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


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

50th Anniversary Exhibition
Art School Confidential at Ottawa Art Gallery
50th Anniversary Exhibition
Apr 20 to Sep 22

Art School Confidential: Celebrating 50 Years of the Department of Visual Arts,…

Curated by Professor Penny Cousineau-Levine, Art School Confidential is an exhibition that celebrates five decades of Visual Arts at the University of…
Heer Mandaliya OAG
Mar 16 to May 26

Spanning the Divide, Art from the University of Ottawa Department of Visual Art…

Opening Reception: Thursday, April 25, 2024
Heer Mandaliya, Kelly Rendek, Sarah Tompkins

Curators: Karen D. Miller and Rebecca Anne Rama
Graduation Exhibiton
Means of Abundance
Graduation Exhibiton
Apr 23 to Apr 28


On April 23rd, the 2024 graduates from the University of Ottawa’s Bachelor of Fine Arts program will open a seven-day exhibition of their artistic wor…

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 
Simard Building, room 416
613 562-5800 ext. 5439
[email protected]