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Bachelor of Fine Arts in Critical + Cultural Practices Major

Emily Carr University of Art + Design
4 years
Bachelor's degree
Scholarships available
On campus
Inquire for more information

Program description

Bachelor of Fine Arts Degrees in Critical + Cultural Practices Major

All our majors commence upon completion of our Foundation Year requirements.

If you wish to pursue graduate, advanced or post-baccalaureate studies after your undergraduate degree, this program provides you with opportunities to enhance critical writing and scholarship, while continuing to build your visual arts practice, the Critical and Cultural Practices Major is for you. Acquire a solid 120-credit liberal arts education, with academic classes that make up half of your curriculum, then explore visual and material practice with the other half of your studies undertaken in-studio.

Through a rigorous academic program, you will study art history, design history, English, humanities, media history, science, social sciences and writing. These courses are designed with your practice in mind, in order to bring modern and contemporary approaches to the creation of material and textual culture. This interdisciplinary approach allows you to chart your own path while fostering connections between theory and practice.

Admission requirements

Undergraduate Admissions Requirements

The minimum academic requirement for admission to Emily Carr University undergraduate programs is graduation from grade 12 secondary school, with five grade 12 subjects, including English 12 with a minimum grade of 'C', two other grade 12 academic courses and two grade 12 elective courses. The minimum overall grade point average required for admission is 2.5 or C+ or 67%. All elective courses must be grade 12 and can be Ministry Approved, Board Approved or Locally Developed. Requirement vary depending on your location. Visit our website to ensure your application satisfies the minimum requirements, and look for “First Year Academic Requirements”.

If English is not your first language you will need to submit an English Proficiency test. We are also pleased to offer a Creative Art Pathway (CAP) program for potential Emily Carr Students who do not meet the English Language proficiency requirements. Learn more on the English Proficiency page on our website.

Whether you are applying for first year Foundation or as a transfer student, all applicants to Emily Carr University must submit a portfolio online through SlideRoom as part of the admission process. Your portfolio requirements may include examples of your work, responses to prompts using a variety of media/materials, and written responses. Find detailed portfolio requirements on our website.

Graduate Admissions Requirements

As a graduate applicant you must apply online using the EducationPlannerBC Application Service. You will only be able to select Emily Carr from the list of BC institutions when applications open. A non-refundable application fee is required for all graduate applications.

If your first language is not English you must submit an official English language proficiency test score.

Lastly, you must prepare and submit your portfolio and supporting documents.

Applicants must submit a portfolio and supporting documents online. Supporting documents include:

• Statement of Intent

• Recommendation Letters

• Curriculum Vitae/Resume

• Video Question

We will contact you with a decision about your application via email. We will also mail you the selection process results. For detailed admissions requirements and application information, please visit our website.

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Program content



  • FNDT 108 Creative Processes
  • FNDT 165 Core Interdisc  Studio
  • Foundation Studio Elective

Choose ONE of:

  • FNDT 160 Core Media Studio I
  • FNDT 161 Core Design Studio I
  • FNDT 164 Core Visual Arts Studio I
  • HUMN 100 Academic Core I
  • HUMN 101 Academic Core II



  • Studio Elective 200 level
  • Elective, any subject/level
  • AHIS 200 Art+Culture 1900-1950
  • AHIS 210 Art+Culture Since 1950
  • SOCS 201 Intro to Cultural Theory
  • SOCS 202 Eco Perspective in Design
  • Critical Studies 200 level

Second year Art History must be completed before entering third year.



  • Studio Elective 300/400 level
  • HUMN 311 Visual Art Seminar
  • HUMN 300 Critical Practices Workshop
  • Critical Studies Elective 300/400 level

Must be from three different Critical Studies subject areas.



  • Studio Elective 300/400 level
  • SOC 300/400 level
  • Critical Studies 300/400 level
  • Must be from three different Critical Studies subject areas

Scholarships & funding

Several scholarship options are available. Please check the institute website for more information.


Your studies will focus steadily in this field over the last three years of your four year degree. Upon completion you will achieve the undergraduate degree and designation, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Majoring in Critical + Cultural Practices (BFA, Critical + Cultural Practices). See the Admissions section about application information for undergraduate, international, transfer, and aboriginal students.

he Bachelor of Fine Arts, Critical + Cultural Practices Major aims to:

  • equip you with the critical, theoretical, research, and studio skills and knowledge necessary to become socially engaged practitioners;
  • impart advanced liberal art and visual arts knowledge to you, as they relate to visual culture and practice;
  • foster your conceptual and technical knowledge in the visual arts through a studio-based education reflecting the diversity and complexity of contemporary art practices across mediums and technologies;
  • prepare you with a solid contextual understanding of critical and cultural practices so you may enter the knowledge-based economy as a relevant contributor to the arts and culture sector;
  • foster a dynamic critical and visual arts culture and community within Vancouver, British Columbia, and Canada, as well as strengthen arts culture regionally and globally.

You will become part of a community of highly skilled practitioners, visionaries and creative problem-solvers, with the knowledge to enter the visual arts and culture sector and to contribute from a variety of perspectives.

Continuing studies

We offer flexible continuing studies programs for anyone that wants to learn new creative skills, build their portfolio, and advance their career path. Choose from dozens of individual courses and workshops, or sign up for one of our full or part-time certificate programs. 

Undergraduate students are also welcomed to expand their breadth of learning by taking Continuing Studies courses outside their degree program. To get started, browse our available programs online today. 

Career opportunities

Inspiring job titles of our graduates

Executive Director, Curatorial Assistant, Senior Project Manager, Program Developer, Process Manager, Lead Consultant, Morning Show Co-Host, Strategic Change Agent, Chief News Editor

Dynamic employers that have recruited our graduates

City of Burnaby, Vancouver Sun, Howe Street Gallery of Fine Art, Jatoba Contracting Inc., Mobify, Vancouver Whitecaps, Vital Insight, UNIT/PITT Society for Art and Critical Awareness, Artistik Rezo

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About this institute

Emily Carr University of Art + Design (ECU)

Emily Carr University of Art + Design (ECU) is a world-class university dedicated to art, design and media education. ECU was ranked the top art and design university in Canada, and among the top 50 universities world-wide by QS Rankings...

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Why study at Emily Carr University of Art + Design

Emily Carr University of Art + Design is a school of students, teachers, thinkers and makers unlike any other – at once laser-focused and infinite by practice and nature. Established in 1925, we are the only specialized, accredited, public, post-secondary university in British Columbia solely devoted to education and research in the creative sector and its associated knowledge economy. We merge research, critical theory and studio practice in an interdisciplinary environment, strengthening our work by the integration of our personal and professional practices. Our strategy, facilities, partnerships and resources are intentionally student-centred to foster dialogue, expression and open connections in support of the next generation of creative and cultural leaders.

Our home base in Vancouver – a young, vibrant city, known for its verve, beauty and unparalleled livability – reflects our core belief: Creativity will always be our greatest natural resource, individually and collectively. Inspired by this belief, our programs offer undergraduate, graduate degrees, and applied research in the fields of visual arts, media arts, and design, as well as professional certificates, pre-university, and lifelong learning in these areas.

Contact info

Emily Carr University of Art + Design

520 East 1st Ave
V5T 0H2 Vancover, BH British Columbia

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