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Visual Art



Degree Offered: M.F.A.



D. Claxton, X. Gu, J. Monteyne, A. Shelton.

Professors Emeriti

M. S. Cohodas, S. Guilbaut, K. F. Hacker, C. Knicely, J. O'Brian, R. Prince, M. P. Ryan, C. Soussloff, C. Townsend-Gault, S. Watson, R. Windsor-Liscombe, B. Zeigler.

Associate Professors

I. Adriasola, G. James, J. Mansoor, M. Pina, N. Porto, M. Roy, S. Salgirli, T. Smith, A. Thauberger.

Assistant Professors

N. Georgopulos, G. Makris, J. Orell, A. Peck, E. Silver, D. Starling.

Program Overview

The Department of Art History, Visual Art, and Theory (AHVA) offers advanced studies in visual art, leading to the Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.).

For information on the Master of Arts in Art History, Critical Curatorial Studies, please see Art History or AHVA.

Master of Fine Arts, Visual Art

The program provides a period of intensive conceptual and technical development for those students wishing to pursue a professional career in advanced contemporary art. The M.F.A. degree is also the standard qualifying degree for teaching visual arts at the post-secondary level. The M.F.A. program is dedicated to helping students understand both the making and theorizing of the art object against the background of the diverse intellectual environment of a major university.

Students in the program may work in any area of contemporary art production including painting, drawing, printmaking, performance, three-dimensional and installation work, photography, digital, multimedia, or in any interdisciplinary form. The program does not include training in applied art, commercial art and design, film, or television.

Admission Requirements

Applications will be considered from persons who hold a bachelor's degree and satisfy the requirements for admission to Graduate Studies. Applicants normally hold a B.F.A., B.A, or B.Ed. degree with a major in Visual Art. It is strongly advised that, at a minimum, an applicant have 18 academic credits (i.e., non-visual art courses) at the 300-level or above, with at least a 76% standing in each. This is to ensure that, if admitted, the student will benefit from the academic components of the program.

Important consideration governing the admission process is the assessment of the portfolio submitted as evidence of artistic standing. Assessment is also based on the Statement of Intent, letters of reference, academic record, and published writing, or other evidence of achievement.

Program Requirements

The M.F.A. program requires two academic years of coursework and completion within 26 months minimum and 5 years (60 months) maximum after initial registration. The degree requires 36 credits of coursework including:

  1. VISA 581 (12 credits) and VISA 582 (12 credits). These courses constitute an integrated, 26-month Visual Art program worked out in consultation with the student, leading to the final major paper and exhibition.
  2. VISA 583A (3 credits) and VISA 583B (3 credits). These courses will focus on writing and research towards the final major paper.
  3. An additional 6 credits of coursework at the 500-level. Up to 3 credits may be taken at the 400-level upon approval of the Graduate Advisor.

The M.F.A. degree is awarded after the successful completion of all coursework, the round-table presentation, a final exhibition of art work, and completion of a major paper. The final exhibition of work must demonstrate to the satisfaction of the faculty the candidate's capacity for independent creative work. The major paper should focus on a topic related to the student's own interests and artistic practice placing the creative work in the context of both the intellectual interests of the candidate and a wider field of study. At least one external examiner will be involved in the examination of the final presentation and exhibition.

Contact Information

Department of Art History, Visual Art, and Theory
Graduate Program Coordinator, Bryn Dharmaratne
403-6333 Memorial Road
Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T 1Z2
Tel: 604.822.4340
Fax: 604.822.9003


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