DEPARTMENT OF ART AND ART HISTORY Graduate Program Handbook
Faculty and staff
- Chair: Dr. Jean-René Leblanc, Graduate Program Director
- Dr. Jennifer Eiserman
- Prof. Denis Gadbois
- Prof. Kim Huynh
- Graduate Student Representative: Razieh Alba
It is the duty of the Graduate Program Director and the present Committee to formulate and implement policy and to oversee program activities and procedures. The Committee will take cognizance of Departmental deliberations and ensure that the policy and procedures handbook, as well as all other reference material including the University Calendar, are consistent and up to date.
The Committee has full authority to recommend to the Department Head on all matters relating to the graduate program. In particular recommendation for admissions will be made by the Committee after due consultation with relevant Departmental staff
Canadian Indigenous Studio Art
Painting and Installation
Canadian Art History
Art of War & Surveillance
Art Theory and Aesthetics
Interactivity and Design
2D Studio Art
Visual Art, Culture, Textiles and South Asia
Schwartz, Cahill, Gobin
Print Media, Drawing
Social Life and Culture; Visual Narratives
Contemporary Canadian Art
Canadian Art and Curatorial Practice
Office Hours: M-F 8:30 a.m – 12 p.m and 1 – 4:30 p.m.
Biljana Arnautovic, Graduate Program Administrator 403.220.6136
Vaughan McMillan, Undergraduate Program Administrator
Denise West-Spencer, Department Services Assistant
Alex Linfield, Technician
Steve Nunoda, Head Technician Woodwork Shop/Metal Shop
Mary Lou Mendyk
APPLICATION, ADMISSION, and REGISTRATION
The MFA program begins in September. Candidates applying to the MFA Program at the University of Calgary shall, after completing all requirements for application, be selected by faculty within the department, including those in Studio, Art Education, Museum and Heritage Studies, and Art History/Theory.
Department of Art Expectations:
This program places an emphasis on theoretical and historical contextualization. Reading, writing, and oral presentations are an important part of a student’s successful advancement in the program. For this reason, competence in art history and critical theory is required, as indicated in university transcripts and/or in the statement of intent.
Applicants are encouraged to visit the campus to see if the facilities match their requirements. If a visit is not possible, the department will be pleased to respond to specific inquiries by mail. The website is also informative grad.ucalgary.ca
Applicants must meet these minimum requirements for admission to the Faculty of Graduate Studies:
- A four-year Baccalaureate Degree or its equivalent from a recognized institution with a minimum grade point average of 3.0 (based on a 4-point system).
- Proficiency in the English language is essential for the pursuit and successful completion of graduate programs at the University of Calgary. Prior to admission to the Faculty of Graduate Studies, an applicant whose primary language is not English may fulfil the English language proficiency requirement for academic purposes in one of the following ways:
- Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score of 86 with no section less than 20 (Internet-based) or 560 (paper-based).
- International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score of 6.5 with no section less than 6.0 (Academic version).
- Michigan English Language Battery (MELAB) score of 80, or higher.
- Pearson Test of English (PTE) score of 59, or higher (Academic version).
- By successfully completing Tier 3 of the University of Calgary's International Foundations Program.
Applicants must supply a completed application form, two letters of recommendation and two certified copies of their past academic record for consideration of admittance into the program. These must be submitted by January 15 for September entry in the same year.
The required application forms are available online at arts.ucalgary.ca/art/future-students/graduate/masters-fine-art
In addition to the Faculty of Graduate Studies' requirements, the Department of Art also requires that you submit:
- Two official sets of transcripts in sealed, endorsed institutional envelopes, as well as degree certificates if the awarding degree(s) is not shown on the transcript(s) from ALL post-secondary institutions attended. If the transcripts are not in English, please make sure there is an official translation.
You will need to arrange to have official transcripts sent directly from the post-secondary institution to the Department of Art. Copies of unofficial transcripts can be uploaded directly onto your on-line application.
- Two academic and/or professional reference letters. Once you initiate your application your referees will automatically be notified by email with instructions for submitting letters of reference directly to your online application.
- A portfolio of 20 images of recent works and/or 5 minutes of video footage presented in a single PDF file format that can include links for video documentation. Please provide the following information in a single PDF file format, following the portfolio preparation template provided below:
- DIGITAL IMAGES: Up to 20 images / jpeg format / 300 dpi / no larger than 1280 pixels in any dimension. Please include the title, dimensions, medium and year.
- VIDEO: Add links to the video(s) (via YouTube, Vimeo, personal website, etc.). Please provide links to videos, along with one video still, with title, length and year.
- A statement of intent, which should briefly address the art historical and theoretical context of the student's artwork, as well as indicating the reasons for their application to our program. The maximum length is three pages, typewritten, double-spaced.
Graduate Program Administrator,
Department of Art
University of Calgary
Art Building, Room 612
2975 University Way NW
Calgary, AB. T2N 1N4
Materials sent separately or sent to an office other than the Department of Art may be lost or miss the deadline.
