Site Navigation
Important Notice and Disclaimer
Faculty of Graduate Studies General Information
Graduate Students' Association (GSA)
Academic Schedule
Faculty of Graduate Studies Credential Information
Awards and Financial Assistance for Graduate Students
Tuition and General Fees
Academic Regulations
Program Descriptions
Anthropology ANTH
Archaeology ARKY
School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape SAPL
Biological Sciences BISI
Biomedical Engineering BMEN
Chemistry CHEM
Communication and Media Studies CMMS
Computational Media Design CMD
Computer Science CPSC
Data Science and Analytics DATA
Drama DRAM
Economics ECON
Education Graduate Programs
Engineering Programs ENGG
Engineering, Chemical and Petroleum ENCH
Engineering, Civil ENCI
Engineering, Electrical and Computer ENEL
Engineering, Environmental ENEN
Engineering, Geomatics ENGO
Engineering, Leadership in Engineering and Advanced Practice LEAP
Engineering, Mechanical and Manufacturing ENME
Engineering, Graduate Certificates
English ENGL
French, Italian and Spanish FISL
Geography GEOG
Geoscience GEOS
German GSEA
Greek and Roman Studies GRST
Haskayne School of Business Programs
History HIST
Information Security and Privacy ISEC
Kinesiology KNES
Languages, Literatures and Cultures LLAC
Linguistics LING
Mathematics and Statistics MTST
Medicine Programs
Medicine, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology MDBC
Medicine, Biomedical Technology MDBT
Medicine, Cardiovascular and Respiratory Sciences MDCV
Medicine, Community Health Sciences MDCH
Medicine, Gastrointestinal Sciences MDGI
Medicine, Immunology MDIM
Medicine, Microbiology and Infectious Diseases MDMI
Medicine, Neuroscience MDNS
Medicine, Pathologists' Assistant MDPA
Medicine, Precision Health MDPR
Medicine, Medical Science MDSC
Military and Strategic Studies CMSS
Music MUSI
Nursing NURS
Philosophy PHIL
Physics and Astronomy PHAS
Political Science POLI
Psychology PSYC
Public Policy PPOL
Quantum Computing QUAC
Religious Studies RELS
Social Work SOWK
Sociology SOCI
Sustainable Energy Development SEDV
Veterinary Medical Sciences VMS
Interdisciplinary Specializations
Courses of Instruction
Student and Campus Services
About the University of Calgary
Graduate Studies Calendar 2023-2024 Program Descriptions Art ART
Art - ART
Contact Information

Web page

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 images of recent work submitted as a single PDF file. Up to five minutes of video documentation may be submitted as links within this document.

c) A written statement (no more than 1000 words) of research intent.

d) Two reference letters.

3. Application Deadline

Application deadline is available on the Future Students website at

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. Within the first twelve months of the program each student must complete 6 units of 600-level studio course; 6 units of 600-level graduate seminar and Art 605. Three units of 600-level graduate seminar and 6 units of 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.

Typical course sequence is the following:

Year 1 Art 605, Art 609, Art 611Art 661.01, Art 661.02

Year 2 Art History 615, Art 661.03, Art 661.04

Flexible Grade Option (CG Grade)

The department of Art will not permit the Flexible Grade Option (CG Grade) for any course that is applicable to their degree; or apply any course awarded a grade of CG towards their graduation requirements.

Students may not choose the CG grade for a course taken extra to load.

The use of the CG grade will affect students' eligibility for internal awards.

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.

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.

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.

Once the student has finalized the choice of a supervisor, a supervisory committee is struck. It will normally consist of the supervisor and one internal or external member. If the student has a co-supervisor, then one additional member is still required. See Supervision for more information.

10. Required Examinations

Thesis Examination

Final thesis oral examinations are open. In addition to the Faculty of Graduate Studies requirements for Thesis Examinations, 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. 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.