Graduate Application FAQs
What graduate programs do you offer?
What are the basics of graduate program admissibility?
Master of Design
Prospective MDes students should hold a four-year Bachelor's degree (typically a Bachelor’s of Design degree) from a recognized academic institution. Applicants who have strong academic records but have completed university degree programs other than a four-year BDes (for example, a four-year BA) are encouraged to apply. Applicants must provide evidence of work related to the intended area of study. It should be representative of a level of development equivalent to advanced undergraduate study in a university program. Completion of senior-level coursework in the History of Art, Design, or Visual Culture also is required. A qualifying year of study prior to formal entry into the graduate program is possible for applicants who may need to supplement their undergraduate preparation or for those who have a three-year degree.
Master of Fine Arts
Prospective MFA students should hold a four-year Bachelor's degree (typically a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree) from a recognized academic institution. Applicants who have strong academic records but have completed university degree programs other than a four-year BFA (for example, a four-year BA) are encouraged to apply. Applicants must provide evidence of work related to the intended area of study. It should be representative of a level of development equivalent to advanced undergraduate study in a university program. Completion of senior-level coursework in the History of Art, Design or Visual Culture also is required. A qualifying year of study prior to formal entry into the graduate program is possible for applicants who may need to supplement their undergraduate preparation or for those who have a three-year degree.
Master of Arts in the History of Art, Design, and Visual Culture
Prospective MA students in the History of Art, Design, and Visual Culture program typically hold a bachelor’s degree in one of the three subject areas or a related discipline from a recognized academic institution. A qualifying term or year of study prior to formal entry into the graduate program is possible for applicants who may need to supplement their undergraduate preparation.
Doctor of Philosophy in the History of Art, Design, and Visual Culture
Prospective Ph.D. students in the History of Art, Design, and Visual Culture program typically will hold a Master’s degree in art history, design, visual culture or a related discipline from a recognized academic institution. A qualifying term or year of study prior to formal entry into the doctoral program is possible for applicants who may need to supplement their Master’s preparation.
How do I apply for graduate study?
The application is submitted through an online application system on the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research website. All supporting documentation must be uploaded in the application system prior to submission.
What is the application deadline for graduate programs?
The online admission application system will be available starting October 1st and will have a DEADLINE for receipt of a complete application (including all supporting documentation for both domestic and international applicants) of January 15th for the subsequent academic year. The application system will close on January 16th at 12:00 am MST. Submitting your application at least three weeks before the deadline is highly recommended. Please note: Fall term (September 1 - December 31) is the only term in which selected applicants may begin their programs.
Transcripts or Mark Sheets and Degree Certificates
All applicants must follow Application Requirements for Academic Documents.
Only applicants with successful applications will be required to provide the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research with official copies of their transcripts (nota bene: an exception is made for University of Alberta transcripts, which do not need to be submitted in hard copy as part of the application process). At that time please arrange to have one official transcript or marks sheet and degree certificate sent to the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research and one sent to the Art & Design Department. Documents must be mailed directly from the post-secondary institution, in a sealed envelope, to the following addresses:
- Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research
Killam Centre for Advanced Studies
2-29 Triffo Hall, University of Alberta
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
- Art & Design Department (Graduate)
3-98 Fine Arts Building
University of Alberta
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Statement of intent
Specify the area of interest and plans for study in the graduate program. The statement of intent should be approximately two pages in length and include:
- Last academic degree and degree sought at the University of Alberta
- Brief statement of research interest
- Potential thesis research topic
- Potential supervisor(s) and if you have contacted them
Curriculum Vitae (CV)
Include post-secondary education, list of awards, publications, exhibitions, curatorial projects, presentations, and relevant work and volunteer experience. You can use the form provided through the online application or submit your own.
Three (3) original letters are required. Provide the contact information, including email address, of your three referees in the online application system. Upon submission of your application (i.e. payment of the application fee) your referees will be sent an email containing a link that will allow them to securely submit their reference. They can choose to fill out the reference form, submit a letter, or both. References provided in conjunction with an application for graduate admission are considered to be supplied in confidence and will only be disclosed as required in the admission process of the applicant or in accordance with Federal and Provincial Statutes regulating disclosure of personal information.
