Nanaimo Campus

Frequently Asked Questions


Can I apply online?

You can apply to become a student online by following the Detailed Application Steps.

How do I apply to become a student at VIU?

Apply for any VIU program. The steps to becoming a student on this page will walk you through the application procedure*. Either download and complete the application form and mail or hand deliver it to a Registration centre, or apply online. If you apply to VIU online you will have to create an account, then follow the tabs on the left to apply to VIU.

Once you apply and pay the application fee, you will receive a letter from Vancouver Island University providing you with a student number. This allows you to access your student account and use Web Registration to timetable the specific courses you want. Course timetabling starts sometime in June after we have scheduled the Fall courses.

Before your course registration date you are encouraged to arrange to meet with an Advisor at the closest campus to review your course registration plans.

The Web Registration Tutorial will also assist you with the online registration process. This tutorial will show you how to use the online registration system as well as how to pre-select courses you would like to take.

*Please note that if you have ever been a student of VIU (or Malaspina University-College) at any time in the past we will still have your student record on file. If you don't recall your student number, we will be able to find your old record using your date of birth, social insurance number, personal education number or the name you used at the time. Please indicate on your application form that you are a former student, even if you only took non-credit courses from us in the past.

I have been trying to figure out how to register online but I don't understand what to do.

The Web Registration Tutorial is a good place to start. The tutorial will show you how to register for courses online and build your course timetable.

In order to register online you must have applied, been accepted to a program, and have been set up with a date and time to register.

Please contact your campus registration centre if you have further questions regarding the application process or your student record.

Nanaimo: 1-888-920-2221, Ext. 6400 or
Cowichan: 250-746-3512 or 
Parksville/Qualicum: 250-248-2096 or
Powell River: 1-877-888-8890

I am trying to register for a class online, but it says it doesn't exist 

This may be happening for one of two reasons:

  1. You may have typed the course name in incorrectly or have not included enough space in between the course and section code, or too many spaces. The format will most often be a four letter course code, followed by 1 space, then the 6 digit section code. For example: ENGL 115 F22N01. The safest way to search for courses and avoid this kind of error is to use the drop-down list under Search by Subject Area.
  2. You have asked for a course and section that is not offered in that particular semester. Again, searching by subject area would help with this.

You can find out what courses will be offered in a current or upcoming semester by searching on the Course Timetable page.

What do the numbers after the course description mean? 

That is a good question. Those numbers are the contact hours for that course, and here is what they mean:

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 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.

So in your examples, the course showing 3:0:0 in the description would have 3 hours of lecture a week, and one with 3:3:0 would have 3 hours of lecture, plus 3 hours of seminar.

Details of all the elements that make up a course description.

What does it mean when I am on a Waitlist for a Program?

Some programs offer seats to all qualified applicants. As there are only a limited number of seats available there are times when applicants are placed on a waitlist for the next available seat. 

You will be placed on the waitlist only when Admissions has received ALL your required documentation. As the program may have a waitlist, it is very important to complete all of the admission requirements in a timely fashion. As applicants meet entrance requirements they are offered a seat in the next class, or if the next class is full, they are placed on a waitlist.

I don't want to move here if I am not going to get into my waitlisted courses - what should I do?

Please speak with an Advisor to see what options you may have in this case.

You may call Advising at 1-888-920-2221, Ext. 6410, or come in and meet with them. Advising is located on the third floor of the Student Affairs Building (200) in Nanaimo.

Please call to confirm drop-in availability.

When will I find out if I am off a waitlist and in a class?

You can check your online student record under the Course Enrolment History link at any time to see if you have moved up the waitlist.

If you have still not moved off the waitlist and into your class when the semester starts, it is very important to check your student record every day.

Read more about the waitlist procedure: Waitlist Procedure

How much movement is there on the waitlist?

There can be a great deal of movement on the waitlist between the time you register and the start of the semester, but there is no way to predict how much there will be for any given class.

