MFA Interdisciplinary Studies

SFU Contemporary Arts is an intimate art school in a university setting. The Master of Fine Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies (MFA) program provides advanced professional training for artists in the fields of music, dance, theatre, film, video and visual art. 

The program develops student's individual artistic practice, creativity, interdisciplinary research, technical skill and critical awareness of art's relationship to contemporary society. Several kinds of artist thrive in this program: those who have a strong background in a single discipline and value the stimulation of an interdisciplinary environment; those whose studio practice fuses two or more disciplines; and those who want to develop the theoretical or scholarly context of their practice.

For information about applying to the program, please follow the links at the Future Students section of the left sidebar menu.

Program Information

MFA students work closely with faculty members. Our faculty consists of nationally and internationally recognized dancers and choreographers; filmmakers, videomakers, and screenwriters; composers; directors, actors, and a dramaturge; visual artists; and historians and theorists.

MFA students normally pursue a five-semester program of original research and studio work, culminating in a graduate artistic project supported by an essay and documentation. The program is full-time, normally takes two years, and requires students to be in the Vancouver area.

MFA Application Dates

Applications for entry into the SFU Contemporary Arts MFA program (Fall 2016) are now open. The online submission deadline is January 23rd, 2016.

If you are interested in applying for the MFA program for 2016, please refer to the application procedures below to review what you will need for your application.

Please see the MFA HANDBOOK for detailed information about the MFA program.

For further inquiries, please send an email to

MFA Application Procedure

MFA Application Requirements
Applicants should have an undergraduate university degree (or equivalent) coupled with substantial training in an art discipline and evidence of an active art practice. An interest in interdisciplinary experimentation and exploring the interrelationships of the arts is an asset. Applicants should have an interest in exploring the theoretical or historical context of their creative practice. Candidates should be self-directed and able to work independently and should have at least one year of professional experience beyond their undergraduate studies.

Selection Process
Faculty will review all applications as received. Selected applicants will be interviewed by faculty between January 16, 2016 and February 28, 2016.

Shortlisted applicants will be contacted to arrange a suitable time for an interview in person or by phone or Skype. Please be sure that your contact information is up to date and that you can be available for an interview on short notice (often one day; we will do our best to work around employment schedules and classes).

All applicants who submit complete applications will be notified of their status by the end of March 2016. Candidates accepted into the MFA program will begin their courses in September 2016.

Please be sure that your mailing and e-mail addresses are current, as you will be notified of application results by e-mail and by letter.

All required documents must be submitted online and received by January 23, 2016.


1.  On-line Application for Graduate Studies.
If you have not submitted the online application you will not be considered for the program.
All graduate program applications are processed through the Dean of Graduate Studies office. In order to use the online application system, you will need to pay an application fee of $90 CAN (students with Canadian transcripts) or $125 CAN (students with international transcripts) by credit card (MasterCard or Visa).
The on-line application includes a checklist of the documents that you will need to submit to us to support your application. This checklist will be updated on line as we receive your documents. Please refer to the on-line checklist to ensure that all documents are received - due to the number of applications, it is not possible for us to monitor every applicant's checklist closely.

2.   Official sealed Transcripts of all post-secondary education. Sealed transcripts may be included with your application, or may be sent directly to the address below by the academic institution. Non-English language transcripts must include an official English translation.

c/o Milton Lim (Graduate Program Assistant)
SFU Woodward's, Goldcorp Centre for the Arts
149 West Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada, V6B 1H4

3.   A Curriculum Vitae.

4.   An Artist's Statement indicating your background and the nature of your creative practice, including primary discipline and any interdisciplinary interest. Your goals in pursuing a Master's degree at Simon Fraser would also be of interest to the committee.

5.   Three short scenarios (150-200 words each) of Artistic Projects you might undertake during graduate study. These will not necessarily evolve into your major project, but should indicate the creative directions you wish to pursue and your conceptual clarity.

6.   A Portfolio of your work, including a list which prioritizes the viewing/listening order of materials. You may upload video, audio,
images, or PDF documents (less than 10 Mb each). Unfortunately, we are unable to accept physical media (DVDs, CDs, etc.) any longer.  For works which involve a creation and production team, please make your role (Director, Choreographer, etc.) clear.

7.   A sample of Academic Writing. Acceptable samples include senior undergraduate essays or other academic writing, published articles, and grant applications.

8.  Three (3) Letters of Reference from (preferably) academic or professional sources. Letters can be uploaded online directly by each reference. He or she will receive log in information and instructions for uploading his or her letter once you have named him or her as a reference.

We do not have a template for reference letters; your referees can use their preferred format.

9.    International students: English is the language of instruction and communication in the University. The School for Contemporary Arts requires English proficiency as outlined on the Dean of Graduate Studies website.
Please note that we must receive test results directly from the testing agency. Copies of documents sent by the student will not be accepted.

Other Information

Situated in Gastown, in an emerging cultural hub of the city, SCA works closely with the Cultural Unit and Community Engagement office, and aspires to be the generator of excellence in artistic, intellectual, cultural and community events and programming.  Through exposure and engagement with continuous cultural productions and presentations, we create direct and experiential learning opportunities for students, for faculty and for the diverse communities in which we are situated.

MFA Profile

Yves Candau

Yves Candau

Alumni, MFA Graduate (2015)

I have been dancing for the past 17 years, coming to movement from a background in science ­- MSc in Applied Mathematics and MSc in… More

Alumni Reflections

"The Master of Fine Arts Program challenged me to transform my work into a multi-dimensional practice encompassing not only music, but dance, visual arts, and film. I came in with one idea and left with a hundred."

Stefan Smulovitz, Musician, Composer, Software Designer

recent works

  • SFU Film Grad Trailer 2012
  • Visual Art  - 2nd Annual Campus Project - Image Gallery
  • Here Be Dragons - Non Plus Ultra
  • Videognome - 2013 SFU Film GRAD TRAILER - YouTube