Tips for Students in Exploratory Studies, Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science

This information will help you select courses, whether you are still exploring programs and courses or already have a set program goal.  Ahead of your official course registration date/time, you need to select courses for both the Fall and Spring semesters of your first year at VIU.

  • Browse Course Offerings Alphabetically
  • Every student completing a university degree at VIU must complete one subject as Major or two Minors. If you have selected your Major or two Minors, use the program outlines as your guide in selecting courses:

How do I know what to pick?

Read through the course descriptions and determine what interests you. Pay attention to prerequisites. These are listed under each course description. As you read, if you meet the course prerequisite and you find yourself interested in the subject then make note of the course name and number. The idea is to generate a list of courses so that you have lots to choose from when it comes time to register.       

What is a Faculty?

A Faculty is a division within a university comprising one subject area, or a number of related subject areas Example: Faculty of Science and Technology.

What is a Major and Minor?

A Major is a main field of specialization in an undergraduate program. It is the main subject you study.  The Faculty area defines a framework for this specialization, including a certain number of required courses and a certain number of freely chosen courses, otherwise known as electives.  At VIU, to graduate with a Bachelor’s degree, you must complete one Major or two Minors.  You do not have to choose a Major or Minors for first year, but if you already know your path and want to formalize it, speak with a Degree Advisor for that Faculty.

How do I select a Major or Minor?

The process is different for every student and there is no particular order to follow. It is important to focus on gathering information about yourself, the Majors and Minors available and careers that interest you. Every subject Major/Minor has a Program Homepage link with great information.

Foundations for Success

Foundations for Success (FNFS) courses are meant to complement existing academic courses and programs at VIU. These courses augment current Adult Basic Education and University offerings by presenting six transitional elective courses designed to promote student success. Students may take one or all of these courses, but only a maximum of 3 academic credits (one single Foundations for Success course) may be used towards a credential at VIU.


Connexions learning communities are integrated courses that provide extra support and high-impact learning for new VIU students.These are 6-credit “Inter-disciplinary” (INTR) courses, either combined from two existing 3-credit courses or created as stand-alone “super-courses”. They provide university credit in common 100-level courses in humanities and social sciences counting towards your degree. Many include an English course equivalency, so they help you fulfill your VIU Degree English Requirement, as well.
INTR 100Popular Culture and Writing* ENGL 115/MEDI 115
INTR 101Digital Media and Literature* DIGI 110/ENGL 125
INTR 103: World Geographies and Writing* GEOG 100/ENGL 115

Some Recommended First Year Courses:

Every program requires first year English and has room for Electives (courses outside your main subject of study). The courses below can satisfy one or the other requirement and give you a good grounding in solid university skills to build upon to become a success in any field of your choice.

Critical Skills for Work and Life

BA graduates are prized in the job market for their high level skills in: Written and spoken communication, Careful and creative thinking, Problem- solving, Leadership and teamwork, Social and cultural awareness, Civic responsibility, and Adaptability to shifting trends.These crucial skills are enhanced in all BA courses and addressed specifically in the following:
  • ENGL 115 University Writing and Research
  • ENGL 125 Literature and Culture
  • ENGL 135 Literature and Criticism
  • ENGL 208 Introduction to Public Speaking: Communication
  • LBST 111 Love and Friendship
  • LBST 112 Knowledge, Good and Evil
  • MEDI 100 Introduction to Media Studies and Communication
  • PHIL 100 Rhetoric and Reasoning
  • THEA 108 Introduction to Public Speaking: Performance

Timetable and Register for Courses:

Once you have a clearer picture of the courses you want to select, visit our web registration tutorial online or attend a web registration session on campus
Once you have done this research and have some ideas, we welcome you to visit an Advisor again to review and fine tune your selections. If you are a high school student, check with your counselor to find out if Educational Advisors are visiting the school or if you can make a phone appointment to connect with us yourself.
We look forward to being a partner in your educational journey.
Contact or 250-740-6410 or see Check Drop In Office Hours to meet an Advisor in person in B200.