If you are still waitlisted at the start of the semester and you are near the top of the waitlist, it is a good idea to attend anyway and let your instructor know that you are there. If a seat becomes available to you, you won't have missed any valuable course instruction. If you are not sure if you should attend, please contact the instructor of your course.

Also keep in mind that some of the classes you are waitlisted for may have reserved seats for students in other programs. These seats may be freed up before the semester starts if no one in that program claims them.

If you need help choosing your courses or want to discuss other options for your timetable, please speak to an Advisor at 1-888-920-2221, Ext. 6410.

Read more about the waitlist procedure: Waitlist Procedure

If all the classes that I want to register in are waitlisted, should I even bother registering?

Many waitlisted students get into classes, and often this is the only way to make sure that you get the classes you want. Don't be discouraged by waitlists!

You can increase your chances of getting into a class by enrolling in the maximum allowed credits (18), and dropping the extra credits once you are enrolled in the number of courses you need.

Please read more about the rules for the number of credits you may enroll in here: Important Notes about Registering.

Read more about the waitlist procedure here: Waitlist Procedure.

I am waitlisted for almost all of my classes - what should I do?

Nine credits (typically three courses) qualify as full time for student loan purposes. You may waitlist/register for up to 18 credits each semester and then drop the courses you do not want if you obtain a seat in your desired classes.

Keep in mind that some courses you are waitlisted for may have reserved seats that could become available before the semester starts.

If you need help with choosing your courses, please contact Advising at 1-888-920-2221, Ext. 6410.

Read more about the waitlist procedure here: Waitlist Procedure.

What does it mean when it says that there are reserved seats in some of the sections?

Seats are reserved in sections of some courses in order to ensure that students in a specific program can get the courses they need in order to graduate.

Sometimes it is the case that all reserved seats for a course are already taken, and you will be waitlisted even if you are eligible for a reserved seat.

The majority of reserves are removed in mid-August, however not all reserves are lifted - some classes will remain available only to students in specific programs.

You can find out more about reserves here: Registration Guide/Reserves.

Tuition and Payment

How much will my program or courses cost?

You can find information about program costs in either of these places:

How can I pay my tuition and student fees?

There are various methods accepted for payment within Canada as well as from outside Canada, as described in How Do I Pay?

I made a payment on my account, but it is not showing up on my record. What do I do?

Sometimes there is a delay of a day or two when payments are made, especially if done through online banking.

If you are sure the payment has gone through and it is still not showing on your record, please contact the Cashiers at 250-740-6236 or email VIU Cashiers. Make sure to quote your student number.

Transcripts and Records

Can anyone else get my Student Number or password?

If you want your parent, spouse, or anyone else to make inquiries on your behalf they must know your 9 digit student number and the answer to your security question.

We would encourage you to be very careful about giving out this information.  We will never ask you or your proxy for your password.

We protect your privacy by not giving information contained in your student record to anyone other than yourself unless we receive written authorization from you to do so, or that person knows the two critical pieces of information: your student number and the answer to the security question that you created in your record.

I don't know my password or student number and can't access my student record.

If you forget either one of these, you must come in-person during office hours to a Vancouver Island University Registration Centre where you will be required to produce picture identification to release this information.

If you live outside the campus area, you can phone a Vancouver Island University Registration Centre. Verification of information will be done before student record information is released to anyone.

We protect your privacy by not giving information contained in your student record to anyone other than yourself unless we receive written authorization from you to do so, or that person knows the two critical pieces of information: your student number and the answer to the security question that you created in your record.

My official transcript has changed - why is my GPA lower?

As of September 1, 2010, we changed two major things on the official transcript: the grade scale from 10.0 to 4.0.

This table shows the new grade scale and the old one:

Grade Scale Table
Effective September 1, 2010

Grade Scale Table
Prior to September 1, 2010


Grade Value

Point Description


Grade Value



First class





Second class










Minimum Pass





Objectives of the course have not been attained. Enrolment in a sequential course not permitted in certain courses.





Course passed
Requirements completed, but not calculated in GPA.



