Master of Fine Arts

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

Immerse in a dynamic, studio-based environment alongside accomplished artists and scholars guiding your focus in Creative Writing, Visual Arts or Interdisciplinary Studies


Program Components Expected Duration
MFA Coursework, creative practice, thesis 18 to 24 months

Master of Fine Arts (MFA) program at UBC’s Okanagan campus in Kelowna, BC provides students with opportunities to develop sophisticated production skills within a variety of media.

Students thrive in a creative environment led by experienced faculty from a variety of disciplines. Here, students gain exposure to advance concepts in contemporary art while working in a mutually supportive and critical studio-and-production environment.

The MFA program includes state-of-the-art production with 21st-century digital, printmaking, sculpture and photography studio facilities. While in residence, each student has a studio space to work in an artistic environment to explore, share and develop their own artistic community in relationship to a dynamic cohort of fellow MFA students.

Students are encouraged to engage in and investigate creative practice-based research that combines an interdisciplinary approach bridging academic research and fine-arts disciplines. We also support notions of artwork that is collaborative and community-based in nature.

There are three areas of specialization to choose from:

  • Visual Arts
  • Creative Writing
  • Interdisciplinary Studies

All three areas share an MFA Colloquium course that helps to develop bonds between differing areas while promoting innovative and interdisciplinary artistic opportunities.

Creative Writing and Visual Arts specializations have focused disciplinary production courses to develop advanced skills in their areas.

The Interdisciplinary Studies specialization allows students interested in Visual Arts, Creative Writing, Performance or Curation to explore these methods of production while engaging in a secondary, complimentary academic area of study.

The MFA program also allows for students to explore non-traditional community or collaborative creative practices.

All MFA students are required to complete 30 credits as follows: 6 credits of methodology (CCS 506 and CCS 507 MFA Graduate Colloquium I and II); 9 credits of additional coursework, 6 of which must be in the student’s area of creative practice specialization; and the MFA Thesis (15 credits) which requires students to produce a significant body of original artistic work.

View the MFA Program Handbook for a guide to program progression and requirements.

Specialization Details

The specialization in Visual Arts requires an exhibition of a body of work completed during residency in the program, a written thesis, and an oral defence of both the exhibition and written thesis. Students are required to exhibit their thesis work as part of a cohort ‘MFA Thesis Exhibition’ scheduled sometime during May-July in the second year. Exact dates and exhibition venue to be determined on a yearly basis.

Students specializing in Visual Arts must complete the following 30 credits:

  • CCS 506 (3) M.F.A. Graduate Colloquium I;
  • CCS 507 (3) M.F.A. Graduate Colloquium II (including a presentation in this course);
  • VISA 582 (3) Graduate Studio in Visual Arts I;
  • VISA 583 (3) Graduate Studio in Visual Arts II;
  • one additional 3-credit course; and
  • CCS 599 (15) Masters Thesis

The specialization in Creative Writing requires a full-length work of publishable quality (book-length poetry, fiction, or non-fiction manuscript, full-length stage play, libretto or screenplay) with a 2,500 to 5,000 word introductory support paper, and an oral defense.

Students specializing in Creative Writing must complete the following 30 credits:

  • CCS 506 (3) M.F.A. Graduate Colloquium I;
  • CCS 507 (3) M.F.A. Graduate Colloquium II (including a presentation in this course);
  • 6 credits of CRWR 581 Graduate Workshop in Creative Writing- Lyric (taken twice for a total of 6 credits); OR
  • 6 credits of CRWR 582 Graduate Workshop in Creative Writing-Narrative (taken twice for a total of 6 credits);
  • one additional 3-credit course; and
  • CCS 599 (15) Masters Thesis

The specialization in Interdisciplinary Studies is comprised of the production of a body of work and a written research paper in a secondary area of study (or occasionally a creative work in a different field from the primary area)—generally a substantial, scholarly work between 8,000 to 10,000 words in length in the student’s secondary, complimentary discipline. The written research paper and the creative and/or curatorial body of work should have substantial linkages in theoretical or topical context. An oral defense of both the artistic and/or curatorial body of work and the written support paper is required.

Alternate thesis structure and content, such as the completion of two creative works, may be considered if planned ahead, especially in cases where a student’s work is interdisciplinary in nature.

Thesis descriptions of the primary creative disciplines for students in the specialization of Interdisciplinary Studies:

  • Primary Discipline in Creative Writing
    Requires a full-length work of publishable quality (book-length poetry, fiction or non-fiction manuscript, full-length stage play, or screenplay).
  • Primary Discipline in Visual Arts
    Requires an exhibition of a body of work completed during residency in the program. The work presented must be documented.
  • Primary Discipline in Performance
    Requires a publicized event equivalent in scope and profile to a full-length evening performance, with documentation of the creation and development of the work. The performance must be shown in public a minimum of three times over a period of two weeks.
  • Primary Discipline in Curation
    Requires a curated show demonstrating the student’s abilities to plan, research, develop, administer, implement and document a professional curatorial project.

