About the University of Victoria

Great News: UVic ranks 2nd in the 2015 Macleans Comphensive University rankings. Read the Report.

The University of Victoria, one of Canada's leading universities, provides both students and faculty with a unique learning environment. UVic has earned a reputation for commitment to research, scholarship and work-integrated learning. The university is widely recognized for its innovative and responsive programs and its interdisciplinary and international initiatives. Here, more than 18,000 students from around the world enjoy a campus community that offers outstanding social, cultural, artistic, environmental and athletic opportunities. The UVic campus is located on Canada's spectacular west coast, in British Columbia's capital city.

Programs for a changing world

Academic programs at UVic are constantly evolving to provide education that will equip students for our rapidly changing world.
UVic is a comprehensive university, with Faculties of:


UVic has Canada's third-largest university co-operative education program, integrating academic studies with relevant paid work experience in more than 40 academic areas. In 2003/04, UVic co-op students completed 2,547 work term placements — across Canada and in 34 other countries.

UVic is home to interdisciplinary teaching and research centres involved in:
  • addictions research
  • advanced materials
  • aging
  • Asia-Pacific initiatives
  • automation, communication and information systems
  • biomedical research
  • co-operative studies
  • dispute resolution
  • earth and ocean research
  • forest biology
  • global studies
  • humanities
  • integrated energy systems
  • religion and society
  • youth and society

UVic has more than 100 active exchange programs with institutions in 30 countries around the world. UVic's Division of Continuing Studies delivers 21 certificate and diploma programs and other educational offerings to more than 16,000 participants annually.

Research that's changing lives

Researchers at the University of Victoria work on the cutting edge of knowledge creation, making major contributions in a wide range of fields, from fuel cells and cancer cells to climate change and cultural change. UVic researchers participate in federal Networks of Centres of Excellence in:
  • applied mathematics
  • automobile of the 21st century
  • bacterial diseases
  • genetic diseases
  • geomatics
  • health information science
  • language & literacy
  • microelectronics
  • protein engineering
  • telecommunications
UVic is the lead Canadian institution in the $300-million NEPTUNE project, an international effort to create an extensive high-tech scientific observatory network monitoring the ocean floor from California to Vancouver Island.

UVic researchers were awarded $59.1 million in outside research grant and contract funding in 2003/04, up more than 90 percent over the past five years.

Thirty-eight current or former UVic faculty members have been elected fellows of the Royal Society of Canada, considered Canada's most prestigious academic accolade.

UVic's Innovation and Development Corporation helps researchers and students develop the commercial potential of their ideas. IDC has assisted over 30 UVic spin-off companies and filed patents for over 60 new inventions based on UVic research and innovations.

People make our university

Student enrolment, Nov. 1, 2003: 18,415 (including 2,359 graduate students), 60% female, 33% part-time students, 72% come from outside Greater Victoria. Full-time equivalent students: 13,500.
Student residence spaces: 2,172, plus 181 family housing units.

Faculty & staff
4,287 employees include (October 2003): 701 regular continuing faculty (36% female), 468 sessional instructors, 806 specialist/instructional staff, 1,598 staff.

Total alumni as of December 2003; 67,756. Approximately 82% live in British Columbia; 6% live in 102 other countries, including 2,056 in the US and 382 in China.

Eighteen UVic faculty members hold coveted Canada Research Chairs, eight have received prestigious E.R.W. Steacie Memorial Fellowships, five have been awarded national 3M Teaching Fellowships, and five have received Governor General's Literature Awards. In each of the past four years, a UVic student has been awarded one of Canada's 11 Rhodes scholarships.

Superb facilities
UVic's Centre for Innovative Teaching is a state-of-the-art classroom building, specially designed and equipped to support the effective use of learning and teaching technologies.
UVic is home to one of Canada's fastest university-based supercomputers, used to investigate some of the most challenging questions in science and engineering.
The new Bev Glover Greenhouse facility provides six computerized climate-controlled growth environments that support advanced research in forest biology.
UVic operates the internationally acclaimed Dunsmuir Lodge Executive Training & Conference Centre, in a magnificent mountaintop setting north of Victoria.


Total revenues (2003/04): $357 million—BC government 43%, tuition 22%, sales 15%, federal government 10%, donations 9%, investment income 2%, other 2%.

2003/04 total fundraising: $21,000,938.

UVic endowment, Dec. 31, 2003: $110 million

2004/05 tuition for a typical full-time undergraduate in arts and science: $4,824.

A vibrant community resource

The University of Victoria generates $1.478 billion annually in economic activity, including such direct and indirect expenditures as salaries and benefits, student and visitor spending, taxes, spin-off companies, patents and licenses and the effects of an educated workforce.

UVic is the fourth-largest employer in Victoria, and more than 10,000 local jobs depend on the presence of the university.

Each year, nearly 600,000 people attend plays, concerts, ceremonies, art exhibitions, conferences, Continuing Studies programs, public lectures, films, and athletic events at UVic.

Members of the UVic Assistive Technology Team, a group of faculty, staff and students, volunteer their time and talents to develop and test new devices for people with disabilities.

The UVic Speakers Bureau arranges more than 400 speaking engagements annually where faculty, graduate students and staff speak free of charge to schools, service clubs and many other community organizations. Bureau volunteers speak to 12,500 people annually.

UVic teams have won 44 national Canadian Interuniversity Sport championships: men's basketball (8), women's field hockey (10), women's basketball (9), women's cross-country (9), men's soccer (4), and men's cross-country (4); and 14 other Canadian university championships: men's rugby (2), men's rowing (4), women's rowing (7), and men's golf (1).

Nearly 25,000 UVic alumni live in the Greater Victoria region.

History & traditions

UVic Shield The University celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2003, having received degree-granting status in 1963. The origins of UVic, however, can be traced back to 1903 and the establishment of Victoria College, the university's predecessor institution.

The three martlets — footless heraldic birds — on the UVic shield refer to those on the crest of McGill University, with which Victoria College was originally affiliated.

UVic Coat of Arms The university mottoes, shown on the UVic Coat of Arms, are “Let there be light” (in Hebrew) and “A multitude of the wise is the health of the world” (in Latin).

The University colours are red, gold, and blue.

The University flag depicts three red martlets in a gold field above a blue field.