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Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Visual Studies

Faculty of Arts Art and Art History BFA - Bachelor of Fine Arts

General Program Information

Contact Information


For Program Advice

Students should consult an undergraduate program advisor in the Arts Students’ Centre for information and advice on their overall program requirements. Advising contact information can be found online:

Students wishing to pursue the concurrent BFA (Visual Studies)/BEd degree program should also consult with an advisor at the Werklund School of Education. Advising contact information can be found online:


The Department of Art is committed to the study and practice of the visual arts as these relate to:

(a) Creative research in art practices (studio);

(b) Critical study of art in its diverse historical and cultural settings (Art History);

(c) Theory and practice of collecting, preserving, and exhibiting art and cultural objects (Museum and Heritage Studies); and

(d) Educational practice and theory (Art Education).

The Department offers the four-year BFA and BFA Honours (Visual Studies) degree, the four year BA in Art History, and a five-year concurrent degree program with the Werklund School of Education, leading to the BFA (Visual Studies) and Bachelor of Education degrees.

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 in the elementary or secondary school systems 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.

Students in the BFA or BFA Honours (Visual Studies) may choose a Concentration in Art Education. A concentration in Art Education does not provide students with the credentials required to teach in the public school system in Alberta. It is meant to provide students with skills and knowledge that would prepare them to teach art in informal, community-based settings.

The Concurrent BFA in Visual Studies/Bachelor of Education (BFA/BEd) enables students to complete two degree options. Students interested in teacher certification should pursue the concurrent degree program with the Werklund School of Education, which offers three years of study in the Visual Studies program and two years in the Bachelor of Education program.

Students enrolled in the BFA VIST or BFA VIST (Hon) have the option to include the Co-operative Education program. This program enables students to integrate relevant professional and work experience into their degree.

Contact Us

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The University of Calgary, located in the heart of Southern Alberta, both acknowledges and pays tribute to the traditional territories of the peoples of Treaty 7, which include the Blackfoot Confederacy (comprised of the Siksika, the Piikani, and the Kainai First Nations), the Tsuut’ina First Nation, and the Stoney Nakoda (including Chiniki, Bearspaw, and Goodstoney First Nations). The City of Calgary is also home to the Métis Nation of Alberta (districts 5 and 6).

The University of Calgary is situated on land Northwest of where the Bow River meets the Elbow River, a site traditionally known as Moh’kins’tsis to the Blackfoot, Wîchîspa to the Stoney Nakoda, and Guts’ists’i to the Tsuut’ina. On this land and in this place we strive to learn together, walk together, and grow together “in a good way.”

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