Students specializing in Interdisciplinary Studies must complete the following 30 credits:

  • CCS 506 (3) M.F.A. Graduate Colloquium I;
  • CCS 507 (3) M.F.A. Graduate Colloquium II (including a presentation in this course);
  • 6 credits of creative practice or curation courses in the student’s primary discipline. This might include CRWR 581, CRWR 582; VISA 582, VISA 583; CCS 510, CCS 511, CCS 512; or graduate THTR classes.
  • one additional 3-credit course in a field relevant to the secondary complimentary discipline (which may be a creative discipline or a discipline from an academic area other than Creative Writing, Visual Arts, or Theatre); and
  • CCS 599 (15) Masters Thesis

MFA Studio Spaces

MFA studios, are housed in the new UBC Innovation Precinct 1. The space includes studio space, communal desk space, conference rooms, lounge, kitchenette and showers. Each MFA VISA and IS student shares a 25mspace with another student, MFA CRWR students have shared desk space in the communal area shared with the School of Engineering graduate students.

  • MFA student Natasha Harvey in her studio, 2022

  • MFA student Natasha Harvey’s studio space, 2022

  • MFA student Nasim Pirhadi’s studio space, 2022

  • MFA creative writing student shared desk space.


Our research focus in the Masters of Fine Arts program include:

  • Applied Theatre
  • Community-based art
  • Curation
  • Devised Theatre
  • Digital Art and Design
  • Drawing
  • Eco-art
  • Eco-poetry
  • Fiction
  • Indigenous Media Arts
  • Installation Art
  • Interventionist Performance
  • Media Arts
  • Painting
  • Photography
  • Poetry
  • Printmaking
  • Sculpture
  • Stage Play and Screen writing
  • Technology-based art

The success of UBC Okanagan’s MFA program depends on exceptional students.

Applicants should indicate their preference for a supervisor in the statement of intent or in the application. Supervisors will be assigned once applicants are admitted. We look forward to hearing about your research interests and career goals.

Kevin Chong | Creative Writing |
Research interests: Creative writing, fiction, creative nonfiction, literary journalism, dramatic writing.
Briar Craig | Visual Art |
Research interests: visual art, printmaking, drawing, contemporary printmaking theory and practice, popular culture, interactive installation, innovation sustainability and safe practices in printmaking, curatorial practices.
Aleksandra Dulic | Visual Art |
Research interests: visual art, new media, video, drawing 2D; media for social change; climate change; interactive art; experience design.
Renay Egami | Visual Art |
Research interests: visual art, sculpture, installation.
Anne Fleming | Creative Writing |
Research interests: creative writing, fiction, poetry, children’s books, stage play and screen writing.
Denise Kenney | Performance |
Research interests: performance, interdisciplinary performance; applied theatre; interventionist performance; eco art; experimental & Documentary Digital Media.
Virginie Magnat  | Performance |
Research interests: performance studies, cultural anthropology, experimental ethnography, Indigenous epistemologies and methodologies, ritual performance, embodied research, physically-based performance training, body-voice integration, traditional singing, world performance traditions, experimental and intercultural theatre, devising.
Matt Rader | Creative Writing | 
Research interests: creative writing, poetry, short story, non-fiction, writing and community learning.
Samuel Roy-Bois | Visual Art |
Research interests: visual art, sculpture, installation, environment and architecture; immersive installations; fiction, narrative and sound.
Shawn Serfas | Visual Art |
Research interests: Contemporary Painting, Drawing and Printmaking practices; Environmental Sciences; Landscape pictorial conventions and issues bordering Relational Abstraction and Representation; Collaboration and interdisciplinary research methods; Religion; Chaos theory and anti-aesthetic theory.
Megan Smith | Media Studies |
Research interests: New media art, virtual reality, physical computing, critical design, geo location, visual art, interactive art.
Michael V Smith | Creative Writing |
Research interests: creative writing, concrete poetry, experimental film, Canadian literature, fiction and drama, poetry, screenwriting.
Margo Tamez | Indigenous Studies |
Research interests: Ndé consciousness of time, place, and homeland; Indigenous women’s consciousness of land-based relations in Kónitsąąíí gokíyaa (Lipan Apache country); Indigenous consciousness along the Río Grande River; Indigenous Peoples & Human Rights; Borders; Militarization; Memory; Indigenous decolonial concepts; Self-Determination; Transitional Justice; the Poetics of Indigenous Movements.
Miles Thorogood | 250.807.9266 |
Research interests: visual art, digital media; interactive sound art; technology-based art; creative coding.
Annie Wan | 250.807.9266 |
Research interests: Innovating Artistic and Socially Motivated Design through Creative Media by means of Gamification in Digital Heritage Preservation, Museums Archives and Digital Conservation; Employing Creative Media for the Socially Disadvantaged by means of Adopting Extended Realities and Intelligence Technologies for well- being.
Tania Willard | 250.807.8584 |
Research interests: visual art, Indigenous contemporary art; Indigenous language; contemporary art; relational aesthetics; socially engaged practice; curatorial.


