Art History and Visual Culture

at UBC's

Okanagan Campus

Explore a variety of global perspectives for studying art and visual culture, with courses on the arts of South Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe, and the Americas. You’ll develop critical thinking and writing skills while analyzing diverse forms of art and visual culture – including “high” art, pop culture, architecture, everyday objects, and performance – in their cultural and historical contexts.

This program is also offered at UBC's Vancouver Campus
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Why this program?

  • Explore human creativity, imagination, and beauty through the world's art and visual culture
  • Work with world-class faculty researchers on innovative projects, including 3D modelling, app design, and local heritage institutions
  • Gain a variety of global perspectives for exploring art and visual culture
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Program information

  • Campus: Okanagan
  • Faculty: Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies
  • Degree: Bachelor of Arts
  • Length 4 yrs
  • Co-op Yes
    You can combine your studies with full-time, paid work at top local and international organizations.
  • Honours No
    You can study intense specialization in a single field.

Art History involves the study and analysis of complex visual artifacts – including conventional fine arts and popular visual cultures, such as film and media – against a background of histories, ideologies, theories, and values.

As an Art History and Visual Culture student, you’ll have access to courses in the visual art traditions of many cultures, with particular focus on theoretical and critical discourses concerning the social impact of art and visual representation. Interested in pursuing a combined major? Cultural Studies and English are both options.

Experiential learning and research

In your third year of study, choose to study special topics and work with interpretive centres on team-based and project-based learning. Or pursue an area of interest with a directed studies course, in which you’ll complete directed readings and written assignments under the supervision of a faculty member.

Your future

In the Art History and Visual Culture program, you’ll learn how to analyze and interpret form, technique, iconography, and the historical function of art. As a graduate of this program, you’ll be well positioned to thrive in a variety of environments, including museums, galleries, historical societies, and provincial and federal arts organizations.

Program graduates

  • Public Programming Coordinator, Kelowna Art Gallery
  • Archival Assistant, Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies

Program requirements

English-language requirements

English is the language of instruction at UBC. All prospective students must demonstrate English-language competency prior to admission. There are numerous ways to meet the English Language Admission Standard.

General admission requirements

IB Diploma Programme

  • Completed IB Diploma, including at least three Higher Level courses.

IB Certificate Courses

  • IB Certificate courses (Standard and Higher Level) may be used in an admissions average if you are graduating from a recognized high school curriculum that can be used as your basis of admission.
  • IB Math Applications and Interpretations SL, or IB Math Studies, do not satisfy the math requirement for admission to UBC’s science-based programs, the Faculty of Management, the UBC Sauder School of Business, or the Vancouver School of Economics.

Degree-specific requirements: Arts

  • No specific courses required beyond those needed for general admission

Related courses

The following subject categories are particularly relevant for this degree. Consider taking courses in these areas in your junior year and senior year.

  • Language Arts
  • Mathematics and Computation
  • Second Languages
  • Social Studies
  • Visual and Performing Arts
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