Visual Arts

Admission Requirements

In addition to the General Admission Requirements applicants to the B.F.A. Major in Visual Arts must submit a portfolio and a letter of intent.

The Portfolio

Portfolios for Visual and Media Arts should include:

  • A cover letter, with your name, address and email
  • 15 – 20 images, and (or) up to 3 short videos, which illustrate your best work while showing the range of media you have explored
  • You also MUST attach an image description page with the titles and medium used in your work, which correspond to your numbered image files and (or) videos
  • A letter of intent
  • You may include a link to your personal website if available.

For specific information about documentation requirements, please see the program’s website

The Letter of Intent

The letter of intent, (maximum of 300 words), should describe the applicant's reasons for wanting to study in the visual arts, artist statements are welcome but not mandatory.

Deadline for Submission

The deadline for submitting the portfolio and letter of intent is February 15 for admission the following September.
If you have missed the deadline, please contact Creative Studies Department at 250-807-9648 as it may be possible to send in your application and portfolio if the program is not fully enrolled.

Submit Online or mail your portfolio to:
Portfolio Review Committee
Department of Creative Studies
The University of British Columbia
CCS Building
1148 Research Road
Kelowna, BC V1V 1V7

The portfolio and letter of intent must be sent together. If you wish to have your mailed submission returned, you must use a reusable mailer and include sufficient return postage or enclose a self addressed, stamped envelope in your portfolio.

For inquiries regarding portfolio requirements, please contact the UBC Okanagan campus Department of Creative Studies at 250.807.9761.

Entry into this program is very competitive. The number of places within the B.F.A. (Visual Arts) program is limited, and admission is based on a review of the portfolio, letter of intent, and grade average.

Major in Visual Arts

The Major in Visual Arts develops critical thinking and creative practice in a range of artistic disciplines. Courses in art history and art theory provide a global historical context and an understanding of theoretical issues. Elective courses help students bring a breadth of knowledge and a diversity of perspectives to their artwork. Intensive studio courses give students practical experience in artistic research and creation and provide opportunities for interdisciplinary activity.

First and Second Years

First Year: Required Courses Credits
6 credits of 100-level ENGL with a combined minimum average of 60% 6
ARTH 101, ARTH 102 Art and Visual Cultures of the World I and II with a combined minimum average of 64% 6
CCS 150 Creative and Critical Art Theory I 3
VISA 090 Safety Training 0
VISA 102, VISA 103 Drawing and Two-Dimensional Art Practices I and II 6
VISA 104, VISA 105 Three-Dimensional Art Practices I and II 6
VISA 106 Introduction to Digital Media I 3
VISA 108 Introduction to Digital Media II 3
Second Year: Required Courses
6 credits of 200-level ARTH courses with a combined minimum average of 64% 6
CCS 250 Creative and Critical Art Theory II 3

Students must complete six courses of the following studio options:

Studio Options Courses1 Credits
VISA 215 Painting I 3
VISA 225 Painting II 3
VISA 233 Printmaking: Screenprinting I 3
VISA 235 Sculpture I 3
VISA 244 Photography I 3
VISA 245 Sculpture II 3
VISA 251 Printmaking: Etching and Intaglio Processes I 3
VISA 252 Printmaking: Etching and Intaglio Processes II 3
VISA 253 Printmaking: Screenprinting II 3
VISA 254 Introduction to Printmaking: Etching And Lithography2 3
VISA 255 Introduction to Printmaking: Linocut And Letter Press Printing2 3
VISA 256 Photography II 3
VISA 258 Printmaking: Linocut and Relief Processes I 3
VISA 259 Printmaking: Linocut and Relief Processes II 3
VISA 261 Video I 3
VISA 262 Printmaking: Lithography I 3
VISA 266 2D Animation 3
VISA 268 Strategies in Digital Art: Visual Communication 3
VISA 269 Strategies in Digital Art: Virtual Worlds 3
VISA 271 Video II 3
VISA 272 Printmaking: Lithography II 3
VISA 282 Drawing III 3
VISA 283 Drawing IV 3
1 Second-year studio courses come in pairs, with Part I serving as the prerequisite for Part II, and both parts required to move onto advanced-level courses in that area.
2 VISA 254 and VISA 255 are not necessarily linked as pairs. Each course can serve as a prerequisite for advanced-level printmaking courses.