More information on grades, transcripts and the grade scale can be found on the VIU General Regulations page. You can also see the new grade scale under the Grade Legend link in your Course Enrolment History page in your student record.

Can I get a Tax Receipt for my Co-operative Education courses? 

Hours that students take in Co-operative Education courses will not be included in the calculation of their full/part time months on their T2202 form.

Tuition amounts that students pay for Co-operative Education courses continue to be included on the T2202 form.

Can I get a Tax Receipt for my English as a Second Language (ESL) courses? 

Hours or tuition for English as a Second Language (ESL) courses will not be included on the T2202 form.

How can I get Tax Receipts for years prior to 2004?

Beginning for the 2004 tax year, T2202 Tax Receipts were made available to students online through their VIU Student Record

Duplicate copies for years prior to 2004 have to be ordered at your campus Registration Centre. There is a $35 charge for each prior year requested. For complete instructions on how to order aTax Receipt for 2003 or earlier, see: T2202 Tax Receipts.

Can I still get my Tax Receipt even if I have outstanding tuition fees or owe a fine? 

Yes. T2202 forms are always issued and are not withheld due to outstanding fees or fines.

Can someone other than myself get my Tax Receipt? 

No. T2202's are only issued to the student, regardless of whether they were sponsored or someone else paid the tuition. However, it may be possible to transfer tuition amounts to other individuals, and there is a form included with your tax receipt to do so.

Please contact Canada Revenue Agency: Students or your tax consultant for more information.

What is the difference between Full Time versus Part Time enrolment? 

This is determined by the hours of instruction you receive in a month.  

For a student to be considered full time in a month they need 7 or more hours per week for courses that intersect that month.

For a student to be considered part time in a month they need between 3 and 6 hours per week for courses that intersect that month.

What is the meaning of the Program Name that is showing up on my T2202 tax receipt?

The title of the program in which you were registered in the previous calendar year is listed on your T2202 form.

If you were registered in more than one program, we have selected the one in which you were enrolled for the longest time during that year.

Why does my Tax Receipt not display? 

To view the tax forms on-line, you will need to have the Adobe Acrobat Reader software.

If you have a Macintosh computer, note that the built-in file previewer from Apple will not read this file correctly - you must use the Acrobat Reader from Adobe.

How do I get my tax receipt?

Your T2202 tax receipt form can be printed by accessing your online student record, and will usually be available early in February for the previous year. These forms will no longer be mailed except by request.

Notices are emailed to students when the tax receipts are ready, and a notice is also put in your online student record.

For more information, see: T2202 Tax Receipts.

Am I eligible for a Tax Receipt? What if I'm not a Canadian citizen?

In most programs, students who paid over $100 in combined tuition and activity fees during the previous calendar year are eligible for a T2202 tax form.

All students, Canadian or International, are eligible for a T2202 Tax form. You should discuss with your tax consultant or Canada Revenue Agency: International Students Studying in Canada as to whether or not you may be entitled to claim the tuition.

For more information, see: T2202A Tax Receipts.

I'm having trouble logging into VIULearn for online courses, help!

The information you require to log in to VIULearn is the same as what you would use to log in to your online student record:

  • VIULearn User Name = Vancouver Island University Student Number
  • VIULearn Password = Vancouver Island University password

Note that just like your online student record, if you have not created a new password yet, this will be set to your date of birth in YYMMDD format. If you have forgotten your password (and it is not your date of birth), type in anything and you will have the option of having a temporary password emailed to you.

My email address in my student record is gone - what happened?

When emails are sent from the Registration Centre and they are returned as undeliverable, the address is deleted from the student record and marked as Invalid. If your email address is current and this has happened, make sure that you don't have '' marked as junk mail or blocked.

Every year many important notices and messages from the Registration Centre are sent to our current students via email, so it is very important to have an up-to-date address in your student record.

Please ensure that your mailbox isn't full and that emails from ''  are not blocked by your server or spam program. 

We sometimes reward our students for reading our emails with cash prizes, so keep yours up to date - the next winner might be you!

If you have further questions about your email or mailing address in your student record, please contact the Records Department at