Vancouver Island University

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

Vancouver Island University Students

VIU offers a range of degree, diploma and certificate programs and is profiled in both the Maclean’s Universities Guidebook and the Maclean’s Colleges Guide. To learn more about the school’s degree programs, see the Universities Guidebook profile.

Vancouver Island University’s (VIU) main campus is on the lower slopes of Mount Benson overlooking Nanaimo, on the east coast of Vancouver Island. This campus is home to the school’s residences, including dormitories, townhouses and apartments. The university has additional campuses in Powell River, Parksville and Duncan, where the school’s newest campus, Cowichan, is located. Although most students come from B.C., VIU has a large international education program.

The university boasts small class sizes and offers undergraduate degrees in the arts and sciences. It is home to trades and master’s programs, continuing education and programs such as natural resource protection, tourism management and jazz studies.

Researchers have used VIU’s proximity to wilderness to study the connections between humans and nature in the Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region. The school’s Deep Bay Marine Field Station in Bowser has state-of-the-art labs and a seawater tank. The aquaculture greenhouse provides hands-on experience with aquaponics—a local, organic way to grow food.

VIU aims to remove barriers for people who want a post-secondary education. The university offers a tuition-waiver program for former youth in care, student success coaching and a bridging program for Indigenous students, who make up about 11 per cent of the school’s population.

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Size of school Tuition (degree) Tuition (diploma) Tuition (certificate) Tuition (post-grad) Residence offerings
Mid-sized (2,000 full-time students to fewer than 10,000 full-time students) $5,441-$6,363 $5,441-$6,363 $5,441-$6,363 $12,739-$17,114 Yes

Cool Options

  • Aboriginal Construction Certificate: Developed in consultation with First Nations communities, this course teaches Indigenous learners about the construction methods of coastal First Nations and builds skills and apprenticeship opportunities.
  • Fisheries and Aquaculture: Students with a related bachelor of science degree get the opportunity to take applied, lab-oriented courses in fisheries and aquaculture.
  • Integrated Engineering Technologist: The program combines civil, mechanical and structural technologies to prepare students for an engineering technologist’s career.

Popular Programs

  • Bachelor of Arts
  • Bachelor of Business Administration
  • Bachelor of Science
  • Master of Business Administration
  • Bachelor of Education

More Schools: Thompson Rivers UniversityCapilano UniversityCamosun CollegeUniversity of the Fraser ValleyUniversity of Victoria