Department of Visual Arts

The Department of Visual Arts offers four undergraduate and two graduate programs that respond to your various interests and needs: a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA), a Major in Visual Arts, a Major and a Minor in History and Theory of Art, a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) as well as a Master of Contemporary Art Theory.


  • Immerse yourself in complementary streams of education: Studio Practice + Art history and Theory.
  • Get top-quality, personalized education and become part of an artistic community.
  • Study amongst the best students in the region.
  • Absorb ideas from professors who infuse their teaching with active professional experience and in-depth knowledge.
  • Learn from nationally and internationally respected artists, art historians and theoreticians.
  • Visit the best municipal and national art museums and organizations: the National Gallery of Canada, the Ottawa Art Gallery, Library and Archives Canada,  the Canada Council for the Arts, several artist run centres and local galleries.
  • Benefit from our commitment to the integration of art theory and practice.
Contact the Department of Visual Arts
100 Laurier Ave E
100 Laurier Ave E (Cumberland entrance)


Our programs take you on an exploration of the visual arts, with a special emphasis on contemporary creation. Both include compulsory practical and theoretical courses that encourage creation and reflection. The department provides photography and media art labs, as well as painting, drawing and sculpture studios. Our location in the heart of Ottawa gives you access to a wealth of artistic venues, such as the National Gallery and the Ottawa Art Gallery. In addition, you train under the guidance of nationally and internationally recognized artists, curators, art historians and theorists. While maintaining its focus on traditional disciplines (drawing, painting, sculpture and photography), the department also helps you discover the use of new media and technologies in the visual arts.

Bucket filled with paint brushes


To apply for the Bachelor of Fine Arts program you must submit a portfolio, as well as meet the general admission requirements of the Faculty of Arts
See details

Our graduates

The University of Ottawa is proud of our many graduates who have gone on to make major contributions to the art world and our decades-long history of outstanding artists, art historians and theoreticians who have taught in the Visual Arts Department. This legacy lives on. Our professors offer attentive teaching and mentoring within a close-knit departmental community, while also encouraging student interaction with a broad network of art institutions and professionals.


undergraduate students


graduate students


number of professors

Student voices

“The University of Ottawa’s Fine arts department is a lovely environment for young creative minds to expand in their creative journey.”

Laurena Finéus

— Bachelor of Fine Arts with a minor in Communication 2021

photography studio

Faculty and staff

Meet the professors and staff of the Department of Visual Arts.
Faculty and staff

News and events

Jun 7 to Jul 29

XL, 40th Anniversary Group Exhibition at AXENÉO7

AXENÉO7's 40th Anniversary Group Exhibition features the works of uOttawa Alumni as well as current MFA and BFA students from the Department of Visual…
OAG MFA 2023
Mar 4 to Jun 11

Le rendu, Art From The University of Ottawa, Department of Visual Arts, 2022 MF…

Le rendu features the work of five University of Ottawa Master of Fine Arts (MFA) graduates who expanded their practice over the two years of their pr…
“Motion in Air (Ma):

"Motion in Air (Ma)", Monumental Public Artwork by Jennifer Macklem

Jennifer Macklem, Ottawa artist and Associate Professor at the University of Ottawa, creates monumental public art wall in Toronto

Contact us

Department of Visual Arts

100 Laurier Avenue E.
Room 110
Ottawa ON Canada K1N 6N5

Tel.: 613-562-5868
Fax: 613-562-5137
[email protected]

Office hours

Monday to Friday
From 8:15 a.m. to 12 p.m.
From 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
(June to August: closed at 3:30 p.m.)

Academic assistants

Undergraduate studies
Simard Hall, room 128
[email protected]

Graduate studies 
Desmarais Hall, 8th floor
613 562-5800 ext. 5439
[email protected]