Hands of a student in the Fine Arts degree program at the University of Waterloo are covered in paint

Explore the power of visual communication

Got a bent for critique? Choose a major in Visual Culture, where you’ll focus on analysis and theory as you delve into the history, culture, and impact of visual arts. It’s excellent preparation for a career as an art historian, educator, librarian, or gallery/museum administrator. You can even gain practical experience with a 36-hour internship at a local arts institution, or by choosing co-op with your degree.

Alternatively, immerse yourself in hands-on creation with our Studio Practice major. We offer classes in drawing, painting, sculpture, printmaking, photography, media arts, and digital imaging. You can also choose one of two specializations, including one that will prepare you for a career in education.

In Fine Arts, you’ll hone your mastery of technique, develop a cohesive body of work, and learn the skills you’ll need as a professional artist.

Whichever path you choose, you’ll enjoy an intimate community and supportive professors.

Program highlights

  • Pick from 80+ courses. With more than 80 courses available, you can explore the visual arts and tailor your degree to your interests and passions.
  • Trips to NYC and Montréal. Broaden your horizons with talks from visiting artists, on-campus art shows, and multi-day trips to New York City and Montréal.

 What will you learn?

First-year courses

During your first year, you'll take four introductory Fine Arts courses. Plus, you'll have electives to explore an additional major of your choosing.

In upper years, 40% of the classes you'll take will be courses in your major.

Learn more about courses you'll take for your Fine Arts degree.

Customize your degree

Choose Studio Practice or Visual Culture as the area of focus for your Fine Arts major or add additional areas of interest and expertise by including a minor (or minors) as part of your degree.

Within the Studio Practice major, you can choose specializations in Digital Art or the Teaching Preparation Specialization. With the Teaching Preparation specialization, you'll be eligible for the Bachelor of Education program at Nipissing University in either the Junior/Intermediate or Intermediate/Senior divisions.


Get tips from Waterloo students

Join our newsletter for tips such as choosing a program, life at Waterloo, and finances.

Questions? Ask a student!

Ask a Faculty of Arts student about their program, classes, getting involved on campus, and more!


Fine Arts degree admission requirements

Ontario students: six Grade 12 U and/or M courses including

  • Any Grade 12 U English (minimum final grade of at least 70%)

Admission average: Low 80s (co-op and regular)

Not studying in Ontario? Search our admission requirements.

How to apply

Apply to Honours Arts or Honours Arts and Business and choose Fine Arts as your major at the end of first year.

Connect with us

Sam Boehmer

Questions about courses, programs, requirements, careers?

Please contact Sam Boehmer, our Faculty of Arts recruitment coordinator who can answer any questions you have.