Portfolio Preparation Template:
DIGITAL IMAGES: Up to 20 images
Open a word document
Insert your image (JPG format, 72 ppi, no larger than 1080 pixels in any dimension) and add the required information below it.
VIDEO: Add links to the video(s) (via YouTube, Vimeo, personal website, etc.)
Insert a frame grab or a still from your video (no larger than 1080 in any dimension) and add the required information below it.
Please provide links to videos.
Once your document is completed, SAVE it as a PDF.
The Master of Fine Arts engages students in intensive creative and critical research, drawing together the technical and interpretive skills required of a professional arts practice. Students work with a range of media or focus on a specific medium (such as Sculpture, Print Media, Photography, Painting, Drawing and Digital Art), and are given studio space and full access to the resources of the Department. In addition to studio work, historical and theoretical research, written analysis, scholarly critiques, and oral presentations form an essential part of the overall MFA program. The MFA program culminates in a final exhibition and a comprehensive written support paper, which articulates the critical and historical issues relevant to the student's work.
The program requires registration as a full-time graduate student for six consecutive terms in residence. All requirements for the degree must be completed within four years from the time of registration in the program, although studio space is not guaranteed after the first 24 months.
The program core for all Master of Fine Arts students is a minimum of 24 units. Within the first twelve months of the program each student must complete 6 units of 600-level studio course; 3 units of 600-level graduate seminar, and Art 611 and 605. Three units of 600-level graduate seminar and 6 units of 600-level studio course must be completed in the second twelve months of the program. In some circumstances, the Department may require a student to complete more than the mandatory 24 units.
Typical course sequence is the following:
Year 2 Winter
Art 661.02 Thesis Studio Practice
Research Methods in Art – ART 611 (3 Units)
This course introduces students to art making as a process of knowledge production and research creation. This course will include assigned readings, presentations, and writing.
Advanced Studio Practice – ART 661.01 (6 Units)
Individual study in studio, with seminar-based discussions in research area.
Normally, this first-year MFA course focuses on exploration and exhibition of work in progress.
This course may include weekly critiques, group exhibitions, and oral presentations.
Art Theory and Criticism – ART 609 (3 Units)
Investigation of contemporary global art theory and criticism.
This seminar normally meets for 3 hours each week and will include assigned readings, presentations, and writing.
Critical Study and Research – ART 605 (3 Units)
This course comprises individual study and research in the area of studio specialization, critical theory, methodological issues and/or historical topics. Art 605 is normally conducted in the spring or summer within the first 12 months of the program. In consultation with the student’s supervisor, this course may be conducted in collaboration with other departments and faculty. All proposals for Art 605 must be approved by the GPD by April 1.
Permission forms are available on art.ucalgary.ca/graduate/forms
Conference Course in Art History – ARHI 615 (3 Units)
This course focuses on close examinations and discussions of students' research and writing, with an emphasis on communicating informed research creation practices. The course will culminate in a conference presentation.
Thesis Studio Practice – ART 661.02 (6 Units)
Individual study in studio with seminar-based discussions in research area.
Normally, this second-year MFA course is focused on preparation for the final thesis show.
This course may include weekly critiques, two solo exhibitions and oral presentations. Students are also required to attend presentations by Visiting Artists and Scholars at the Department of Art and Art History and at UCalgary and to participate in studio critiques by Visiting Artists.
Extra to Program
Students are encouraged to take advantage of the University's resources in planning their program. Individual students may enroll in additional courses based on specific interest and association with their art research. Students are responsible for payment of extra courses to their program.
Supervisory arrangements in the Department of Art and Art History are based on the Faculty of Graduate Studies supervisory regulations.
Upon admission, an interim Supervisor will be assigned by the Graduate Program Director and approved by the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies. Normally, the interim Supervisor will guide the students through procedures and help orientate them to the Department, specifically to the area of the student's specialization. During their first term of study, the student will be given the opportunity to meet with faculty members in order to determine a suitable permanent Supervisor.
The selection of a permanent Supervisor should be by mutual agreement between student and faculty member and approved by the Graduate Program Director. A permanent Supervisor should be appointed by January 1 of the first academic year of registration. Supervisors are full full-time tenure track or board appointees with supervisory privileges.
In addition to the permanent Supervisor, students in the MFA program are required to select two other faculty members (from any department, program or faculty) to serve as Supervisory Committee Members. In some instances when expertise beyond that of the committee is required, co-supervision may be considered. In the case of co-supervision, there will still be a primary supervisory and a secondary supervisory. Graduate students are advised to make full use of the expertise of each member of the Supervisory Committee. Students and Supervisors have a shared responsibility to ensure that there is an adequate opportunity to meet on a regular basis, at least once every two weeks, including during the summer months. The Supervisory Committee, once appointed, will have a formal meeting with the student at least four times per academic year.
