- Graduate School
- Prospective Students
- Graduate Degree Programs
Master of Fine Arts in Visual Art (MFA)
Go to programs search
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.
For specific program requirements, please refer to the departmental program website
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 summer 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.
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, 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:
- Canada or the United States
- International countries other than the United States
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
IELTS: International English Language Testing System
Overall score requirement : 7.0
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 2024 intake, application open date, canadian applicants, international applicants, deadline explanations.
Deadline to submit online application. No changes can be made to the application after submission.
Deadline to upload scans of official transcripts through the applicant portal in support of a submitted application. Information for accessing the applicant portal will be provided after submitting an online application for admission.
Deadline for the referees identified in the application for admission to submit references. See Letters of Reference for more information.
3) Prepare Application
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.
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.
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
Applicants to UBC have access to a variety of funding options.
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.
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.
Completion rates & times, related programs, same academic unit.
- Doctor of Philosophy in Art History (PhD)
- Master of Arts in Art History (Critical Curatorial Studies) (MA)
- Master of Arts in Art History (MA)
At the UBC Okanagan Campus
- Master of Fine Arts (MFA)
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.
Program website, faculty overview, academic unit, program identifier, classification, social media channels.
Departments/Programs may update graduate degree program details through the Faculty & Staff portal. To update the application inquiries contact details please use this form .
Considering UBC for your graduate studies?
Here, you can choose from more than 300 graduate degree program options and 2000+ research supervisors. You can even design your own program.
- Why Grad School at UBC?
- Application & Admission
- Info Sessions
- Research Supervisors
- Research Projects
- Indigenous Students
- International Students
- Tuition, Fees & Cost of Living
- Newly Admitted
- Student Status & Classification
- Student Responsibilities
- Supervision & Advising
- Managing your Program
- Health, Wellbeing and Safety
- Professional Development
- Dissertation & Thesis Preparation
- Final Doctoral Exam
- Final Dissertation & Thesis Submission
- Resources & Links
- Life in Vancouver
- Vancouver Campus
- Graduate Student Spaces
- Graduate Life Centre
- Life as a Grad Student at UBC
- Graduate Student Ambassadors
- Meet our Students
- Award Opportunities
- Award Guidelines
- Minimum Funding Policy for PhD Students
- Killam Awards & Fellowships
- Policies & Procedures
- Information for Supervisors
- Dean's Message
- Leadership Team
- Strategic Plan & Priorities
- Vision & Mission
- Equity, Diversity & Inclusion
- Initiatives, Plans & Reports
- Graduate Education Analysis & Research
- Media Enquiries
- Giving to Graduate Studies
- Strategic Plan 2019-2024
- Improving Student Funding
- Promoting Excellence in Graduate Programs
- Enhancing Graduate Supervision
- Advancing Indigenous Inclusion
- Supporting Student Development and Success
- Reimagining Graduate Education
- Enriching the Student Experience
- Public Scholars Initiative
- 3 Minute Thesis (3MT)
- PhD Career Outcomes
- Great Supervisor Week
- Creative Writing Programs
- Prospective Students
- MFA Program Options
- 2021 Summer Residency
- How to Write a Novel
- Writing for Video Games
- Communications Support
- Prize for Best New Fiction
- Equity, Diversity & Inclusion
- Indigenous Engagement
- Job Opportunities
Imagine. Create. Find your voice. Hone the fundamentals of craft in a variety of genres in our BFA and Minor Programs.
Wherever you’re writing from, our renowned MFA program offers a world-class educational experience either on-campus or online.
Learn from leading professors and authors without the commitment of a degree program.
Study with award-winning authors and creative professionals.
Study with our faculty of internationally renowned, award-winning authors in a student-focused program that blends the best of traditional workshop and leading edge pedagogy.
It was the reputation of UBC’s Creative Writing program that convinced me to focus on an MFA. The faculty sounded wonderful, and I loved the idea of the optional-residency program, which would allow me to go ahead with my plans to move to Europe while still enjoying the benefits of a UBC education.
Featured events, tackling mature themes in children’s lit: workshop with janae marks (on zoom), featured news, ars scientia inspires new collaboration between creative writing and physics students, meet the new faculty in creative writing 2023, virtual writer in residence oliver baez bendorf brings mystery and transformation to ubc, faculty highlights, see recent publications and productions from our faculty..
- Why Distance Learning?
- Forms of Distance Learning
- Professional Development
- Student Profiles
- Online Learning Resources
- Learner Resources
- Policies and Procedures
- Before You Start
- Starting Your Course
- Key Contacts
- Course Participation
- Using the Technology
- Communicating Online: Netiquette
- Getting Your Course Materials
- Appropriate Use of Technology Policy
- Admission to UBC
- Online Registration and Course Fees
- Campus Resources
- Academic and Program Advising
- Extended Learning
Creative Writing, Optional-Residency MFA Program
- Faculty of Education, Professional Development & Community Engagement
- Real Estate Division at the Sauder School of Business
- Rehabilitation Science Online Programs
- Apply & Register
UBC’s Creative Writing Program is Canada’s oldest and most respected, and is known globally for its MFA program, which features an unprecedented eleven genres of potential study. For more than fifty years, students have learned from a faculty comprised of respected, working writers. Many of Canada’s most successful authors have graduated from the program and students and alumni are regularly found on the shortlists and winner’s lists of Canada’s major literary prizes.
In addition to the on-campus MFA program, the program offers the ability to study at the graduate level through online learning. For over a decade now, students have been taking the Optional-Residency MFA from across Canada and around the world. Like the on-campus program, the Optional Residency MFA is innovative, offering multiple genres of writing. It is also uniquely flexible: students can work on a part-time basis, with an optional summer session held for ten days at UBC’s Point Grey campus each July.
Throughout the program, students work in a learner-centered, workshop-driven program which offers an exciting breadth of choices, innovative learning options and award-winning faculty.
For more than 50 years, UBC's Creative Writing program has been producing writers who've shaped Canadian and international culture. A studio program with
The MFA in Creative Writing and Theatre is a joint program with UBC Theatre & Film, where students will take courses in both the Theatre Program and the
UBC's Creative Writing graduate program offers an intensive, diverse and collaborative environment for crafting literary excellence.
Poets, novelists, screenwriters, playwrights, graphic novelists, magazine writers: they entertain, inform and inspire. For more than 15 years, UBC's Creative
The MFA in Creative Writing and Theatre is an on-campus program run jointly by the School of Creative Writing and the Department of Theatre & Film. Applications
We are Canada's oldest and most respected MFA Program in Creative Writing. Offering an unprecedented 11 genres for potential study, students work in a
UBC offers the only Master's Degree in Film Production and Creative Writing in Western Canada, and is one of the few MFA Film Production programs in the
The MFA program is dedicated to helping students understand both the making and theorizing of art against the background of the diverse intellectual
Optional-Residency MFA Tuition: Canadian Students: $640.60 per credit. US & International Students: $1,153.40 CDN per credit. The MFA degree is awarded on the
Study with award-winning faculty in a student-focused creative writing program that blends the best of traditional workshop and leading edge pedagogy.
UBC's Creative Writing Program is Canada's oldest and most respected, and is known globally for its MFA program, which features an unprecedented eleven