Visual Arts DepartmentWestern Arts and Humanities

Frequently Asked Questions

The Undergraduate Programs in Visual Arts offer numerous and varied approaches to the study of art and visual culture. Below are some Frequently Asked Questions with responses that are intended to assist students in planning and completing their programs.

What courses are currently being offered?

Click here for a list of current course offerings.

Is there a portfolio requirement?

Yes, there is a portfolio requirement for the BFA program. Click here for more information.

Can I enrol in studio courses without having taken the VAS1020 prerequisite?

No. Even students with a background in the Visual Arts must take VAS1020. This course is designed to introduce techniques and processes of a variety of media, theoretical concepts which inform studio practice as well as the facility and safety protocols specific each studio area in the John Labatt Visual Arts Centre.

Do I have to cover the cost of materials?

Yes. All studio courses require materials, the majority of which must be provided by the student. Information on approximate expenses for each course can be obtained by contacting the department or emailing the instructor responsible for the course.

Are there any Visual Arts courses that I can take without having the VAH1040 and VAS1020 prerequisites?

Yes, they are:

VAS 2100a/b Image Explorations

VAS 2104a/b Drawing Explorations

VAS 2274a/b Art Now! I (Prerequisite: One Arts & Humanities or Social Science course)

VAS 2275a/b Art Now! II (Prerequisite: One Arts & Humanities or Social Science course)

Please see this year’s list of courses being offered for other courses not requiring prerequisites.

Which Visual Arts Modules can be combined?

The Minor in Art History and Criticism may be combined with:

Hons. Specialization in Studio Arts


The Minor in Visual Arts may be combined with:

Major in Art History

Minor in Art History and Criticism

I am interested in taking “X” course. Where do I find information about readings and assignments for this course?

There is a binder on the counter in the Main Office (Room 200) that holds past syllabi for all courses taught in the Visual Arts Department. Although course content often changes from year to year, these syllabi will give you a general idea of the type of subjects typically covered as well as the nature of projects assigned. However, you may also email the instructor to request additional and more up-to-date information.

How do I enrol in an Independent Projects in Art History/Independent Projects in Studio Course?

Students must be in fourth year and have an 80% average in order to enrol in a course of Independent Study. No more than one full-course equivalent may be taken by an individual student. Please download the Application for Independent Study form for further details.

How do I apply for an Internship?

First, ensure that you are entering your fourth year and have an overall average of 80%. Second, download and review the Internship in the Arts Information Sheet. Third, contact the Internship Coordinator at

I need 1.0 credit at the 4000 level to graduate but do not have the necessary prerequisites to enrol in the fourth year seminars offered this year. What do I do?

First, make a list of 4000 level courses offered. Second, review your transcript for potential substitute prerequisites. For example, VAH 2283E (Art and Mass Media) and VAH2278E (Art Since 1945) might qualify as prerequisites for 4484F/G (Seminar in the Moving Image). Third, contact the instructor responsible for the seminar to ask for special permission to enrol. If special permission is granted, please ask the instructor to email the Undergraduate Chair with a recommendation. If you are having difficulty identifying potential substitute prerequisites, please email an unofficial copy of your transcript to the Undergraduate Chair (

When do you hold interviews for places in VAH/S 3385E Introduction to Museum Studies and VAS 4430 Practicum?

Interviews for places in both courses are usually held in March. Plan ahead if you intend to enrol. Consult the department in early March to inquire about interview sign up sheets. Please be aware that VAS 4430 is required for the BFA.

I’m transferring to Western. Will Visual Arts courses taken at another university count toward my degree here? Will they count toward my Visual Arts module (e.g. Honors Specialization in Visual Arts or Major in Art History)?

Typically yes, if you’ve taken these courses at an accredited university. First, ensure that you have been accepted to Western. If not, contact Admissions. They will assess your transcript and decide which courses count toward a UWO degree. Second, contact the Undergraduate Chair who will find specific equivalents for the Visual Arts credits that you have already earned.

I would like to take Visual Arts courses at another university and have them count toward my UWO degree. What should I do?

First, visit the Faculty of Arts and Humanities counselling office in University College, Room 112G. Counsellors here will be able to provide you with the necessary paper work including a “Letter of Permission”. Second, check the calendar for the university you plan to attend and print descriptions for the courses in which you plan to enrol. These descriptions should include the following: 1. the number of class hours per week; 2. the number of weeks in the course; 3. the level of the course (i.e. first year, second year, etc.); and 4. a description of the course content. Third, take the Letter of Permission and course descriptions to the Undergraduate Chair who will find UWO equivalents. If you intend to take additional non-Visual Arts courses on your Letter of Permission, then you must also see the appropriate Undergraduate Chairs for additional signatures.

I have an important question to ask and believe that my fellow students would benefit from reading the answer. What do I do?

Email your question to the Undergraduate Chair ( with “FAQ” in the subject line.