Evaluation procedures and standards
Performance in Course Work
Standards of performance in course work are the responsibility of individual departments and Faculties. The Faculty of Graduate Studies requires a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 in order to remain in good standing. See the Graduate Grading System in the Calendar:
Judgement of Student Performance
Graduate students are expected to maintain adequate progress or they will be required to withdraw from the program. Progress includes timely completion of required course work, progress to candidacy according to the program’s candidacy timeline, and steady and meaningful work on the thesis. Supervisors and graduate program directors should ensure, through annual progress reports and otherwise, that the student is informed in writing about concerns regarding progress.
Annual Progress Report
The Supervisor and each continuing student must jointly submit an annual progress report on the student’s performance. This on-line form, administered by the Faculty of Graduate Studies, must be filled out by the Supervisor, the Graduate Program Director and the student. The student will receive an online copy of the report after the Supervisor and the Graduate Program Director have completed their comments.
The final appraisal prior to proceeding with the thesis exhibition and oral defence will take place at the end of April or early May of the fourth term of the student's program and is comprised of work conducted in the Art 661.02 course related to the thesis. The supervisory committee and the Graduate Program Director (or designate) will review the student's studio work and a first-draft of the support paper to the thesis exhibition. Students will provide a detailed outline of the supporting paper to committee members for review in February. A comprehensive first–draft is due to all committee members three weeks before the final appraisal meeting. This will include a table of contents as well as substantial draft of each chapter written in full form (rather than in point form or as a skeleton). Students are also encouraged to have a maquette or floor plan of their proposed exhibition at the final appraisal meeting.
For the appraisal, the student will give an opening statement of ten minutes, followed by questions from committee members. The appraisal will not exceed one hour.
Once the final appraisal is complete, the Graduate Program Director, in consultation with the committee, will make one of the following four recommendations:
- Student has demonstrated satisfactory advancement in both studio work and the first-draft of the support paper to the thesis exhibition.
- Student has demonstrated satisfactory advancement in studio work but needs to re-submit the first-draft of the support paper to the thesis exhibition. (Specification required)
- Student has demonstrated satisfactory advancement in the first-draft of the support paper to the thesis exhibition but needs to re-submit studio work. (Specification required)
- Student has demonstrated unsatisfactory advancement in both studio work and the first-draft of the support paper to the thesis exhibition. (Specification required)
If a student wishes to appeal the outcome of a final appraisal, the student will follow the guidelines provided by the Faculty of Graduate Studies: https://www.ucalgary.ca/pubs/calendar/current/i-1.html
If it is recommended that the student defer the defence, they may be required to vacate their studio and/or office at least three weeks before the beginning of the next academic term and will no longer receive Departmental financial support.
Program support, including studio and office space, is not extended beyond the 24-month program. However, in certain situations a written request for continued use of facilities can be submitted to the Department Head. If space is available, these formal requests may be granted on a term by term basis.
Final examination requirements
1. The graduate thesis exhibition
2. The thesis support paper
3. The oral examination
The candidate's thesis exhibition is the final requirement for the MFA degree and will take place in Calgary.
The candidate, having successfully completed all course work and having received a positive recommendation from the final appraisal, will make preparations for the final exhibition in consultation with their Supervisor. The candidate is expected to have produced a coherent body of work and to have completed the thesis support paper, which will accompany the exhibition. The final exhibition will normally take place in August.
The support paper is an important component of the graduate thesis. It should be prepared in accordance with the requirements stipulated in the Faculty of Graduate Studies Calendar grad.ucalgary.ca/current/thesis/guidelines
The support paper should be 25-50 pages in length. The paper is a definitive statement on the exhibited work: the personal, historical, and theoretical origins; and the relationship to contemporary and/or historical art. The thesis support paper should demonstrate that the candidate is acquainted with the published literature on the subject of their thesis; that appropriate research methods have been used and that appropriate levels of critical analysis have been applied.
All examiners must receive the support paper at least three weeks prior to the oral examination date. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that examiners receive a digital copy of the paper by the deadline.
For support with writing, please consult the Writing Support Services at the Student Success Centre: https://ucalgary.ca/student-services/student-success/writing-support
The oral examination will be based on the work in the candidate's exhibition and the written paper and will consist of rounds of questioning by the examining committee. This formal examination will not exceed two hours.
The oral examination will take place at least three weeks after the submission of the thesis support paper and ideally during the thesis exhibition. This examination is open, however, only examiners may question the student.
The Oral Examination Committee will consist of at least four people: the Supervisor, the External Examiner and the Supervisory Committee members. The Graduate Program Director or designate will act as a non-examining, neutral chairperson. If a larger oral examination committee is deemed necessary, a specific request to the Graduate Program Committee will be required. The composition of the oral Examination Committee is approved by the Faculty of Graduate Studies on the recommendation of the Graduate Program Committee of the Department of Art and Art History.
Graduate students should be aware of all deadline dates as listed in the current Faculty of Graduate Studies Calendar.
See below for the Department of Art and Art History MFA timeline.
