MFA in Visual Arts

Matt Tarini, MFA critique Artlab Gallery - Photo Jennifer Martin


• BFA or Honours BA in Visual Arts with a minimum B+ standing.

• Studio concentration in a Bachelor's program.

• Recommended: three full courses (or equivalent) in art history including modern, contemporary, and / or Canadian art.

Documentation Required

• To support your application, you must upload one unofficial academic transcript from each post-secondary institution attended. If the transcript and degree certificate are not in English, a certified translation must also be included. (Non-English transcripts from institutions within Canada do not require a translation.) If you are offered a spot in our program, you will be required to submit to the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies hard copy official transcripts from each postsecondary institution attended.

• Two letters of reference.

Applicants are required to enter the names and contact information (including e-mail address) of their referees into the online application. Once the application is processed, the referee will receive a request via e-mail to complete an electronic recommendation form on the applicant's behalf. A link to the form will be included in the e-mail. The referee will receive a reminder in two weeks if the recommendation is not received. The applicant will receive an e-mail when Western receives the referee's letter of recommendation.

• A well considered statement of intent regarding the applicant's work in the visual arts. The statement of intent should outline your background preparation for graduate level work and indicate how you view your studio production in the context of contemporary art. Suggested length of up to approximately 1000 words.

• One sample of written work at least 1000 words

• English Proficiency Test
Click here for information about accepted English Proficiency tests. 

• Twenty images (digital format) representing, as far as possible, a body of work, accompanied by a list indicating date, title and medium; or items that illustrate multidisciplinary work (e.g. performance) such as video, audio, digital works, photographs, etc., accompanied by a description of the work.

Guidelines for Submitting Digital Images:

• Supporting materials  (including statement of intent, writing sample, images, videos, etc.)must be submitted through after November 1. Do not send materials to the department.

• Access to SlideRoom will open November 1st.  Applicants may upload images (jpg, png, gif) or video (mov, wmv, flv, mp4), music (mp3) and PDF documents. For good image quality and fast upload, your image files should be sized around 1024 x 768px @ 72 dpi.  Please keep video files under 120MB each and 2 - 3 minute clips.  Our SlideRoom portal offers additional instruction for submitting your work. For technical assistance , contact

• SlideRoom will allow you to log in and edit your portfolio as much as you like; however, once you click on the submit button, you will no longer be able to make changes. REMEMBER you must click the submit button if you want us to review your portfolio, unsubmitted or pending portfolios will not be reviewed. A $12 USD fee will be charged at the time of submission. Please note that there are several programs listed at our SlideRoom portal; it is very important that you upload your images into the correct program that you are applying for.