Visual Studies

Bachelor of Fine Arts


Congratulations on being accepted into a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree program. You are embarking on an educational journey that will offer you a balance of artistic attainment, expression and scholarly discipline in the fine arts.

Students in the four year BFA and BFA Honours (Visual Studies) are involved in creative research and visual art practices that engage with contemporary society. 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 their various studio interests, and to teach art 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 their own artistic and intellectual development. The Honours degree in Visual Studies is an advanced undergraduate program for students seeking a more focused studio experience, aspiring to careers as practicing and professional artists, or considering further graduate level study in an MFA program. A high standard of creative achievement is required for admission, continuation, and completion.

The Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree requires the completion of 120 credits and typically four years of full-time study.

Courses required in your first year

1. Non-Art Options are to be selected from courses offered by programs outside of the Department of Art.

2. Students are required to complete two of Art History 201 or 203, Museum and Heritage Studies 201.

3. Students are required to complete 3 units of English, this can be completed at the 200 level in first year or be completed in any subsequent years.

Remember to register for both fall and winter semesters at the same time.

For further information, please contact:
Telephone: 403.220.3580

Studying for a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree means that you are a student in the Faculty of Arts.

As a student in a Bachelor of Fine Arts, you can complete a major in either Visual Studies, Dance or Drama. In general, your major refers to the subject area you’d like your Bachelor of Fine Arts degree to focus on (i.e. Bachelor of Fine Arts, major in Drama).

In addition to a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, the Faculty of Arts offers Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Music, and Bachelor of Science degree programs. From Archeology to Visual Studies, there are numerous majors and programs to choose from within the Faculty of Arts.

If you are coming to the University of Calgary with Advanced Placement credit or International Baccalaureate credit, you will follow the same registration process as any first time university student. You may be eligible to use your transfer credit in your degree program depending on the program you have entered and whether or not the courses are applicable. Look for International Baccalaureate credit information here and Advanced Placement information here.

You may view your transfer credit by logging in to your online Student Centre. Once you know the transfer credit you have received, you may contact the academic advisor in your faculty to get advice on course selection.

Generally, students must complete 18 units at the junior (200-level) before they are allowed to register in 300-level courses. However, if you received IB or AP credit for a 200-level course, you may take the 300-level course that has your 200-level course listed as a prerequisite.

Study Abroad: Experience different cultures, gain a better understanding of world issues, and travel around the globe, all while earning credit towards your degree. The University of Calgary offers exchanges and study abroad programs in 61 different countries.

Community Service-Learning: Combine your classroom learning with volunteer work that achieves community goals, and see first-hand how your academic learning relates to social issues.

Drama Undergraduate Society (DUS): Join a dedicated and energetic group of students who have a genuine passion for all aspects of theatre. The DUS organizes fund-raisers, social activities, workshops and other theatre events geared toward supporting and helping students.