Faculty of Arts & Science
A place to learn, discover, think and do.
Visual Art and Fine Art at Queen's University

Visual & Fine Art

Ontario Hall
Room number: 
Department Head: 
G. Smith

Interim Director: G. Smith
Undergraduate Chair:
Rebecca Anweiler

Queen’s Bachelor of Fine Art (BFA) is a direct entry program, which means that students enter their major area of focus in their first year of study; only those students admitted to the BFA may enroll in the program's studio courses. Your class of 30 students stays together as a group for four years and will get to know the instructors and other students quite well.

Our goal is to increase student’s knowledge of the expressive, intuitive, intellectual, and structural aspects o f visual language through observation, exploration, discovery and practice. The BFA program offers a three year General BFA and a four year Honours BFA degree. This program provides a foundation in the visual arts that can lead to many different career choices such as professional artist, art educator, architect, curator, designer and more. 

Becoming an artist is an ongoing process of discovery, of yourself and of the world in which you live. Selecting the education which will best enable you to begin to articulate your discoveries is an important step in this process. A university, with its tradition of scholarship and research, provides the ideal setting for studies in Fine Art (Visual Art), one where creative work may develop in association with the many disciplines of the humanities and science.

The program stresses flexibility of approach by integrating introductory work with specialization. We are committed to excellence in three interrelated areas: painting, printmaking and sculpture. These media are seen as broad, overlapping areas of experience, each containing many approaches and procedures. Specialization, individual tutorial guidance and studio access also allow depth study. Final year work consists of individualized studio programs determined with your advisors.

Degree Options

Bachelor of Fine Art (Honours) - BFH

Specialization in Computing and the Creative Arts (COCA)
This specialization consists of the majority of the courses in Computing and a SubPlan such as Art, Drama, Music or Film and Media with room for elective courses.

Major in Fine Art
A major is an intensive course of study in one discipline, with approximately half of your courses within the discipline with room for an optional minor in any other Arts and Science discipline.

Bachelor of Fine Art - BFA

General in Fine Art
A less intense course of study leading to a 3-year degree.

Full list of Undergraduate Degree Plans at Queen's University

First Year Courses

If you have been admitted to Fine Art, in first year you must take:

  • ARTF 127/6.0
  • ARTF 128/6.0
  • ARTH 120/6.0

First and second year ARTF courses consist of 12 hours of studio classes plus 12 hours of independent studio activities per week; Third year ARTF courses consist of 24 hours of studio activities per week. C. ARTH 227/6.0 or (ARTH 231/3.0 and ARTH 232/3.0) are recommended courses for Option 3B.

Click here for the complete list of Courses in Arts and Science

High School Requirements for Admission

Ontario students are required to have successfully completed an English 4U course and two additional 4U courses to be eligible for admission to the program. Students should be aware that high school Art, Music, Dance and Theatre are not 4U level courses.

Details on your digital portfolio submission

Job and Career Opportunities for Fine Art Grads

Art leads to a variety of visual and communication related industries outside of the traditional expectation.  Some of our Fine Art alumni work in the following industries:

  • Advertising
  • Animation
  • Architecture
  • Arts Administration
  • Art Conservation
  • Art and Design
  • Art Therapy
  • Auctioneering
  • Cartooning
  • Engineering - Ceramics
  • Communications
  • Computer Graphics / Special Effects
  • Drafting
  • Education
  • Events Management
  • Fashion
  • Graphic Art
  • Interior Design
  • Journalism
  • Landscape Architecture
  • Marketing & Promotions
  • Media – Electronic & Print
  • Medical Illustration
  • Museology
  • Painting
  • Photography
  • Sculpting
  • Travel & Tourism
  • Urban and Regional Planning

What to do with a Fine Arts degree handout from Career Services >

Art Electives for Non-Art Students

ARTH 120/6.0 Art in the West from Antiquity to Modernity
A survey of famous and lesser-known works of painting, sculpture, architecture, and other art forms from Antiquity, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, the Baroque, and the Modern Age. Themes include politics, religion, mythology, gender roles, techniques, conservation and intersections with non-western cultures.

ARTH 250/3.0 Art Culture and Society
An introduction to the social conditions and cultural movements that shaped European visual art of the nineteenth century in its global context. The course will stress the tension between modernity and anti-modernism as well as competing views on the very nature of visual art.

ARTH 354/3.0 The Age of Rembrandt 
A detailed study of paintings produced in the Netherlands, ca. 1580-1700. Developments in style and the growth of subject types such as genre, portraiture, landscape, and still life are examined in the cultural context of life in the Dutch Republic, with particular attention to the achievements of artists such as Rembrandt, Hals, and Vermeer.

Fine Art (Visual Art) Program Transfers

Adding, Dropping or Changing a Minor degree Plan that is in addition to the Fine Art (Visual Art) Major degree Plan:  Students admitted to the Bachelor of Fine Art (Visual Art) Major degree Plan may add, change, or drop a Minor degree Plan (for example a Minor in Art History Geography etc.) to their Fine Art (Visual Art) Major degree Plan.  (Please note that there is not a Minor in Fine Art (Visual Art).

Transfer from Fine Art (Visual Art): Students in Fine Art (Visual Art) who wish to transfer from the Fine Art (Visual Art) Major to a different Arts and Science degree Plan, may do so through the change of Plan process. Should a student wish to return to Fine Art (Visual Art), he/she could reapply for the subsequent Fall and would need to meet the admission requirements of a successful portfolio and Cumulative GPA of 1.90. It is prudent to seek academic advice from Fine Art (Visual Art) or from an academic advisor in Arts and Science before changing your degree Plan.

Transfer to Fine Art (Visual Art): Students who wish to transfer into Fine Art (Visual Art) from another degree Plan in Arts and Science must:

  1. Submit a portfolio to the Fine Art (Visual Art) Program for consideration, and
  2. Have a Cumulative GPA of 1.90.

Portfolios are to be submitted late fall. 

Accepted students will begin the Fine Art (Visual Art) degree Plan at year one.

Students will be notified by early May if they are accepted into the Fine Art (Visual Art) degree Plan.  Please note that there is limited space available so first-year students should still participate in the degree Plan selection process in early May in case they are not accepted into a Fine Art (Visual Art) degree Plan. Upper-year students who are not admitted to a Fine Art (Visual Art) degree Plan will remain in their current Plan. For questions about this process, please contact Michelle Gallant (mgallant@queensu.ca) in the Faculty of Arts and Science.

Have Questions?

Call us at 613-533-2470 or email us.

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