The Department requires all students who have submitted their final thesis to the Vault to also provide 1 (one) bound copy of their thesis to the Department for archival purposes. The binding should be red hard cover with gold letters. It is traditional to offer a bound copy of your thesis to your supervisor if he or she wishes to keep one on file. Octavia Book Bindery (1040 8 Ave SW, Calgary) is a suggested bindery. For more information please visit octaviapress.ca/?page_id=107
Please refer to the UCalgary Faculty of Graduate Studies Calendar grad.ucalgary.ca/current/graduate-calendar for complete and up-to-date information regarding program requirements, thesis examinations, etc.
Please refer to the UCalgary Faculty of Graduate Studies Website grad.ucalgary.ca/current/thesis for the assistance with your thesis preparation and submission.
The university offers the following graduate assistantships as funds permit, based on 2018/19 figures:
FGSS (Faculty of Graduate Studies Scholarship)
No teaching or service duties are required, and this scholarship is not subject to income tax deductions.
GA(N)T (Graduate Assistantship Teaching and Non-Teaching)
$ 8,894.417 per term for a whole position (12 hours per week for 4 months)
$ 6,670.81 per term for a three-quarter position (9 hours per week for 4 months)
$ 4,447.21 per term for a half position (6 hours per week for 4 months)
$ 2,964.80 per term for a one-third (4 hours per week for 4 months)
$ 2,223.61 per term for a one quarter (3 hours per week for 4 months)
$ 1,482.10 per term for a one-six (2 hours per week for 4 months)
For teaching, instructional or other services. A portion of this is subject to income tax deduction. Maximum 12 hours of service per week.
Units of Graduate Assistantship shall normally be awarded for four-month periods as follows:
September - December
January - April
Recipients must be full-time registrants in the program of study leading to a Master of Fine Arts degree. Special graduate students (i.e. those not registered in programs of study leading to degrees), probationary students and part-time students are not eligible.
Graduate students are referred to the current "Assistantship Schedule" and to "Awards for Graduate Study", available on the web grad.ucalgary.ca/awards
These funds are allocated to the Department from the Faculty of Graduate Studies and distributed by the Graduate Program Committee. The following Faculty of Graduate Studies criteria applies:
- No student with a GPA of less than 3.2 or equivalent in the previous year will be eligible.
- Only students in a research degree program will be eligible.
- Funds may be used to top-up scholarships, or to assist students with the payment of their fees.
- Departments may wish to use these funds for other purposes in order to meet their own strategic goals; such purposes must be pre-approved by the Faculty of Graduate Studies.
These funds can be used for either 1st or 2nd year students. Recommendations for Faculty of Graduate Studies awards are made by the Graduate Program Committee.
ABSU - Ucalgary Master's Scholarship
This award is administered through the Faculty of Graduate Studies, for both incoming and continuing graduate students.
In general, this award is made available only to an applicant whose previous academic standing is either first or high second-class.
Alberta Foundation for the Arts Graduate Scholarship
The Alberta Foundation for the Arts (AFA) Graduate Scholarships are awarded to students entering their 2nd year of the MFA program. These awards, worth $ 7,000 each, are applied to through the Graduate Program Committee of the Department of Art in early spring (deadline changes each year).
The Alberta Foundation for the Arts also has a number of other awards available to emerging artists, with an application made directly to the AFA. Please contact their office directly, or refer to their website, affta.ab.ca, for more information.
The Alberta Foundation for the Arts
5th Floor, Beaver House
10158 - 103 St
Edmonton, AB T5J 0X6
Phone (780) 427-9968, toll-free by dialing 310-0000 first
FAX: (403) 422-1162
The ALIS (Alberta Learning Information Service) branch also administers seven Arts Graduate Scholarships each year valued at $15,000.00 for students enrolling at the Master’s level in music, dance, drama, literary art or visual art. Application is made directly to ALIS on February 1 for study the following September. Please visit the ALIS website through the Government of Alberta, www.alis.gov.ab.ca, for more details and application form.
FGS Travel Award for Canadian and Permanent Resident Students
The Faculty of Graduate Studies Travel awards are funded by the Alberta Government. These awards are open to students registered full-time in a graduate program at the University of Calgary who are presenting their work or research at major national and/or international conferences. Applicants must live in Alberta and be a Canadian citizen or Permanent Resident. Applicants are also required to have confirmation of presentation at the time of application. Applications without confirmation of presentation will not be considered. An individual is eligible for one award at the Master's level. For more information, visit grad.ucalgary.ca/awards
Centre for Research in the Fine Arts
The CRFA administers the Faculty of Arts Associates Research and Travel Grants, a program which provides travel and research grants to graduate students (both at the masters and doctoral levels) to assist with expenses involved in fieldwork, attendance and participation at workshops, conferences, exhibitions and festivals and other research expenses that are directly related to the student's program of work towards the degree. Please refer to the website for more information and application procedures arts.ucalgary.ca/crfa/
Social Science and Humanities Council of Canada (SSHRC)
The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) is the federal agency that promotes and supports university-based research and training in the humanities and social sciences. Through its programs and policies, SSHRC enables the highest levels of research excellence in Canada and facilitates knowledge-sharing and collaboration across research disciplines, universities and all sectors of society.
