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Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

About the MFA in Art

The Department of Art offers a two-year thesis-based MFA degree with specializations in 

  • Sculpture
  • Printmaking
  • Photography
  • Painting
  • Drawing
  • Media art and technology

Our university program emphasizes practice-based creative research and culminates in a thesis exhibition. Students develop a strong understanding of critical, theoretical and historical issues relevant to their research in support of their exhibition.

Program details


Admission requirements

In addition to Faculties of Graduate Studies requirements, the Department of Art requires that you submit:

  • Two official sets of transcripts in sealed, endorsed institutional envelopes, as well as degree certificates if the awarding degree(s) is not shown on the transcript(s) from ALL post-secondary institutions attended. If the transcripts are not in English, please make sure there is an official translation.
    You will need to arrange to have official transcripts sent directly from the post-secondary institution to the Department of Art. Copies of unofficial transcripts can be uploaded directly onto your on-line application.
  • Two academic and/or professional reference letters. Once you initiate your application your referees will automatically be notified by email with instructions for submitting letters of reference directly to your online application.
  • A portfolio of 20 images of recent works and/or 5 minutes of video footage presented in a single PDF file format that can include links for video documentation. Please provide the following information in a single PDF file format:
    DIGITAL IMAGES: Up to 20 images / jpeg format / 300 dpi / no larger than 1280 pixels in any dimension. Please include the title, dimensions, medium and year. 
    VIDEO: Add links to the video(s) (via YouTube, Vimeo, personal website, etc.). Please provide links to videos, along with one reference image, with title, length and year.
  • A statement of intent, three to five pages long.

Please arrange for transcripts to be sent to:

Graduate Program Administrator,
Department of Art
University of Calgary
Art Building, Room 612
2975 University Way NW
Calgary, AB.  T2N 1N4

Materials sent separately or sent to an office other than the Department of Art may be lost or miss the deadline.


Funding and assistantships

All of our graduate students receive generous funding packages.

1. Awards Scholarships

The Faculty of Graduate Studies (FGS) administers a wide variety of internal and external awards for graduate students.

Also check with our Graduate Program Administrator for program-specific awards.

2. Graduate Assistantships (Teaching/Non Teaching)

Each year most teaching departments have varying numbers of graduate assistantships available which are awarded at their discretion.

There are two categories of appointment in Art:

  • Graduate Assistantships (Teaching) assist with the instructional responsibilities of the art department.
  • Graduate Assistantships (Non-Teaching) assist the art department and/or professors with non-teaching responsibilities (e.g., research for a faculty member, paid out of operating funds).

No more than the equivalent of twelve hours of work per week may be required of Graduate Assistants. Regulations governing terms of employment for Graduate Assistantships (Teaching, Non-Teaching) are covered by the Agreement Between the Governors of the University of Calgary and the Graduate Students' Association (PDF).



Contact our Graduate Program Administrator (phone 403.220.6136), or our Graduate Program Director.

The MFA Handbook contains further information and resources for graduate students.