Art & Design

Graduate Programs

Aaron Veldstra, Drawing/Intermedia, Our Anaerobic Future, 2015

Our graduate program in the Department of Art & Design offers several thesis-based degrees:

  • Master of Design (MDes)
  • Master of Fine Arts (MFA)
  • Master of Arts (MA) History of Art, Design and Visual Culture
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) History of Art, Design and Visual Culture

Why Study Here?

What makes the Department of Art and Design such an excellent place to work and study? Our graduate program offers:

  • world-class facilities
  • active supervision and technical support
  • scholarships and teaching assistantships
  • interdisciplinary approaches
  • contemporary critical theory
  • research for the public good
Graduate students in both Fine Arts and Design Studies discuss the relationship between traditional knowledge and contemporary creative practice.
Visual Communication Design student Zohreh Valiary Eskandary introduced the 'provocation paper' for discussion then gave a demonstration of classical Persian calligraphy.

MFA (Master of Fine Arts)

drawing + intermedia + painting + printmaking + sculpture

The MFA program at UAlberta is a flexible, practice-based program that offers students opportunities to develop a media-based studio practice, as well as to work across multiple media. Students work with faculty versed in artistic-research methodologies and draw on expertise from across the university for interdisciplinary experiences.

  • Past research topics:
  • Reconstructing Landscape
  • Guardians: Urban Totems
  • Cafe Mnemosyne
  • Hidden Crimes
  • Mixed Blessings
  • Punctured Romance
  • This Modern Love
  • Fluid Bodies
  • Pharmakon
  • Click Here To Meet Me
  • Mind Body Phone
  • The Seven Deadly Sins and a Murder of Crows
  • Our Anaerobic Future
  • Science = Magik
  • The Falling Doll

Emilie St. Hilaire, Drawing/Intermedia, Mind Body Phone, 2014


history of art, design, and visual culture

This thesis-based program focuses on the history of art, design, and visual culture in Europe, the Americas and East Asia. Our faculty members are engaged in active research programs that are closely integrated into teaching at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Past research topics:

  • personal and national identity in early 20th century Irish art;
  • revisiting the display of installation art in the 21st century;
  • viewing Argentine portraiture in an age of Peronism;
  • art and activism during the “obesity epidemic”;
  • discovering surrealism in Polish modern art; and
  • the aesthetics of distortion in Chinese landscape painting.

Michael Buss, Industrial Design, Design for Empowerment: Developing New Approaches for Humanitarian Design, 2014