Frequently Asked Questions

Full-time studies

Part-time studies

Full-time studies

What is a set?

A group of 16 to 24 students who attend all their classes as a group for a term or an entire year.

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Why do we have sets?

BCIT enrols approximately 15,000 full-time and 30,000 part-time students each year. You could get lost in such a crowd. That is why we use "set" groupings in many programs. During your time at BCIT you will complete all courses with the same people; most of your study and social times will be with members of your set grouping.

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Who will be in my set grouping?

Everyone in your set will be in your program. A set typically includes a wide range of students: some recent high school graduates, others from college or university and many from the workforce.

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What are the instructors like?

Our instructors are approachable and care about your success. Typically our instructors have extensive industry experience that makes classroom discussions interesting and relevant.

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What is the difference between a lecture, lab and shop?

In a lab or shop you are learning side by side with other members of your set, in hands-on development and practice of key skills. Projects are your focus, and most of the questions your instructor answers will be particular to the current challenges of your project. A lecture combines several sets of students into a common room to learn the theories that guide practice.

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How much is my tuition?

The web site holds the most up-to-date information on tuition and associated fees.

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What is the workload like?

Although most students will tell you studying at BCIT is a lot of work, they will also tell you it's worth it. You are in class from 25 to 35 hours per week. Homework is assigned in addition to the scheduled class hours. Students in trades usually start between 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. and end between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m., whereas the classes for most other full-time students are scheduled between 8:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.

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Can I work and be a student at the same time?

Some students work part-time. Before you decide to do the same, become familiar with the workload and talk over your situation with an instructor. If you decide to work while studying, register for eJobs, BCIT's web-based job posting system. eJobs will assist your efforts to find on-campus, part-time, summer or full-time employment. There is also an on-campus Student Employment Services office located at SW1-1022, and a Work Search Coach available to help you revise your resume, prepare for interviews, or find answers to job search questions. 604-456-8014.
 

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What should I do if my tuition fees are due now and I am waiting for a student loan?

You cannot wait for your student loan; you must pay your tuition fees by the dates outlined in your acceptance letter. Student loans cannot be cashed until at least the first day of classes. In a very limited number of cases, students who have exceptional circumstances may be eligible for a fee deferral (an extension of the payment deadline date). For further information, contact the Student Financial Aid and Awards office at 604-432-8555 or visit SW1-2303 at the Burnaby campus.

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Where can I study or do computer work?

BCIT has a number of designated areas for students to work on research, assignments and computers. Computer labs are available throughout the campus. Your instructor will provide you with exact locations when you begin classes.

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Do I need my own tools, coveralls or lab coat?

Some programs require students to wear coveralls and lab coats and to use special tools and equipment to complete assignments. In some programs these are supplied, but you are responsible for providing your own footwear. Your instructor will let you know what you need.

Coveralls fees are included for applicable programs delivered at the following campuses: Annacis Island, Aerospace, and Marine. Students are required to supply their own coveralls for programs delivered at the Burnaby campus.

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How much should I expect to spend on textbooks, and when should I buy them?

The cost of books varies from program to program and can range from $200 to $2,000 per year. The estimated cost for your program is listed in the program brochures and program descriptions on the web site. Student Financial Aid and Awards at SW1-2303 can give you this information in person. Unless your program advises otherwise, we don't recommend buying books ahead of time because some courses use several different books as reference. Your instructor will tell you which books to purchase.

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I haven't been to school for a long time and I am worried about how I'll do. Is help available?

Yes. Once you've been accepted into a BCIT program, you can contact Counselling and Student Development to discuss your career choice or learn about resources that can resolve your worries. (Example: free workshops on topics such as study skills, time management and stress management.) Make an appointment to meet with a counsellor by calling 604-432-8608. 

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Part-time studies

What course information do I need before my first class or online session?

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Is parking convenient?

BCIT provides paid parking facilities for employees, students and visitors at the Burnaby and satellite campuses. Parking lot locations are shown on the Burnaby campus map [PDF, 1.2 MB]. Want to know more about fees, security and other parking information?

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When should I start using the myBCIT Student Portal?

As soon as you register, you can start using the free e-mail account that BCIT provides you for life. The portal is where you can access this e-mail account, get confirmation of registration, check your final grades, print your T2202A tax receipt, read news, learn about BCIT policies, and much more.

Log in to the portal

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Do I have to come to the BCIT Bookstore to buy my textbooks and course materials?

Not necessarily. The Bookstore will have everything you need for the course, but you can make your purchases by phone or online as well as in person. If you're on a budget, you may even want to look for used textbooks. Avoid line-ups by buying what you need before the course starts.

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What other preparation will give me a strong start?

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Can I confirm my course start date, time, and classroom locations online?

Yes, you can find the confirmation the week before courses start.

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How would I cancel my course registration if I had to?

To withdraw from a part-time course:

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Is my registration fee refunded if I cancel?

Yes, if you write to Part-time Registration at the Burnaby or Downtown campus before the deadline. Learn more about refunds for a course in Part-time Studies. (International students, please see International fees and refunds.)

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Any advice about planning my next course?

The course outline you received from your instructor shows you the names of programs in which the credits for your course apply. Other courses in the same program may interest you. If so, they're probably the best choice. Related credits are the quickest route to completing all the requirements for a credential, if you later decide to seek one.

Part-time Studies Program Advisors can help you make the most of being a part-time student. They can help you:

If you're already interested in a particular program, Ask an Advisor can probably help answer your top-of-mind questions.

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