Admission requirements

Uottawa Portfolio

1. How do I apply to Visual Arts? 

Visit for University of Ottawa application instructions.

2. When is the application deadline for admission to Visual Arts? 

The application deadline is April 1st for the Fall session of that year. There are no January admissions in Visual Arts.

3. Submission of Digital Portfolio

The yearly application deadline for the Portfolio submission is MARCH 1st for the Fall session of that year. 

  • Students applying for the Bachelor of Fine Arts and/or for the Bachelor of Art with Major in Visual Arts (B.A. with Major in Visual Arts) must submit a portfolio, as well as meet the general admission requirements of the Faculty of Arts. 
  • Since the selection process for the Visual Arts programs is very competitive all applicants must submit this portfolio.
  • A portfolio is a collection of artwork, ideas, sketches and artistic research material.  A portfolio can be as individual as the person who created it, there is no single formula for the perfect portfolio.  We want to see what you think about, how you solve problems, what your abilities are, and how you communicate your ideas.  You should submit your best and most recent works that reflect your personal interests, your intellectual capacities and your creative passions.
  • Use the Department of Visual Arts online portal, SlideRoom, to digitally submit your portfolio.   You must create a user profile by visiting  For more information on SlideRoom, see section 4 below.

3.1. Artistic work

Submit 15 digital images of completed artwork, of which 7 show self-initiated projects.
Please consider creating your self-initiated artwork in response to the themes or concepts listed below.  Self-directed projects or artwork should not be generated from a school assignment.  They should be conceived of and executed by you with no outside influence. 

Possible subjects/concepts for self-initiated projects

Urban environment


Social/political issues
The Egg
Circulatory systems
Life’s dilemmas

Any medium will be accepted (video, sound, painting, photo, performance, sculpture, and drawing).

  • All images and videos submitted to SlideRoom must meet the following criteria:
    • Files must be in JPEG, GIF or PNG format 
    • Individual image files must not exceed 5MB
    • Video, performance videos and sound works must not exceed 3 minutes
    • Video files must be in WMV, FLV, or MOV format
    • Video files must not exceed 60MB
    • Audio files must be in MP3 format
    • Audio files must not exceed 10MB

3.2. Sketchbook

In addition the 15 images discussed in section 3.1, submit 5 digital images of recent sketches, ideas, experiments or other explorations from your sketchbooks.  You may present multiple pages or sketches in a single image.  Digital images of art work must meet the above criteria.

4. SlideRoom

  • The University of Ottawa’s Department of Visual Arts uses SlideRoom as an online digital portfolio submission portal.
  • You must visit and create a user profile by providing a current e-mail address, street address and phone number.
  • We strongly recommended that you start building your online portfolio as early as possible and access your account often to add and replace images review the order in which your works appear, your image quality and other considerations.
  • Once you are logged in, you may view a brief video tutorial on how to use the portal 
  • You may upload images and videos at any time. 
  • SlideRoom will allow you to edit and modify your portfolio until the deadline. After that date, SlideRoom will automatically suspend submission.  You can visit and build your portfolio in SlideRoom as often as you like leading up to the deadline.  Once you click on the submit button, you will no longer be able to make changes.  REMEMBER: You must click the submit button if you want us to review your portfolio.  Incomplete portfolios will not be reviewed.
  • There is a US $30 administration fee for digital portfolio submission, payable upon completion by major credit or debit card through SlideRoom’s secure website. 

How do I contact the Department of Visual Arts?   

The faculty and staff of the Department of Visual Arts appreciate your interest. If you have any questions about the programs or about the application process, please contact us at 613-562-5868 or If you'd like to visit in person, it would be our pleasure to welcome you.


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