Admission & Portfolio Requirements

The Department of Visual Arts offers two programs: Studio Art, and History of Art and Visual Culture (HAVC). Each has different entry requirements. All prospective students are encouraged to apply and will be considered on the basis of grades and, when applicable, following a portfolio review. Enrollment in the programs of the Department of Visual Arts may be limited.

Visual art students painting outside

Students interested in studying Studio Art must submit a portfolio in order to be considered for admission into Year One. An offer of admission is made following review of your grades and portfolio. Secondary school applicants will require an average grade in the mid to low 70s.

Students interested in the History of Art and Visual Culture studies (HAVC) program are exempt from submission of a portfolio. Students apply to the Bachelor of Arts in Humanities – Faculty of Humanities exploratory first year program, and declare their HAVC major after the first year of their studies.

Entry Requirements for All Programs in the Department of Visual Arts

Ontario Secondary School students must have a minimum of six Grade 12 U or M courses and have completed the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD).

Required course: ENG4U
Recommended courses: One from 4U history, philosophy, classical studies, or international language
Expected entrance average: mid to low 70s

Applying to HAVC

Students interested in the History of Art and Visual Culture studies (HAVC) program must apply to the Bachelor of Arts in Humanities – Faculty of Humanities first year program (OUAC code: BHE) and declare their HAVC major while completing a general Year 1. The Faculty of Humanities Advisor humanities.advising@brocku.ca  can recommend the courses to be completed during first year in preparation for the HAVC program (Years 2-4). Please see the Academic Advising section further down this page for more information.

Applying to Studio Art

Portfolios are a required part of the admissions process for new students applying to the following programs:

Studio Art (4 Year Honours Degree)
Studio Art (3 Year Pass Degree)
Combined Degree (Studio Art and another major)
Concurrent Education Intermediate/Senior (Visual Arts – Studio Art major)

portfolios:

Your portfolio submission must contain two elements:

1. A letter of intent (~300 words).
2. A digital portfolio of 15-20 of your artworks.

We must receive your complete submission by February 7, 2019 for guaranteed admission consideration for studies the following September. Portfolios will continue to be accepted after this date until any available spaces are filled. You will receive an offer of admission following the successful review of your grades and digital portfolio.

All portfolio submissions must be in digital format. Please DO NOT send original artworks to us.

Used paint brushes

Declaration or Change of Major:

A digital portfolio (that includes a student’s Brock ID number) is also required for those applying to Studio Art. Meeting with the Academic Advisor is necessary prior to the assessment of the portfolio. Current Brock students interested in changing their major to Studio Art or History of Art and Visual Culture, must book a meeting with the Faculty of Humanities Academic Advisor at brocku.ca/humanities/academic-advising

In the meantime, students wishing to plan for a change of major are advised to make an appointment with the Humanities Academic Advisor for Visual Arts to review course options that will be of benefit should students succeed in being accepted into our program. Alisa can be reached at humanities.advising@brocku.ca

Preparing and Submitting Your Portfolio

LETTER OF INTENT:

We would like to find out more about you, what motivates, challenges and inspires you in your creative process. The letter of intent should describe your reasons for wanting to study visual arts, where you are coming from, and what you have studied in the past. Please consider how your answers may enhance or contribute to our understanding of your portfolio work as we view it. Your letter of intent should not exceed 300 words. In addition, artist statements are also welcome but not mandatory.

Your letter of intent should be submitted in one of the following formats:

• As part of a website or artist blog linked in your submission e-mail.
• As a Word document (.docx) included in the cloud-sharing folder of your choice (Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, etc.), and linked in your submission e-mail.
• As a Word document (.docx) attached directly to your submission e-mail.
• As a Word document (.docx) on a USB stick submitted by mail.

You may include this letter on the same USB stick or artist blog/website as your digital portfolio. Please be sure to clearly label it as your letter of intent.

Work submitted may demonstrate a range of media explored. The portfolio should be between 15-20 artworks (do not submit more than 20 pieces). It is recommended you submit what you feel to be your strongest work in your portfolio.

DIGITAL FILE TYPES ACCEPTED:

jpg
psd
tiff
video (mov, wmv, mp4)
music (mp3)
PDF documents

For good image quality and efficient reviewing, your image files should be sized around 1024 x 768px @72 dpi, 2MB or less.
Please keep video files under 120MB each and 2-3 minute clips for audio/video.