Meet Our Students

FCCS students are significant contributors of artistic and cultural events on campus and off in Kelowna, the Okanagan Valley and beyond.

MFA students have participated in many exhibitions, readings and performances on and off campus. View fine arts student work on our art blog.

Explore the following UBCO student-led groups that promote interest and community within their respective disciplines: Visual Arts Course UnionCreative Writing Course UnionTheatre Course Union.

View the MFA Program Handbook for a guide to program progression and requirements.

Theses and Dissertations

Search all UBC Okanagan MFA student publications at cIRcle, the university’s digital repository for research and teaching materials.

Some of our students have provided profiles for you to discover more about them and their research.

Michaela Bridgemohan

M.F.A. Visual Arts

Michaela BridgemohanMichaela Bridgemohan is a multidisciplinary artist of Jamaican and Australian descent who grew up in Mohkinstsis, also known as Calgary, located on the traditional territories of Treaty 7 Land. After receiving her BFA (with Distinction) from the Alberta University of the Arts in 2017, Bridgemohan continued her artistic research confronting criticism and concepts of Black biracial subjectivity. Her work engages personal mythology as a way to access cultural memory and examines Caribbean folklore, horror, and the Transatlantic slave trade, to navigate racial ambiguity. By using her body as a duppy, a malevolent entity, she attempts to mimic occupying two worlds at once. These shape-shifters inhabit a liminal, in-between space that pronounces bodily shedding, transformation, and subjugation as to confront ideas of shame, identity, racism, cultural erasure, and trauma. By blending photography, sculpture, and drawing, she seeks to contextualize the Black biracial woman’s experience.

Miriam Cummings

M.F.A Interdisciplinary Studies

Miriam Cummings is an interdisciplinary artist whose poetry, playwriting, and performance articulates emotional nuance. Based in Tiohtià:ke (Montréal) for 14 years, Miriam co-founded Hopegrown Productions. With Hopegrown, she has developed, produced, and toured 4 new plays within Canada and internationally, including her award-winning solo show: The One. Miriam has taught acting and devising to hundreds of adults independently and as an Instructor with Concordia’s Theatre Department. Her curiosity about psychological safety within creative processes led Miriam to facilitate the Actor Safety Research Lab: a two-year project which applied trauma-informed practices to actor training. In partnership with Drama Therapist Anne Eitzen, Miriam guided 6 multidisciplinary artists through a devising process that drew on Moment Work (Tectonic Theater Project, NYC), Laban Movement Analysis, and Linklater Voice. Miriam and Anne demonstrated their approach at the 2022 ATHE Conference in Detroit, MI.

Xiao Xuan / Sherry Huang

M.F.A Creative Writing

Xiao Xuan / Sherry HuangXiao Xuan / Sherry Huang is a poet. In her work, she considers love, (peri-) performativity, and intimate traces. She believes poetry is both a technology for tenderness as well as a critically rigorous discipline, something with world-making potential. Her first full-length publication, Love Speech, (Metatron Press 2019,) is an intersection between poetry and epistolary auto-theory.

Her roots are connected to the city of Shanghai, where she was born, as well as to various artist-run venues around a small-town in Ontario, where she grew up as an immigrant-settler. The contours of these places extend into her poetic practice, informing the way she treats poetry simultaneously as a tangible art object and as a happening with a time and place. As such, she values independent, ephemeral, and experimental ways of producing creative culture (tapes, zines, broadsides, shows,) alongside traditional practices of printing and publishing.

Caolan Leander

M.F.A Creative Writing

Caolan LeanderCaolan Leander is a writer and graduate student exploring the interstices of material culture and hauntological ethics. He holds a BA in Creative Writing with a double minor in Art History and Film Studies from Concordia University. Merging his background in storytelling and interdisciplinary analysis with a zeal for the environmental humanities, Leander’s current research focuses on the posthuman entanglements of technology, ecological futures, and deep time. His creative project will examine processes of ruination and re/worlding in the temporal landscapes of rural Quebec.

