FAQ | College of Arts


Studio Arts course delivery during COVID 19 period:

I have questions, where should I go?

  • STARTonline - A resource for students transitioning to the University. Information on social media groups, orientation, and STARTonTrack is available here
  • Registration Guide for New Students - Contains the need to know information on course seelction, and how to use WebAdvisor.
  • Bachelor of Arts Counselling Office – Assists with navigating your degree requirements and can help you discover other support services.
  • Faculty Advisor - Provides information on the Studio Art program and can assist with the subject specific requirements. Monica Tap facultyadvisorstudioart@uoguelph.ca 405 Zavitz Hall
  • Fine Arts Network Meet other Studio Art students and participate in a variety of events including Trivia Nights, the Juried Art Show (JAS) and the annual New York City trip.


Where can I find course information?

What are first-year courses like? What projects can be expected?

The first year Studio Art courses are strongly grounded in contemporary art. Our students report that they push you to think outside the box and change the way you think about art.

  • The Core Studio (SART*1060) is commonly referred to as the “Three- Dimensional” class because it introduces you to technical and schematic aspects of drawing, including digital drawing, and techniques often used in Sculpture and Experimental Studio. One project involves designing public artwork
  • The Foundation Studio (SART*1050) is best known as the “Two- Dimensional” studio as it focuses on painting, photography, and other multi-media works.

Lectures for both courses are engaging and are concerned with contemporary artwork and artists as they relate to the assigned projects. Both courses provide students with a great introduction to contemporary art and to new strategies for apporaching their own artwork.


What courses do I take first year?

As a Studio Art Major, you should study the following:

  • SART*1050     [0.50]     Foundation Studio
  • SART*1060     [0.50]     Core Studio

You may only take one of the above in each semester. It doesn’t matter which order. Both are offered in Fall and Winter semesters. In your second semester, you may also register for a 2000-level Studio Art course, together with your remaining 1000-level studio course (above). For example, if you take SART*1060 in the fall semester, you would take SART*1050 in the winter and could also register for either SART*2300 (Sculpture I) or SART*2800 (Experimental Practices I). (SART*1060 is the prerequiste for these.) One of:

  •   ARTH*1510 [0.50] - Art Historical Studies I (Ancient to Medieval Art)(Fall)
  •   ARTH*1520 [0.50] - Art Historical Studies II (Renaissance to Modern Art) (Winter)

Your degree requires the completion of coursework in other subjects. Many students will use available space to fulfill these requirements. The Bachelor of Arts registration handbook.


Class Sizes

Almost all studio art classes have fewer than 20 students. The exception is the lecture-based portion of the two Foundation courses (maximum of 60 students), but this is balanced by the accompanying Studio Tutorial (Lab) portion of the course, with just 20 students per section. All other studio art classes in the program average around 16-20 students. Equipment-intensive classes like photography, printmaking, sculpture,and Extended Practices have smaller class quotas for health and safety reasons, or simply to ensure students have sufficient opportunity to use the equipment. Because of the small class sizes in the Studio Art courses, there is plenty of opportunity for one-on-one discussion with your professors. Professors are also available through email or office hours (set times when they will be available in their offices on campus) outside of class time.


What supplies should I bring?

We recommend that you wait to purchase tools and materials until you have received specific instruction from your professor. Many materials are purchased through Lab Fees and some classes will have organized a material kit that can be purchased at the start of the semester.


What supplies should I bring?

You are not required to purchase a laptop, but many students do. Computers are readily available at the library and within classes that are dependent on computer use. Studio Art computers also have the necessary software on them for assigned projects in those classes.


Where do I find my degree requirements?

As a new student in 2020-21, you will follow the requirements of the 2020-21 Academic Calendar.

Studio Art requirements.

Can I specialize in one discipline? When can I start?

Students are encouraged to complete all the courses of at least one medium during their undergraduate program, but shouldn’t feel confined to a single medium. In fact, it’s preferable to take a few courses at the 2000-level to explore your interests before deciding which area you wish to pursue. You need not restrict yourself ot a single discipline. If you are interested in a  career in teaching or art therapy, it is wise to learn the basics of several   studio disciplines.


What does the program cost? What is a lab fee?

Studio Art students pay the regular tuition fees for courses at the University of Guelph. Students should enter the program expecting additional costs outside their tuition fee. For some classes, the cost of art supplies are subsidized through large, discounted purchases of materials made by the school and will be funded by a Lab Fee. This Lab Fee is established before registration and is applied to your tuition automatically when you enroll in the course. The Lab Fee varies according to course and pays for some of the materials that you will use in class. Other additional fees you may encounter could include required texts (textbooks, journal articles etc.) and additional specific supplies needed for the course (that are not covered by the Lab Fee). Expensive supplies like software, computer programs and cameras are often available to use in the lab, or sign out from the technician. Students who are interested in certain mediums are encouraged to invest in good tools and equipment for upper- level classes (and most likely, you will want to).


Can I take another Major or Minor along with my Studio Art Major?

Studio Art is compatible with most programs offered at Guelph, especially within the College of Arts. Popular combinations with the Studio Art major include: Art History, Psychology, English, Philosophy, French or other languages, Theatre Studies or Music. Students also often combine the Studio Major with a Minor in Business Administration or Marketing Management, or a Minor in Arts, Culture and Heritage Management or Museum Studies.

For more options and also information about adding a Certificate in Business or Leadership to your studies: https://www.uoguelph.ca/arts/ba/discover

Can students use the studios outside of class time? Can I work on campus or at home?

