The Major in Visual Arts allows students to have the same range of course experiences as the BFA– including compulsory practical and theoretical courses but offers a greater number of electives, so that students might pursue a broader range of interests. Majors can combine their degree with either a Minor or a second Major (not including the Major or Minor in History and Theory of Arts). It is an excellent preparation for students wishing to pursue careers in such fields as Fine arts education, project or communications officer in artistic organisations, artist agent, conservator or curator.

Our programs take you on an exploration of the visual arts, with a special emphasis on contemporary creation. Both programs include compulsory practical and theoretical courses that encourage both creation and reflection. The Department provides photography and media art labs as well as painting, drawing and sculpture studios. In the heart of Ottawa, you also have access to a wealth of artistic venues such as the National Gallery and the Ottawa Art Gallery. In addition, you train under the guidance of nationally and internationally recognized artists, curators, art historians and theorists. While maintaining its focus on traditional disciplines (drawing, painting, sculpture and photography), the Department also helps you discover the use of new media and technologies in the visual arts. 

The Department of Visual Arts also offers a Major and a Minor in Art History.

This program is offered in English and in French. 


The table below includes only the discipline-specific courses. Please refer to the Academic Regulations for information on the Honours bachelor's with double major and the Honours bachelor's with major and minor.

French immersion is available when taken as part of an honours degree.

Requirements for this program have been modified. Please consult the 2017-2018 calendars for the previous requirements.

This program cannot be combined with the Major or the Minor in Art History.

This program leads to the Master of Fine Arts program (MFA).

Course List

ART 1311 Introduction to Painting

ART 1321 Introduction to Sculpture

ART 1331 Introduction to Photography

ART 1341 Introduction to Media Art

ART 1360 Histories of Art I 

ART 1361 Histories of Art II 

Compulsory courses at the 2000 level

ART 2170 19th Century Art: 1789-1900

ART 2171 Modern Art: 1900-1945

Compulsory courses at the 3000 level

ART 3180 Art After Modernism: 1945-1978

ART 3181 Postmodernism and Art: 1978-2000

Optional courses

12 course units from the Studio Profile or the Arts Administration Profile

Total: 42 Units

Studio Profile 

6 optional course units in visual arts (ART) studio at the 2000 level 

ART 2913 Painting and Image I: Materiality and Process

ART 2914 Painting and Image II: Motif and Metaphor

ART 2915 Painting and Context I: Observation and Process

ART 2916 Painting and Context II: Space and Site

ART 2923 Sculpture in Transformation: Materiality and Process

ART 2925 Elements of Contemporary Sculpture

ART 2926 Sculpture and Concept

ART 2928 Sculpture and the Body

ART 2932 Digital Photography Workshop I

ART 2934 Large Format Photography

ART 2935 Mise en scène: Lighting on Location and in the Studio

ART 2940 Video Art

ART 2941 Installation Media Art

ART 2942 Electronic Art

ART 2943 Media Art Practices

ART 2951 Drawing I: Materiality and Process

ART 2952 Drawing II: The Figure

6 optional course units in art history (ART) at the 4000 level

ART 4115 Special Topics in History and Theory of Art

ART 4118 Special Topics in Contemporary Art

ART 4119 Curating for Contemporary Art

ART 4915 Special Topics in History and Theory of art

ART 4955 Research Seminar in History and Theory of Art

ART 4956 Directed Research I

ART 4957 Directed Research II

Total:12 Units

Arts Administration Profile

AMT 3901 Administration of Artistic and Cultural Organizations I 

AMT 3902 Administration of Artistic and Cultural Organizations II

ART 3344 Museum Studies and Artistic Practices

ART 4119 Curating for Contemporary Art

ART 4900 Apprenticeship

CMN 1148 Introduction to Organizational Communication

THE 4930 Stage Management

Total:12 Units



The introductory survey courses, ART 1360 and ART 1361, are required for all undergraduates in the Department of Visual Arts (Bachelor of Fine Arts; Major in Visual Arts; Major and Minor in Art History), and are prerequisites for all compulsory 3000-level courses, so should therefore be taken in first year to ensure graduation on time.


Other courses may be selected in consultation with the Department.