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Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Arts Major

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

Program description

Bachelor in Visual Arts Major

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

If you want to be a professional artist contributing to the contemporary arts and culture sector, our Visual Arts Major will provide a great foundation. This program promotes the connection between material practice, exhibition and critical reflection, through material and intellectual experimentation. You will be challenged to develop studio, creation and analytical skills, as well as a deep understanding of visual arts within social and cultural contexts. Five key areas of concentration offer courses in the disciplines of ceramics, drawing, painting, print media, and sculpture.

The Visual Arts Major brings academic rigour to your development of conceptual, technical, and historical knowledge relevant to visual art practice and exhibition. It emphasizes a supportive and stimulating studio environment, which blends individual and group critiques, integrating theory, practice, and production. Our exceptional faculty have a strong interest in hybrid and interdisciplinary practices, encouraging you to experiment and engage with traditional as well as emerging technologies.

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



  • Visual Arts Studio 200 level
  • Studio Elective 200/300 level
  • Elective, any subject/level
  • Choose 6 credits from:
  • AHIS/DHIS/MHIS 200level
  • HUMN 205 Perp. in the Crit. Humn.
  • SOCS 201 Intro to Cultural Theory
  • SOCS 202 Ecological Persp. In Design
  • SOCS 217 Ergonomics I

Must be selected from two of the following subject areas: CRAM, DRWG, ILUS, PHOT, PNTG,PRINT, SCLP, VAST



  • Visual Arts Studio 300 level
  • PRAX 300 Dialogues with:
  • Studio Elective 300/400 level
  • Elective any subject/level
  • AHIS/HUMAN/MHIS/SOCS/SCIE 300/400 level

Must be selected from two of the following subject areas: CRAM, DRWG, ILUS, PHOT, PNTG,PRINT, SCLP, VAST



  • VAST 400 Senior Studio
  • VAST 410 Senior Studio
  • Studio Elective 300/400 level
  • Elective, any subject/level
  • SOCS 300/400 level
  • AHIS/HUMN/MHIS/SOCS/SCIE 300/400 level

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 Visual Arts (BFA, VisArt). See the Admissions section about application information for undergraduate, international, transfer, and aboriginal students.

The Bachelor of Fine Arts, Visual Arts Major aims to:

  • equip students with the necessary critical, theoretical, research, and studio practices to become engaged citizens through visual art and material production;
  • impart advanced knowledge of material practice and exhibition within visual art culture;
  • foster conceptual and technical knowledge through a studio-based education reflecting the diversity and complexity of contemporary visual art practices across disciplines, mediums, and technologies;
  • prepare you with a contextual understanding of the visual arts and creative sectors so you may enter these knowledge-based economies;
  • foster a dynamic visual arts and exhibition culture and community within Vancouver, British Columbia, and Canada, as well as strengthen it regionally and globally.

Career opportunities

Inspiring job titles of our graduates

Professor, Gallerist, Landscape Architect, Architect, Educator, Art Therapist, Calligrapher, Environment Artist, Associate Creative Director, Chief Visual Officer, Community Arts Programmer, Storyboard Artist, Commissioned Public Artist, Concept Artist

Dynamic employers that have recruited our graduates

Seattle Art Museum, Rockstar Games, Western Living Magazine, Scanline VFX, Potters Guild of British Columbia, Craft Council of British Columbia, Medalta International Artist Residency, Bardel Entertainment, Lush Cosmetics, MakerLABS


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About this institute

Emily Carr University of Art + Design

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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