Alberta University of the Arts

Founded 1926 | Calgary , AB

Alberta University of the Arts is well-known for its complement of art, design and craft programs. With a focus on in-studio experience, undergraduates can choose from 11 degree areas, including painting, glass, sculpture, media arts and photography. Ten minors are available, including animation, comics and print media. AUArts also offers an M.F.A. in craft media with four areas of focus: glass, ceramics, fibre, and jewellery and metals.

“At Alberta University of the Arts, the study of art, craft and design is a search. It is an exploration of ideas, a celebration of creativity and an understanding of what connects us to the world,” says president Daniel Doz. “It is a way of seeing, a way of thinking about the tools and materials we use, the world we inhabit.”

Classes are small, and there is an emphasis on one-on-one instruction. The liberal arts are also well integrated, and first-year programs include courses on critical and creative practices and art history. The single campus building houses a professional art gallery, studios for fibre, glass, ceramics and jewellery, a metal shop, a foundry and a wood shop. Many programs also provide students with personal studio spaces in their third and fourth years. Perched on top of the city’s North Hill, adjacent to Calgary’s happening Kensington neighbourhood, the campus overlooks the Bow River and Calgary’s welcoming urban skyline. Downtown Calgary, with its galleries, museums and cultural events, is easily accessible via the CTrain, and the Rocky Mountains are only an hour away by car.

Campus Buzz

AUArts students have full access to amenities at the neighbouring Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, including a new recreation building, which will offer a 1,000-seat arena, three gymnasiums, golf simulators and batting cage. 

Standout Programs

• Fibre: Students engage in intensive studio-based research and study techniques ranging from papermaking and weaving to dyeing and painting cloth. Assignments encourage development of a personal creative process and studio practice.

• Visual Communications: Students choose from two streams: advertising and graphic design or character design and illustration. Both streams are grounded in practice and industry relevance, preparing students for a variety of careers.

• Glass: Students in this studio-based program enjoy a high level of interaction with both faculty and visiting artists.

Tuition (includes compulsory ancillary fees)


Minimum Entering Grades

Arts: 60%, plus portfolio

Student Body

Undergraduates: Full-time: 1,051 | Part-time: 53

Graduates: Full-time: 5

International Students: First-year: 10%

Housing Facts

Residence Spaces:

No residence on campus, but students can apply for residence at nearby SAIT

Cool Courses

• Sculptural Concerns: Focusing on glass, students explore processes including fusing, casting and light installation.

• Storytelling and Environments: The course explores environment illustration with a focus on landscape, architecture, lighting and atmospheric effects.

Student Life on Campus

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