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

Information Session
Information Session
Nov 8

Master of Arts in Contemporary Art Theory Information Session

Join the Department of Visual Arts faculty members and staff for an information session on the Master of Arts in Contemporary Art Theory program. The …
Artist Talk
Maria Hupfield National Gallery of Canada
Artist Talk
Nov 2

2023 Stonecroft Lecture: Maria Hupfield

The Department of Visual Arts at the University of Ottawa, in collaboration with the National Gallery of Canada (NGC) is proud to present Maria Hupfie…
Artistic Voices of Iranian Women
Nov 1

Artistic Voices of Iranian Women in Canada: Simin Keramati, Mahsa Alikhani, and…

Brought together for a timely* and special event are three of Iran’s most critically-acclaimed artists, all of whom are now living and working in Cana…

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]