Master of Fine Arts in Visual Art (MFA)

Overview

The MFA program is dedicated to helping students understand both the making and theorizing of art against the background of the diverse intellectual environment of a major university, and within the context of local and international art communities. The MFA degree is also the standard qualifying degree for teaching visual arts at the post-secondary level. Most students are given the opportunity to teach foundation courses as Teaching Assistants, thus providing them valuable experience in visual arts instruction.

What makes the program unique?

Each MFA student receives his/her own private studio (approximately 250 square feet) and access to the department's extensive facilities including a state-of-the art Photo/Digital lab, Printmaking unit, and Workshop. MFAs participate in an intensive weekly studio seminar that is also a forum for critical discussions about leading issues in contemporary art, visual culture, and cultural theory. Students take additional academic coursework to enrich their particular focus, and present their Major Paper research and artwork to peers, faculty, and the public at their final oral presentation (occurring in the spring of their final year) and at a final critique (occurring during their graduation exhibition). Open Studios, interdepartmental critiques, and organised exhibitions showcase the students' art production and broaden their exposure to the local art scene and beyond.

Program Structure

The MFA Program requires two academic years of course work with completion of requirements occurring in no less than two calendar years and no more than five calendar years after initial registration in the program. The MFA Program can only be pursued on a full-time basis.

Students in the program may work in any area of contemporary art production including painting, drawing, printmaking, three-dimensional and installation work, photography, digital art, intermedia, video, performance, sound, or in any interdisciplinary form.

 

Program Enquiries

If you have reviewed the information on this program page and understand the requirements for this program, you may send an enquiry

Admission Information & Requirements

1) Check Eligibility

Minimum Academic Requirements

The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies establishes the minimum admission requirements common to all applicants, usually a minimum overall average in the B+ range (76% at UBC). The graduate program that you are applying to may have additional requirements. Please review the specific requirements for applicants with credentials from institutions in:

Each program may set higher academic minimum requirements. Please review the program website carefully to understand the program requirements. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission as it is a competitive process.

English Language Test

Applicants from a university outside Canada in which English is not the primary language of instruction must provide results of an English language proficiency examination as part of their application. Tests must have been taken within the last 24 months at the time of submission of your application.

Minimum requirements for the two most common English language proficiency tests to apply to this program are listed below:

TOEFL: Test of English as a Foreign Language - internet-based

Overall score requirement: 100

Reading

22

Writing

21

Speaking

21

Listening

22

IELTS: International English Language Testing System

Overall score requirement: 7.0

Reading

6.5

Writing

6.5

Speaking

6.5

Listening

6.5

Other Test Scores

Some programs require additional test scores such as the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Test (GMAT). The requirements for this program are:

The GRE is not required.

Prior degree, course and other requirements

Prior Degree Requirements

Applicants to the MFA in visual art normally hold a BFA, BA, or BEd degree with a major in studio arts.

2) Meet Deadlines

September 2021 Intake

Application Open Date
15 October 2020
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 10 January 2021
Transcript Deadline: 13 January 2021
Referee Deadline: 18 January 2021
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 10 January 2021
Transcript Deadline: 13 January 2021
Referee Deadline: 18 January 2021

3) Prepare Application

Transcripts

All applicants have to submit transcripts from all past post-secondary study. Document submission requirements depend on whether your institution of study is within Canada or outside of Canada.

Letters of Reference

A minimum of three references are required for application to graduate programs at UBC. References should be requested from individuals who are prepared to provide a report on your academic ability and qualifications.

Statement of Interest

Many programs require a statement of interest, sometimes called a "statement of intent", "description of research interests" or something similar.

Supervision

Course-based programs may assign academic advisors to cohorts of students, but usually do not require applicants to reach out to individual professors / faculty members to seek commitment as their supervisor. Please do not contact faculty members if you are applying to this program.

Citizenship Verification

Permanent Residents of Canada must provide a clear photocopy of both sides of the Permanent Resident card.

4) Apply Online

All applicants must complete an online application form and pay the application fee to be considered for admission to UBC.

