VIU Engineering Diploma and Certificate Program

How to Apply

You have taken the first step and decided to apply for either the Engineering Transfer Certificate program (ETCP) or the Engineering Transfer Diploma program (ETDP), but what is the process? The information in this page has been taken from the VIU Program Calendar (please refer to the current VIU Program and Course Calendar for more up-to-date information) and is organized to help you through the application process. Please feel free to contact the Engineering Advisor if you have further questions.

Step 1: Do you have the background?

To enroll in the full slate of first year engineering courses, you will need:

  • Grade 12 or provincial equivalent
  • Min “C+” in Physics 12
  • Min. “C+” in Chemistry 12
  • Min. “B” in Pre-calculus 12
  • Min. “C+” in English 12


  • Calculus 12 (if available)
  • Programming 12 (if available)

Notes on Admission:

  • Admission based on GPA rankings
  • Enrolment is limited.  Students who meet or exceed the minimum admission requirements may not necessarily be admitted into the program.
  • Outstanding candidates missing either Chemistry 12 or Physics 12 are encouraged to apply and will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. 
  • Reserved seating in all program courses is provided for the first year of student.  After one year, seats are not reserved or guaranteed; they are provided as available, based on registration priority.

Step 2: When to Apply

Applications are accepted for entrance to the Fall semester from the middle of October until 31-Mar (see program details on VIU's program calendar for specific deadlines). Students must provide a final or interim transcript showing their grade (or anticipated grade) in Pre-Calculus 12, Chemistry 12, Physics 12 and English 12.

Step 3: How am I evaluated for entry?

There are 42 seats available which will be assigned based on the CGPA of your Physics 12, Pre-Calculus Math 12, English 12, and Chemistry 12 marks.  Upon acceptance, you will be provided with an assigned, conflict-free time-table that contains all courses for either the ETCP or ETDP for following academic year.  You will not be allowed to change this time-table except under extenuating circumstance (please contact the Registrar).   

Question: Can I complete the Engineering Transfer Certificate program over two years?

The ETCP is designed to be completed over one year.  If you plan to complete engineering studies at VIU over two years, you should, instead, enrol in the Engineering Transfer Diploma program.  Students within the diploma program will have guaranteed access to seats in all courses within the two year program (excluding complementary and science electives) and will be provided a conflict-free time-table for each term of study.

For those students who start in the ETCP and, for various reasons, decide to extend their studies over two years, please be aware that you will not be provided a time-table for your second year of studies, and you will be responsible to self-register for your needed courses on an as available basis, based on registration priority admission policy.  No guarantee is provided to ETCP students that they will be able to access any ETCP curriculum course seat beyond their first year of studies.

Question: Am I still able to complete the Engineering Transfer Certificate curriculum or the Engineering Transfer Diploma curriculum even if I am not in the programs?

Being accepted into the ETCP or the ETDP is the best way to ensure that you will have access to all the courses you need to either complete the first year engineering curriculum at each of UBC-V, SFU-B, TRU, and UVic within a single academic year, or have guaranteed access to two years of engineering studies applicable for the University of Victoria. However, students who are not accepted into the program can still access most courses within both the ETCP and ETDP curriculum provided that they have the pre-requisites for the particular course.  Seats are not guaranteed, and provided on an as available basis under the VIU registration priority policy.   Upon successful completion of all curriculum courses, students are able to apply for the certificate or diploma whether they were enrolled in the program or not.  Students are also able to transfer to second-year Engineering programs at UBC-V, UVic, TRU, or SFU-B without any additional qualifying courses, provided they meet the entry requirements at those institutions. 

Step 4: Application for Admission

Note that the following describes the process for domestic students. Application process for International students.

You can apply to VIU online or by submitting a paper application for admission.

  • You will need:

    • An official high school transcript (current BC high school students need also supply their paper transcript and/or interim student report)
    • A non-refundable application fee (first time applicants) to complete the application process.

If not applying on-line, you may submit the paper application form (and supporting documents) to:

Registration Centre
Bldg 200
900 Fifth St.
Nanaimo, BC  V9R 5S5

Supporting documents must be received by VIU by early April.

You should receive an acknowledgement letter from Vancouver Island University within three weeks of us receiving your application.

Question: When will I know if I have been accepted into the program?

Conditional or full offers of admission will be mailed out in late April to early May which will include your assign time-table as well as further program information.  Students accepted into the certificate program will have an ENG-CERT program code added to their student record, while those accepted into the diploma program will have an ENG-DIPL program code added to their student record.

Step 5: Select Courses

The Registration Centre will send you full details on how and when to register after you accept your seat in the program and your $200 non-refundable, non-transferable tuition is paid.

Question: I was not accepted in the Engineering Transfer Certificate Program or am in my second year of studies in the program.  In trying to enrol in classes within its curriculum,  I have been put on a waiting list on one or more of the ETCP curriculum courses. Am I going to get in?

Waiting lists cause much stress to students (and instructors!).

The first step if you are on a waiting list is to see if there are other sections of that course available that work with your time-table and have available seats. If so, switch to that section.

If you do not have the option to move to a new section, it is still possible for you to get into the class. Historically, waiting lists are significantly reduced by the start of classes -- students may not pay their registration deposit, decide to go to another institution, do not show up for their first couple of classes, or do not have the pre-requisites for a specific course. The waiting list is further diminished over the first week of classes as the add/drop deadline approaches.

This is no guarantee that you will gain entry to the course, and things can change in any given year. Most instructors will work hard to ensure that all the available seats in their classes are filled (sometimes even more than the available number of seats). Your instructor will likely discuss options for those on the waiting list (and the current 'state of affairs') in their first week of classes. Our recommendation is that if you are on a waiting list, you attend all the classes. Attendance is recorded, and the institution may remove students who do not show up to class during the first week. Also, if spaces do become available, instructors are less likely to offer them to wait-listed students who have not attended any of their classes.

Certainly, if you find yourself on a waiting list, you may contact the Engineering Advisor for information as well.

Step 6:   Pay Tuition Deposit

A $200 non-refundable, non-transferable tuition deposit will be required to confirm your acceptance for the offer of admission; this deposit is applied towards your first semester's tuition fees. The date by which you must pay this deposit will be indicated on your acceptance letter.

This deposit must be paid in order for you to enroll in classes. You will have approximately three weeks from receiving your offer of admission to pay this deposit or the offer will be withdrawn and your seat in the program will be offered to another applicant.

Question: How am I going to pay for all this?

Going to university can be expensive, though several sources of funding may be possible for you to minimize the cost.

  • Explore the Financial Aids and Awards site for links to government and institutional assistance programs.
  • A list of general and entrance scholarship/awards are available on the Financial Aid site. Talk to your school counsellor about how to apply for these awards. Typically the deadline is around March 15 of your Grade 12 year.
  • Specific scholarships/awards are available to students entering into the one or two year engineering transfer program. The Engineering Department highly recommends that you apply for these awards as the limited enrolment in this program enhances your ability to receive funding.
  • Ensure you apply for government student loan programs to make up the difference..

Step 7: Attend an Orientation Session

Orientation sessions are held to help you familiarize yourself with Vancouver Island University. If you are enrolling in a University program, you need to sign up for an Orientation session when you register for your Fall classes.

Step 8: Pay the Tuition for the courses

Tuition is usually due after the first couple of weeks of classes. For now, enjoy yourself and we will see you in September as you embark on an exciting and reward career in Engineering!

Updated as of 19-Jun-2019