Second Year: Non-Studio Options

Students complete 6 credits of non-studio options. These electives may include university transfer courses outside of Visual Arts.

Third Year

Note: in their third and fourth year of the Visual Arts program, students must achieve a combined minimum grade average of 68% in all required upper-level ARTH and VISA courses.

Students complete 12 studio credits, 12 elective credits, ARTH 301 Critical Viewing - Advanced Studies (3 credits), and one additional 3-credit 300- or 400- level ARTH course in the third year of the Visual Arts program.

  • ARTH 301 Critical Viewing - Advanced Studies (3 credits) and one additional 3-credit 300- or 400-level ARTH course
  • Two of the following courses in each term for a total of 12 credits (appropriate prerequisites are required):
Studio Credit Courses Credits
Term 1
VISA 300 Advanced Practice in Drawing 3
VISA 312 Advanced Practice in Painting 3
VISA 322 Advanced Practice in Sculpture 3
VISA 336 Advanced Practice in Printmaking 3
VISA 362 Advanced Practice in Photography 3
VISA 371 Digital Documentary Production1 3
VISA 382 Advanced Practice in Media Arts 3
Term 2
VISA 300 Advanced Practice in Drawing 3
VISA 312 Advanced Practice in Painting 3
VISA 322 Advanced Practice in Sculpture 3
VISA 336 Advanced Practice in Printmaking 3
VISA 362 Advanced Practice in Photography 3
VISA 371 Digital Documentary Production1 3
VISA 382 Advanced Practice in Media Arts 3
1 VISA 371 satisfies 3 credits of the compulsory 18 credits of 300-level studio courses in the B.F.A. Major in Visual Arts if students have completed VISA 265 or VISA 271.

  • 12 credits of electives. These may include the following:
    • university transfer courses outside of Visual Arts;
    • 200-, 300-, or 400-level ARTH courses;
    • 6 credits of 200-level studio courses (in addition to the studio courses required for the degree).

    Fourth Year

    In their fourth year of the Visual Arts program, students complete 9 additional credits of 300 or 400 level ARTH courses.

    Note: in their third and fourth year of the Visual Arts program, students must achieve a combined minimum grade average of 68% in all required upper-level ARTH and VISA courses.

    In their fourth year of the Visual Arts program, students will take 18 studio credits that will include:

    • VISA 482, VISA 483 Advanced Art Practices I and II1;
    • one of the following courses in each term (for a total of 6 credits):
    Studio Credit Courses Credits
    Term 1
    VISA 300 Advanced Practice in Drawing 3
    VISA 312 Advanced Practice in Painting 3
    VISA 322 Advanced Practice in Sculpture 3
    VISA 336 Advanced Practice in Printmaking 3
    VISA 362 Advanced Practice in Photography 3
    VISA 371 Digital Documentary Production2 3
    VISA 382 Advanced Practice in Media Arts 3
    Term 2
    VISA 300 Advanced Practice in Drawing 3
    VISA 312 Advanced Practice in Painting 3
    VISA 322 Advanced Practice in Sculpture 3
    VISA 336 Advanced Practice in Printmaking 3
    VISA 362 Advanced Practice in Photography 3
    VISA 371 Digital Documentary Production2 3
    VISA 382 Advanced Practice in Media Arts 3
    VISA 400 Practicum
    1 VISA 483 students must participate in a graduating exhibition.
    2 VISA 371 satisfies 3 credits of the compulsory 18 credits of 300-level studio courses in the B.F.A. Major in Visual Arts if students have completed VISA 265 or VISA 271.
    • 12 credits of electives. These may include the following:
      • university transfer courses outside of Visual Arts;
      • 200-, 300-, or 400-level ARTH courses;
      • 6 credits of a 300-level studio course (in addition to the studio courses required for the degree).

