Financial Assistance

General Assistance

General information on financial aid and awards at VIU, including student loans. Please see the Financial Assistance page for additional details.

Student loan funding is available for the full-time face-to-face Stage 1 program, but not for the Stage 1 online program, because it is considered part-time. Such funding should be available for the Stage 2 component, but this may depend on individual circumstances - consult the relevant loan agency. A number of bursaries and grants are also available. Students are advised to apply for financial aid well in advance of their course start date.

BC Student Loans

BC Student Loans are available to residents of BC. If you are applying from another province, you wil need to apply to your provincial student loan funding agency. Apply for a BC Student Loan.

Canada Student Loans and Grants are available through Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC).

Scholarships and Awards

These sources of funding are typically available to students with high academic standing. Many different options are available. Please see the Scholarships and Awards page for further information. 

VIU Reach Awards

Up to $2,000 per VIU student involved in research. VIU Reach Awards are available to students twice each year. The first deadline is the end of October for funding starting in January and the other is February for funding starting in May or September.

VIU Graduate Student Research Funding Opportunities

Of specific interest for MGISA students are the Canada Graduate Scholarship for Master’s students. VIU is awarded 1 NSERC and 2 SSHRC scholarships every year – MGISA typically fit best with NSERC, but SSHRC is also possible. The award is $17,500 and the deadline is December 1 of each year. Current and prospective MGISA students should apply by December 1 in the year before they start Stage 2 of MGISA, so the scholarship would apply for when they start Stage the following September. The Canada Graduate Scholarship presents by far the best opportunity for prospective MGISA Stage 2 student to get funding for their studies.

Previous MGISA students have been successful in getting this scholarship.

To support participation in conferences, VIU offers the Student Travel and Conference Fund and the Jessica Wilde Conference Participation Fund.

Learn more about VIU Graduate Student Research Funding Opportunities.

PNWGITA Scholarship

The Pacific Northwest Chapter of Geospatial Information and Technology Association offers a $1,000 scholarship every year for students in the Pacific Northwest (which includes BC) whose program focuses on GIS.

Previous MGISA students have been successful in getting this scholarship.

Esri Canada GIS Scholarships

Esri Canada provides scholarship to students who are enrolled in selected GIS programs at Canadian colleges and universities. Applications are selected by the institution. Students in ADGISA or MGISA do not need to apply since all enrolled students will be considered.

Previous ADGISA and MGISA students have been successful in getting this scholarship.


Bursaries are a short-term method of aiding students who are in immediate financial need. Please see Bursaries, examine General Bursaries, or look at those aimed towards Trades and Technology programs.

Other Sources of Funding

Amber Education has sponsored a number of students over the past few years, particularly those who have been out of the workforce for an extended period. Funding may be difficult to acquire, however.