Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

Thesis-based program

Program overview

The Master of Fine Arts program invites creative artists to join us to pursue six semesters of challenging, exciting and productive study in art-making and research creation. Students have the opportunity to work with a range of media or focus on a specific medium (such as Sculpture, Print Media, Photography, Painting, Drawing or Digital Art), and are given studio space and full access to the resources of the Department. Students learn from award-winning faculty members who are actively engaged in contemporary art, art history and curatorial studies. Many of our distinguished graduates have gone on to win prizes, exhibit nationally and internationally, start their own business enterprises, and work in the arts and creative industries, amongst other endeavors.

Completing this program

  • Core Courses: Courses explore studio practice, research creation, and studies in history and art theory.
  • Thesis Exhibition: Students’ programs culminate in the thesis exhibition, accompanied by a support paper. Students are required to defend the thesis in an oral examination. 


  • Sculpture
  • Printmaking
  • Photography
  • Painting
  • Drawing
  • Media Art and Technology

Future Opportunities

MFA graduates are innovators, and their creative thinking and technical skills qualify them for a wide range of exciting opportunities. You may work as a professional artist and/or be engaged with art and arts-related fields including teaching, arts administration, curation, critical writing and research, and entrepreneurial enterprises, to name just a few.

The MFA is a terminal degree. It can prepare you to pursue a PhD in allied fields of study.

Thesis-based program

Students are required to produce a thesis exhibition and successfully defend their work in an oral examination.


Eight courses in the Department of Art and Art History at the 600 level.

Learn more about program requirements in the Academic Calendar

Classroom delivery

Time commitment

Two years full time; four years maximum


A supervisor is required, but is not required prior to the start of the program

Fees and funding

See the Graduate Calendar for information on fees and fee regulations, and for information on awards and financial assistance.


Learn about faculty available to supervise this degree.
Please note: additional supervisors may be available. Contact the program for more information.

  1. Susan Cahill

    Susan Cahill

    Accepting Inquiries
  2. Jennifer Eiserman

    Jennifer Eiserman

    Seeking Students
    Cultural Diversity in Art Education, Digital Art, Giftedness and Art Education, Visual Midrash
  3. Denis Gadbois

    Denis Gadbois

    Accepting Inquiries
    Photography, Design,
  4. hushlak

    Gerald Hushlak

    Accepting Inquiries
    Digital Art, Painting
  5. Jean-René Leblanc

    Jean-René Leblanc

    Accepting Inquiries
  6. Placeholder Profile Image

    Heather Leier

    Accepting Inquiries
  7. Jim Parker

    Jim Parker

    Accepting Inquiries
    Game Design, Generative Art, Machine Perception, Virtual Theatre
  8. Dona Schwartz

    Dona Schwartz

    Accepting Inquiries
    Research Creation with a focus in photography

Admission requirements


A minimum of 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 point system, over the past two years of full-time study (a minimum of 10 full-course equivalents or 60 units) of the undergraduate degree.

Minimum education

A four year baccalaureate degree, or equivalent from a recognized institution.

Work samples

A portfolio of 20 images of recent work submitted as a single PDF. Up to five minutes of video documentation may be submitted as links within this document. Please ensure the images are in jpeg format/300dpi/no larger than 1080 pixels in any dimension, and include their title, dimensions, medium and year. Add links to the video(s) (via YouTube, Vimeo, personal website,etc) along with one reference image, with title, length and year.


  • A three-to-five page statement of intent

Reference letters


Test scores


English language proficiency

An applicant whose primary language is not English may fulfill the English language proficiency requirement in one of the following ways:


For admission on September 1:

  • Canadians and permanent residents: Jan. 15 application deadline
  • International students: Jan. 15 application deadline

If you're not a Canadian or permanent resident, or if you have international credentials, make sure to learn about international requirements

Learn more about this program

Department of Art and Art History

Art Building, Room 612

2500 University Drive NW

Calgary, AB, T2N 1N4

403. 220.6136

Contact the Graduate Program Administrator

Visit the departmental website

Faculty of Arts

University of Calgary
2500 University Drive NW
Calgary, AB, T2N 1N4

Visit the Faculty of Arts website

Learn more about UCalgary by taking a virtual tour

Related programs

If you're interested in this program, you might want to explore other UCalgary programs.