University of Victoria Profile | Maclean's

University of Victoria

University of Victoria | Victoria, B.C. | Founded 1963

Combined biology and psychology 4th year student, Alison Perry, demonstrates 3-D motion sensors and magnetic sensors that measure hand movement and different grasp responses at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C., Thursday October 9, 2014. (Photograph by Chad Hipolito)

Not many campuses can offer a 10-minute walk to the beach with surroundings of ocean, mountains and forests, but the University of Victoria has so much green space, it’s no wonder students flock outdoors in the springtime—which comes in early March—to study and suntan on blankets. But the location also influences UVic’s identity, which has research strengths in ocean and climate health, Indigenous knowledge, clean growth and healthy communities. “We’re big enough to have an international reach and impact, but small enough to create a personalized learning environment,” says president Jamie Cassels. “It’s just that right size.” Also flocking to UVic is revenue from external research grants and contracts, which has more than tripled in the past 10 years. The $200-million Ocean Networks Canada manages cabled ocean observatories off the West Coast and in the Arctic to help communities, governments and industry make informed decisions about the ocean. These observatories help scientists learn more about everything from ocean change and fish abundance, to earthquakes and tsunamis, deep-sea ecosystems and ocean engineering. But UVic isn’t just for science types. Politics students have long gone on to jobs at the nearby B.C. legislature, and the fine arts building is a hub for innovative writing and theatre.

READ: Where to find the best cheap lunch and more on campus

Standout Programs
• Biology and Earth and Ocean Sciences: This combined major allows students to take part in extensive labs investigating the biological, chemical, geological and physical components of the ocean, while researching projects ranging from the impact of climate change to underwater soundscapes.
• Indigenous Language Revitalization: Designed for Indigenous community members who want to learn and teach their language, this program is delivered with Indigenous partners who plan the first two years or the full-degree program in their communities.
• Health Information Science: This pioneering program blends health with technology to teach how health data are collected, stored, communicated and processed for health-care professionals and planners.

Cool Courses
• The Backpacker’s Guide to European History: Explores the topic from the perspective of student travel, focusing on the historical context of popular destinations and sights.
• History of Video Games and Interactive Media: Examines the cultural role of video games, focusing on influential games and designers, new genres and technological innovations.

Minimum entering grades Tuition Average class size Number of students Residence spaces Graduation and retention rates
Engineering: 84%
Arts: 75%
Science: 80%
Commerce: 80%
$6,138 1st & 2nd year: 64.6
3rd & 4th year: 26.8
Undergraduates: 18,147
Graduates: 3,446
2,299 (2,070 reserved for first years) Graduation: 65.6%
Retention: 82.6%

More Schools: University of British ColumbiaCamosun CollegeSimon Fraser UniversityRoyal Roads UniversityThompson Rivers University


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