About Program Admission Requirements

York University is widely recognized as one of Canada's premier centres for the study and creation of visual art.

Admission to the Visual Arts (BFA Honours) program is based both on academic performance and artistic merit. Academic admissibility is assessed by York University, while artistic merit is evaluated by the Department of Visual Art & Art History. Therefore, the application to the Visual Arts program is a two-step process.

York's Visual Arts program offers a comprehensive, balanced curriculum of creative work and academic studies. Explore art-making in all its facets. Develop your professional practice in photography, sculpture, drawing, painting, print media, and/or interdisciplinary art. Delve into visual culture, focusing on Canadian, indigenous American, Asian and western art and architecture. Work with leading artists, curators and art historians, supported by outstanding scholarly resources and studio production facilities, tools and technologies. Present your creative and curatorial work in a professional gallery setting as you prepare to launch your career.

Studio Courses:

  • drawing
  • print media
  • photography
  • time-based media
  • painting
  • sculpture

Students can earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Studio Art or a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Art History.

  • York's Department of Visual Arts is housed in the Martin and Joan Goldfarb Centre for Fine Arts, one of the largest and best-equipped teaching complexes of its kind in Canada.
  • Our students work with leading artists in some of Canada's best university-based studio facilities for drawing, printmaking, media arts, photography, painting and sculpture.
  • Each studio area has dedicated space, facilities and equipment to support your creative work. Extended studio access outside of regular class time is available, and in some areas, upper-level students are given their own personal workspace.
  • Our professors are prominent art historians and researchers who offer a full range of courses in western and non-western traditions.
  • Our students regularly exhibit their work in the five student-run galleries on campus or in the nationally renowned Art Gallery of York University.
  • You will have the unique opportunity to become involved the public art process through York’s annual mural competition. The competition commissions site-specific works of art for temporary or permanent installation on campus.

You may also be interested in a Digital Design Certificate.

Sample First-year Schedule

  • Painting, Drawing, Photography, Print and/or Sculpture
  • Art Fundamentals
  • Critical Issues in the Studio
  • Introduction to Art History
  • Design and Contemporary Culture
  • Understanding Colour

Possible Career Paths

Explore what you can do with your degree
  • artist
  • curator
  • art director
  • gallery director
  • art consultant

You are required to provide official evidence of academic achievement in secondary education. This can be demonstrated through:

  • Final grades under the Ontario curriculum (obtained through correspondence, night school or through TVO)
  • Credentials through other curricula, such as results from Advanced Placement (AP) or Advanced-level courses in the General Certificate of Education (GCE). (Students may register to sit for the AP and GCE examinations as private candidates.)

In the absence of final grades in courses:

  • You must submit the results of standardized tests such as the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) with a minimum combined total of 1170 on the Critical Reading and Math components or a composite American College Testing (ACT) score of 24.
  • Your application will be reviewed by an admissions sub-committee. If admitted, you will not be eligible for entrance scholarships. You will be considered for continuing student scholarships at the end of your first year of study, if you satisfy those criteria.

You may also be required to provide proof of language proficiency. You will be considered for entrance scholarships on the basis of your overall averages in the six 4U/4M (Ontario curriculum) or equivalent courses.

We are adding to our database of admission requirements by country. Please check back in October for additional admission requirements by country. General requirements are currently available by country — note that program-specific requirements may apply in addition to general requirements.