Western University - School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies

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Visual Arts (M.F.A.)

Western University - School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies

Faculty:Faculty of Arts and Humanities
Field of Study:Fine/Studio Arts, General
Areas of Research:Collecting, Museums, Archives and Heritage Studies; Material and Visual Culture; New Media; Public Spaces and Cultures; Sound and the Moving Image
Thesis Based:Yes
Length:2 Year(s)


The Department of Visual Arts at The University of Western Ontario offers three graduate degrees: a Master’s in Fine Art (MFA), a Master’s in Art History (MA), and a Doctorate in Art and Visual Culture (PhD). These programs are unique in Canada because they combine an emphasis on contemporary critical theory and historical art theory with traditional instruction and supervision in the studio arts and art history. Students choose six half courses. All students take one core half course in theory and methods. For the other five half courses, students work in small seminars devoted to specific topics and media. The program offers excellent opportunities for exchange and collaboration across the different areas of study.


These courses are intended as guidelines. Speak to your guidance counsellor to see what courses are offered at your school.
    • BFA or Honours BA in Visual Arts with a minimum B+ standing.
    • Studio concentration in a Bachelor's program.
    • Recommended: three full courses (or equivalent) in art history including modern, contemporary, and / or Canadian art.
    Application Notes : • One academic transcript from all post- secondary institutions attended: Past or current students of The University of Western do not need to provide transcripts for their academic history at Western. This information will be obtained internally.

    • Two letters of reference: Applicants are required to enter the names and contact information (including e-mail address) of their referees into the online application. Once the application is processed, the referee will receive a request via e-mail to complete an electronic recommendation form on the applicant's behalf. A link to the form will be included in the e-mail. The referee will receive a reminder in two weeks if the recommendation is not received. The applicant will receive an e-mail when Western receives the referee's letter of recommendation.

    • A well considered statement of intent regarding the applicant's work in the visual arts. The statement of intent should outline your background preparation for graduate level work and indicate how you view your studio production in the context of contemporary art.

    • One sample of written work at least 1000 words

    • English Proficiency Test: All applicants whose first language is not English should be aware that the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or its equivalent must be taken before applying to our program. The TOEFL may be waived for applicants whose first language is not English who have already successfully completed a university degree at a university in an English speaking country.

    • Twenty images (digital format) representing, as far as possible, a body of work, accompanied by a list indicating date, title and medium; or items that illustrate multidisciplinary work (e.g. performance) such as video, audio, digital works, photographs, etc., accompanied by a description of the work.
    Additional Admission Requirements:
    • Letter(s) of Reference
    • Statement of Research Interests
    • Portfolio

    * We make every attempt to provide accurate information on prerequisites, programs, and tuition. However, this information is subject to change without notice and we highly recommend that you contact the school to confirm important information before applying.

    Modified on November 19, 2022