Art History

The Art History area offers courses in the histories and theories of visual culture in North America and Europe . The area aims to provide a wide array of high quality classes for both the Art History and Studio undergraduate degree programs. Art History faculty have a significant presence in graduate education in the department, participating as supervisors and committee members in the MFA graduate program and in Special Case MA degrees in Art History. The Art History faculty includes three permanent faculty and a number of highly qualified sessional lecturers with diverse areas of expertise.

The discipline of Art History, like many other disciplines in the humanities, has in recent years undergone considerable transformations in the way it is formulated and taught. Responding to theoretical developments in such areas as cultural studies, postcolonial studies, Aboriginal studies and a decolonizing feminism, the discipline has re-orientated itself in the last two decades to address “a cultural politics of difference”(Cornel West ), foregrounding cultural openness and diversity rather than a closed monoculture.

In developing its course offerings, the Art History program has maintained its traditional offerings in Renaissance and Baroque art while, at the same time, developing new courses in such areas as First People's Art History; Postcolonial Issues in Contemporary Canadian Art; Art of the Internet; Contemporary Performance Art Theory and Praxis; and Studies in Visual Culture, which explores how visual forms (from painting to film to the Internet and popular media) produce meaning in contemporary everyday life.

Aims and Objectives of the Art History Area

  • To create a stimulating and supportive environment for intellectual work in the field of visual culture;
  • To provide a wide choice of undergraduate classes for students majoring in art history who wish to pursue future careers as academics, researchers, curators, museum and gallery directors, conservators, artists, high and elementary school teachers, as well as administrators in the cultural sector;
  • To provide required Art History courses for students in the Studio degree programs, including the BFA degree of which Art History forms a large component;
  • To assist students to explore connections between studio work and the history and theory of art;
  • To prepare students in the Studio and Art History programs for graduate work in this and other institutions;
  • To create intellectual linkages and partnerships with the local arts community;
  • To build equity into the fabric of our teaching, addressing issues of race, gender, class and sexual orientation in course materials.

The area offers the following degrees :  B.A. Four Year; B.A. Three Year; Double Honours in Art History and Studio Art; and Double Honours in Art History and Another Subject.

First year introductory Art History courses with an enrollment limit of 550 students are taught online. In curriculum delivery, students are encouraged to attend visiting artist talks, exhibition openings and other events at gallery facilities on campus and within the larger arts community of Saskatoon.


Please see the Course and Program Catalogue for a list of degree offerings and requirements. Program majors are strongly encouraged to declare a major as early as possible in their program to help facilitate course registration.

Bachelor of Arts Four-year (B.A. Four-year) - Art History
Bachelor of Arts Three-year (B.A. Three-year) - Art History
Bachelor of Arts Double Honours - Art History - Major 1
Double Honours - Art History - Major 2
Bachelor of Arts Double Honours - Art History and Studio Art - Majors 1 and 2
Minor in Studio Art

Studio Art

Studio Art develops the student's creative potential in a wide range of visual media from printmaking to photography to digital imaging. The Department has developed a dynamic and innovative interdisciplinary learning environment which combines instruction in a range of professional studio labs with a structured combination of art history lectures and intensive seminars in which critical thinking and critical practice can occur.

The Department’s Studio programs offer students the opportunity to be technically proficient in the visual mediums of photography, painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, and digital imaging as well as mixed media work such as installation and performance.

Within this studio setting, faculty in Art History introduce students to a wide range of historical, theoretical and philosophical approaches to art. The Art History program offers a broad array of classes from Renaissance and Baroque Studies to Postcolonial Studies in Contemporary Art to First People’s Art History to Studies in Photographic History.


Please see the Course and Program Catalogue for a list of degree offerings and requirements. Program majors are strongly encouraged to declare a major as early as possible in their program to help facilitate course registration.

Bachelor of Arts Four-year (B.A. Four-year) - Studio Art
Bachelor of Arts Three-year (B.A. Three-year) - Studio Art
Bachelor of Arts - Double Honours - Studio Art - Major 1
Double Honours - Studio Art - Major 2
Bachelor of Arts Double Honours - Studio Art and Art History - Majors 1 and 2
Bachelor of Fine Arts Honours (B.F.A. Honours) in Studio Art Studio Art - Minor in Art

B.F.A. Honours in Studio Art

This program is intended for students who wish to acquire a thorough knowledge of studio art as part of their general education and for those who wish to prepare for work leading to graduate degrees in art.

Students may be admitted directly to the B.F.A. Honours program with a minimum admission average of 70% and completion of the Advanced Placement Studio Art Program; or with a minimum admission average of at least 70% and a portfolio approved by the Department of Art and Art History. The Department holds a portfolio day for highschool students in the Advanced Placement Studio Art Program, as well as those students not applying directly from highschool and wish to apply for direct entry into the B.F.A. program. Our Portfolio Review Day is usually during a weekend in February or March.

Students who wish to pursue this program but do not meet these requirements upon admission to the College of Arts & Science should follow the program requirements for this program (see Suggested B.F.A. Program for sequencing in the Course and Program catalogue), and apply for admission following the first 60 credit units (two years) of study. The Application for an Honours Program form can be found here. The deadline to submit this form to the Undergraduate Student Office, Room 265 Arts Building, is May 31 every year.

Please see the Department's Forms and Resources section for information on registering in the B.F.A. Exhibition course, ART 495.


High School Graduates interested in Direct entry to the BFA Honours program are invited to make appointments with the Art & Art History for a Portfolio Review.

Applicants MUST have a GPA of 70% or higher and EITHER completed the Advanced Art Portfolio (AAP) in high school, OR completed another portfolio of their own artwork.

The portfolio review takes approximately 10-15 minutes.

  • Applicants should arrive in at the Department’s Gordon Snelgrove Office (Murray Building – just behind Place Riel Student Centre) at least 30 minutes ahead of the time scheduled for the review, in order to set up their work.
  • At the scheduled time, a committee consisting of faculty members of the Department will come to review the applicant’s work. The applicant must be present at this time.
  • The applicant will be asked to take 4-6 minutes to discuss the work being presented as part of the portfolio. The committee will then take another 5-8 minutes to ask questions and discuss the work with the applicant. Applicants should be prepared to discuss all aspects of their work, including technical, aesthetic, and others. 

Once the review is completed, the applicant will be asked to leave the room while the committee discusses the portfolio and the applicant’s presentation.

The Department Head will notify applicants by email of the review committee’s recommendation. The committee will make one of two recommendations:

  • Admission DIRECTLY into the BFA Honours program: If the quality of work is strong, the applicant has prepared a good artist’s statement, and the applicant answers questions well during the review, they will be admitted directly to the BFA degree program.
  • Regular entry to the BA/BFA Honours degree programs: Students who do not gain DIRECT admission to the BFA will be referred to the BA program in Studio Art (3-year or 4-year) and can apply to the BFA Honours degree after completion of 60 cu maintaining an average of 70% GPA.

Portfolio Requirements

  • Should contain 8 – 10 works, plus a sketchbook (AAP or other studio work)
  • Must be representative of recent work. The majority of pieces should be from within the last two years, and should include both two and three-dimensional work in a variety of media, and in both black and white and colour
  • Photography used as an art medium is acceptable. Drawings from photographs or illustrations may be included but should be kept to a minimum
  • Photographs of large or ephemeral pieces that cannot be brought to the review are acceptable, but most work should be the actual work
  • Photographs or other visual representations of work should be presented in digital form. Applicants presenting work in this form should check with the jake moore (Director, University Art Galleries) ahead of time to ensure that the right equipment is available for viewing the work or bring their own laptop or tablet