Tom Leveen

M.F.A Creative Writing

Tom is a novelist and graphic novel writer, as well as a former early literacy specialist, with more than ten years of experience in public library work and 22 years of experience as an actor and director in live theatre. He is originally from the state of Arizona, where he spent 16 years as an artistic director of an independent theatre company and a mixed-use arts venue.

Justin Madu

M.F.A Creative Writing

Justin MaduJustin graduated with an English BA from UNBC in his hometown of Prince George back in 2020. He spent a year as a radio and web journalist before deciding to pursue an MFA. He has also worked as a part time stand-up comedian, which has heavily influenced his writing style.

Claire Miller-Harder

M.F.A Creative Writing

Claire Miller-HarderClaire Miller-Harder is a writer and MFA student from Abbotsford, BC. In 2021, she graduated with a BA in Creative Writing from Kwantlen Polytechnic University. Her current research interests include folklore, Mennonite literature, and gothic fiction. You can find her work in Room magazine and filling Station. Most recently, her poem “Dishwashing” was listed as a notable poem in Best Canadian Poetry 2020.

Eviah Shimshon Obadia

M.F.A Interdisciplinary Studies

Shimshon ObadiaEviah Shimshon Obadia is an interdisciplinary artist and activist who’s work uses the practice of self-advocacy soft activism to engage the communities their intersectional identity as a queer identified trans-non-binary, autistic neurodiverse, mixed person of colour ties them to and defines them by. Their research explores how this practice can be used to envision a more optimistic future for those who have been systemically disadvantaged and historically prevented from accessing popular creative modes of seeing themselves in such futures. Specifically, they interrogate this question through the disciplines of Creative Writing and Digital Media Art, within the framework of the field of Creative Activism. They do this with a focus on narrative storytelling and audio media in a community-based application. Obadia approaches this from the perspective of intersectional minority identity points of view such as their own. Thus their research operates as a social justice act of racial imagination.

Nasim Pirhadi

M.F.A Visual Arts

Nasim PirhadiNasim Pirhadi is a graduate of painting from the Faculty of Fine Arts at the University of Tehran (BA, 2013) and Azad University (MA 2017). She makes works that are mainly a compilation of spatial installations, video art, sound, and drawing. She is interested in creating interactive experiences to facilitate narratives in her works. Her research-oriented practice engages with feminist approaches on female identity and subjectivity and gender performativity. Another theme in her works is the instability in society. She has presented at festivals and artist residencies across Iran and internationally including Germany, Austria, Greece, the USA, England and Sri Lanka. Nasim won the selected award of the third contemporary drawing Festival in Iran in 2011 and has been shortlisted as eight finalists of the Behnam Bakhtiar Award in Monaco, in 2017.

Larissa Piva

M.F.A Creative Writing

Larissa PivaLarissa is an avid traveller, sports enthusiast, woodworker, amateur photographer, and food fanatic. Originally from the Okanagan, she is excited to return for a new adventure.
Larissa completed her undergrad at the University of Vicotria in 2018, obtaining a double major in Writing and Sociology with a minor in Italian Studies. Afterward, she began training for a career in the Human Services sector and took a hiatus from writing. While that career path was rewarding in many ways, Larissa found herself fulfilled most when she returned to writing. During her graduate program at UBCO, Larissa will focus her research on stories written from multiple perspectives. She finds tales shown in multiple lenses fascinating and believes literary fiction could utilize this more often. Larissa also aspires to explore blending literary and genre fiction an interesting topic to delve into while completing her Master’s program.

Natalie Rice

M.F.A Creative Writing

Natalie RiceNatalie Rice is a poet. She is interested in creating a poetics that generates a non-linguistic knowing of the natural world and does this challengingly and paradoxically through the use of language. Her current work operates within the narrative of ecological crisis, specific to the Okanagan valley. Natalie holds a BA in Creative Writing from The University of British Columbia, Okanagan. She has been published by Gaspereau Press: Devil’s Whim Chapbook Series (26 Visions of Light, 2020), The Trumpeter: Journal of Ecosophy, Event Magazine, The Dalhousie Review, The Malahat Review, Contemporary Verse Two, and Lake: Journal of Arts and Environment.

Andrea Routley

M.F.A Creative Writing

Andrea RoutleyAndrea Routley is the author of two books of fiction, Midden (forthcoming, 2022) and Jane and the Whales (Caitlin Press, 2013), which was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award for Debut Fiction. Her fiction and non-fiction has appeared in magazines such as The Fiddlehead Review, Room, and Geist, and in 2020 she was shortlisted for the Malahat Review Novella Prize. Her research-creation thesis, a novel titled Field Guide to Bats and Other Damage, seeks to discover how queerness and disability might be envisioned as central to ecological narratives of survival, and the implications of such a revision in our understanding of–and relationship to–nature. Andrea was born and raised on BC’s south coast, primarily in Kwantlen territory, in Fort Langley.