    Electives

    It is important that Visual Arts students note the emphasis upon academic courses as well as on traditional studio courses.

    The Department of Creative Studies recommends electives from any of the following discipline areas to be taken in years two, three, and four: Anthropology (ANTH); Art History and Visual Culture (ARTH); Creative Writing (CRWR); Cultural Studies (CULT); English (ENGL); Film (FILM); French (FREN); Geography (GEOG); German (GERM); History (HIST); Indigenous Studies (INDG); Japanese Studies (JPST); Music (MUSC); Philosophy (PHIL); Psychology (PSYO); Sociology (SOCI); Spanish (SPAN); or Theatre (THTR).

    Students are advised to consult with the Visual Arts coordinator or program advisor for advice on goal-specific selections.

    Minor in Visual Arts

    To complete a Minor in Visual Arts, students must complete the following courses.

    There are three possible studio streams within the Minor in Visual Arts. In the first year students must satisfy the course requirements of the stream they select.

    First Year Credits
    Two-dimensional studio stream: VISA 102 and VISA 103 Drawing and Two-Dimensional Art Practices I and II, and CCS 150 and three credits from CCS 250, or 100-level ARTH; or 12
    Digital media studio stream: VISA 106 and VISA 108 Introduction to Digital Media I and II, and CCS 150 and three credits from CCS 250 or 100-level ARTH; or 12
    Three-dimensional studio stream: VISA 104, VISA 105 Three-Dimensional Art Practices I and II, and CCS 150 and three credits from CCS 250 or 100-level ARTH. 12
    Note: All students must complete the zero-credit course VISA 090 Safety Training.
    Second Year
    6 credits from: VISA 215, 225, 233, 235, 244, 245, 251, 252, 253, 2543, 2553, 256, 258, 259, 261, 262, 264, 265, 266, 271, 272, 282, 2831 6
    Third and Fourth Years
    12 credits from: VISA upper-year studio courses numbered 300 and above2 12
    1 Second-year studio courses come in pairs, with Part I serving as the prerequisite for Part II, and both parts are required to move on to advanced-level courses in that area.
    2 Because of the individual nature of studio art courses, each 300-level studio course may be taken up to four times for a total of 12 credits.
    3 VISA 254 and VISA 255 are not necessarily linked as pairs. Each course can serve as a prerequisite for advanced-level printmaking courses.

    Whenever possible, students are encouraged to take Art History and Visual Culture and Creative and Critical Studies courses in addition to these studio art requirements. The Department of Creative Studies believes that Art History and Visual Culture and Creative and Critical Studies courses would prove to be appropriate complements to studies in the Visual Arts.

    Students are urged to carefully consider their choice of first-year courses for this minor. There are three studio streams in this minor. Taking VISA 102 and 103 prepares students for two-dimensional courses (drawing, painting, printmaking-screenprinting, intaglio/relief, and lithography). Taking VISA 102, 103 and 106 prepares students for two-dimensional and media-related courses (photography, video, and computer and image development). And taking VISA 104, 105, and 106 prepares students for three-dimensional and media-related courses (sculpture, video, computer and image development, and photography).

    Note: due to the number of credits required, this program may take more than four years to complete.

    Arts and Science Minor Programs

    B.F.A. Major in Visual Arts students who wish to focus their non-B.F.A. electives may undertake an optional minor program in conjunction with the B.F.A. degree.

    Students may undertake any minor offered by the Faculty of Arts and Sciences or the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies available to Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science students (e.g.: Art History and Visual Culture, Gender and Women’s Studies, Indigenous Studies, Biology, Philosophy, etc.).

    B.F.A. students are required to complete at least 30 credits with at least 12 credits at the 300/400 level. Students must also complete all the requirements for the minor. Please see the specific minor requirements listed under the various disciplines.

    Students who wish to pursue a minor should consult a program advisor. Upon completion of a minor program, the notation, "Minor in [subject]" will be denoted on the student's transcript.

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