Students applying to, or registered in, a Master's program in the social sciences or humanities at a Canadian university, are eligible for the Canada Graduate Scholarships-Master’s (CGS M). The deadline is December 1. Please visit this site for more information
In this annual competition, the Faculty of Graduate Studies (FGS) offers the following scholarships ranging in value from $750.00 to $36,000.00:
- Special Awards (Masters)
- Bursaries (Masters)
The deadline for programs to email applications to the Faculty of Graduate Studies is February 1st no later than 4:30 pm.
Anne Severson Memorial Graduate Scholarship in Fine Arts
Open to students entering or enrolled in the Master of Fine Arts program in the Department of Art and Art History. No application is required. The Department's Graduate Program Committee will submit a recommendation to the Graduate Scholarship office. The recommendation is based on a discussion of students’ progress in the program and overall allocations of the program recommended awards. The recommendation is subject to the final approval of the Graduate Program Committee. Value is $2,000; the number of awards is one. Deadline is December 1.
FGS Travel Award for International Students
Open to international students registered full-time in a graduate program who are presenting their work or research at a major national and/or international conference. An individual is eligible for one Faculty of Graduate Studies Travel Award at the master’s level. Applicant will not be considered eligible if applying for a conference that was held more than two months prior to the current application deadline. For more information, visit
Residents of other Canadian provinces are advised to consult with their Provincial Government concerning the availability of out-of-province graduate student support.
There are also a number of other internal and external awards available for graduate students. Students are encouraged to research awards in the graduate calendar and online for eligibility requirements.
Student Awards and Finance Office
MB, Main Floor 121
The University of Calgary
2500 University Drive, N.W.
For students who are entering their second year and are interested in gaining instructing experience, there is an opportunity to do so during the spring or summer term. Start by speaking with your supervisor to discuss what you would like to teach. Undergraduate courses can be found in the University Academic Calendar ucalgary.ca/pubs/calendar/current/course-desc-main.html
The timeline for these discussions should be during the spring/summer at the end of your first year, as proposals for teaching will be due to the Graduate Program Committee by August 31. The Committee will then meet in September and discuss which proposals will go forward. A maximum of 2 courses per year will be recommended to the Department Head. The selection criteria will be based on the student expertise and experience with the proposed course material, previous GAT experience, enrollment potential and other relevant factors.
The recommended proposals will then go to the Undergraduate Program Committee for their review, to ensure that proposed courses can be accommodated within our undergraduate program. These committees need to decide on successful applicants before the conclusion of spring/summer timetabling, which ends mid-October at the latest.
Things to think about:
- In selecting a course, you may see the notation MAY BE REPEATED FOR CREDIT. These courses are called Topic courses and your proposal will then include a description of the topic you propose to teach. A one-page TOPICS COURSE GUIDELINES form is available at the office to assist in your development of the course with your supervisor.
- Studio courses are timetabled with double the hours of non-studio course. In a 13-week course, this means 78 hours of instruction for the studio, 39 for non-studio. If you have questions about the days and times a course would be scheduled, please contact the office.
- Courses will be scheduled with a minimum enrollment of 22 to make them financially feasible.
If you have a preferred term spring or summer, please indicate this in your proposal.
Graduate students are provided with their own allocated studio space.
Please consult with the Department's technical staff prior to using any shared studios or technical equipment. Most detail regarding these facilities can be found at https://arts.ucalgary.ca/art/about/facilities
In addition to individual studio space, students have access to the following facilities within the Department:
Department of Art and Art History Galleries: Little Gallery, 621 Gallery, Arnatt Gallery
A Department exhibition space is available for students and faculty. Students are required to participate in one, two or three-person exhibition each term. The works exhibited must be comprised of research done by the end of each fall/winter term throughout two years of the program.
Integrated Arts Media Labs
Computers with image processing, word processing, paint, drawing 3D programs are available. 3D printer service is available, Digital video cameras are available for loan. For more details consult https://arts.ucalgary.ca/art/about/facilities/integrated-arts-media-labs
Painting and Drawing
Studios with storage areas, controlled lighting, still life room, and a collection of anatomical casts and models of human skeletons.
Standard black and white and colour equipment means for transparency masking colour separation, internegatives, dye transfer printing and gum printing.
Separate studios for etching, lithography, serigraphy and relief printing. Equipment includes enlarger, platemaker, process camera, vacuum silkscreen printer.
Bronze and metal casting equipment, welding and metal forming shop, studios for plaster, wood, clay and stone.
Sonic Arts Lab
A controlled sound and internet project studio administered by the School of Creative and Performing Arts. Available for specific audio projects, with some restrictions. Please contact Dr. David Eagle at email@example.com directly regarding your needs.
Visiting Artists and Scholars Series
In conjunction with the undergraduate courses Art 327 and Art 329, visiting local, national and international artists are invited to speak approximately five times per term and many are available for individual studio visits. National and International speakers are sponsored by the Department throughout the year.
