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McMaster University

Faculty of Humanities

Bachelor of Fine Arts: Studio Art





Why a BFA?

A BFA is recognized as being the premier professional qualification for those who wish to qualify for entrance to a Master of Fine Arts program and to pursue a career in art. The School of the Arts' BFA program raises the profile of arts research and teaching at McMaster and recognizes the fantastic work being done in the area of environmentally responsible art at the University, along with partnerships with the Faculty of Engineering. It makes use of the McMaster Museum of Art collection.

Why a BFA at McMaster?

BFA programs are currently offered at a number of Ontario institutions, however, McMaster's program is unique in its focus on sustainable art practise, opportunities for foundry experience (one of just three locations in the province), team-teaching, collaborative opportunities, links with Engineering (collaborative learning), and the use of McMaster Museum of Art resources. At McMaster, the BFA is a direct-entry program. This means that students are identified as being art students (rather than general Humanities students) from their very first year. The name of this dedicated level 1 program is 'Studio Art 1'.

Why is Hamilton such a great place for studio artists?

The arts sector in Hamilton is growing rapidly - statistics show that the ratio of artists located in city neighbourhoods such as Locke Street, James Street North and Sherman Avenue is now well above the National average. Hamilton is now home to over 30 exhibition spaces in addition to the Art Gallery of Hamilton and McMaster Museum of Art (housing one of the best University art collections in the country).

What does the specialized Level I Studio Art program look like?

Level 1 students must complete 12 units* of studio art courses in their first year. They will also take art history courses and a further 12 units of elective courses selected from Humanities or other faculties. Here's a list of Studio Art 1 requirements: [*the last digit in the course code indicates how many units each course is worth]

  • 12 units ART 1DM3, 1MI3, 10S3, 1SI3
  • 6 units ART HISTORY 1A03, 1AA3
  • 12 units electives
  • 2 pass/fail non-credit courses, HUMAN 1AA0 Orientation for Success in the Humanities, and WHIMIS 1A00 Introduction to Health and Safety. All art students must successfully complete both courses before progressing into the Level 2 program.

[See tabs at the top of this page for information on BFA program and application requirements.]


Upper year BFA requirements

The BFA Studio Art is an honours program and will normally take four years of full-time study to complete. Full details of program requirements can be found in the Undergraduate Calendar.


How do I apply for entrance to the BFA program?

Students must apply to the program through OUAC using the special program code for BFA Studio Art at McMaster: MHS.

Portfolio Interview

All students who wish to be considered for admission for Studio Art 1 must make arrangements to come to the McMaster for a portfolio interview. Full details of the portfolio requirements, how to book an interview, and interview dates are available at: