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About the University of Calgary
Graduate Studies Calendar 2017-2018 Program Descriptions Art ART
Art - ART
Contact Information

Location: Art Building 612
Program number: 403.220.6260

Fax: 403.289.7333
Email address:
Web page URL:

1. Degrees and Specializations Offered

Master of Fine Arts (MFA), thesis-based

Students applying for the MFA degree offered by the Department of Art may choose to identify one of the following formal specializations:


  • Sculpture
  • Printmaking
  • Photography
  • Painting
  • Drawing
  • Media art and technology
2. Admission Requirements

In addition to Faculties of Graduate Studies and Arts requirements, the Department requires:

a) A four-year Bachelor of Fine Arts degree or equivalent qualification.

b) A portfolio of 20 recent works presented in jpeg format on disk.

c) A three to five page written statement of intent.

d) Two reference letters.

3. Application Deadline

The deadline for the submission of complete applications is January 15 for September admission.

4. Advanced Credit

Not applicable.

5. Program/Course Requirements

The program core for all Master of Fine Arts students is a minimum of 24 units (4.0 full-course equivalents). Within the first twelve months of the program each student must complete 6 units (1.0 full-course equivalent) 600-level studio course; 3 units (0.5 full-course equivalent) 600-level graduate seminar, and Art 601 and 605. Three units (0.5 full-course equivalent) 600-level graduate seminar and 6 units (1.0 full-course equivalent) 600-level studio course must be completed in the second twelve months of the program. In some circumstances, the Department may require a student to complete more than the mandatory 24 units (4.0 full-course equivalents).

Typical course sequence is the following:

Year 1 Fall
Art 601
Art 661.01
Year 1 Winter
Art 699.01
Art 661.01
Year 1 Spring
Art 605 
Year 2 Fall
Art 661.02
Art 699.02
Year 2 Winter
Art 661.02

6. Additional Requirements

Additional requirements for the Master of Fine Arts degree include an exhibition of the student's work, a supporting paper, and an oral examination.

7. Credit for Undergraduate Courses

Not applicable.

8. Time Limit

Expected completion time for the Master of Fine Arts degree is two years. Maximum completion time is four years.

9. Supervisory Assignments

Each new student is assigned an interim advisor to assist in the planning of the academic program and in orienting the student to the Department's physical and academic resources. A permanent supervisor is appointed by January 1 of the first academic year of registration. The approval of a permanent supervisor, by the Graduate Program Director, is made after consultation with the student. Supervisors work closely with students in all phases of the program; they have the principal responsibility in assessing the student's performance, and advising the Department Head of the student's progress.

10. Required Examinations

Thesis Examination

Final thesis oral examinations are open. In addition to the Faculty of Graduate Studies requirements, the Department requires:

Scheduling of the Examination

All members of the Supervisory Committee must have reviewed the student’s research, including a relevant written sample of the materials related to the thesis, before an examination can be scheduled.

Composition of the Committee

The Internal Examiner may be internal to the home program.

11. Research Proposal Requirements

Not applicable.

12. Special Registration Information

The program requires an initial registration as a full-time graduate student for two consecutive years. A minimum of twenty-four months of full-time study is usually necessary to complete the degree requirements.

13. Financial Assistance

Financial assistance may be available to qualified students. For information on awards see the Awards and Financial Assistance section of this calendar.

Students applying for scholarships must submit their applications to the Department of Art by January 15.

14. Other Information

The Department has extensive facilities for drawing, painting, sculpture, digital and silver-based photography, printmaking, and media arts.

15. Faculty Members/Research Interests

Faculty members and their research interests can be found at