Tuition & Financial Support

Tuition

FeesCanadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / DiplomatInternational
Application Fee$106.00$168.25
Tuition *
Installments per year33
Tuition per installment$1,698.56$2,984.09
Tuition per year
(plus annual increase, usually 2%-5%)
$5,095.68$8,952.27
Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible) $3,200.00 (-)
Other Fees and Costs
Student Fees (yearly)$944.51 (approx.)
Costs of living (yearly)starting at $16,954.00 (check cost calculator)
* Regular, full-time tuition. For on-leave, extension, continuing or part time (if applicable) fees see UBC Calendar.
All fees for the year are subject to adjustment and UBC reserves the right to change any fees without notice at any time, including tuition and student fees. Tuition fees are reviewed annually by the UBC Board of Governors. In recent years, tuition increases have been 2% for continuing domestic students and between 2% and 5% for continuing international students. New students may see higher increases in tuition. Admitted students who defer their admission are subject to the potentially higher tuition fees for incoming students effective at the later program start date. In case of a discrepancy between this webpage and the UBC Calendar, the UBC Calendar entry will be held to be correct.

Financial Support

Applicants to UBC have access to a variety of funding options.

Employer support

Organizations may provide their employees with tuition benefits as part of an employment package to support lifelong learning of their workforce.

Scholarships & awards (merit-based funding)

Professional / course-based programs usually do not provide merit-based funding. Some programs may offer bursaries.

Financial aid (need-based funding)

Canadian and US applicants may qualify for governmental loans to finance their studies. Please review eligibility and types of loans.

All students may be able to access private sector or bank loans.

Foreign government scholarships

Many foreign governments provide support to their citizens in pursuing education abroad. International applicants should check the various governmental resources in their home country, such as the Department of Education, for available scholarships.

Working while studying

The possibility to pursue work to supplement income may depend on the demands the program has on students. It should be carefully weighed if work leads to prolonged program durations or whether work placements can be meaningfully embedded into a program.

International students enrolled as full-time students with a valid study permit can work on campus for unlimited hours and work off-campus for no more than 20 hours a week.

A good starting point to explore student jobs is the UBC Work Learn program or a Co-Op placement.

Tax credits and RRSP withdrawals

Students with taxable income in Canada may be able to claim federal or provincial tax credits.

Canadian residents with RRSP accounts may be able to use the Lifelong Learning Plan (LLP) which allows students to withdraw amounts from their registered retirement savings plan (RRSPs) to finance full-time training or education for themselves or their partner.

Please review Filing taxes in Canada on the student services website for more information.

Cost Calculator

Applicants have access to the cost calculator to develop a financial plan that takes into account various income sources and expenses.

Enrolment, Duration & Other Stats

These statistics show data for the Master of Fine Arts in Visual Art (MFA). Data are separated for each degree program combination. You may view data for other degree options in the respective program profile.

Enrolment Data

 20192018201720162015
Applications6858614343
Offers87665
New registrations56565
Total enrolment1112121512

Completion Rates & Times

Based on 18 graduations between 2015 - 2018 the minimum time to completion is 1.99 years and the maximum time is 3.00 years with an average of 2.22 years of study. All calculations exclude leave times.
Disclaimer
Admissions data refer to all UBC Vancouver applications, offers, new registrants for each year, May to April [data updated: 10 March 2020]. Enrolment data are based on March 1 snapshots. Program completion data are only provided for datasets comprised of more than 4 individuals. Rates and times of completion depend on a number of variables (e.g. curriculum requirements, student funding), some of which may have changed in recent years for some programs [data updated: 27 October 2019].

Further Program Information

Specialization

The program provides a period of intensive conceptual and technical development for those students wishing to pursue a professional career in advanced contemporary art. The M.F.A. degree is also the standard qualifying degree for teaching visual arts at the post-secondary level. The M.F.A. program is dedicated to helping students understand both the making and theorizing of the art object against the background of the diverse intellectual environment of a major university. Students in the program may work in any area of contemporary art production including painting, drawing, printmaking, performance, three-dimensional and installation work, photography, digital, multimedia, or in any interdisciplinary form.

Faculty Overview

Program Identifier

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September 2021 Intake

Application Open Date
15 October 2020
Canadian Applicant Deadline
10 January 2021
International Applicant Deadline
10 January 2021

Program Enquiries

If you have reviewed the information on this program page and understand the requirements for this program, you may send an enquiry
 

Supervisor Search

 

Departments/Programs may update graduate degree program details through the Faculty & Staff portal. To update the application inquiries contact details please use this form.

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