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MASTER OF FINE ARTS

Intake: 
Fall
Program Components: 

Coursework + Thesis Project

Registration Options: 

Full-time

Description: 

The Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree program offers students the opportunity to pursue graduate study majoring in Art, New Media and Theatre & Dramatic Arts. Each MFA degree program combines research, theory, and practice relevant to the discipline. Faculty, comprised of artists and scholars, foster an environment of active engagement with material and conceptual investigations in production and performance. The MFA allows graduate students to concentrate in their chosen disciplines and to synthesize their research into a Thesis.

Located a short drive from Calgary, the United States border, and the Canadian Rockies, Lethbridge is a growing city that enjoys a diverse geography of prairie, rolling hills, and an expansive natural river valley area. Lethbridge is home to numerous art collectives and a number of contemporary art galleries including the University of Lethbridge Art Gallery, Casa, Trianon Gallery, Parlour, and the nationally acclaimed Southern Alberta Art Gallery. Several sites for exhibitions are available to graduate students, including the University of Lethbridge Penny Building, which provides a strong downtown presence. The Drama Department’s activities are supported by its outstanding theatre facilities, shops, and studios. The Faculty of Fine Arts produces a robust season of mainstage productions, a student-run season of studio productions, and numerous other theatre events.

The University of Lethbridge is committed to creativity, inquiry, and discovery. It values and supports research, scholarship, and creative work, and encourages students at all levels to become involved.

In case of discrepancies between this page and the Graduate Studies Calendar and Course Catalogue, the Graduate Studies Calendar and Course Catalogue shall prevail.​

Admission requirements

Applicants will meet the following minimum requirements to be considered for admission:

  • Hold a baccalaureate degree (i.e. an undergraduate degree) in a related discipline from a recognized degree-granting institution
  • Have a minimum grade point average of 3.00 (based on 4.00 scale) on the last 20 graded university-level term courses OR calculated on the most recently completed master’s degree if the applicant is applying for another master’s degree
  • Demonstrate English language proficiency (ELP) for graduate student
Application process

Step 1: Prepare Supporting Documents

Please see Supporting Documents for the Master of Fine Arts program below. If additional documents are required, the School of Graduate Studies will contact you. 

Step 2: Submit Online Application by Deadline

Submit your complete application by midnight (MST/MDT) on the deadline date. Review our Dates and Deadlines page for information on relevant deadlines. 

Step 4: Arrange for Official Documents

Official documents (e.g., transcripts, ELP test scores) are required prior to registration.

Note: Applicants who have attended or are currently attending an institution participating in ApplyAlberta do not need to arrange for official transcripts to be sent to uLethbridge from the issuing institution. A list of participating institutions is available at www.applyalberta.ca.

Step 5: Admission Decision Process

The departmental committee reviews your application and makes a recommendation on admission to the program committee. You will be notified of your official admission status by the Registrar’s Office no later than April 1 (February 1 deadline). 

*Note: Students who are graduates of non-Canadian universities must provide notarized English translations of all documents not in the English language.

For more details please see the Graduate Studies Calendar and Course Catalogue.

Admission Criteria

As program capacity is limited, students are admitted based on the following criteria:

  • Academic record and letters of recommendation
  • Additional Fine Arts submission requirements (by major) 
  • Recourses available for the proposed project
  • Financial support available 

Not all students who meet the minimum admission requirements will be admitted due to enrolment limitations. 

Supporting Documents for the Master of Fine Arts Program

Transcripts

Unofficial Transcripts
You will need to upload and submit your unofficial transcripts, including proof of graduation for your completed degree(s) and transcripts of all post-baccalaureate work, if any, via the online application system.

Official Transcripts
You will also need to arrange for your official transcripts to be sent to the Registrar’s Office. Your official transcripts are required to be received prior to course registration.

Applicants who have attended or are currently attending institutions NOT participating in ApplyAlberta must arrange to have official transcripts sent directly from the issuing institution to the Admissions Office. A list of participating institutions is available at applyalberta.ca.

