Bachelor of Fine Arts (Fine Arts and Creative Writing) (BFA Program)

Karin Beeler, Professor and Chair
Robert Budde, Professor
Dee Horne, Professor
Kevin Hutchings, Professor; Canada Research Chair in Literature, Culture, and Environmental Studies
Lisa Dickson, Associate Professor
Kristen Guest, Associate Professor
Maryna Romanets, Associate Professor
Blanca Schorcht, Associate Professor​

Please Note: The Bachelor of Fine Arts program is no longer accepting applications. 

The Joint Degree in Fine Arts and Creative Writing is offered through a partnership between the University of Northern British Columbia and Emily Carr University of Art + Design.
The degree is an interdisciplinary four-year joint-degree program between the two universities that connects creative writing and studio practice. Courses within the program offer students the opportunity to develop applied, conceptual, and theoretical skills.

The program begins in September of each year and the application deadline is February 1.  Anyone seeking information about the application process should contact the UNBC Office of the Registrar.  Students who want help regarding course selection are encouraged to contact the UNBC Student Advisor.

The UNBC/ECU joint degree in Fine Arts and Creative Writing is an interdisciplinary project-based degree that links creative writing and studio practice within a critical context.  Studio courses within the degree ensure that students establish foundational skills during their first year, and that they build expertise within several different disciplines in their second and third years.  The fourth year of study focuses on work in an independent studio environment.  Concurrently, academic courses in theory and creative writing provide a theoretical basis of understanding that enhances and informs studio experience.

Although intended to support students in central northern BC, the unique character of this program may prove to be attractive for students from elsewhere in Canada and around the world.  Such exposure will not only allow students to develop and combine a significant range of artistic abilities, it will also cultivate highly transferable skills.  While many graduates may elect to pursue careers as practicing artists, others may choose to apply for graduate degrees in English or Fine Arts; to apply for professional degrees, such as law or education, requiring highly developed critical thinking skills; to seek employment in areas such as graphic design, web/computer design, and information-based industries.
Students must take 120 credit hours, whether directly or by transfer, split equally between the University  of Northern British Columbia and the Emily Carr University of Art + Design.  Students may elect to complete a portion of the required courses at the ECU's main campus during the summer months.  All costs associated with student travel and stay at ECU are the responsibility of the student.

Admission Requirement

Admission to the Bachelor of Fine Arts joint degree is competitive by direct entry to UNBC based on academic qualifications, portfolio, and available space.  Priority admission will be given to students who meet admission criteria and apply by the deadline of  February 01.  Applications received after the deadline may be reviewed based on available space in the program. 
Applicants from BC and Yukon secondary schools must:
  • meet the admission requirements as specified in the Admissions section of the UNBC Undergraduate Calendar with an admission average of at least 67%, and
  • submit a portfolio that includes ten examples of studio art and five pieces of creative writing.  There will be sessions throughout the year for students to learn how to prepare a portfolio.  For dates and times, please click on events on the English Program home page.
        There will be sessions throughout the year for students to learn how to prepare a portfolio. 
                     For dates and times, please click on events on the English Program homepage.
Other applicants must demonstrate that they possess qualifications at least equivalent to the BBC and Yukon requirement.

Application of Academic Regulations

On a semester-by-semester basis, students are subject to the Academic Regulations in place at the institution to which their course numbers are designated (ECU or UNBC or both).  Grading, for courses bearing their institutional designation, is by the grading scales of each institution respectively.

Transfer Credit and Residency

Transfer credit and/or advanced standing may be awarded for course work completed at other recognized institutions, and will be assigned by the two institutions in conformity with their Academic Regulations.  The minimum residency requirement for graduation is 30 credit hours each at UNBC and ECU.


It is the responsibility of the student to ensure that his/her degree requirements are met.  Students must have a CGPA of at least 2.0 (63%) over all courses at both institutions to graduate.

Program Requirements

In order to meet the graduation requirements for a BFA, students must successfully complete the following requirements consisting of 120 credit hours.  Students may count no more than 60 credit hours from each of UNBC and ECU towards the degree.  For ECU course descriptions, please refer to the following URL:

Please Note:  Many of the ECU courses are provided on-line only.  For further information, contact the Student Advisor.  Courses marked with an asterisk (*) may be available to be taken on-site at Emily Carr during the summer in advance of the semester offering.

Foundation (First) Year

ECU Courses
FNDT 106-3 
Drawing and 2-Dimensional Language 
FNDT 108-3
Creative Processes (on-line)
FNDT 109-3 
Visual Communication (on-line)
AHIS 102-3
Visual Culture (on-line)
AHIS 103-3 
Visual Culture II (on-line)
UNBC Courses

One of:
     ENGL 100-3
Introduction to Literary Structures
Introduction to Poetry
     ENGL 103-3
Introduction to Fiction
     ENGL 104-3
Introduction to Drama and/or Film
     ENGL 170-3
Writing and Communication Skills
Twelve elective credit hours.

Second Year

ECU Courses
AHIS 210-3
Art and Culture
Twelve Open Studio credit hours (200-level) selected from across Emily Carr University in any combination of 3 or 6 credit hours.
UNBC Courses
Introduction to Creative Writing
Six credit hours from:
     ENGL 205-3 
     ENGL 210-3
Women and Literature: A Survey
     ENGL 270-3Expository Writing
Six elective credit hours.

Third Year

ECU Courses
HUM 311-3
Visual Art Seminar
Nine Open Studio credit hours (300-level) selected from across Emily Carr University in any combination of 3 or 6 credit hours
Three AHIS/DHIS/MHIS credit hours (300/400-level).

UNBC Courses (Third + Fourth Year: 30 credit hours)
Creative Writing - Poetry
Creative Writing - Fiction and Creative Non-Fiction
Creative Writing - Drama and Scriptwriting
Cultural Studies
One of:
     ENGL 300-3
     ENGL 400-3
Contemporary Theory
Fifteen credit hours of 300/400-level elective courses.

Fourth Year

ECU Courses
HUM 411-3
Written Project
Three AHIS/DHIS/MHIS credit hours (300/400-level)
Nine Open Studio credit hours.

UNBC Courses

See above for Third + Fourth Year Requirements.