VIU Students at Beach

Program changes at VIU

Information about program phase outs and discontinuations

VIU strives to meet the needs of all learners through programming that reflects the needs and demand for graduates in our region. At times it may no longer be feasible for the university to offer a certain course or program. Reasons include when there is low interest in that program or the regional market does not show a demand for graduates from that program. In those cases, programs may be phased out. This means the program will no longer accept new students. Students already in that program will continue to be supported to graduate from that program.

Decisions to phase out or suspend programs are not made lightly. There is a rigorous process that the university must follow as outlined under the BC Universities Act. This is further supported by university policy and procedure. 

The process to phase out and discontinue delivery of a program goes through many steps:

  • Initially, the Provost and the Faculty Dean submit a proposal for phasing out a program to the Planning and Priorities Standing Committee of the VIU Senate.
  • Alternately, as a result of Summative Program Assessment, a program may be recommended for review, which could lead to a recommendation to Senate to suspend or cancel the program.
  • This committee then decides whether to approve or reject the proposal.
  • Should the proposal receive approval, it moves forward for consideration by the full VIU Senate. Senate will then decide to accept or reject the proposal.
  • If accepted the proposal advances to the Board of Governors for final acceptance or rejection.
  • Upon the Board of Governors' approval of proposal, the program will cease to accept new students. However, all students currently enrolled will be provided with the necessary support to complete their studies and obtain their intended qualifications.

The following programs are being phased out at VIU: 


  • Online Learning and Teaching Graduate Diploma

Science and Technology

  • Integrated Engineering Technologist (Engineering Transfer Diploma will continue)

Social Sciences

  • Advanced Diploma in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Applications
  • Master in GIS Applications

The following programs are currently moving through the process to be phased out and discontinued at VIU

Arts and Humanities

  • Bachelor of Music
  • Bachelor of Music - Classical Transfer
  • Jazz Diploma

Programs currently suspended and under review (as of 2023-24)

  • Economics major (Economics courses are still being offered, BA minor in Economics is still an option).


VIU is committed to ensuring that all students currently enrolled in a program will be able to meet the requirements for graduation. If the decision is made to phase out a program, no new students will be able to enroll in the program. If you are in a program that is being suspended or phased out, you will receive a direct email from VIU.

If the decision is made to phase out a program you have applied for, you will receive a direct email from VIU informing you of the decision and outlining your options. If you choose to withdraw your application, your application fee will be refunded in full. 

If VIU no longer offers a program, this does not minimize the value of your credential in that program in any way. You will remain a recognized graduate of that program.

Decisions to suspend or phase out programs are not made lightly, and they are not based entirely on either quantitative or qualitative data. However, demand for programs, including current enrolment and applications are considered.

VIU is committed to meeting the needs of our learners which includes making sure that we deliver the right program mix to meet demand for programs and for it to be financially viable to offer those programs.

If your program is being phased out, VIU will continue to support you to graduate from that program. However, if you wish to explore other options, you can connect with our Advising Centre.

That will depend on the program. We expect to continue to offer some courses that were part of a discontinued program as electives, however this will be dependent on resources and sufficient enrolment.