Faculty of Graduate Studies
All graduate students are enrolled in the Faculty of Graduate Studies (FGS). This office serves the graduate student population and helps with questions that cannot be solved at the Department level. FGS is located in Earth Sciences room 1010.
Graduate Student Services
Counseling services, health services and other informational services are available to all graduate students. Graduate students are encouraged to contact the Graduate Students Association at 403.220.5997.
International Student Services
International Student Services (ISS) provides support services and customized advising for all international students adjusting to studying at the University of Calgary and to life in Canada.
ISS is located in the MacEwan Student Centre, Room 275 (phone: 403.220.5581 / email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
UNICARD Campus Card
At the start of your first term please get your UNICARD. This is your campus I.D. and it gives you access to the library, gym and labs; it is also your UPass (Universal Bus Pass). Visit ucalgary.ca/unicard.
Graduate Students’Association (GSA)
Once you are admitted in a graduate program at the University of Calgary, you automatically become a member of the campus-wide Graduate Students’ Association (GSA).
To learn more about the GSA and all that it does, visit their website gsa.ucalgary.ca.
Faculty of Arts
The Department of Art and Art History is an Administrative Unit within the Faculty of Arts, which is the largest faculty on campus. Resources specific to visual and performing arts include the University Theatre, the Reeve Theatre, the Boris Roubakine Hall and the Rozsa Centre.
The University library system includes the Medical Library in the Health Sciences Centre, the Gallagher Geology Library in the Earth Sciences building, the Law Library in the Biological Sciences building and the main library collection located in Taylor Family Digital Library. The University's interest in Canadian Studies is reflected in the Canadian historical, literary and architectural archives located in Special Collections and in the Canadian Architectural Archives. There is an extensive Fine Arts section in the main University library.
Taylor Family Digital Library
The Nickle Galleries
Located in the Taylor Family Digital Library, the Nickle Galleries offers a full program of exhibitions and related events covering most aspects of the visual arts nationally and internationally. There is no admission costs for faculty and students and is available for research in contemporary art, including the availability of a Prints and Drawings Study Room. The Nickle Galleries is normally the location for the MFA final graduating Exhibition.
Visual Resources Centre
A collection of images, located in the Taylor Family Digital Library, contains approximately one hundred thousand slides of the history of art and architecture. The library also has films and video resources available for loan.
The studio features a display wall that is 4.88 metres by 1.85 metres with rear projection from 15 projectors. This array is powered by a BOXX 8950 and include 71. Dolby audio. Details area available here https://library.ucalgary.ca/visualization
The University Theatre Mezzanine
Art students and faculty from the Department of Art and Art History occasionally mount exhibitions in the University Theatre Mezzanine, located in Craigie Hall
Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning
Located in the Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning, the 100 Gallery can be used for student and faculty exhibitions connected with the Institute's mandate.
For information on booking an exhibition, contact the Gallery Coordinator through the Department of Art and Art History's Main Office: 403.220.5251.
Calgary is home to more than a million people, which makes it Canada's third largest city. At an elevation of 1,031 metres above sea level, Calgary is located at the confluence of the Bow and Elbow Rivers and close to the Rocky Mountains.
The city has a philharmonic orchestra as well as smaller, more diversified musical organizations. There are theatre and dance companies, both non-professional and professional, museums, art galleries, libraries, a planetarium and numerous sports facilities for spectators and participants alike. Other art institutions in the vicinity include the Alberta College of Art and Design in Calgary and the Banff Centre in Banff
- Alberta University of the Arts galleries-Illingworth Kerr Gallery and the Marion Nicoll Gallery
- Alberta Printmakers Society houses the Artist Proof Gallery (artist-run-centre)
- Burns Visual Arts Society
- Calgary Centre for the Performing Arts
- Centennial Art Gallery
- Contemporary Calgary
- EM/Media (artist-run access centre for video/audio/performance)
- Glenbow Museum
- Image 54 Gallery
- Herringer Kiss Gallery
- Leighton Art Centre, Priddis
- Masters Gallery
- The New Gallery (artist-run-centre)
- Newzones Contemporary Art
- Nickle Galleries, University of Calgary
- Paul Kuhn Fine Arts (modern/contemporary)
- Skew Gallery (contemporary art)
- Stride Gallery (artist-run-centre)
- Trepanier Baer Gallery Inc.
- TRUCK Contemporary Art in Calgary (artist-run-centre)
- Untitled Art Society and Gallery (artist-run-centre)
- Virginia Christopher Galleries
- VivianeArt Gallery
- Wallace Galleries
- Walter Phillips Gallery, Banff Centre (contemporary)
- Webster Galleries Inc.
- Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies, Banff
- Jarvis Hall Fine Art
- Safety Workshop
- Graduate Student Welcome – Little Gallery
- FGS and Department Orientations
- Sept. 3: Graduate Orientation, Faculty of Graduate Studies
- Sept. 9: Graduate Orientation, Department of Art and Art History
- Sept. 5: Fall term lectures begin
- Sept. 12: Last day to drop a course
- Sept. 13: Last day to add a course
- Sept. 20: Tuition and Fee Payment Deadline
- Should be registered in Studio courses, Art 661.01 in Fall/ Winter as well as Art 609 and Art 611
- Interim Supervisor and student meet
- Absence from Campus form – complete at least 3 weeks before you will be away (Interim Supervisor must sign)
- Off-Campus Exhibition Approval Form – complete and return to GPA art.ucalgary.ca/graduate/forms
- Produce studio work
- Interim Supervisor and student meet
- Invite other professors to your studio and discuss your work. This will assist you when choosing your ‘Permanent Supervisor’
- Dec. 1: Deadline for application to SSHRC Master’s
- Dec. 6: Fall term lectures end
- Dec. 6: Last day to withdraw from courses
- End of Term Report - completed by Interim Supervisor
- Dec. 31: Forms completed for approval of Appointment of Permanent Supervisor
- Student is responsible for signatures on ALL forms (except Graduate Program Director's). Return completed forms to GPA, to be approved by Graduate Program Director and Graduate Program Committee.
Meet with Permanent Supervisor once every 2 weeks.
- Jan. 13: Winter term lectures begin
- Jan. 23: Last day to drop a course
- Jan. 24: Last day to add a course
- Jan. 31: Tuition and Fee payment deadline
- New applications for MFA being processed
- Start to invite as many professors as possible to your studio. You will get to know who is interested in your work and this will help you decide who to ask to be on your supervisory committee
- Student Exhibitions in Little Gallery
- Students informed of process regarding Alberta Foundation for the Arts Scholarship ($7,000 scholarship) – Deadline usually April 30
- Think about who you would like to work with for Art 605 in Spring or Summer terms. Forms (available on the website at art.ucalgary.ca/graduate) must be completed two months before the term the student is registering in.
- Apr 15: Winter term lectures end
- Apr 15: Last day to withdraw from courses
- Completion of Art 605 course proposal
- Suggestion: keep a list of all work associated with the program. Give to Supervisor at end of classes.
- Apr 1: “Approval of Committee members” forms completed
- Apr 30: Alberta Foundation for the Arts Graduate Scholarship application deadline
- Register for Art 605 (deadline May 1)
- May 30: End of Term Report for Winter due – completed by supervisor
- May 1: Second-year MFA Final Appraisal
- Meet with the instructor of Art 605 as soon as possible to set up a project
- Focus on Studio work. Summer is an excellent time to do studio work as the technicians, equipment and spaces are more readily available.
- May 31: Annual Progress Reports completed by students, supervisors and Graduate Program Director. Student completes 1st portion of Annual Report; Supervisor completes 2nd portion; GPD completes 3rd portion of the report.
June, July and August
- Continuing students entering second year should complete online registration. Register as a full-time student.
- Reminder: Complete Absence from Campus form if you are going to be away. The form is available online.
- Sept. 3: Graduate Orientation, Faculty of Graduate Studies
- Sept. 5: Fall term lectures begin
- Sept. 12: Last day to drop a course
- Sept. 13: Last day to add a course
- Sept. 20: Tuition and Fee payment deadline
- Register for Art 661.02 and ARHI 615
- MFA Exhibition is coordinated by the Graduate Program Director who works with students and Nickle Galleries (determine the date).
- Thesis Research Grant deadline for application
- Start thinking about thesis support paper – consult with supervisor and committee
- 2 full meetings of the supervisory committee this term (Practice for Oral Examination with rounds of questioning)
- Dec. 6: Fall term lectures end
- End of Term Report – completed by Student and Supervisor
Includes Spring and Summer terms
- Jan. 13: Winter term lectures begin
- Start to prepare an outline paper
- 2 Full meetings of Supervisory Committee Examiners
- Jan. 15: Deadline for new MFA applications
- Jan. 23: Last day to drop a course
- Jan. 24: Last day to add a course
- Jan. 31: Tuition and Fee Payment Deadline
- End of Feb: Detailed Outline of Paper due to Committee members
- Work on thesis exhibition and support paper
- Start thinking about catalogues, invites, posters, etc., for a thesis exhibition
- Meet with Nickle galleries staff and Graduate Program Director about exhibition space needs
- Thesis Research Grant application deadline
- Devise floor plan for Nickle Galleries Arts thesis exhibition
- Apr 15: Winter term lectures end
- Apr 15: First draft of thesis support paper to your committee members and supervisor
- Final Appraisal Meeting - last week of April or early May
- Final Appraisal Meeting - last week of April or early May
- May 31: Annual Progress Reports completed by students, supervisors and Graduate Program Director. Student completes 1st portion of Annual Report, Supervisor completes 2nd portion, GPD completes 3rd portion.
- Studio work completed by end of July.
- Final paper to examiners – 3 weeks prior to exam date, send via email as well as a hard copy if needed (students to provide this).
