Vancouver Island University

Vancouver Island University | Nanaimo, B.C. | Founded 1969


Vancouver Island University Students

Vancouver Island University’s main campus is located on the lower slopes of Mount Benson overlooking Nanaimo, B.C., on the east coast of Vancouver Island. There are also regional campuses in Duncan, Powell River and Parksville. “VIU exists to serve our students and the communities that look to VIU for relevant, responsive and innovative educational programs and services,” says president Ralph Nilson. VIU offers undergraduate degrees in the arts and sciences. It is also home to trades and master’s programs, continuing education studies and an extensive number of traditional and non-traditional programs, including natural resource protection, tourism management and jazz studies. For those interested in coastal and marine research, there’s the Deep Bay Marine Field Station with state-of-the-art labs and a seawater tank near an estuarine ecosystem. Although most students hail from within the province, the university has a large international education program that attracts 1,800 students from about 80 countries to the undergraduate, graduate and ESL programs. Must-see features on the campus include four botanical gardens, as well as the Fossil—a 70-million-year-old rock that was discovered by construction workers in 1996.

READ: The inside scoop on the island school

Standout Programs

Hospitality Management: Offered as both a two-year diploma or a four-year degree, this program gives students lots of hands-on experience by working in the university’s dining room and at special events; degree students can also participate in three paid work terms.

Forest Technology: As of September 2014, this program is paperless. Students use GPS-enabled tablets to navigate the woods, collect and analyze data, and download course materials.

Interior Design: Instruction features studio, lecture, critique, and computer lab settings as students learn the details of creating indoor spaces.

Cool Courses

How To Do Things With Words: This course discusses the art of persuasion and the nature of inference and conviction. Students will gain a greater understanding of how to communicate their point of view.

The Rise of Professional Sport in Canada: Organized professional sports developed in Canada between Confederation and the Second World War. This course studies how it happened and its relationship to Canada today.

Minimum entering grades Tuition Undergraduate students Residence spaces
High school diploma; minimum grade of C in English 12; some programs require specific courses and higher grades $4,694 Full-time: 4,713
Part-time: 2,103
536 (456 reserved for first years)

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