About Us

The Graduate Program in Visual Arts offers an experience that will engage you in a rich and stimulating dialogue about contemporary art practices—we propose an experience that will be intense, stimulating and productive. Our programs offer numerous opportunities for studio visits and exchanges with guest artists, curators and art historians reflecting a diverse range of interests to guide you as you develop your own research. We hope that the artists you meet will reinforce your motivation to become an artist and that you will make lasting friendships and personal and professional connections with your classmate to enrich your ongoing development and life as an artist.

At York, the MFA / PhD programs are supported by a vibrant university culture that promotes a creative dialogue between the disciplines. This dialogue is sustained by an emphasis on team teaching approach, support amongst the faculty for divergent views and is reflected in the diversity of the art practices of our students. Currently, our programs consist of a dynamic community of twenty-five students working in one or more of the following media: video, performance, painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture and digital media.

Set within a vibrant university setting, the MFA and PhD in Visual Arts provide students with opportunities to engage in intense practice-based research within an intellectually challenging context. Along with practicing artists within the Visual Arts faculty, other York University faculty members and various guest artists, curators, and critics are crucial in supporting the development of students’ projects. Seminars in contemporary theory and methods in practice-based research, along with regular guest lectures and critiques, provide an environment of critical and theoretical enquiry reflecting contemporary debates in art and culture.

MFA and PhD students benefit from a sense of community within our program as well as opportunities to engage in the greater Toronto art communities. An annual group exhibition serves to welcome incoming graduate students and another marks the midpoint of the second year MFA, while a series of solo exhibitions are the culmination of the MFA thesis projects. PhD comprehensive and dissertation exhibitions are significant manifestations of practice-based research, taking place on campus and in downtown Toronto. Our alumni have exhibited their work nationally and internationally, primarily pursuing careers as artists and educators. We hope to welcome you as part of our growing community of artists.