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Frequently Asked Questions

With extensive backgrounds in art, technology, and education, each one of our faculty members is here to help students advance and grow in their artistic endeavours.

SVMA serves approximately 450 majors, with an additional 400 non-majors enrolled in classes. This makes SVMA one of the largest schools at UM.


Bachelor or Arts (B.A.) is our liberal arts degree, designed for students wanting to study broadly across the University

  • B.A. Media Arts
  • B.A. Art
  • B.A. Art (online delivery)
  • B.A. Art Education

Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) is our undergraduate professional degree, for students wanting to study in-depth in our school.

  • B.F.A. Art
  • B.F.A. Art Education
  • B.F.A. Media Arts–Digital Art and Technology Track
  • B.F.A Media Arts–Digital Filmmaking Track
  • B.F.A Media Arts–Sonic Arts Track
  • B.F.A. Interactive Game Design and Interactive Media


(A smaller group of courses focused on a theme, skill or technology which provide specific expertise.)

  • Digital Design
  • Documentary Film
  • New West: Art and the Environment
  • Sonic Arts Certificate


  • Art History and Criticism
  • Art Studio
  • Media Arts

Graduate Degrees

  • M.A. Art
  • M.F.A. Art
  • M.F.A Media Arts

No. A portfolio review is not required to begin studies in SVMA except in a few instances. These include:

  • Transfer students wishing to receive petition for credit during their transcript review;
  • Acceptance to the B.F.A Art program during their second or third year of study;
  • Graduate program applicants.

Yes. High school students can get college credit toward their art degree by recieving a “3” or higher on Advanced Placement tests. Please ask our advisor for more info.

Students may also seek exemptions from foundations drawing and 3-D courses by submitting a portfolio of 8-10 digital images.

Students transferring from other colleges encouraged to schedule a transcript review with our advisor to make sure all course-work is counted towards their degree.

Yes. SVMA understands that financing a college education is one of the most important investments a student and his or her family will make. According to Financial Aid Services, approximately 2/3 of all UM students receive some type of financial aid. We encourage students to contact UM Financial Aid for additional assistance and answers to specific questions. Please see the undergraduate scholarship and graduate scholarship.

Generally yes. SVMA offers a wide range of courses which can be combined in many exciting ways. We will work with you to tailor your studies to suit your career goals and create interests. Please meet with an advisor for individualized assistance.

SVMA has professional advisors ready to help you work toward graduation. We encourage you to meet with an advisor regularly. Please email to schedule an appointment

Our program prepares you for a large number of creative careers.  Our alumni are successful designers, artists, filmmakers, museum administrators, gallery directors and interactive media creators. Alumni work at (and often lead) nearly every arts organization in our region.

Some students pursue careers outside of the arts. These students report that their training in creative thinking is invaluable to their current job (Alumni survey 2018).

Our students are diverse. While there is no one formula, in general our students enjoy making things, exploring creatively, dedicated to hands-on studio practice, open to new ideas, and desire to improve their skills. No experience is necessary to start our programs–just a desire to learn.

Our faculty recognize the many different perspectives students bring to class: instructors welcome students with a wide range of interests and work with many approaches to creative making. We are excited to help you realize your passion!

“The mission of the School of Visual and Media Arts is to educate and engage the next generation of artists and storytellers in a wide variety of creative practices and research.  SVMA strives to promote a holistic, cross-disciplinary approach and foster diversity and inclusion in the study, creation, and dissemination of arts and media.

Central to this mission are opportunities to create original works, gain proficiency with a diversity of creative processes (narrative, audio, and visual; in both digital and material systems), critically analyze artworks and media past and present, collaborate within and across artistic disciplines, and research the contextual and cultural history of art, design, and media. We lead — and teach students how to lead — through excellence in creative scholarship and research.

Our students develop critical and creative thinking skills, cultivate an informed aesthetic, build proficiency in various modes, methods, technologies, and forms of expression, and gain the ability to assess, articulate, and evaluate a broad range of arts and media.”