During the semester, studios are open for extended hours, as SOFAM hires current students as Facility Monitors who are comfortable with the equipment. Supervised facilities lock for the night when the monitor leaves. Alexander Hall and Zavitz Hall – where the studios are located -- both lock for the night at 11pm. Studio Art students can still gain access to the building after hours via a swipe card. To activate your student card as a swipe card, register it at the main SOFAM office, Zavitz Hall office Rm. 201. Many students love coming in and working in the studios outside of class and many prefer to work from home when the can - the choice is yours!

Do I need prior experience with an art medium before takingthe course?

Absolutely not. The Studio Art program at the University of Guelph is  regarded as a very welcoming and supportive learning environment. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and immerse yourself in new forms   of art making! It’s all about the learning and discovery!

What is Experiential Learning (SART*3800 and SART*3900) and why should I apply?

Experiential Learning (SART*3800 and SART*3900) are both independent study courses based on a Studio Art-related educational internship that will earn the student a course credit.. Students whose applications to this course are successful will work alongside professional artists or  in  galleries  and gain experience in a field of their interest that could potentially lead to future job opportunities.. Approval for the Experiential Learning courses is based on  a written proposal that is student-initiated and supported by an on-campus professor, in addition to a letter of consent from the on-site placement supervisor. This opportunity is available to ambitious third and fourth year students.

Note that all Studio Art courses are designated as “Experiential Learning” by the University in that they closely approximate the real-world work of being an artist. Students learn studio and project manaagment, exhibition strategies, promotion and other professional skills.

Approximately how much time am I required to work outside of class?

Students are encouraged to spend at least four to six hours a week outside of class time, per studio class, to work complete their projects. This time commitment will increase as students enter the more advanced, upper-year courses.


Can I use more than one medium in a class?

This will depend on the professor who is teaching the course and the assignment requirements. Early course levels often focus on technical skills. As you enter higher course levels in Studio Art the courses become more self-guided and opportunities for experimentation beyond single mediums  are more common. The Experimental Studio courses allow you to explore topics in any medium.

What is Specialized Studio Practice and why should I apply?

Specialized Studio is a two semester course intended to assist in the preparation for graduate school and professional activities in the Arts. It    is a full-year advanced and specialized course to which students apply  with a portfolio and artist’s statement, and are admitted on the basis of    an interview. Students normally apply for this for their for their final year    of studies. Students accepted into the course will be given their own   studio space to work in which will allow them to explore opportunities for interdisciplinary and collaborative approaches to art making. Students will research and complete a major self-directed project throughtout the year.

What is Experimental Studio?

Experimental Studio is a set of courses that emphasize an interdisciplinary approach to art production, especially video, audio, artist multiples, site work, relational aesthetic practices and performance art. Students are encouraged to choose the most appropriate medium for their idea.


What are the available Study Abroad opportunities?

The University of Guelph has over 100 exchange partners available to undergraduate students from any academic program, including Studio Art. Students usually wait until their third or fourth year. Opportunities can vary from semester to semester. If you are interested in viewing the opportunities and finding more information visit the Centre for International Programs. www.uoguelph.ca/cip/


Where have graduates gone to for further education? What are graduates of the Studio Art program doing now?

A significant number of Studio Art alumni pursue the career of the practicing artist with much success. Many also teach at levels ranging from primary school to the university professoriate or hold executive and curatorial positions in public or private galleries or have responsibilities in the media  and government. Still others pursue a variety of creative careers that have grown out of their art studies including illustration, millinery, animation, and design. Popular graduate programs include Masters of Fine Arts (MFA), Masters of Art Therapy, Art Restoration, and Teacher’s College, as well as Masters of Architecture, Museum Studies and Cultural Administration.

Are there opportunities for students to showcase or exhibit their work?

Yes! Students can exhibit their work in Zavitz Gallery, in Zavitz Hall., a  gallery reserved for students in the undergraduate and graduate programs. The gallery presents solo, two-person, group, student-curated and class exhibitions that last for an entire week and often have a very fun opening night. Applications for exhibitions are accepted twice per year. Additionally, there are many Call for Submissions at local Guelph cafes, on- campus spaces like the Bullring and the Grad Lounge, and on-campus   clubs that are holding events. The largest opportunity for exhibiting work is the Annual Juried Art show where undergraduate students can submit artworks to hang in Zavitz Hall for a week and be juried by guest professionals in the field.

What events should I keep my eyes open for during the year for art history and studio art?

Extracurricular events are where our community comes together. We’re happy you will be joining us! Keep your eyes open for weekly shows in the Zavitz Gallery, located on   the second floor of Zavitz Hall. These exhibitions often have their openings on Wednesday nights at 6:00pm with food, good company, and excellent artwork. Attend the Visiting Speaker Series where The University of Guelph welcomes internationally renowned guest lecturers to present talks about their art and creative research.Major annual events include the Annual Juried Art Show, to which all students can submit their work and guest adjudicators determine the prize winners. This is a special time of year in Zavitz Hall as the walls are covered with impressive artwork made by the Studio Art undergraduate students. There are exciting opportunities for prizes and recognition from SOFAM, the University of Guelph, and the greater Guelph community. In the same month, the annual Dasha Shenkman Lecture in Contemporary Art takes place. Previous lecturers include Canadian artist - Michael Snow, British sculptor, Phyllida Barlow, Iranian-born artist and filmmaker Shirin Neshat, and American sculptor Fred Wilson. That same day, don’t miss the Open Studios! Masters of Fine Arts (MFA) candidates and senior undergraduate students in Specialized Studio open their studios to the public before and after the Shenkman lecture. This event is a big deal, be sure not to miss it!