LABEL EACH FILE AS FOLLOWS:

01 LastName, Title, Year
02 LastName, Title, Year

Please include an image list that corresponds with the digital portfolio as a Word document (.docx). The image list should look like this:

01 LastFirstName, Title, Media, Dimensions, Date Completed
Please DO NOT send original artworks to us: only copies!

SUBMITTING YOUR PORTFOLIO:

All portfolio submissions must be in the form of digital files. Please DO NOT send original artworks to us.

Please title your portable devices and provide a labelled case with your full name (as submitted on your application), OUAC reference number (if applicable), and date of birth.

Your portfolio is to be submitted in one of the following ways:

1. E-mail to Associate Professor Shawn Serfas (sserfas@brocku.ca) with either the digital files attached, or a link to your artist blog/website/cloud-sharing folder. The URL, your full name, OUAC reference number and date of birth should be written in the email.

2. Saved on a USB stick and submitted by mail or in person to Associate Professor Shawn Serfas at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts.

The portfolio and letter of intent must be sent together in a strong, reusable package and must be accompanied by sufficient return postage. Portfolios sent without sufficient return postage will not be returned to the applicant.

Please send the portfolio and letter of intent to:

Associate Professor Shawn Serfas
Department of Visual Arts
Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine & Performing Arts
Brock University
1812 Sir Isaac Brock Way
St. Catharines, ON
L2S 3A1, Canada

Be certain to include your contact information with all material you send to the Department, whether electronically or by surface mail.

Once you have completed your application (or if you have any questions about putting together your portfolio), please email Associate Professor Shawn Serfas sserfas@brocku.ca to inform the department that it has been sent.

Questions?
Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions about the portfolio process. Questions should be directed to the Chair of Visual Arts, Professor Donna Szoke at donna.szoke@brocku.ca

For questions related to the admissions process, including minimum academic requirements for entry, please contact our Admissions Office at futurestudent@brocku.ca

DEADLINE:

The deadline for submitting your letter of intent and digital portfolio is February 7, 2019 for guaranteed admission consideration for the following September. Portfolios will be accepted after this date until available spaces are filled. While submitting documentation of your artwork may make you apprehensive please know that we will review your art in a sensitive fashion, and will provide you with useful feedback to help you understand where we see strengths, and point you to artists we feel you need to research.

Academic Advising

For more information about majoring in a program with the Department of Visual Arts, course selections, transfer credits, or other aspects of your academic planning, you should speak with the Humanities Academic Advisor for Visual Arts.

Michael Gicante
Humanities Academic Advisor
MIWSFPA Office: MW 404
Main Campus Office: MC A313
Phone: 905-688-5550 x5279
humanities.advising@brocku.ca

Or, book an appointment online!

International Applicants

  1. You must apply to Brock University.
  2. Applicants to the Studio Art program are invited to contact the Department of Visual Arts to plan a portfolio submission process that coordinates with your regional academic schedule.
    You are invited to contact us as soon as possible at donna.szoke@brocku.ca

    Please remember that the notice from the Department of the successful completion of the portfolio review is not the same thing as an offer of admission.  You must still receive an offer of admission from the University. For more information about the portfolio submission process.

Registration Information:

Future VISA students may find registration information & dates at the link below:

Note:

It is strongly recommended that all incoming first year students review the following:

Course Planning:

Already applied and accepted? To plan your courses, view this year’s Visual Arts Department Timetable:

Need a printable option?

Need to print the information you’ve seen on this page? Download the Department of Visual Arts’ application information for (studies beginning in September 2019) in PDF format.

Scholarships, Bursaries, and Awards

There are a number of awards available to students in the Department of Visual Arts, which we have listed below.  For further details on these awards please visit the Student Awards page.

  • Arthur Houston Prize in Life Drawing
  • Marion B. Smith Prize in Fine Arts
  • Harpweaver Prize for Visual Art
  • John Bott Memorial Scholarship
  • Amy Kerr Book Prize
  • Senior Scholarship in Visual Arts
  • Marilyn I. Walker Textile Art Award
  • Sylvia Osterbind Prize in Art History
  • VISA Faculty Award
  • Warren Hartman Bursary
  • VISA Endowed Awards/Scholarships
  • VISA Soiree Scholarship
  • Visual Arts Scholarship