Fine Art & DIGITAL Design + Development

Admission requirements for individual programs can be found in the admissions tab on your program page. For more information, visit Fine Art or DIGITAL Design + Development.

Have questions? Educational advisors are available to help you through the application process. Call 1-800-715-0914 or email

General Admissions

To be considered for general admission to NIC

  • An applicant must have graduated from secondary school, or equivalent, or be a minimum of 18 years of age or older within the calendar year in which they are applying to study and must also meet the program admission requirements.
    • Underage applicants, who are under 18 years of age, may request special admission by contacting their local campus and requesting an appointment with a counsellor.
    • The Office of the Registrar will provide an alternative application process for students who are both under the age of 18 and not a secondary school graduate within the calendar year in which they are applying to study.
  • An applicant must be a Canadian citizen or provide the following documentation, as applicable, as part of their application:
    • Proof of permanent resident status
    • Proof of convention refugee status
    • Proof of permission to study in Canada as an international student

Admission Process

Step 1: Apply

You can apply to NIC online through Education Planner BC

Step 2: Receive NIC communication

After applying you will receive an email from NIC to your personal email address to confirm that your application has been received. The email will contain instructions for accessing your myNic account. myNIC allows you to register for courses and pay fees. You will also be sent your North Island College email address. All subsequent communication from NIC will go to your NIC email.

Step 3: Submit your transcripts

You must submit your official transcripts to ensure you meet the prerequisites as listed for your course and/or program description(s). Students coming to NIC directly from high school may ask the Ministry of Education to submit final grades electronically. If you don’t have your high school transcripts you may be able to meet the prerequisites by doing an assessment. Details of the assessment process can be found on the assessment page.

Instructors may allow students to register in a course without documented or demonstrated prerequisites. In order to register, students must present an instructor signed Prerequisite Waiver Form.

Step 4: Submit your portfolio and essay (Fine Arts Diploma only)

Portfolio Submission Guidelines

  • Portfolios may be submitted throughout the year, recommended deadline for fall term intake is March 1st.
  • Portfolios will continue to be accepted while seats remain available.
  • Portfolios will be assessed by a panel of faculty and may take up to two weeks to complete.
  • Portfolios along with your written statement can be dropped off at Student Services at the Comox Valley campus or emailed to International students will submit electronic portfolios and statements to

Portfolio Guidelines:

Your portfolio is your opportunity to present yourself to the faculty review panel. There is no perfect portfolio. Each portfolio is unique and represents your abilities, creativity and interests. You should submit your best and most recent work.

1.  Select 10 – 15 samples of your artwork. These can be self-initiated works as well as works assigned to you as projects. Selected work may include but is not limited to:

  • Working studies, research, or technical explorations.
  • Drawings, paintings, printmaking
  • Mixed media or collage
  • Sculpture, ceramics, installation or assemblage
  • Photographic & design work
  • Time based work, video, audio, performance
  • Digital work

2.  Include a portfolio inventory list identifying the works in your portfolio. Number each work to correspond with your inventory list. For each item include the title, media, size and date.

The portfolio panel is looking for an open, exploratory attitude, energy and a commitment that is consistent with the intense nature of this two-year program.

Written Statement Guidelines:

Complete a written statement answering the following questions. Your written statement should not exceed 500 words.

  1. Why do you want to study at North Island College?
  2. What will you gain through studying at the School of Fine Art & Design at NIC?
  3. Why do you want to study visual art?
  4. What mediums or artists inspire you?
  5. Which piece in your portfolio is your favorite? Why?

It should be understood that the written statement is not used to determine your suitability for the program, rather it provides the review panel with information that may enhance or contribute to our understanding of your portfolio.

Step 5: Qualify

NIC will review your application and determine if you are:

  • Qualified – you meet the requirements to take the program
  • Conditionally Qualified – you are registered in the prerequisite courses needed
  • Not qualified – you do not meet the prerequisites. In this case, you can meet with an educational advisor to discuss upgrading options to help you meet the prerequisites for the course you want to take.

Step 6: Get invited

Qualified and conditionally qualified applicants will be invited to NIC. Normally, students are invited on a first-qualified, first-invited basis.

If a program is full, you may be waitlisted. You will be contacted when a seat becomes available.

Step 7: Pay your deposit and Register

Pay your deposit through your myNIC account or at student services to secure your seat. Sign up for the courses you want to take. See registration for details on how to build your timetable and sign up for your courses.

Step 8: Pay

Tuition and fees are due by deadlines, as outlined in academic schedules and deadlines (Key Dates).