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Admission Requirements
Portfolio Requirements
Important Forms

Undergraduate Degree Programs

BFA in Visual Studies

Students who elect the four-year BFA (Visual Studies) program do so in order to better realize themselves through study and active involvement in art as related to contemporary society and culture. The courses of study enable the student to develop conceptual understanding in the visual arts, to develop a foundation of knowledge and practice of artistic self-sufficiency, to develop creative processes of planning in order to carry out his or her various studio interests, and to teach art in the elementary or secondary school systems or to work as art specialists in other settings. The program enables the individual student to determine through studio practice the understandings and insights that support his or her artistic and intellectual development.
** Students must submit an online portfolio to the Department of Art by March 1.

BFA Honours in Visual Studies

The Honours program is an advanced undergraduate program that gives students a more focused studio experience typically leading to graduate work or specialization in a specific medium as well as professional experience in proposing and preparing for a group show. Admission to the Honours program is based on GPA, a letter of intent and the portfolio review.  The minimum GPA required is 3.3 and this must be maintained for the continuation of the program.
**Students must submit a Change of Program form to the Admissions Office by February 1 of the winter term in which they complete 9 full course equivalents.
** Students must submit an online portfolio to the Department of Art by March 1.

BFA in Visual Studies Co-op
BFA Honours in Visual Studies Co-op

Co-op programs normally take five years to complete and include 12 to 16 months of paid supervised work experience in various private companies, government agencies and non-profit organizations. After the second year, three or four work terms are interspersed with regular academic terms. The Co-operative Education Programs provide students with opportunities to experience the linkages between academic knowledge and a variety of appropriate job situations. Students completing the requirements of the Co-operative Education option will graduate with "Co-operative Education" designated on their transcripts and degree parchments.
Students who are interested in pursuing the Co-operative Education option are urged to discuss their plans and course selection with the Co-operative Education Coordinators in the Faculty of Arts Co-operative Education Office (Arts Students' Centre, SS 102) as early in their program as possible. The application deadline is December 1.

Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Art History

Students in the four-year BA in Art History program will be involved in the historical study of art and architecture and the critical analysis of contemporary visual culture in a variety of historical, geopolitical, and cultural contexts. In addition to foundational surveys, courses develop conceptual understanding of art history and design that may include traditional media such as painting, sculpture, architecture and photography along with innovations in the creative use of new technologies,  traditional and indigenous media, and performance art . The program encourages students to integrate  courses from disciplinary areas such as classical art, film, or religious art. It also provides opportunity for students to consider issues related to the exhibition and display of art in museum contexts. Students will develop a foundation of knowledge that will develop critical writing and research skills for both historical and contemporary approaches to visual culture.

Concurrent BFA (Visual Studies)/Education

Students interested in teacher certification may pursue the concurrent degree program with the Faculty of Education.

Concentration in Art Education

The Art Education Concentration is an undergraduate program that gives students the opportunity to combine technical training in visual art fundamentals with a focused selection of courses that deal with creativity, design thinking, art education, community based art, and the development of art curriculum. Students who take this degree typically have an interest in teaching art, creativity and visual literacy with children, designing and implementing community based art programs, or working to educate the public about art in community and museum settings.

Minor in Visual Studies and Art History

A minor can be declared up to the time of your last registration at the University of Calgary. It is awarded based in the completion of 10 half courses and not more than 12 half courses from the field of Art (all courses labelled ART or ARHI).

Minor in Museum and Heritage Studies

The Museum and Heritage Studies minor program is for students interested in collecting, preserving and exhibiting institutions, such as zoos, historic sites, parks and museums. The program is administered by the Department of Art but involves faculty from the Nickle Galleries, and the departments of Art, History, and Anthropology and Archaeology. The degree is complementary to many majors in the Faculties of Arts, Science and the Haskayne School of Business. The curriculum balances theory and practice and encompasses the history of collecting institutions, current theories, critical contemporary issues and hands-on work.

Admissions to the Department of Art

The deadline for undergraduate admission to the UCalgary Admissions Office is March 1.
The deadline for online portfolio submission to the Department of Art is March 1.

Early Admission Process for Current High School Students

If you are a high school student and are interested in completing an early admission application to the BFA in Visual Studies, the UCalgary Admissions Office application deadline is December 15.
The Department of Art online portfolio submission deadline is January 15.

If you are NOT eligible for early admission, we recommend that you apply to the UCalgary Admissions Office AND submit your online portfolio to the BFA in Visual Studies program BEFORE March 1.

How to Apply

Applying to the Department of Art is a two-step process:

1. Apply to the UCalgary Admissions Office

Please note: If you are entering your first year, you will NOT be choosing a concentration. If you wish to apply for a concentration, you can do so in the second semester of your first year.

Applicants who are interested in doing more than one degree concurrently (or applicants who are interested in doing two degrees concurrently) may either be admitted to both degree programs when they first apply OR they may seek admission to a second degree program after being admitted. Students should consult with an advisor in the Student Success Centre to explore their options.

2. Submit an online portfolio to the Department of Art

The portfolio must include 10 original works of art representing the following:

    • a still life drawn or painted from observation, in the applicant's choice of medium
    • a study drawn or painted from observation of a nude or clothed model, in the applicant's choice of medium
    • 8 original works demonstrating skills in a range of media which may include drawing, painting, sculpture, installation photography or other medium

    Please submit images in jpeg format (files must have a .jpeg extension); image size should be approximately 1024 x 768 with a maximum of 300 dpi. File names of images should include the number, your last name, underscore, then the title of work (all in lower case);  i.e., 01smith_ravensrequest.jpeg. If you are showing time-based works, please submit a DVD (no longer than 15 minutes in length).