Andisha Sabri

M.F.A Creative Writing

Andisha SabriAndisha Sabri is an Australian writer who has also lived in Israel, England, and the Czech Republic. She now lives in Canada where she is working on a historical novel set around the turn-of-the-century in England. Her current work borrows from both the social satire and gothic themes of her nineteenth-century literary influences, and explores how a child is socialized to conform to the expectations of her social class and gender as well as how a more critical view of imperialism impacts how we interpret the past. Andisha also has an MA in English and a BA in English and Ancient History. She has always been interested in exploring how our past, present, and future are interpreted in fiction and her research is often preoccupied with liminal spaces between genres, between eras, and between the real and the unreal. In addition to prose fiction she also writes poetry on both similar themes and more personal subject matter.

Roland Samuel Ugo

M.F.A Visual Arts

Roland Samuel Ugo graduated from Olabisi Onabanjo University in 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in fine and applied arts, specializing in sculpture. While in school, he won the 2018/2019 best class representative award for academic excellence, leadership, and discipline.  Roland has executed several sculptures and murals across various states in Nigeria, including working with a team to create the traditional stage setting for the popular Nollywood movie King of thieves (ògúndábède) by Femi Adebayo, working directly with Adeleke Adewale.  “As a sculptor, I love writing and creating sculptural pieces that talk about traditional African settings because it gives me a glimpse of history unfolding. Interpreting the African traditional lifestyle is a niche I have carved for myself because it reminds me of the strength and will of the African people, often connects me to our way of life, and creates a flow into their peaceful and creative lifestyle.”

Jessie Emilie Schmode

M.F.A Visual Arts

Jessie Emilie Schmode graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Alberta University of the Arts in 2022 and is pursuing a Master of Fine Arts degree at the University of British Columbia Okanagan campus. Her creative research confronts personal experience with mental health, body image issues, and religious sexual shame. She captures intimate moments of honest vulnerability by revealing subjects in exposed physical and mental states, often deep in thought or relaxation alone or in relation to other bodies. Using oil paint as the main medium, Jessie emphasizes the artistic and social historical significance of the male gaze and reclining nude through the creation of her own bared, sexualized gaze. Depicting raw, unabashed poses of subjects in relatable settings she creates connection, while often obscuring the scene by placing objects in positions meant to provoke questions of the viewer.

Umar Turaki

M.F.A Creative Writing

Umar TurakiUmar Turaki is a writer and filmmaker from Jos, Nigeria who now calls Kelowna home. His thesis, a novel, aims to explore masculinity (toxic and otherwise), familial and sibling relationships (a recurring theme in his work), the interaction between identity and disability, climate change, and how these intersect against the backdrop of history and historicity. His first novel is SUCH A BEAUTIFUL THING TO BEHOLD (Little A, 2022). His work can be found on his website,

Mandy Wallace

M.F.A Creative Writing

Mandy WallaceMandy Wallace is a poet and fiction writer from California with work in Plath Poetry Project, Writer’s Digest, and Hobart after Dark. She shares writing resources through her website, Write or Die (, which grew to 60k readers in its first three months and was named one of the 100 Best Websites for Writers. It’s also where she taught her signature course, Blog Your Way to a Writing Career, to beginning writers—one of whom became a NYT-bestselling author. Her workbook for new writers, Landing Your First Publication, is a textbook in college creative writing courses and includes writing prompts, worksheets, and submissions strategies. In 2021, she was selected for a competitive poetry mentorship through Association of Writers and Writing Programs and is an MFA candidate at University British Columbia Okanagan. She has an honors BA in English from CSUB and studied German language and literature at Universität Tübingen in Germany.


Admission to UBC graduate programs is competitive. Applicants must meet the following criteria.

Applicants to the MFA programs are expected to have a BFA, with a B+ (76%) in third-year level and above courses or at least 12 credits in third- and fourth-year classes in their intended field of study with an A- (80%) or better average. An applicant’s background must sufficiently prepare them for advanced work in creative practice.

Applicants need to submit a portfolio of creative work (see How to Apply below)


Visit the UBC Okanagan Academic Calendar* for full admission and program requirements information; the calendar is a comprehensive guide to all programs, courses, services and academic policies at the University of British Columbia.

* In case of a discrepancy between this webpage and the UBC Calendar, the UBC Calendar entry will be held to be correct.

Applicants to the MFA programs are expected to have a BFA, with a B+ (76%) in third-year level and above courses or at least 12 credits in third- and fourth-year classes in their intended field of study with an A- (80%) or better average. An applicant’s background must sufficiently prepare them for advanced work in creative practice.

