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Academic Advising Centre

Visual Arts diploma

This guide has been prepared with the information you need to successfully register for your first year at UFV. Please review the information provided on this page thoroughly before contacting your academic advisor with questions.



Explore the creative arts part-time or full-time in this flexible 60-credit program. Requirements include a breadth of studio exploration, a strong foundation in Art History, a writing course, and room for option courses to customize the program according to individual interests and goals.

Early studio courses in drawing, material process, digital production, and space, form and time helps students build a repertoire of techniques to support more advanced studio practice.

Further studio courses are offered in six studio disciplines:

  • Painting and Drawing
  • Sculpture and Extended Media
  • Print Media
  • Video Production
  • Image, Sound, and Performance
  • Photography

A Visual Arts diploma can lead to entry-level positions with art organizations, galleries, museums, or community organizations. Graduates may also seek employment in other related industries such as business, entertainment, or tourism. Alternatively, students may go on to pursue further education to earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts at UFV or elsewhere.


Program structure and requirements

Watch the recorded planning session or read the guide below.

The Visual Arts diploma requires the completion of 60 credits (20 courses) and can be completed full- or part-time. The program is balanced between 10 required studio courses, five Art History courses, a writing course, and four “elective” courses. See calendar for current requirements.

View a sample program plan outline for Fall 2023


Where can I find a list of courses for the program?

You can access a list of all approved and required courses for your program in two ways:


First time using MyGRADplan?

Visit MyGRADplan website to get login instructions and review tutorials. Specifically, you will want to learn about the 'What if' and 'Look ahead' features as they will be most helpful in your course planning.



Studying full time at 10 courses per calendar year, students can complete the program in two years. There is no deadline to complete, and credits don’t expire, so attendance can be customized to suit your lifestyle. Note, it is not possible to complete this program online or outside of typical work hours exclusively. Graduates can ladder all 60 credits of this program into the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.

A typical approach for a first-year arts student is to take 3-4 courses to start, equalling about 9-12 hours per week in class. Students should expect to spend the same number of hours on homework as they spend in class weekly. For example, three classes will be approximately 20+ hours/week of schoolwork both in and out of the classroom. If you are planning on getting a student loan, you must take at least 3 courses or nine credits of coursework in a semester.



3-4 courses per semester


9-12 hours per week in class


And at least
9-12 hours per week
for homework



Suggested course plan (first and second semester)

Here’s a sample plan based on the requirements in place for the fall 2022 intake. This traditional model includes taking five courses per semester and is studying only fall and winter, with no summer courses. There are many other approaches.


Next steps

Tips for course selection:

  • Complete foundation requirements in your first year
  • Add an Art History course to your studio interests
  • Students interested in laddering into the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree should book an advising appointment early to ensure they complete the appropriate lower-level prerequisites in order to be eligible to take the required upper-level courses.


Prepare for registration

Watch tutorials, review information on fee payment, important dates, and more.

Explore courses of interest

Find official course descriptions and outlines in the Academic Calendar.

Track your degree progress

Access your program audit & identify the requirements that are needed for graduation.


Still have questions?

Book an appointment with an academic advisor or email your questions to

If you are starting in the fall, book your next appointment prior to the winter registration (October).

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