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MFA

FINE ARTS

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

Graduate Degree

Program Components Duration
MFA Coursework, creative practice, thesis 18 - 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 share a 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 Performance or Media Arts to explore other methods of production while engaging in more traditionally academic areas of study, such as Indigenous, Women’s or Gender Studies.

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

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 defense of both exhibition and written thesis.

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 in their second year);
  • 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 in their second year);
  • CRWR 580 (3/6) d Graduate Workshop in Creative Writing (taken twice for 3 credits 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 discipline. The written research paper and the creative work should have substantial linkages in theoretical or topical context. An oral defense of both the artistic 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.

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 in their second year);
  • 6 credits of creative practice courses in the student’s primary creative discipline (this might include CRWR 580 , VISA 582, 583, or graduate THTR classes);
  • one additional 3-credit course in a field relevant to the secondary 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

Research & Supervisors

Our research focus areas include:

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

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

Please touch base with a faculty supervisor before you start the application process. We look forward to hearing about your research interests and career goals.

 
Neil Cadger | 250.807.9349 | neil.cadger@ubc.ca
Research interests: performance, interventionist performance; site-specific performance; live art and new media; eco-activism.
Myron Campbell | 250.807.8011 | myron.campbell@ubc.ca
Research interests: visual art, media arts, interactive installation; screen-based interactive animation; traditional & digital media arts; digital design.
Briar Craig | 250.807.9765 | briar.craig@ubc.ca
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 | 250.807.9711 | aleksandra.dulic@ubc.ca
Research interests: visual art, new media, video, drawing 2D; media for social change; climate change; interactive art; experience design.
Renay Egami | 250.807.9764 | renay.egami@ubc.ca
Research interests: visual art, sculpture, installation.
Anne Fleming | 250.807.9368 | anne.fleming@ubc.ca
Research interests: creative writing, fiction, poetry, children's books, stage play and screen writing.
Stephen Foster | 250.807.9767 | stephen.foster@ubc.ca
Research interests: visual art, video arts, new media, Indigenous media art; video art; representational politics; digital photography; interactive documentary.
Fern Helfand | 250.807.9766 | fern.helfand@ubc.ca
Research interests: visual art; photography; digital imaging; the transforming landscape; fabricated environments; tourism; taxidermy.
Nancy Holmes | 250.807.9369 | nancy.holmes@ubc.ca
Research interests: creative writing, fiction, Canadian literature, eco-poetry, community based-art.
Denise Kenney | 250.807.9635 | denise.kenney@ubc.ca
Research interests: performance, interdisciplinary performance; applied theatre; interventionist performance; eco art; experimental & Documentary Digital Media.
Virginie Magnat  | 250.807.8441 | virginie.magnat@ubc.ca
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 | 250.807.8092 | matthew.rader@ubc.ca
Research interests: creative writing, poetry, short story, non-fiction, writing and community learning.
Samuel Roy-Bois | 250.807.8786 | samuel.roy-bois@ubc.ca
Research interests: visual art, sculpture, installation, environment and architecture; immersive installations; fiction, narrative and sound.
Michael V Smith | 250.807.9706 | michael.v.smith@ubc.ca
Research interests: creative writing, concrete poetry, experimental film, Canadian literature, fiction and drama, poetry, screenwriting.
Miles Thorogood | 250.807.9266 | miles.thorogood@ubc.ca
Research interests: visual art, digital media; interactive sound art; technology-based art; creative coding.
Asst. Prof. Samuel Roy-Bois
All art possibilities and interpretations
Assoc. Prof. Anne Fleming
Helping students to find their writer’s voice

Students & Theses

Meet our Students

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

Fine Arts 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 Union; Creative Writing Course Union; Theatre Course Union

Theses

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

Dania Tomlinson, Novelist & Adjunct Instructor
UBC Alumna (MFA 2015)

Admission Requirements

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)

MORE INFORMATION

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 College of Graduate studies defines the acceptable .

MORE INFORMATION

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.

