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Art History and Visual Studies

In Art History and Visual Studies (AHVS), you will study art and the visual world with experts. We are dynamic and proud of our innovative studies of art, imagery, and architecture, from ancient archeological sites to contemporary video games. If you want to study creativity and culture, this is your home.

Degree programs offered

This research-focused degree is designed to give you knowledge and career skills to empower you in your future. Our program has active, in-class learning through seminars, workshops, and public presentations. You will develop a research project on a topic of your choice.

This research-focused degree will enhance the knowledge and skills you already have and you will be mentored in a one-on-one relationship with a specialist in your chosen field. You will complete your training as an expert in global visual studies. Our program encourages immersion in other disciplines related to your research. The doctoral project will launch you into careers in teaching, publishing, art advising, curating and other related fields.

Program Expected length Project and/or thesis Course-based
MA 2 years Yes No
PhD 4 years Yes No

Quick facts

Program options:
Masters, Doctorate
Program delivery:
Dynamic learning:
Co-op optional

Areas of focus

  • Islamic art
  • South Asian art
  • Southeast Asian art
  • North American Indigenous art
  • Film studies
  • Mediterranean art
  • Modern and contemporary art
  • Medieval and Renaissance art
  • Early modern European art
  • Pacific Northwest art

Find a supervisor

All graduate students in this program must have a faculty member who serves as their academic supervisor. When you apply:

  • you must list a potential supervisor on your application
  • this faculty member must agree to be your supervisor and recommend your admission

To find a supervisor, review the faculty contacts. When you've found a faculty member whose research complements your own, contact them by email.

Allan Antliff

Professor Modern American and European art, Contemporary art, Anarchist studies

Astri Wright

Professor Southeast Asian art (including textiles, ephemeral arts), modern and contemporary arts

Carey Newman

Impact Chair in Indigenous Art Practices Sculpture

Carolyn Butler-Palmer

Williams Legacy Chair, Associate Professor Modern and Contemporary arts of the Pacific Northwest

Catherine Harding

Associate Professor Late Medieval and Early Renaissance art

Erin Campbell

Professor Early Modern European art

Evanthia Baboula

Assistant Professor & Associate Dean Material & Visual Cultures of the Mediterranean

Lianne McLarty

Associate Professor Feminist film theory, critical theory, popular culture

Marcus Milwright

Department Chair, Professor Medieval Islamic art and archaeology

Melia Belli Bose

Associate Professor Visual cultures of early modern and contemporary South Asia

Mitch Parry

Associate Teaching Professor Film aesthetics, apocalyptic film, international cinema, documentary, avant-garde film, slow cinema

Victoria Wyatt

Associate Professor North American Native arts and ethnohistorical photographs

Funding & aid

Graduate students registered in full-time programs are automatically considered for a fellowship. This is based on a qualifying GPA.

Individual award amounts may vary depending on the program.

UVic Fellowship Awards

  • Up to $17,500 per year (master's)
  • Up to $20,000 per year (PhD)

UVic Graduate Awards

  • Up to $10,000 per year (master's and PhD)


  • The minimum requirement for funding consideration is a A- average on the last two years of course work
  • Full-time registration (3.0 units) for UVic Fellowship holders and at least part-time registration (1.5 units) for UVic Graduate Award holders
  • Full-time registration for students registered with the Centre for Accessible Learning (CAL) is 1.5 units

You can also join the co-op program or work as a research or teaching assistant.

Funding opportunities

Tuition & fees

Visit our tuition calculator to determine the tuition and fees for your program.

When you apply you will be charged an application fee. Your application will not be processed until this payment has been received.

  • Application fee for documents from within Canada: $131.50
  • Application fee if any documents originate outside Canada: $169

Application deadlines

  • Canadian and International students: apply by December 1 for September entry.

Admission & program requirements

You must meet the minimum graduate school admission requirements.

Review the graduate admission requirements and this program's admission requirements in the Graduate calendar.

If your first language is not English you must provide proof of language proficiency. Learn more about language requirements, including what exemptions and tests are allowed.

Ready to apply?

You can start your online application to UVic by creating a new profile or using an existing one.

Apply now    How to apply

Need help?

Contact the graduate secretary or 250-721-7942.

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