Applicants need to submit a portfolio of creative work, see How to Apply below.

Applicants from a university outside Canada in which English is not the primary language of instruction must present English language proficiency tests. Test scores must have been taken within the last 24 months.

The requirements for the MFA program are specific as outlined below and differ from the minimums outlined on the College of Graduate studies web site.

IELTS average score accepted


  • Minimum overall band score of 7; no individual score less than 6.5

MFA CRWR and IS with concentration in CRWr

  • Minimum overall band score of 7.5; no individual score less than 7

TOEFL average score accepted


  • 97 overall
  • Minimum score of 24 in Reading & Listening; min. score of 23  in Writing & Speaking (internet version).
  • Minimum score of 24 in Reading & Listening; min. score of 23 in Writing (paper version).

MFA CRWR and IS with concentration in CRWR

  • 104 overall
  • Minimum score of 25 in Reading & Listening; min. score of 24  in Writing & Speaking (internet version).
  • Minimum score of 25 in Reading & Listening; min. score of 24 in Writing (paper version).


Visit the UBC Okanagan Academic Calendar* for full admission and program requirements information; the calendar is a comprehensive guide to all programs, courses, services and academic policies at the University of British Columbia. Find out more about how to submit your English language proficiency test scores.

* In case of a discrepancy between this webpage and the UBC Calendar, the UBC Calendar entry will be held to be correct.

Required Grades and Credential Guide

Grades and degree credentials required by UBC vary by country. Search the Required Grades and Credential Guide — a guide to assist international students in estimating their eligibility.

International Advisors

An international student advisor can answer questions about immigration, medical insurance and the transition to UBC’s Okanagan campus in Kelowna, BC. Visit the International Programs and Services website to meet the team.

Tuition & Funding

UBC Okanagan’s tuition and fees compare favourably with universities of the same high calibre.


Program Schedule Domestic (per year) International (per year)
MFA Full-time $5197.59 $9131.31

Tuition amounts presented here are estimates only and all fees are subject to change. For official tuition and fee information, visit the UBC Okanagan Academic Calendar*, a comprehensive guide to all programs, courses, services and academic policies at the university of British Columbia.

Tuition is paid three times a year at the beginning of each term, and on the first day of the term, as per the Academic Calendar: Winter Term 1 (September), Winter Term 2 (January), and Summer Term (May).

* In case of a discrepancy between this webpage and the UBC Calendar, the UBC Calendar entry will be held to be correct. 

Funding Opportunities

The Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies is committed to financially supporting our graduate students to the best of our ability and providing a variety of funding options.

Currently, the Faculty can provide up to two years of support for Masters students through a combination of Graduate Entrance Scholarships (GDES), Teaching Assistantships (TAs), Research Assistantships (RAs) and University Graduate Fellowship (UGFs) funding. The specific source of the funding for an individual student will depend on a number of factors and may include a mixture of TA, RA and UGF support.

Teaching Assistantships

TAs pay approximately $13,000 annually and we prioritize graduate students for these positions—Masters students have two years of priority for placement. The number of available positions is contingent on Faculty budget and overall student numbers. TA positions are posted online.

The Department of Creative Studies delivers a Non-credit credential, the Creative Practice Teaching Assistant Specialization. This training program focusses on skills for effective teaching methods in creative practices disciplines.

Research Assistantships

RAs are employment opportunities for qualified students offered by faculty members with research grants and contracts. As a paid research assistant, graduate students assist their supervisor or other researchers in conducting high-level research, which often contributes to the student’s thesis or dissertation. RAs are not guaranteed because they follow the financial cycles of the supervisor’s external grants and contracts.

FCCS Awards

All applicants are considered for admission awards of up to $5,000 and may be eligible for a Graduate Teaching Assistantship or Research Assistantship that pays approximately $12,000. Additionally, Indigenous applicants may also be eligible for the Indigenous Graduate Fellowship worth $10,000.

UBC Awards

The College of Graduate Studies administers merit-based graduate awards at the Okanagan campus. The College manages a number of award competitions each year and administers payment of all internal awards and selected external awards.

External Awards

  • Students are also expected to apply for funding through the Social Sciences and Humanities Council of Canada (SSHRC, available for domestics students only).
  • Graduate scholarships and awards may also be available from foundations, private companies or foreign governments (check with your country’s education authority).


Submit an application package and portfolio. Creative Studies Faculty will review this and determine if your application has the support of a supervisor and potential supervisory committee. Please contact the MFA Program Coordinator if you need any further information. Admission to the program requires a complete application package and meeting program-specific criteria. Applicants do not need to find a supervisor ahead of time, but rather, applicants should indicate their preference in the statement of intent or in the application. Supervisors will be assigned once applicants are admitted.

