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 diploma programs, see the Colleges Guide profile.

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 and centres in the Cowichan Valley, Powell River and Parksville. “VIU defines success by how wide we are able to open our doors, how well we support students once they are here and how well they succeed when they leave us,” says president Deborah Saucier.

VIU boasts small class sizes and offers undergraduate degrees in arts, business, education and sciences. It is also home to trades and graduate programs, professional development and training, academic preparation, 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. The Health and Science Centre houses research and teaching labs for chemistry, environmental research, nursing and other health programs.

One of VIU’s core values is removing barriers for those who want access to post-secondary education. The university offers initiatives such as a tuition-waiver program for former youth in care, upgrading courses through adult basic education, student success coaching and a bridging program for Indigenous students.

READ: An insider’s guide to the best live music venue, place to study and more on campus

Standout Programs
Child and Youth Care: A wide range of courses covers topics such as early intervention, child protection and community-based programs. Students get hands-on experience with two 300-hour practicums in the field.
Interior Design: This program builds theoretical and practical skills through lectures, studios and computer labs; it includes paid internship, field trips and a final two-semester-long project.
Chemistry: This program offers small classes and hands-on learning in new state-of-the-art labs. Courses cover emerging fields, such as green chemistry, and emphasize problem solving, the integration of experiential learning and computer-aided inquiry.

Cool Courses
Beverage Theory: Learn about production and marketing, cocktail theory and bartending principles, and responsible use.
Animal Assisted Interventions with Individuals and Families: Explore how animals are incorporated in therapeutic treatment plans.

$5,340 (includes compulsory ancillary fees)
Minimum Entering Grades
Arts: 60% · Science: 60% · Commerce: 60% ·
Engineering: 71%
Student Body
Undergraduates: Full-time: 5,062 · Part-time: 2,527
Graduates: Full-time: 669 · Part-time: 293
International students: First-year: 23.3% ·
Graduate: 62.6%
Male-Female Ratio: 38 to 62
Housing facts
Residence Spaces: 536 (approx. 500 reserved for first-year students)
Residence Costs: Double room with meals: $6,525 to $9,125 · Single room with meals: $9,525 to $11,725 · Double room without meals: $4,000 to $4,200 · Single room without meals: $6,600 to $6,800 · Apartment-style: $4,000 to $7,400

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