to find out.

Program Details

You will learn a broad range of basic business and academic skills needed to succeed in the diploma programs, and in business. Business topics include accounting, management, business math, economics, marketing, and organizational behaviour. Additionally, your technical communications, and interpersonal and oral fluency in English will be upgraded to meet BCIT's standards.

To give you a better understanding of what you'll learn and the activities you'll participate in, here's a closer look at specific course examples:
  • In your computer courses, you will work in labs to learn the software necessary to complete all of your assignments, and to work successfully within an office environment. You will be expected to demonstrate basic computer skills at the end of the course.
  • In organizational behaviour and management courses, you will learn about basic human management issues and how to utilize appropriate strategies to solve them,
  • In accounting and math courses, you will learn how to solve business problems by applying math calculations as well as using accounting knowledge to record simulated daily business activities.
  • In the business and society course, you will learn about Canadian business and culture. Ethical standards for North American businesses and for Canadian students are quite high and may be different from your country.
  • In communications courses, you will upgrade your English speaking, writing, and presentation skills so you are comfortable working with others, and can clearly communicate your ideas.

Learning at BCIT

Students in the Business Fundamentals program at BCIT are enrolled into special sections of the courses, which means that you will study many of your classes with the same group of students. Canadian students will also be studying in those same classes with you.

Small class sizes allow each student to get more individual attention which helps build valuable study and learning skills. Our instructors are professional business men and women who work in the field in which they teach, and have many years of experience teaching international students.

At the end of each term you will need to consult with your Program Advisor to determine which courses you need to take in the following term to complete the program and to prepare for entry to the diploma program. Since we have a number of students in each term with different educational and cultural backgrounds, the learning environment will be interesting and exciting with many different views and opinions on issues.

As a full-time student who is enrolled in this program, you will be spending about 22-24 hours per week in the classroom either working independently or in teams. Also, you will spend about 20 hours per week in study after school. You will learn through in-class work as well as after-class exercises that you are expected to complete on a timely basis. Managing your time in and after school is a very important factor for your successful completion of this program.

Learning in the classroom at BCIT may be very different than what you are used to. Instructors expect students to speak in class, offer their opinions and analysis, and to work closely in teams with other students. Employers in North America expect their employees to have these skills when they come to work in management. Therefore, throughout your time in the Business Fundamentals program, you will be practicing and enhancing your skills in these areas.

Help for students is available through the BCIT Peer Tutoring system, which is free for students, and through other resources on campus. 

Program length

Normally one year, full-time

Note: International students who complete this program in less than one year may not be eligible for post graduate work permits. Check with the International Student Centre for more information.

Program location

Burnaby Campus
3700 Willingdon Avenue
Burnaby, BC

Continue your education

Many courses in the Business Fundamentals program are transferable to BCIT's business diploma programs. Upon successful completion of the Business Fundamentals program, you may qualify for advanced placement into the next program. To be eligible for placement to that program, you must complete all of the required entry courses for the BCIT business diploma program you would like to enter. Seat availability is limited so please apply as early as possible.

Level 2 of BCIT's full-time business diploma programs start in January each year, and level 3 of BCIT's full-time business diploma programs start in September. Depending on when you complete the Business Fundamentals program, you may need to take Part-time Studies courses until you can start the full-time diploma program.

Part-time studies diploma programs can be entered at any time during the year once you are eligible. You can apply for transfer credit for any applicable courses taken during this time.

To view detailed information by program, please visit Direct Entry.

Students who successfully complete a BCIT business diploma program may choose to continue their studies further by applying to the Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) program.

Graduating & Jobs

Academic Opportunities

BCIT School of Business diploma students may be eligible to study abroad at one of our educational partners. For more information, please contact the International Exchange Coordinator at

Job Opportunities

Graduates of the Business Fundamentals program will have the skills to work at an entry level or junior position in the Canadian marketplace. Graduates are eligible to apply for a work visa through Citizenship & Immigration Canada.

More information on work visas is available.

Apply for graduation

Upon successful completion of all program requirements, complete an Application for BCIT Credential [PDF] and submit it to Student Information and Enrolment Services.

Allow approximately six to eight weeks for processing.

All financial obligations to the Institute must be met prior to issuance of any credential.

Faculty, Advisors & Staff

You will learn much of what you need to know from the instructors in your class. All of your instructors have worked in industry, generally have advanced degrees in their field of expertise and are very committed to teaching. Using this background they are able to bring real-world examples and its application into the classroom. For our instructors, applying knowledge to the business world is central to what we do and you will learn.

You will also be learning from each other. Through team work, you will build on each others' skills and knowledge, and indirectly learn much about yourself and Canada.

As well, you may be learning from people in industry. In the first term there will be field trips into actual businesses to help you become acquainted with business environments firsthand. Later on in your diploma program, you will be expected to work for a business in an internship or on a supervised project.

You will also have the opportunity to join student run clubs on campus which engage in actual entrepreneurial activities, such as Enactus BCIT.

Contact Us

Sarah Chanway
Program Assistant
604-432-8571 |

Ron Kessler
Program Head - Business Fundamentals
604-451-6782 |

Contact a Program Advisor with the BCIT program name in the subject line if you have a question about:
  • Course selection and program planning
  • Making changes to your approved program plan
  • Applying for transfer credit and advanced placement
  • Laddering options
  • Job placement and graduate outcomes
  • Student life

Questions or comments?

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As well, if you meet any of the following criteria, please follow the links for more information, instead of sending the form:

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The personal information on this form is collected under the authority of the College and Institute Act (RSBC 1996, Ch.52). BCIT will use this information to communicate with you regarding relevant BCIT programs, courses and services. This information is only used by authorized BCIT staff. Email communication sent to and from BCIT is routed through the United States of America. If you have any questions about BCIT's collection and use of this information, please contact BCIT’s manager of Information Access and Privacy.

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