Please ensure you are applying for the correct program.  UBC has two campuses, one in Vancouver and one in Kelowna.  This information is solely for applications to the Kelowna campus.  The UBC Vancouver MFA programs require a separate application.

A complete application package will contain:

  • Online application and application fee
  • Official transcripts for all post-secondary institutions attended (even if the degree is not complete or if courses were not taken as part of a degree)
    • unofficial transcripts can be included at time of application to ensure you meet the application deadline, but you must also have your official transcripts sent to UBC)
  • English language test (for non-native speakers of English)
  • CV or resumé
  • Portfolio
  • Artistic Statement and Statement of Intent (500 words): A brief description contextualizing your work in relationship to contemporary art/writing/performance/ curatorial practice, including interdisciplinary innovation. Indicate your goals for the MFA including a proposed project or area of interest and the resources you will require, particularly in relation to space and equipment. Faculty supervision preferences may be included here or listed in the application
  • Two reference letters (applicants may submit the online application form at any time during the call for applications – doing so triggers the invitation to referees – and continue to upload supporting documents until the deadline.)

All areas of specialization are required to prepare a cohesive portfolio package, which must be uploaded along with your application. One PDF document containing images, description of images and/or links to film, online media or performances, and writing samples is preferred. The department may request additional original work for further evaluation purposes. All packages should include the following:

  • CV:  Writer/ Artist/Performer CV or Filmography or list of publications, performances, exhibitions, residencies or other artist-related accomplishments. Please include participation in or collaboration on any interdisciplinary projects. Your CV may include a link to your professional website and links to relevant online material.
  • Artist Statement and Statement of Intent:  A brief description contextualizing your work in relationship to contemporary art/writing/performance practice, including interdisciplinary innovation, and outlining your ideas for your thesis project. For Interdisciplinary Studies only, include a description of your secondary area of interest and its relation to your artistic practice. If applicable, indicate resources you will require particularly in relation to space and equipment. (500-word maximum)
  • Portfolio of Work:  Examples of recent work or of work relevant to your thesis proposal (done in the last five years)

Creative Writing – 30 pages of published or unpublished work in two genres. The work can be photocopies of published material (providing bibliographical information about the publication) or can be in manuscript format (double-spaced). Typescripts and photocopied material should be scanned into a single PDF document.

Visual Arts – between 15 and 20 images of your work.  These should be combined into a single PDF document.  The PDF document should contain one image per page; ensure that your images are sized down. Alternately, you may provide a PDF document that contains a direct link to a site containing the images.  Make sure the artworks are presented with a direct link as the committee will not search a website for the material.  In either case, the PDF that you submit should include an image description page that lists the title, medium, size, and year of production for each piece in your portfolio.  Number each title to correspond with the images and/or videos of your work.  Do not send PowerPoint or other presentations. Short video documentation of work may also be submitted if appropriate as a link to the video site.

Video/Film – links to a selection of recent video work, no more than 30 minutes in total . The links should be listed on a single PDF which should also include a video description page that lists the title, length, and year of production and other relevant information for each piece in your portfolio.  Number each title to correspond with the video listing of your work. Make sure that you provide  a direct link to the videos. The committee will not search a website for the material.

Performance – Students who plan to work in the area of Performance will be able to do so under the MFA with a specialization in Interdisciplinary Studies. In this case their primary discipline would be Performance with a secondary discipline in another area.  Support material should provide documentation of performance work and can be submitted in more than one format. These formats could include: video documentation, 30-minute maximum;  performance texts, 30 pages maximum; photographs or PDFs, 30 maximum; digital sound recordings, MP3 files, 30 minutes maximum.  Videos should be direct links to a website, listed on a PDF.  The committee will not search a website for the material.  The PDF should include a video description that lists the title and year of production for each piece in your portfolio, as well as relevant information pertinent to your role in the production.  Performance texts or images of performances should be presented in a single PDF, labelled with important information for each document.  Digital sound recordings should be accompanied by a PDF with a list of information about each MP3 file. Please combine this portfolio into as few attachments as possible and ensure all are clearly labelled.

