Vancouver Island University

Founded 1969 | Nanaimo, BC

The main campus of Vancouver Island University (VIU), in Nanaimo, is located on a mountain slope overlooking the Salish Sea on Vancouver Island’s east coast. VIU offers undergraduate degrees in arts, business, education and sciences, as well as trades and graduate programs, professional development and training, and academic preparation. The school’s Indigenous/Xwulmuxw Studies is a collaboration between Vancouver Island University and the First Nations of Vancouver Island and Coastal British Columbia. 

For students interested in coastal and marine research, the Deep Bay Marine Field Station offers 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. 

VIU works to improve access to post-secondary education through initiatives such as a tuition-waiver program for former youth in care, upgrading courses, student success coaching, and a bridging program for Indigenous students. An expansion to Shq’apthut, VIU’s Indigenous Gathering Place, will add more ceremonial spaces, Elder-in-Residence offices and washroom facilities, all within a fully accessible building.

In August 2022, the BC government announced that it will provide $87 million toward a new student residence building and dining hall at VIU’s Nanaimo campus. The new housing building will increase on-campus student accommodations by nearly 50 percent, from 536 to 802 beds. 

Popular Programs

• Bachelor of Arts

• Bachelor of Business Administration

• Bachelor of Science

• Bachelor of Education

• Bachelor of Science in Nursing

School Size



• Degree $5,400-$13,755

• Diploma $5,400- $7,900

• Certificate $5,400-$12,755

• Post-Grad $5,400-$13,860

Residence Offerings


Cool Options

• Resource Management Officer Technology: Students gain first-hand experiences in the field and the skills required to monitor and report illegal activities by assisting natural resource law enforcement agencies in the central Vancouver Island area.

• Recreation and Sport Management: In this diploma program, students prepare for careers in the growing sport, recreation, health and wellness industries.

• Culinary Arts: Students can launch careers in world-class hotels, restaurants, bakeries and more. VIU is one of just two institutions in North America certified to offer an additional certification in Cooking Skills for Japanese Cuisine in Foreign Countries built into the existing certificate program.