Explore the power of visual communication

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

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. Whatever your interest, you’ll enjoy an intimate community and supportive professors.

Focus your studies

At the end of first year, you'll choose one of two majors.

Visual Culture

Got a bent for critique? Focus on the role that visuals play into culture and our society. This major is 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.

Studio Practice

Immerse yourself in hands-on creation. Choose from classes in drawing, painting, sculpture, printmaking, photography, media arts, and digital imaging.

You can also choose a digital art specialization or one that will prepare you for a career in teaching.


Program highlights

Pick from 80+ courses. With more than 80 Fine Arts courses available, you can explore the visual arts and tailor your degree to your interests and passions.

Make lasting connections. Many studio classes are capped at 25 students, creating an environment where you can connect with your classmates and instructors.


Why study Fine Arts at Waterloo

What will you learn?

First-year courses

During your first year, you'll take two 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

With either Fine Arts major, you can include additional areas of interest by including a minor (or minors) as part of your degree.

Within the Studio Practice major, you can choose specializations in Digital Art or Teaching Preparation. 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!



Apply to Honours Arts or Honours Arts and Business and choose Studio Practice or Visual Culture as your major at the end of first year.

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 for Honours Arts or Honours Arts and Business.

Connect with us

Questions about courses, programs, requirements, careers?

Please contact our Faculty of Arts recruitment team who can answer any questions you have.