Official transcripts must be mailed directly from the issuing institution in a sealed envelope to:
Registrar’s Office
University of Lethbridge
4401 University Drive West
Lethbridge, AB T1K 3M4
Canada

Your transcripts are required to display your up-to-date coursework, including grades/marks received for completed coursework.

Reference Letters

Applicants to the Master of Fine Arts program are required to submit three (3) academic reference letters. You should have studied with at least two of your references. 

You are: Who is an acceptable academic referee?
A current or recent graduate of an undergraduate program
  • One of your course instructors who hold a terminal
    degree or a continuing position at a University
A current or recent graduate student
  • Your supervisor, or a member of your Supervisory
    Committee
  • One of your course instructors who hold a terminal
    degree or a continuing position at a University
Working and completed a degree several years ago
  • Someone with whom you have studied at the
    university level
  • An employer or another person who has served
    in a supervisory capacity who can testify to your
    ability to succeed in an academic setting

The School of Graduate Studies is not able to:

  • Accept Letters of Reference submitted via email or regular mail
  • Re-use a Letter of Reference submitted in support of a previous application  
  • Edit/change your referees or send them reminders to submit their Letter of Reference  
  • Accept Letters of reference from a friend or family member
Curriculum vitae

Your CV is a comprehensive document with a formal structure and academic focus. It should include your background, work experience, awards, scholarships, publications, and other achievements. If you are a current or former University of Lethbridge student, contact Career and Employment Services for additional information on the content and structure of a CV. 

Letter of Intent

Your Letter of Intent for the Master of Fine Arts program must contain:

  • The direction of the applicant's current area of research and practice, and the specific nature of interest in the program and the discipline to which they are applying.
  • Maximum length is 1500 words.

You should address your letter to the School of Graduate Studies.

Things to Note:

Your Letter of Intent is your opportunity to show us your passion for your proposed research. Explain how dedicated and invested you are to your proposed graduate program, and provide specific examples of key accomplishments. Be concise and include only important information – reviewers have many graduate applications to review.

English Language Proficiency requirements for Graduate Students

English is the primary language of instruction and communication at the University of Lethbridge. Prior to registration, all applicants to the School of Graduate Studies must demonstrate English Language Proficiency (ELP) sufficient to meet the demands of classroom instruction, written assignments, research, and participation in tutorials and discussions, regardless of their citizenship or country of origin. Please see the English Language Proficiency (ELP) requirements for graduate students for detailed information. 

Additional Fine Arts Requirements by Major

Additional creative documents are required as part of the MFA application and need to be submitted with the University application by the application deadline.

MFA - Art

  • Submit a portfolio including representative samples of your work/research to date. Submission should include 20 images or 10 images and one 5-minute video compilation. Image and/or video submission should be accompanied with the date, title, and media of each image and/or video piece, as descriptions of work if relevant, e.g. video/audio, performance, web-based, etc.
  • An interview may be required.

MFA - New Media

  • Submit a portfolio including representative samples of your most current work. Portfolio samples should be with a New Media major based on digital media in any individual areas enumerated below or any cross between these areas:
    • Design for Digital Media
    • Interactive Media, Web, and Video games
    • 3D Art and Animation
    • Digital Video/Film
    • New Media Theory and Culture

MFA - Theatre & Dramatic Arts

  • Applicants may be invited to attend an audition/interview. Alternate arrangements may be possible if you are required to travel from a great distance. Additional requirements pertaining to your specific area of study may apply may be requested after application. ​
  • A design applicant must submit a portfolio of a maximum of 20 images that effectively represents the applicant’s body of work/research to date.

Applicants to the MFA program do not need to find a supervisor in advance of applying. Supervisors are not identified until after an application has been assessed by the departmental graduate education committee. Applicants can contact available faculty to discuss supervision prior to application, but it is not a requirement of the application.

Student Story: 


Learn More: 

My MFA journey has expanded my perspective and ability to create meaningful and engaging works. Research as an artist looks different for each of us. As a graduate student in the Fine Arts, I get to shape the outcomes of my program based on my interests and critical inquiry. I have had several opportunities to exhibit my work in progress and speak about my research, which has helped to refine my thesis project.
Tyler Heaton, MFA student

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