Art & Design

The study of art and design spans almost every school and program in our faculty. Whether its studying visual or performing arts in our School for the Contemporary Arts, publication design in our MPub program, or graphic and media arts in our School of Interactive Arts and Technology, we offer an interdisciplinary environment where students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels can expand their artistic practice and critical thinking.

Selected programs

The programs below are a sample of the many offerings across our faculty. 

Bachelor of Arts — Art, Performance and Cinema Studies Major

This program in the School for the Contemporary Arts investigates art and culture with attention to the historically changing forms of class, gender, race, ethnicity, sexuality and aesthetics. It provides students with the knowledge, research and communication skills needed to participate effectively in contemporary debates about art and culture. Course selection beyond the program’s core requirements is flexible, and students are encouraged to shape their studies in the school, or in the University at large.

Bachelor of Arts - Interactive Arts and Technology

Students in this program in the School of Interactive Arts and Technology complete a common set of first- and second-year courses. In third and fourth year, students begin to take elective courses across the program. Alternatively, students completing an interactive arts and technology major or joint major may also choose to focus their coursework on one or more concentrations in interactive systems, design, or media arts. 

Master of Publishing or publishing minor

As the only postgraduate publishing program in Canada, our MPub program is the premier training ground for publishing professionals where students are equipped with the tools they need to excel in the publishing industry. Undergraduate students at SFU have the opportunity to augment a Bachelor’s degree with a minor in publishing that teaches all aspects of the publishing industry from its history to the design and marketing of books and magazines. 

Master of Arts in Comparative Media Arts

The MA in Comparative Media Arts in our School for the Contemporary Arts provides students with well-rounded, interdisciplinary expertise through theoretical and historical perspectives from art history, cinema studies, performance studies, and digital arts. Working in parallel with students in the MFA program, MA scholars are immersed in an environment of creative experimentation.

Selected courses

The courses below are just a few of the many offerings related to art and design across our faculty.

italiaDesign and dutchDesign Field Schools

italiaDesign and dutchDesign are biannual undergraduate field schools and research program offered by our School of Interactive Arts and Technology. Running in alternating years, each field school builds on the research of the previous cohort by interviewing local industry-leading designers, architects and design manufacturers.

CA 117 - Visual Art and Culture

This couse in our School for the Contemporary Arts is an introduction to the visual arts of the nineteenth century. Students are intriduced to formal and thematic approaches to the arts, with attention to the social, institutional, national, and international contexts of art.

IAT 333 - Interaction Design Methods

One of the "cool courses" at SFU according to Maclean's, this course in our School of Interactive Arts and Technology examines concepts of design practice and related design methods for interaction designers. Design methods include ethnography, personas, design games, role-playing, scenarios, participatory workshops, and prototyping. Students participate in weekly video conferences with international experts working in human-computer interaction design.

IAT 842 — Theory and Design of Games

Games have become a major part of our culture, rivaling the popularity of movies. Drawing on a wide variety of examples and disciplines, this graduate level course in our School of Interactive Arts and Technology examines theories and techniques for the analysis of existing games, and the design of new ones. Students study game design and learn the conceptual and technical tools necessary to critique and design games of all kinds.