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.

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: BR) and declare their HAVC major while completing a general Year 1. The Faculty of Humanities Advisor 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


Your portfolio submission must contain two elements:

1. A letter of intent (~300 words).
2. A digital portfolio of 8-10 of your creative works.

Portfolios are a required part of the admissions process for students applying to Visual Arts – Studio Art, Concurrent Education – Intermediate/Senior (Visual Arts -Studio Art major). We must receive your complete portfolio submission by Feb. 1, 2024 to consider your application for studies beginning in September 2024.

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

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.

Elizabeth Maddeaux
Office: MC A311 and MWS 311A
Phone: 905 688 5550 x5279

Preparing and Submitting Your Portfolio

LETTER OF INTENT (Max 300 Words):

We would like to find out more about you. Tell us what motivates and inspires your creative work. Describe your reasons for wanting to study visual arts and let us know what art practices interest you. You may also choose to share what you have studied in the past or where you hope your studies in visual art might take you. Please consider how your answers will build our understanding of your digital portfolio. In addition to your letter of intent, a short artist statement is welcome, but not mandatory.

Your digital portfolio will consist of 8 – 10 examples of your creative work and an image list. Select your strongest work – work that you feel best represents you and your interests. Your submissions may include a range of media and approaches. Up to 2 images can be sketchbook images, progress shots, or detail images. Please DO NOT send original artworks to us.

  • Images: Images must be submitted as jpg files. Images should be approximately 1024 pixels on the longest side at 72dpi. Files must not be larger than 2 MB. Please ensure images are well documented (e.g., in focus, cropped, and an accurate representation of the original work).
  • Time-based/ Digital Media: Time-based media should be edited to 1 minute samples and submitted as a AVI, MOV (QuickTime Video), MPEG, MP4, WMV (Windows Media Video), MP3 or WAV. (For VR objects, programs, game environments, digital models, or other digital files, please provide a video sample or still images. You may also provide a working web link, if relevant, on your image list.)
  • Image List: Your image list should be a full list of the creative works that you are including in your portfolio and it should be numbered to match the numbering of your jpg/media files (e.g., 01- 10). For each item, please list: file number, title, medium, size, date completed, duration (as applicable), etc.


Email your application to:

Subject line:  Studio Art Application

In your email, please include your full name, Brock Student ID number, and your date of birth. Then attach your letter of intent, your 8-10 digital portfolio files, and your image list.

Send files only as attachments.  Do not paste files into the body of the email and do not share as Google Drive or other cloud links.

Important! Before you submit your letter of intent and digital portfolio, make sure that you have applied for admission and you have received a conditional offer. You can visit for more information on how to apply. Once you have received your conditional offer, you will be assigned a student ID number, please include this number in your portfolio submission e-mail.

We are looking forward to receiving your application.

Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions about the portfolio process. Questions can be sent to

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

Please submit all text documents (Letter of Intent, Artist Statement, and Image List) as a PDF Document. When titling documents please use this format: Lastname_Firstname_Letter.pdf  (e.g., Smith_Sam_Letter.pdf, Smith_Sam_Statement.pdf, Smith_Sam_List.pdf)

Digital Portfolio files should be submitted with the same formatting as mentioned previously, with the addition of the numbered ordering for each piece. (e.g., Smith_Sam_01.jpg, Smith_Sam_02.mp4, Smith_Sam_03.WAV, etc.)

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.

Elizabeth Maddeaux
Office: MC A311 and MWS 311A
Phone: 905 688 5550 x5279


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.
  3. You are invited to contact us as soon as possible. Please contact Amy Friend, Chair of the Department of Visual Arts.
    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:


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:

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