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Students working in the ceramics studio

At the University of Waterloo you do not apply directly to Fine Arts and there is no portfolio required. Instead, you apply to the Faculty of Arts and indicate your interest in pursing a degree in Fine Arts.

Learn more about applying to the University of Waterloo

Learn more about selecting Fine Arts


To begin, students enroll in FINE 100 (Studio Fundamentals) as well as FINE/VCULT 101 (Art History and Visual Culture)In the second term of study (the Winter term of year 1) students usually take two 200-level studio courses of their choosing and FINE 112 (Modern Art, 1874-1945).

Studio materials for FINE 100 are included in the course kit and can be purchased in the department the first week of classes. At the end of this course there is a portfolio review for students wishing to continue in Fine Arts.  (Please note: students in studio courses should expect a communal fee for shared supplies.)

Admission to the Fine Arts Studio program is based on successfully completing:

  • FINE 100,
  • the portfolio review,
  • at least one 200-level studio course
  • FINE 112 (Modern Art, 1874-1945).

Visual Culture

Students interested in the Visual Culture program should take VCULT 100/FINE 102 (World Cinema and Visual Culture) and FINE/VCULT 101 (Art History and Visual Culture) plus one other required course from the Visual Culture plans. Students may declare a Visual Culture major or minor after successfully completing these requirements.

Transfer credits

If you are interested in transferring from another institution, please review the Undergraduate Advising page for transfer students for the current policies. 

The University of Waterloo will accept transfer credits:

  • up to ten units of transfer credits (typically two years' worth of full-time study) toward a 4-year degree at the University of Waterloo
  • up to 7.5 units of transfer credits (typically 1.5 years’ worth of full-time study) toward a 3-year degree at the University of Waterloo
  • presentation of a portfolio for review is required as part of the evaluation the transfer credits.

If you wish to receive a University of Waterloo (UW) degree at least half of the courses must be taken at UW. The transfer of courses depends on the courses, your marks in them and what type of diploma you may have received. 

For advanced placement in Fine Arts Studio, a portfolio must be submitted for review.  Contact the Fine Art Undergraduate Studies Coordinator Brett Roberts for more information.

Mature students

To enroll at the University of Waterloo as a Mature Student, please read the guidelines at Mature Student Advising.

For advanced placement in Fine Arts Studio, a portfolio must be submitted for review.