Study Masters in Fine Arts in Canada: Complete Guide for International Students
Masters in Fine Arts (MFA) in Canada usually take 2-2.5 years to complete. A number of top colleges in Canada offer thesis-based MFA programs along with a final exhibition. The MFA curriculum in Canada is mostly multi-disciplinary so that students can experiment with a range of media and methods best suited to their interests.
Master of Fine Arts can help graduates from bachelor’s in arts or fine arts in refining their skill set. The admissions in top colleges in Canada for the MFA program are highly based on portfolios and previous works. Post completion of the program you can be hired in professions such as art professor, graphic designer, gallery curator, concept artist, art director, animator, etc.
Top Universities offering Masters in Fine Arts in Canada
International students who wish to study in Masters in Fine Arts in Canada can apply for the following top universities:
|Country Ranking (THE)||World Ranking (THE)||University||Programs and Specialization||Program fee (USD) approx.|
|2||34||University of British Columbia||Masters of Fine Arts- Visual Arts, Creative Writing, Interdisciplinary Arts||13,465|
|6||136||University of Alberta||Master of Fine Arts- Printmaking||14,480|
|8||201-250||University of Waterloo||Masters of Fine Arts-Studio Arts||27,000|
|11||251-300||Simon Fraser University||Masters of Fine Arts in Interdisciplinary Arts||8,700|
|15||351-400||University of Manitoba||Masters of Fine Arts||9,300|
|16||401-500||University of Victoria||Masters of Fine Arts- Studio Arts||16,700|
|16||401-500||University of Saskatchewan||Master of Fine Arts in Studio Art||10,300|
|16||501-600||University of Guelph||Master of Fine Arts in Studio Art||20,000|
|22||601-800||Concordia University||Master of Fine Arts in Studio Arts/Print Media/Sculpture and Ceramics/Painting and Drawing/Intermedia/ Fibres and Material Practices|
|22||601-800||University of Regina||Master of Fine Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies / Media Production /Visual Arts||5000|
|--||--||Emily Carr University of Art and Design||Master of Fine Arts- Full-residency (2 years)/Low residency (3 years)||23,300|
Masters in Fine Arts in Canada: Course Details
The course duration for masters in fine arts or MFA courses in Canada is mostly 2 to 2.5 years. The program is generally a full-time residential (on-campus) course. The MFA programs mostly are flexible and practice-based in nature that offer students to work across multiple mediums.
Students may have their specialization in drawing/intermedia, painting/printmaking/sculpting, three-dimensional and installation work, digital art, photography, video, sound, performance, or in any interdisciplinary form, etc.
Specializations offered by Top Universities
Some of the specializations available in popular universities offering Masters of Fine Arts in Canada are as follows:
|University of Alberta||MFA Printmaking|
|University of Guelph||MFA Studio Arts|
|Concordia University||MFA in Studio Arts, Print Media, Sculpture, & Ceramics|
|University of Regina||MFA in Media Production, Studio Arts etc|
|University of Saskatechwan||MFA in Studio Arts|
|Ryerson University||MFA in Documentary Media|
Curriculum: Most of the universities offering MFA generally follow this type of curricula- any area of contemporary art production, knowledge in contemporary art, visual culture, and cultural theory. Academic coursework, oral presentation, organized exhibition, Open Studios, interdepartmental critiques to showcase students' art production and broaden their exposure to the local art scene and beyond.
Admission Process for Masters in Fine Arts in Canada
The admission process for masters in Fine Arts in Canada varies from university to university. The admissions are, however, offered mostly for winter and fall sessions. International applicants are required to have completed 16 years of education for applying to masters of fine arts in Canada.
Where to Apply: Applicants can apply through the official websites of the universities offering the program.
Masters in Fine Arts in Canada: Eligibility Criteria
- Four-years Bachelor’s degree from a recognized institute in Design, Fine Arts, Media Arts, Architecture or other related fields.
- A three-year bachelor’s degree equivalent to a Canadian four-year Bachelor’s degree is also accepted by some of the institutions.
- Portfolio: Artwork should be submitted along with the applications as it plays an important role in admission decisions.
|University||Minimum Eligibility||Number of Portfolios Required||ELP Test Scores|
|University of British Columbia||BFA (bachelors in fine arts) with a grade of B+ (76%)||15-20 for visual arts 30 pages for creative writing||TOEFL: 90|
|University of Alberta||4-year Bachelor’s Degree (preferably BFA) with strong academic record and evidence of work related to the field of interest.||12-15||TOEFL: 95 IELTS: 7.0|
|University of Waterloo||BA/BFA with an average of 75%||20||TOEFL: 100|
|Simon Fraser University||BFA degree or a relevant degree with an artistic statement||--||TOEFL: 93 IELTS: 7.0|
|University of Manitoba||BA with a GPA of 3.0 (grade equivalent B)||20||TOEFL: 86 IELTS: 6.5|
|University of Victoria||BFA with a minimum grade of B||20||TOEFL: 90 IELTS: 6.5|
|University of Saskatchewan||BFA or its equivalent||20||TOEFL: 86|
|University of Guelph||BFA/BA Honours or equivalent in visual or fine arts.||20||TOEFL: 89 IELTS: 6.5|
|Concordia University||a minimum B average in the major area||10-20||TOEFL: 90 IELTS: 6.5|
|University of Regina||Must hold a Bachelor of Fine Arts and strong academic records.||20||TOEFL: 23 (each band) IELTS: 7.0|
|Emily Carr University of Art and Design||GPA- 3.0 (B) or higher on a scale of 4.0||18-20||TOEFL: 90|
|OCAD University||BA/ BFA/BDes or equivalent honors degree/certification with a minimum average of 75% (B+) or 3.3 GPA during the last two years of study Or, demonstration of exceptional experience/expertise as an artist, designer, critic or curator.||5-15||TOEFL: 90|
Masters in Fine Arts in Canada: Admission Requirements
For admission in masters programs in Canada, applicants are required to provide the following documents:
- Transcripts: Applicants are required to submit official/unofficial transcripts from every post-secondary institution. Some institutes may request certified copies of the documents.