- Last preparations for installation
- Set up normally at Nickle Galleries (10 a.m.- 5 p.m; no evenings)
- Students completing their examination and exhibition requirements in the Fall must vacate their studios on or before the 3rd Sunday of August
- End of August usually - Deadline to apply for Fall Convocation
- Oral Exams –1st week of September normally
- Opening/Closing Exhibition
- Final paper due at Grad Studies (last day of fee payment)
- The thesis must be submitted to FGS electronically
- 1 bound copy; please submit to Department of Art and Art History. Students to complete forms for Grad Studies (forms are available on the website at grad.ucalgary.ca/current/thesis/thesis).
USING STUDIOS, LABS and WORKSHOPS
The studio spaces are well-equipped, purpose-built spaces that enable students to work in a variety of mediums. The studios have been set up for the benefit of registered students and are intended to foster a positive, community-based, learning environment.
These studios are the property of the University of Calgary and are subject to proper use ensuring the well-being, security and safety of all individuals. Students must adhere to the following regulations. Failure to do so can result in all privileges and access being revoked for the remainder of the term; students in violation of the rules may also be restricted from receiving studio space in the future. Therefore, it is important to be aware of the regulations and to complete the studio usage agreement form.
Studio Access and Responsible Use
Studios are provided for the sole use of Department of Art and Art History graduate and undergraduate students. In order to ensure safety and security, studio access is only allowed to students currently enrolled in courses that utilize these spaces.
- Access is not allowed for any individuals, unless registered in a specific class.
- Door codes and locks for security spaces must not be given to anyone.
- These spaces are used by numerous students concurrently, so be mindful of excessive music and noise.
- Children are not allowed in studios where hazardous materials or equipment are being used – this includes Drawing, Painting, Printmaking, Photography, Sculpture, the associated shops and process rooms and some graduate studios. In areas where no hazardous processes are occurring, supervised children can be in attendance.
- Studio doors must be closed at all times for both security and efficient air handling and must not be propped open.
- Alcohol is prohibited on any part of the premises. Any individual violating this regulation will have studio access immediately revoked.
- Smoking is prohibited in any area of the building.
- The use of candles, open flame and incense are not allowed in any area of the building.
If you see anyone in the Department who is not supposed to be there, contact Campus Security (403.220.5333) immediately.
Studio, Lab and Classroom Safety Procedures
While graduate and undergraduate studio spaces are provided for students to explore their research and practices, the University of Calgary has implemented policies and procedures for the safe and responsible usage of all studios, laboratories and classrooms. Students should familiarize themselves with, and are expected to comply with, the following safety procedures.
Failure to do so may result in the loss of your studio space and may prevent you from receiving space in the future.
- Students must follow the “Laboratory Safety Rules” as defined by the University of Calgary. These rules are posted on all studio doors for your review.
- Student must be aware of the Department's “Restricted Materials” list as posted and comply with any/all restrictions.
- Students must inform their supervising Faculty member of the use of any potential hazardous materials or unsafe working procedures. Department Technicians must be informed of these practices in order to determine safe-handling and disposal procedures.
- When working with hazardous materials or processes, you are required to have a second authorized person present.
- With the exclusion of small hand tools (hand drills, sanders, etc.), all power tools are considered restricted from the studios until their usage has been approved by Department Technicians.
- Students must keep their individual spaces and the larger shared facilities clean at all times.
- Access to electrical equipment (plugs, switches and electrical panels) must be free from obstructions at all times in case of an emergency. Cords should not run in trafficked areas as they are a tripping hazard.
- Trip hazards and debris are not allowed to accumulate at any time. All unwanted material must be removed promptly and discarded in the dumpster outside the loading dock of the Art Building.
- Even though your studio space is yours to work in, it is considered the property of the Department of Art and Art History. Any damage to the walls outside of normal wear and tear – including graffiti, excess paint build-up, holes, etc. – is your responsibility to repair. This includes patching and painting if required.
- All furniture and equipment in the studio spaces is the property of the Department and must not be removed from individual spaces. You are responsible for removing any additional furniture you have brought into your studio at the time you vacate. It is your responsibility to keep all furniture clean and in good working condition.
- Hallways and corridors must remain free of obstruction at all times. Do not store or move furniture, materials, or supplies in these areas.
- The loading dock is under the control of Facilities Management. There is no storage allowed in this area.
Vacating Studio Spaces
All graduate students must follow the guidelines as established for undergraduate procedures and listed above. Additionally, they must adhere to the following.
- Students completing their examination and exhibition requirements in the Fall must vacate their studios on or before the 3rd Sunday of August.
- Students whose thesis examinations occur outside of the usual Fall schedule, need to make arrangements with the Graduate Program Director for vacating their space.
- Studio space is normally allotted for a period of 24 months. In circumstances where graduate students are extending their program beyond this period of time, the Department does not guarantee studio space. In circumstances where students require space to complete their degrees, they must make a formal request to the Graduate Program Director.
- Continuing students wishing to move to different spaces must confirm this with the Graduate Program Director and follow the guidelines for cleaning their existing studio.
- Prior to vacating their studio, Department Technicians will schedule a final walk- through to detail any maintenance or repairs that the student is responsible for completing.
- Keys to the Department facilities must be returned to the Main Office immediately upon vacating the studio.