Curation- Students who plan to work in the area of curatorial praxis will be able to do so under the MFA with a specialization in Interdisciplinary Studies.  Normally the secondary discipline would be visual art or digital media; however, if another secondary area is selected, the applicant should have an academic or professional background in Fine Arts.  Support material should provide documentation of curatorial work:  between 10-15 images of an exhibition you have curated or an exhibition proposal and between 10 to 15 pages of curatorial writing combined into a single PDF.  The PDF document should contain one image per page; ensure that your images are sized down. Alternately, you may provide a PDF document that contains a direct link to a site containing the images.  Make sure the artworks are presented with a direct link as the committee will not search a website for the material.  The PDF should include a numbered image description page that lists location of exhibition, artists and a paragraph about the context of the show as well as artist’s or artists’ name,  title, medium, size, and year of production for any images of installations  or specific artworks. Do not send PowerPoint or other presentations. Short video documentation or video exhibition tours may be submitted if appropriate as a link to a video site. The curatorial writing samples may be published or unpublished. The work can be photocopies of published material (providing bibliographical information about the publication) or can be in manuscript format (double-spaced).  Do not send links for curatorial writing online; please download and submit as a pdf. Combine the support material into as few attachments as possible and ensure all are clearly labelled.

Applying takes time. We recommend you start your application two months in advance.

For full consideration students should submit all application materials by the following:

Intake Application Deadline
MFA Visual Arts and Creative Writing (Domestic & International)
September January 15
MFA Interdisciplinary Studies
September January 15 (Domestic & International)
May October 1 (International) January 15 (Domestic)



The University of British Columbia is a global centre for research and teaching, consistently ranked among the 40 best universities in the world. In the psychology program at UBC’s Okanagan campus, you gain all the benefits of attending a globally respected university while studying in a close-knit learning community.


UBC’s Okanagan campus borders the dynamic city of Kelowna, a hub of economic development with a population of about 150,000 people—the fourth fastest growing population in Canada. In fact, the Okanagan Valley is rated one of the best communities in Canada to grow your business.

More than 160 buses travel daily from campus to key locations such as Kelowna’s cultural district and thriving downtown waterfront. The campus is two minutes from the Kelowna International Airport, one of the top 10 busiest airports in Canada.

UBC Okanagan is situated within the First Nations territory of the Okanagan Nation, whose spirit of stewardship for the land is reflected in the university’s respect for sustainability.


A diverse natural region with sandy beaches, beautiful farms, vineyards and orchards, and snow-capped mountains, the Okanagan Valley features sweeping stretches of lakeside and endless mountain trails for biking and hiking.

Check out this 360-degree video: Kelowna From Above.*

* Best viewed using desktop Chrome or Firefox (desktop) or YouTube app (mobile).


Full-time UBC Okanagan students can live in residence, which offers modern living with easy access to academic and personal support. Residences are surrounded by hiking and biking trails, plus panoramic views of the campus and valley.


* UBC does not verify or endorse information shared on this third-party website, which is offered here as a public resource only.

Events: See what’s happening with FCCS News & Events, including readings by visiting authors and artist talks, performances, the AlterKnowledge Discussion Series, Film Series, Okanagan Short Story Contest, the popular annual Art on the Line fundraiser, and much more.

Stay Connected: and keep in touch with us, too—by following the FCCS community on Facebook and Twitter. Follow the UBCO Grad community on Twitter and keep up to date with what is happening in the English program.

Stay active: Take advantage of the many opportunities to get involved and play—from workout space in the new Hangar Fitness and Wellness Centre and our 1,561 square-metre gymnasium, to athletic courts, intramurals, fitness classes and nationally ranked varsity athletics. Have a ball in Sports and Recreation.

Relax: The Graduate Collegium is a gathering place where grad students can hang out, eat lunch, spend time with their fellow students, and attend or host special events. The lounge-style room is open seven days and week and is outfitted with comfortable furniture, kitchen facilities, and individual and group-work spaces.

Community: The Aboriginal Centre  is a home away from home for all Aboriginal students by providing a sense of belonging and community, a place to catch up, wind down, make lunch, share opportunities and celebrate success.

College of Graduate Studies: Your hub for administrative support and such things as graduate workshops for professional development and for assisting you from the admissions process through to your graduation

Centre for Scholarly Communication (CSC): Supports graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, staff and faculty in disseminating their research. The CSC provides one-on-one consultations and workshops, including writing support for theses, dissertations, journal articles and grant proposals.

Centre for Teaching and Learning: Provides support related to teaching, TA training and use of technology in educational programming.

Learn more about graduate student resources and support in FCCS.

Career Services

Map out your future and prepare to hit the ground running with resources and services provided by the Advising & Involvement Centre.

Tell your story with resumé and cover-letter strategies, and search Work Study jobs for experience relevant to your degree and career goals. You can also book an appointment to meet one-on-one with our career advisor.

alumni UBC

alumni UBC is a member-driven association that offers a variety of lifetime programming and communications to enrich the lives of UBC graduates.

The ‘Your Next Step’ program offers webinars, speaker series and professional development sessions. It is designed to provide advice, tips and resources in areas of career development to graduates for life after university.

Realize the promise of a global community with shared ambition for a better world and an exceptional UBC.