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

  • Completion of the IB Diploma with a minimum score of 24 points, including at least three Higher Level courses and additional points for Extended Essay and Theory of Knowledge.
  • Completion of Standard Level or Higher Level English A at a minimum score of 3, where English is the primary language of instruction.

Degree-specific requirements: Arts

  • No specific courses required beyond those needed for general admission
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