The 2002 CIAU football season began on August 27, 2002, and concluded with the 38th Vanier Cup national championship on November 23 at the SkyDome in Toronto, Ontario, with the Saint Mary's Huskies winning their second consecutive championship and third overall. Twenty-six universities across Canada competed in CIAU football this season, the highest level of amateur play in Canadian football, under the auspices of the Canadian Interuniversity Athletics Union (CIAU).
The Vanier Cup was played between the champions of the Mitchell Bowl and the Churchill Bowl, the national semi-final games. In 2002, the Mitchell Bowl replaced the long-standing Atlantic Bowl that had traditionally seen Huskies Stadium in Halifax host the annual game. This was done to increase competitive fairness in the CIAU. The Ontario conference's Yates Cup championship team hosted the winners of the Atlantic conference Loney Bowl championship for the Churchill Bowl. The winners of the Canada West conference Hardy Trophy visited the Dunsmore Cup Quebec champion for the Mitchell Bowl.