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

Tuition

Program Schedule Domestic (per year) International (per year)
MFA Full-time $4,987.45 $8,604.67

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. 

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 $11,500 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.

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.

Scholarships and Awards

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, including:

  • Graduate Entrance Scholarships (GDES): Applicants to the program are eligible for entrance scholarships if they meet the minimum program requirements (80% or better). 
  • University Graduate Fellowships (UGF): UGFs are a merit based scholarship that is awarded to current graduate students engaged in full-time, thesis based research with a GPA of 80% or better.  Awards start at $3,000, with a maximum of $24,000 total per student. 

External Awards: 

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

How to Apply

Find a Supervisor

Please contact our faculty before starting your application. Admission to the program requires the support of a faculty supervisor as well as meeting program-specific criteria for admission requirements.

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
  • Letter of intent
  • Three reference letters
  • Portfolio

All areas of specialization are required to prepare a cohesive portfolio package, which may be submitted along with your application or mailed directly to the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies. One PDF document containing images, description of images and/or links to film, online media or performances is preferred. 

All portfolios should include the following:

  • Artist/Performer CV or Filmography or list of publications or other writing related accomplishments. Please include participation in or collaboration on any interdisciplinary projects. 
  • Artist Statement: A brief generalized description contextualizing your work in relationship to contemporary art/writing/performance practice, including interdisciplinary innovation (500-word maximum). For Interdisciplinary Studies only, include a description of your secondary area of interest and its relation to your artistic practice.
  • Examples of recent work or of work relevant to your thesis proposal (done in the last five years)
  • 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, one side of the page)

    15-20 images submitted as a ZIP folder, as one PDF document, or by a direct link to a site containing the images. If you are linking to a website or otherwise posted materials, include a one-page PDF document which clearly describes the work with the title and specifics, and include the links. Make sure it is a direct link to the images. The committee will not search a website for the material.

    You must also include an accompanying image description document (maybe in the PDF). Do not send PowerPoint or other presentations. The PDF document should contain one image per page, listing the title, date and medium, please ensure that your images are sized down. Short Video documentation of work may also be submitted if appropriate as a link to the video site.

    A selection of recent video work on USB stick submitted with your application, or provide links to online material in your application. If you are linking to a website, or other posted materials. include a one-page PDF document which clearly describes the work with title and specifics, and include the links. Make sure that it is a direct link to the video. The committee will not search a website for the material. The department may request additional original work for further evaluation purposes.

    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: Support material will be accepted of video documentation of performance work on DVD, 30-minute maximum or a specific link to website. If you are linking to a site or other posted materials include a one-page PDF document which clearly describes the work with title and specifics, and includes the links. Make sure that it is a direct link to the video. The committee will not search a website for the material.

    Performance texts: maximum 30 pages; 15-20 images of performances; digital sound recordings. Applicants may choose to provide support material in more than one format if appropriate.

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, which qualifies you for Graduate Entrance Scholarships:

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

UBC's Okanagan Campus

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 MFA graduate 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 Okanagan

UBC's Okanagan campus borders the dynamic city of Kelowna, a hub of economic development with a population of about 150,000 people—one of the fastest-growing populations 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 Chrome or Firefox (desktop), YouTube app (mobile)

Full-time UBC Okanagan graduate 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.

The Student Residence website includes helpful information about Important Dates for living on campus, plus options and resources for Living Off Campus.

Kelowna Off Campus Student Housing is a public Facebook group that shares notes about housing options, finding roommates, and vacancies in Kelowna and the Okanagan Valley.*

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

Stay up to date—and keep in touch with us, too—by following the FCCS community on Facebook and Twitter.

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

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.

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.

The College of Graduate Studies is 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.

The Library's 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.

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

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.

Inquire

Samuel Roy-Bois
MFA Graduate Program Coordinator
250.807.8786
samuel.roy-bois@ubc.ca

Lacia Vogel
Graduate Program Assistant
lacia.vogel@ubc.ca

Last reviewed shim11/20/2018 6:10:43 PM