Visual Arts

Master of Arts (MA)

Meet Kelsey Perreault, MA candidate in Visual Arts

“I made really great professional relationships with the faculty during my undergraduate studies and wanted to continue working with these scholars.”

Why did you come to Western for your graduate degree?
My program at Western offered more flexibility and independence with regards to course design and scheduling than the other institutions I was offered admission to.

What is it about your grad program that enables you to thrive and be successful?
The program is a tight-knit group of students that bounce ideas off each other and offer support to one another. We also know our professors well, due to our small class sizes, and the fact that they are super approachable.

Do you engage in volunteer activities?
I volunteer with museum London for events and with the McIntosh gallery as a research assistant.

What’s the best advice you could give to someone considering applying to your graduate program?
Come talk to the professors and the students! We can give you intimate details about the program that you can’t find online or in a brochure.

What idea, suggestion, or comment would you like to share with the Western graduate community?
If I could share anything with the Western graduate community it would be a reminder that this is just that, a community. It can be inspiring when we come together and collaborate. My research doesn’t fit perfectly into one faculty or field, which means I’m always interested in what students are doing in other disciplines. So share what you’re doing! Start a conversation!

Have you worked as a TA or RA?
I’m a full time TA. This experience has helped me understand the academic world and the university as an institution. You also gain invaluable leadership and teaching skills, which is great if you’re hoping to pursue teaching.

Program Websites

Program Contact

Linda Meloche, Program Assistant (

Department of Visual Arts

Western University
John Labatt Visual Arts Centre
London, Ontario N6A 5B7

t. 519-661-2111 ext. 83440
f. 519-661-2020

The one year MA in Art History and Curatorial Studies offers training in the histories and theories of art and visual culture. The MA degree requires full-time study for three terms (fall, winter, summer) and has two streams, a course-based stream and a thesis-based stream. It prepares its graduates for advanced study in the field, as well as for careers in museums, galleries, and other areas of the arts. In first semester, all MA and MFA students take a core course in art theory and research methods together, thereby providing opportunities for exchange between historical and contemporary perspectives. From there, students work in small seminar courses, complete a second language requirement, have the opportunity to undertake an internship, and complete either a major research paper or thesis, depending on stream.

Program Length

  • 3 Terms

Program Design

  • Full-time study
  • Course-based, project-based or thesis-based

Funding Information

Applicants are encouraged to apply for the following scholarships (if eligible):

Admission Requirements

  • Honours BA degree in art history or visual arts with a minimum B+ standing.

Students with equivalent qualifications in relevant visual fields such as film or media studies will also be considered.

Additional Requirements

  • Students must submit a sample of written work (normally an essay in art history).

English Language Proficiency

Applicants whose first language is not English must furnish evidence of their proficiency in the use of the English language by a satisfactory* achievement within the last two years in one of the following:

  • The Test of English as a Foreign Language(TOEFL). iBT (internet-Based Test): The minimum acceptable score is 86, with no individual score below 20. PdT (Paper-delivered Test): The minimum acceptable total score is 65, with no individual score below 20. Please note that some programs require a higher minimum and/or band score. [Western's TOEFL ID is 0984].
  • The International English Language Testing Service (IELTS Academic). The minimum acceptable score is 6.5 out of 9. The IELTS is offered in 6 test centres in the US and 3 in Canada.
  • The Duolingo English Test.  Applicants must attain a minimum score of 115.    
  • The Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB) of the University of Michigan. Students must have at least 80 on each of the sections and an overall score of at least 85. Arrangements to write MELAB may be made online. Please note: The MELAB is no longer being offered by Michigan Language Assessment. However, Western University will continue to accept MELAB test reports that are newer than two years old as sufficient proof of English language proficiency.
  • The Canadian Academic English Language Assessment (CAEL Assessment). The minimum acceptable score is 60. The CAEL Assessment is offered in several countries throughout the world as well as Canada.
  • Western English Language Centre. The requirement is successful completion of the High-Advanced level.
  • Fanshawe College’s ESL Program. The requirement is graduation from Level 10, English for Academic Purposes, with a minimum 80% in all components.

*Programs at Western may require a higher minimum score than those listed above.

Students who are required to present evidence of proficiency in English must make their own arrangements to write the TOEFL, IELTS, MELAB or CAEL and to have the official results sent directly to the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies by the testing agency. Those graduates from CultureWorks or Fanshawe College’s ESL Program must provide official proof of graduation.


Other formal evidence of graduate level proficiency in English may be considered in lieu of these test scores. Students must contact the graduate program(s) to which they have applied in order to determine if test scores will not be required. A decision will then be made at the discretion of the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies for exemption. For the French and Spanish programs only, evidence of proficiency in English is a degree requirement but not a requirement for admission.

Application Deadline

  • January 15 - Acceptance notification in March