Each year the selection of course offerings is determined by the number of students applying for courses, the availability of faculty, and classroom accommodation. The timetable for the Fall and Spring semesters, listing courses, dates and times, is posted on Registration and Student Records

Sample Course Description

Course sample


Numbering System

The numbers assigned to courses offered at Vancouver Island University designate the nature or characteristic of the course.

  • Introductory University level courses, which are normally taken in the first year of a program of study, are numbered 100 to 199.
  • Advanced University level courses are numbered 200 or greater.

A system of letter suffixes is employed to designate the nature of the course.

  • T indicates a University level Career or Technical course, numbered 100 to 299, which is part of the designated Career or Technical program.
  • G designates a Preparatory course, and does not qualify for University or Career/Technical programs.
  • No Suffix – courses with no suffixes are University level courses numbered 100 or greater, and are approved for University credit.


The standard unit of credits is the semester credit hour, which usually represents a minimum of one hour per week of classroom work during one semester. Although some University courses demand more than three hours of class, laboratory and seminar instructions, most University courses carry three credits. Credits are indicated in parentheses following the course identification.

Contact Hours

Following each course description is a series of numbers. These numbers indicate, in order: hours of lectures, hours of seminar, hours of laboratory work required in each week.

Health programs contact hours are represented by a series of four numbers. These numbers indicate, in order: hours of lectures, hours of seminar, hours of laboratory work, and hours of practicum.

Permission of Instructor as a Course Prerequisite

Some courses include the option of obtaining “Permission of Instructor.” In these cases, students who enrol but who are lacking the stated prerequisite must discuss their backgrounds with the instructor as soon as possible, and no later than the end of the second week of classes. The instructor may choose to deny permission and request the student’s name be removed from the class list.

If “Permission of Instructor” is not noted as an option for the prerequisite, the prerequisite may only be waived with written permission of the departmental Chair/Coordinator. A copy of this permission must be sent to the Admissions Manager. Students with special or unique backgrounds who wish to pursue the option should do so at least two weeks prior to the start of classes.

Online Courses

For a list of online courses offered, please see Online Programs and Courses.

Summer Session

Vancouver Island University offers a range of credit courses in three special sessions during the Summer Session spring and summer months. Between May and August, there are two back-to-back seven-week sessions featuring six to eight hours of instruction per week per 3-credit course, and one 14-week session with the conventional three or four hours of instruction per 3-credit course. Courses and instructors vary from year to year. Course offerings are subject to adequate enrolment. A full timetable for the Summer will be available from the Professional Development and Training early in the Spring semester. For further information, please contact Professional Development and Training at 250.740.6160.


Most first and second year courses at Vancouver Island University can be applied towards a VIU Bachelor's degree program. Please check with a VIU Advisor for eligibility of courses with a T suffix (e.g., HORT 101T).

It is possible to start a degree program at VIU and decide, after one or two years, to transfer to other post-secondary institutions in B.C. For information on course transferability, please check the BC Transfer Guide or check with the institution to which you wish to transfer.

A printed copy of the BCCAT Guide is available in the Library and in the Advising Centre at all VIU campuses. The hard-copy version of the Guide may not be as current as the website version.

In recognition of successful completion of two years of university-level studies at Vancouver Island University, students may be able to obtain an Associate Diploma or an Associate Degree.

For information on course transfer to other BC Institutions, please check the BC Transfer Guide BC Transfer Guide — or check with a VIU Advisor.