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Seneca and York University create direct pathway to fine arts degree

TORONTO, March 8, 2018 – Seneca and York University recently signed a new articulation agreement to allow graduates of Seneca’s Independent Illustration diploma to further their education and career prospects by seamlessly transferring to York U’s Honours Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree in Visual Arts.

Artwork by Elena R, Independent Illustration


Under the agreement, which is already in effect, graduates of Seneca’s Independent Illustration diploma program will be granted a block of 48 credits towards the 120 required for a Fine Arts honours degree at York U. Students will only be required to complete a minimum of 72 additional York U credits to earn a degree, meaning that students will complete a four-year degree in only two years and one additional semester.

The agreement builds on a solid track record of academic partnerships between the two institutions, including existing articulation agreements in accounting and finance, arts and science, media, creative arts and animation, nursing and more. Seneca is also the academic partner on the future York University Markham Centre Campus that will offer several innovative joint programs between the two institutions.

“We are delighted to once again work with York U, and continue to develop our relationship as academic partners,” said Mark Jones, Chair of Seneca’s School of Creative Arts, Animation & Design. “This agreement is another great example of how Seneca is working to meet the growing demands of Ontario’s creative industries.”

The Independent Illustration diploma program, offered within the School of Creative Arts & Animation at Seneca is a two-year diploma that combines traditional illustration, digital media and business skills.  It educates the independent artist to succeed in the rapidly changing world of professional illustration. In addition to building on visual art skills such as drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture and digital media, students also register their own small business. With web design, accounting, marketing and revenue-generating skills in the curriculum, students will succeed as entrepreneurial artists. Graduates go on to work in children's and comic book illustration, advertising illustration and concept art for TV, film and game animation.

“As students at York U, these Seneca grads will continue to build on the strong technical and creative foundation of their illustration program,” said Professor Brandon Vickerd, Chair of the Department of Visual Art & Art History at York University’s School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design. “As part of their BFA they can play to their strengths in drawing and painting, expand into other mediums from sculpture to video as well as explore their interests outside of visual art, from music to philosophy. We look forward to welcoming them into our community of artists, thinkers, makers and innovators.”

York U’s Honours BFA in Visual Arts offers intensive studio training in a wide range of contemporary and traditional media and studies in the history and theory of art. Students have access to the best studio facilities in Canada, from the L.L. Odette Centre for Sculpture to the print media studio. They are mentored by faculty members who are highly regarded artists with active professional practices. Graduates are prepared to be well-rounded professionals in the field, able to lead in the creation, exhibition, critical understanding and communication of visual culture in diverse environments.

About Seneca

With campuses in Toronto, York Region and Peterborough, Seneca offers degrees, diplomas, certificates and graduate programs renowned for their quality and respected by employers. It is one of the largest comprehensive colleges in Canada, offering nearly 300 full-time, part-time and online programs. Combining the highest academic standards with work-integrated and applied learning, expert teaching faculty and the latest technology ensure Seneca graduates are career ready.

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About York University

York University champions new ways of thinking that drive teaching and research excellence. Our students receive the education they need to create big ideas that make an impact on the world. Meaningful and sometimes unexpected careers result from cross-disciplinary programming, innovative course design and diverse experiential learning opportunities. York students and graduates push limits, achieve goals and find solutions to the world’s most pressing social challenges, empowered by a strong community that opens minds. York U is an internationally recognized research university – our 11 faculties and 25 research centres have partnerships with 200+ leading universities worldwide. Located in Toronto, York is the third largest university in Canada, with a strong community of 53,000 students, 7,000 faculty and administrative staff, and more than 300,000 alumni. York U's fully bilingual Glendon Campus is home to Southern Ontario's Centre of Excellence for French Language and Bilingual Postsecondary Education.

For more information:

Lisa Pires
Media Relations
416.491.5050 ext. 77018

Amy Stewart
Publicist, School of Arts, Media, Performance & Design
York University
416.736.2100 ext. 44044