- Letter of Reference: LORs may be required for admissions in some universities. Applicants are required to submit around 2-3 LORs in most universities for masters in fine arts.
- Statement of Purpose/Statement of Intent: Some universities may ask applicants to submit a statement of purpose along with the applications.
- Resume/CV: Applicants may be asked to submit a resume or CV with detailed academic and work experiences along with the application.
- Proof of English Language Proficiency: Proof for English language proficiency must be submitted by international students, who belong to non-native English speaking countries. Applicants can submit test scores from TOEFL, IELTS and other standardized English language test scores. The minimum test score requirements for the universities are mentioned above.
Admission Decisions for Masters in Fine Arts in Canada
It may take around 4-8 weeks for your admission decision letter to be issued by the university. The applicants for masters in fine arts in Canada are reviewed on professional references, experience, portfolio, and related information available in the CV. The decisions may be delayed in certain cases.
Cost of Studying Masters in Fine Arts in Canada
For an international applicant planning to study in Canada, the costs can be widely distributed into three categories- pre-arrival costs, cost of study, and cost of living. The cost of studying or the tuition fee for MFA in Canada varies from around 5,000-20,000 USD.
Given below is a table indicating the one-time major costs involved for an international student planning to study abroad.
|Type of Expense||Cost (USD)|
|Program Application Fees||76-125 approx.*|
|Visa Application Fees||235**|
*Depends on the university
**150 USD for a Canadian Study Permit and 85 USD is Biometric fee
Application Fees for Top Canadian Universities offering MFA
Given below is a comparison graph for the application fees for some of the top Canadian universities:
Masters in Fine Arts in Canada: Tuition Fees
As a part of post-arrival costs, tuition fees are one of the major expenses experienced by international students. The tuition fees comparison for some of the top Canadian universities is compared below:
Cost of Living in Canada
While studying in Canada, international students have to spend a large sum of money on expenses other than the tuition fees. The expenses include the cost of living, books & material, transportation, etc. You may experience an expense of around 750-1510 USD on books and material. Food and beverages may cost you around 3000-4000 USD.
Accommodation costs may vary depending on the type of logging. A basic comparison of the costs of accommodation in Canada for students is given below:
Masters in Fine Arts in Canada: Scholarships for International Students
There are various scholarships available for international students pursuing masters in Canada. Some of the popular scholarships available to students pursuing MFA in Canada are as follows:
|Scholarship||Amount Offered (USD)||University|
|University Graduate Fellowship||2300-18,300/year||University of British Columbia|
|The UAlberta Thesis-Based Master's Recruitment Scholarship||Over 16,900/year||University of Alberta|
|Ontario Graduate Scholarship||3781/semester||University of Waterloo|
|James Barclay Hartman Scholarship in Fine Arts||4500/year||University of Manitoba|
|Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships||37,800 for up to three years||Simon Fraser University|
There are various other scholarships available to international students pursuing arts in Canada. Please ensure that you search for the other fundings available at a university through their official websites.
Masters in Fine Arts in Canada: Careers
A master’s degree in Fine arts opens up a range of career opportunities- animation and illustration, sculpting, painting, teaching, commercial design, sales and advertising, gallery curators and so many. Graduates in fine arts get an average starting salary of around 30,000 USD per year. For client-based work, for example-graphic design or animation, hourly wages could become as high as 50 USD per hour or more.
Fine Artist Qualifications
Apart from education and training, a student who wants to be a fine artist should also possess the following skills:
- Artistic ability: Fine artists create visually appealing artwork and other objects that are also thought-provoking. For this, they require significant artistic skill and knowledge in one or more art forms.
- Creativity: Artists must have creative imaginations to develop new and original ideas for their work.
- Business skills: Promotion of artistic work and the artist itself is necessary to build a reputation and to sell the art. For this reason, they should study the market to increase their understanding of the type of demands by potential customers. Also, the website is a great platform to sell artworks, so developing an online presence is an important part of their art sales.
- Dexterity: A skilled artist must be capable of manipulating tools and materials to create their work.
- Interpersonal skills: Artists often need to interact with many people, including gallery owners, co-workers, and the public.
Masters in Fine Arts from Canada is a rewarding program of study for graduates of fine arts and similar programs. With an abundance of job prospects in the field, a master’s degree in Fine Arts in Canada will not only help students secure high-paying jobs but also broaden their creative understanding and imagination.
Most of the MFA programs in Canada provide students with creative exploration, innovative experimentation as well as the development of sustainable artistic practice. The faculty in different universities also have established national and international reputations with regular exhibitions, performance, and screening films in Canada and abroad. The faculty members work on a range of funded projects in multimedia, architecture art and biotechnology, ecology, documentary film, and urban culture.