Recent original work in English (e.g. course research paper, published article, article manuscript, MA thesis), up to 25 pages in length, for prospective MA and PhD students to the History of Art, Design, and Visual Culture programs only.
Prospective students to the MFA program are required to submit a portfolio of 12 to 15 high quality digital images in JPEG format. Please submit a folder of images via Google Drive and share them with Dawn Hunter, the Graduate Administrator, at email@example.com. Entitle the folder with name, program (MFA) and specialization (Printmaking, Drawing/Intermedia, Sculpture, Printmaking). Example: Justin Trudeau_MFA_printmaking.
Prospective students to the MFA program should in addition create a PDF document that features the metadata for each image (title, medium, dimensions) and include it in the document.
Prospective students to the MDes program must submit a portfolio of 12 to 15 high quality images in a PDF document and add it to Department Check 4 in the application system. Entitle the document with name, program (MDes) and specialization (Industrial Design or Visual Communication Design). Example: Justin Trudeau_MDes_Industrial Design
All prospective MDes and MFA students should plan to submit:
- highest quality JPEG file formats
- images should be a minimum of 1920 pixels on the long side
- RGB colour mode files only
What about the IELTS and TOEFL?
If previous degrees were not completed at an institution in which English is the official language of instruction, prospective students will have to take the TOEFL or IELTS exam and upload a score sheet to the application system. The University of Alberta Institutional Code: 0963.
Review the English Language Proficiency exemptions for applicants with international qualifications.
TOEFL: minimum score of 580 (paper-based) or a total score of 95 (internet-based). IELTS: minimum overall band score of 7, with at least 6 on each band.
Do I have to apply separately for funding?
When you apply for admission you will automatically be considered for any internal awards and funding for which you are eligible.
Master’s students and Doctoral students are well funded. Master’s students typically receive a support package covering one to two years of graduate study. Doctoral students receive two years of funding. Funding sources include departmental and university fellowships, teaching assistantships and research assistantships. The Associate Chair of Graduate Study and Research works closely with individual students to develop and write grant proposals. Information on language study grants, pre-doctoral grants, and funds for special research and travel connected with the writing of the dissertation may be obtained from the Faculty of Graduate Study and Research. Additional information about graduate financial aid, including a student budget and tuition calculator, is available at the University of Alberta Financial Aid Office.
What is the cost of tuition? Tuition and Cost of Living Estimates
Am I eligible for Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) fellowships? How do I apply?
To be eligible for a SSHRC scholarship a student must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident entering or in any of the graduate programs. Students are eligible for SSHRC and Affiliated Fellowships during their first two years of master's study and first four years of doctoral study. The Department’s Associate Chair of Graduate Studies and Research works closely with students to develop research proposals. For more information please visit the Government of Canada's Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council website.
How do I apply for Graduate Research Assistantships?
There is no formal application procedure for GRA positions as they depend on the grants of individual faculty members. Please speak with the Graduate Advisor, supervisor, and other faculty members to find out about any GRA opportunities.
How to I apply for Graduate Teaching Assistantships?
There is no formal application procedure for GTA positions as they depend on the changing needs of the teaching faculty. Students typically will be informed about GTA assignments in late July or early August.
Can Traditional Fulbright American Students Awards support study at the University of Alberta?
Traditional Fulbright American Student Awards
Fulbright Canada is the Foundation for Educational Exchange Between Canada and the United States of America and awards are intended for American citizens who are graduate students, prospective graduate students, or promising young professionals who wish to study and/or conduct research in Canada. Awards may be held at any university, research center, think tank, or government agency in Canada. The award is valued at US$15,000 for one academic year beginning September.
For awards to be taken up in the 2020-2021 academic year, the competition will open in April 2019 and close on October 8, 2019.
We encourage prospective students to visit. During the fall term there will be occasional Informational sessions for the graduate programs. Contact Lisa Claypool, Associate Chair of Graduate Studies and Research, for more information. Please feel free to communicate with a faculty member in your desired field with any specific questions.
For a virtual tour of the campus, please visit “University of Alberta Campuses” online.