Admissions

As a prospective student to UBC, you can apply to enter the first year of the BFA in visual art program or transfer into the second or third year of the BA or BFA in visual art program (second-degree students will follow the transfer pathway). You may choose the pathway that best meets your needs.

If you are a current UBC student who wishes to pursue a visual art major, you do not need to follow these application instructions. Instead, you must complete specific UBC courses and achieve the minimum grades noted on the program pages. See the “Declare the major” section on the BFA in visual art or the BA in visual art page.


First-Year BFA Applications

As an applicant to the BFA visual art program at UBC, you are entering an exciting time in your pursuit of creative knowledge.

To apply to the BFA visual art program for direct entry from high school:

  1. Apply for admission to UBC via youbc Vancouver. Be sure to review all the links under "Applying to UBC" in the top menu first. When you are ready to apply, click "Apply to UBC" and indicate the BFA degree program as your first or second choice. (Note: to be considered for the BFA Visual Art program, you must meet the admission requirements of the university and submit a supplemental application to the Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory—see step 2 below).
  2. Submit your supplemental application to the Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory via the BFA direct entry supplemental application button at the top of the page. Please follow the guidelines and upload files as stated in the requirements.
  3. Submit your required documents (e.g., transcripts, proof of English language competency, etc.) to UBC Admissions, not to the Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory.

Supplementary Application

The supplementary application for the BFA in visual art program is an opportunity for you to show us some of your artwork and tell us why you think our program is the best choice for you. Two components make up the full supplementary application: a portfolio and a set of three questions. These support your primary application to UBC Admissions (online). If any component of the supplementary application is missing, your application will be incomplete and cannot be considered.

Once you have submitted your supplementary application, you will receive an auto-confirmation acknowledging receipt. The "Supplementary Applications" section of the Student Service Centre will not update until several weeks after the February 15 submission deadline.

The BFA in visual art is a small, competitive specialty program. We receive approximately three hundred applications per year to fill twenty spots. Note that due to the volume of applications received, we cannot provide individual feedback on supplemental applications.

Your portfolio should showcase up to five finished artwork pieces in at least two different media, displayed as an image, as a moving image, or as audio. "Media" means the materials and tools used to create the artwork and include anything from painting and drawing to photography, moving images, book works, printmaking, performance, sound, sculpture, installation, or other experimental media.

Sculptural, performance, book, and installation works should be shown from two or three viewpoints.

A strong portfolio will present work in the media taught by the Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory (listed above). Our program does not include graphic design courses, fashion design, gaming, cartoons, commercial illustration, anime, manga, architecture, or ceramics. Portfolios that present work in these areas will be ranked lower.

View the graduating exhibition catalogues to see examples of senior-student work and learn more about the kinds of course projects assigned in our program.

Combine all works into a single PDF that is no larger than 10 MB. For video and sound works, provide a tested link to a publicly accessible platform on which the admissions jury can view the works (e.g., YouTube, your website, etc.). Works uploaded to a site that requires a password to view will not be reviewed or considered, and the application will be automatically rejected.

In a separate paragraph below each artwork, provide:

  • Title
  • Year completed
  • Dimensions
  • Medium
  • An indication of whether it is an assignment or your invention
  • A 30-word description of the work

Note: transfer students may include up to 20 pieces of finished artwork. Incoming first-year students may only show up to five.

Answer the following three questions in the spaces provided in the online form (200 words maximum per question):

  • Who and/or what are your artistic influences, and why?
  • What do you see as the role of the artist?
  • What are your goals for study in the BFA in visual art, and UBC in general?


BA in Visual Art

First-year applicants must meet the admission requirements for the Bachelor of Arts in the Faculty of Arts at UBC Vancouver, and apply online via the youbc Vancouver website. For full UBC admission guidelines, see Admission and Transfer.

Upon completing 100- and 200-level requirements (and having obtained 3rd-year standing), you may declare a BA major in visual art. No portfolio is required. Departmental advising and approval are required before declaring a major and enrolling in 300-level VISA courses. Contact the undergraduate advisor, Greg Gibson, to discuss your course selection.


Transfer or Second-Degree BFA/BA

Transfer students and second-degree applicants may enter the visual art program in the Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory in either their second- or third-year. Students must follow the application steps covered below.

  • Visit youbc Vancouver, select "Apply to UBC," and indicate the BFA or BA degree program as your first or second choice (you must meet the university's admission requirements and submit a portfolio to be considered).
  • Submit your supplemental application to the Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory via the BFA transfer/2nd degree supplemental application button. Please follow the guidelines and upload files as stated in the requirements.
  • Submit your required documents (e.g., transcripts, proof of English language competency, etc.) to UBC Admissions.

Supplemental Application

The admissions jury in the Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory is interested in learning more about you and your artwork. Thus, the supplemental application includes three components:

  1. Copies of your unofficial transcripts
  2. Portfolio of artwork
  3. Written statement

The admissions jury, consisting of visual art faculty, views each transfer student's transcripts, portfolio, and written statement to determine their best entry point into the visual art program. The jury's goal is to ensure that students have the greatest opportunity for success in our program.

Note that the jury has final authority in determining each student's placement within the visual art program.

Once inside the supplemental application portal, you will be required to upload a copy of the transcript(s) so that we can learn more about the visual art courses you have taken before. Note, your official transcript(s) will be submitted to UBC Enrolment Services as part of your application for admission to the university.

Your portfolio should showcase up to twenty pieces of finished artwork in a broad range of media, displayed as an image, as a moving image, or as audio. Please view the BFA portfolio requirements above for more details on what you can include in your portfolio and how to layout your work.

Please provide responses to the following questions in the online form's spaces (200 words maximum per question).

  1. Who and/or what are your artistic influences, and why?
  2. What do you see as the role of the artist?
  3. What are your goals for study in the Visual Art Program and UBC in general?


General Admission Information

UBC Enrolment Services govern admission to UBC Vancouver. This office oversees all undergraduate applications to the university, including tuition and general application requirements.

Admission to the visual art program at UBC Vancouver is at the discretion of the department. Once admitted to the university and the department, students must consult with the visual art undergraduate advisor for course selection guidance.


Frequently Asked Questions

If you completed AP or IB courses in high school and obtained a high enough grade, you might be eligible for first-year credit.

To see potential Advanced Placement (AP) credit transfers in all subjects, visit UBC’s advanced placement.

Visit UBC's admissions/international-baccalaureate page to see potential International Baccalaureate (IB) credit transfers in all subjects; visit UBC's International Baccalaureate page.

Obtaining credit for a 100-level VISA might allow you to "skip" course requirements or apply for select 200-level courses. Email our undergraduate advisor, Greg Gibson, with your student number to discuss your options and how a credit would be applied toward a VISA major/minor/honours.

UBC Enrolment Services, Admissions, govern admissions to UBC. This office oversees all undergraduate applications to the university, including deadlines, tuition, and general application requirements. For more information, visit UBC's prospective students' page.

If needed, you can contact UBC Enrolment Services, Admissions, for further information before applying online:

UBC Enrolment Services
2016 – 1874 East Mall
Vancouver, BC, Canada
V6T 1Z1

1-877-272-1422 (toll-free)
604-822-9836

www.askme.ubc.ca

If you are an international student, our International Student Recruitment office will support you through the application process. Seek further information or contact them at UBC's international student guide.

Transfers

If you're interested in seeing how your courses might transfer to UBC Vancouver, you can look at the online course transfer guide for British Columbia.

If you have particular credit questions regarding Visual Art or Art History courses, you can contact the undergraduate advisor, Greg Gibson.

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