School of the Arts, Media + Culture SAMC Art + Design

Courses and Streams

Art History/Theory

The history and theory of art understands visual practices to be vital, critical, creative engagements with social, artistic, economic and political conditions, which give voice to social aspirations, spiritual beliefs, philosophical ideals, the formation and consolidation of individual and collective identities, and the underlying fears of any given society. Art history + theory investigates the creation and interpretation of art, and how these meanings are dynamic and historically situated.


Design courses bridge subjects that deal with communications, expression, interaction and cognition. Design courses develop the technical "how" of graphic design, the creative "how" of communication problem-solving, and the critical "how" of reframing problems in multi-disciplinary, collaborative ways. Students develop professional expertise with digital design tools, typography, page layout, imaging, illustration, interactivity and design thinking. Real-world assignments explore common information and brand identity design challenges across various print and screen formats.


Students experience historical, contemporary and experimental art practices in drawing, painting, photography, printmaking, intermedia and sculpture as increasingly interdisciplinary, active, critical, collaborative practices. Visual intelligence is developed through formal, perceptual, imaginative and critical challenges that prepare students for an informed engagement with our predominantly visual culture. Courses combine material practices with cultural theory, deepening aesthetic, critical, ethical, and theological insight and outcomes. Through classroom lectures, discussion, gallery visits, research, and through actively engaging with their chosen visual scholarship and material practices, students grow in their proficiency and knowledge of art while deepening their understanding of the world around them and their place within it.

Honours Thesis Project

The Honours Program allows Art + Design majors to demonstrate exceptional commitment to their practice by conducting an in-depth arts-based or scholarly thesis project under the mentorship of a faculty member. The thesis project can take the form of a solo exhibition, substantial research paper in art history or art education, or major design project. Envisioned as a capstone experience, it is a means by which the student will deepen and extend their practice to increasingly high levels. The Honours Program mentors students into a deeper investment into their practice. 

back to top