The foundation year comprises the first year of each of NSCAD’s undergraduate degrees. Many students specifically choose NSCAD because of the visual arts foundation component. These exploratory, interdisciplinary courses equip you with the critical skills required to thrive in an art school environment.
After exploring a wide range of ideas, approaches, processes and materials through the foundation year, students are well-equipped to focus their creative abilities and energies in the following years at NSCAD. This starts with the major that will mark their undergraduate degree.
The degree programs at NSCAD are designed to provide a balance of theory and practice. Courses offer credit either as studio credit or as liberal arts and science credits. Studio courses focus on the production of art, craft and/or design, through studio practice and related theory. Liberal arts and sciences courses focus principally on the written and verbal analysis and interpretation of historical and/or contemporary culture materials.
Within the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree program, double majors may be completed–allowing students to focus on two main areas of interest. The requirements for both major programs must be completed prior to graduation in order for the double major to be awarded. Students who are doing the Bachelor of Fine Arts, Major in Interdisciplinary Arts cannot do a double major. Students considering a double major are strongly encouraged to first discuss the double major with respective program chairs, and then meet with their academic advisor to plan their programs of study.
Students whose interests lie in two different degree programs, for example in both the BFA Interdisciplinary and the BA in Art History programs, should consult with the registrar.
In addition to their major area, students may add a minor to their program, selected from any of the current minors, including:
– Minor in Animation
– Minor in Art Education
– Minor in Ceramics
– Minor in Contemporary Culture
– Minor in Drawing
– Minor in Fashion
– Minor in Film Studies
– Minor in Illustration
– Minor in Indigenous Studies
– Minor in Jewellery Design and Metalsmithing
– Minor in Journalism Studies
– Minor in Print, Paper, Book
– Minor in Textiles
Make sure to check the Academic Calendar to find out which minors can be added to your program, and to confirm the course requirements.
Please note, students who wish to declare a minor must submit a minor declaration form.
TANYA TAGAQ GILLIS
BFA 1998, DFA 2015
“NSCAD changed my life. It’s where I learned to express myself.” Tanya Tagaq Gillis (BFA 1998, DFA 2015) is an avant-garde artist who has won a Polaris Prize and multiple Juno Awards. Her first novel, Split Tooth, is the winner of the 2019 Indigenous Voices Award. She is also a member of the Order of Canada.
“NSCAD lets you try on different hats, experiment and explore. People are so driven and focused. You get a high from it that you don’t get from anything else.” Sydney Smith (BFA 2006) is a children’s book illustrator and winner of the Governor General’s Award for illustrated children’s books, TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award, Britain’s Kate Greenaway Medal, and the Atlantic Book Awards’ Lillian Shepherd Memorial Award for Excellence in Illustration.
“NSCAD is where I learned how to see, and that’s crossed over to all aspects of my life.” Heather Igloliorte (BFA 2003) is Canada’s pre-eminent Inuk Art Scholar. She is a curator, artist and Concordia University Research Chair in Indigenous Art History and Community Engagement.
“At NSCAD, I learned work is never done and the evolution of your mind and eye is imperative for real growth.” Akshay Tyagi (BFA 2008) Fashion innovator, Bollywood costume designer and stylist.”