Our programs take you on an exploration of the visual arts, with a special emphasis on contemporary creation. Both programs include compulsory practical and theoretical courses that encourage both creation and reflection. The Department provides photography and media art labs as well as painting, drawing and sculpture studios. In the heart of Ottawa, you also have access to a wealth of artistic venues such as the National Gallery and the Ottawa Art Gallery. In addition, you train under the guidance of nationally and internationally recognized artists, curators, art historians and theorists. While maintaining its focus on traditional disciplines (drawing, painting, sculpture and photography), the Department also helps you discover the use of new media and technologies in the visual arts. 

The Department of Visual Arts also offers a Major and a Minor in History and Theory of Art.

This program is offered in English and in French. 

Requirements for this program have been modified. Please consult the 2015-2016 calendars for the previous requirements.

This program leads to the Master of Fine Arts program (MFA).

ENG 1100Workshop in Essay Writing3 Units
3 course units from:3 Units
Reasoning and Critical Thinking
Philosophy: Ideas and Arguments
3 course units from:3 Units
Introduction to Interdisciplinary Study in the Arts 1
Introduction to Interdisciplinary Study in the Arts 1
Literature and Composition I: Prose Fiction
Literature and Composition II: Drama and Poetry
3 course units from:3 Units
Introduction to Interdisciplinary Study in the Arts 1
Introduction to Interdisciplinary Study in the Arts 1
Moral Reasoning
Fundamental Philosophical Questions
Great Philosophers
Philosophy: Themes and Texts
ART 1311The Painting Field3 Units
ART 1321Introduction to Sculpture3 Units
ART 1331The Photograph and Visual Culture3 Units
ART 1341Time-Based Art3 Units
ART 1360Histories of Art I 23 Units
ART 1361Histories of Art II 23 Units
ART 217019th Century Art: 1789-19003 Units
ART 2171Modern Art: 1900-19453 Units
ART 3180Art After Modernism: 1945-19783 Units
ART 3181Postmodernism and Art: 1978-20003 Units
ART 4987Professional Practices in Art3 Units
ART 4988Intensive Studio Practice3 Units
ART 4989From Studio to Exhibition3 Units
3 course units from:3 Units
Painting: Practice and Idea
Sculpture/Media Studio
Photography/Media Studio
9 optional course units in visual arts (ART) (P) in a principal discipline (Painting/Drawing, Sculpture, Photography or Media) 39 Units
3 optional course units in visual arts (ART) (P) at the 3000 level in the same principal discipline 33 Units
9 optional course units in visual arts (ART) (P) 39 Units
3 optional course units in visual arts (ART) (P) at the 3000 level 33 Units
6 optional course units in history and theory of art (ART) (H) 46 Units
36 elective course units36 Units
or a minor of 30 course units plus 6 elective course units 5
Total: 120 Units



This course has variable topics. Students may take this course twice.


The introductory survey courses, ART 1360 and ART 1361, are required for all undergraduates in the Department of Visual Arts (Bachelor of Fine Arts; Major in Visual Arts; Major and Minor in History and Theory of Art), and are prerequisites for all compulsory 3000-level courses, so should therefore be taken in first year to ensure graduation on time.


(P): Practical course (studio).


(H): History and Theory of Art course. Other courses may be selected in consultation with the Department.


This program cannot be combined with the Minor in History and Theory of Art.

List of Optional Courses

ART 2913Painting and Image I: Materiality and Process3 Units
ART 2914Painting and Image II: Motif and Metaphor3 Units
ART 2915Painting and Context I: Observation and Process3 Units
ART 2916Painting and Context II: Space and Site3 Units
ART 2923Sculpture in Transformation: Materiality and Process3 Units
ART 2925Elements of Contemporary Sculpture3 Units
ART 2926Sculpture and Concept3 Units
ART 2928Sculpture and the Body3 Units
ART 2932Digital Photography Workshop I3 Units
ART 2934Large Format Photography3 Units
ART 2935Mise en scène: Lighting on Location and in the Studio3 Units
ART 2940Video Art3 Units
ART 2941Installation Media Art3 Units
ART 2942Electronic Art3 Units
ART 2943Media Art Practices3 Units
ART 2951Drawing I: Materiality and Process3 Units
ART 2952Drawing II: The Figure3 Units
ART 3916Painting and Source I: Issues of Representation3 Units
ART 3917Painting and Source II: Narrative and Series3 Units
ART 3926Sculpture in Context I: Practices in Installation3 Units
ART 3927Sculpture in Context II: Practices in Performance3 Units
ART 3933Photography and Contemporary Context3 Units
ART 3934Hybrid Photographic Methods3 Units
ART 3935Special Topics in Photography3 Units
ART 3944Electronic Media Art3 Units
ART 3945Image Media Studio3 Units
ART 3952Drawing III: Analytical Drawing3 Units
ART 3953Drawing IV: Expressivity3 Units