The Faculty of Communication, Art and Technology at Simon Fraser University

The Faculty of Communication, Art and Technology at Simon Fraser University
Faculty of Communication, Art and Technology (FCAT)
Established 2009
Dean Dr. Cheryl Geisler
Location Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada
Affiliations Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC)

The Faculty of Communication, Art and Technology (FCAT) at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, Canada, offers a range of undergraduate and graduate programs in Communication, Contemporary Arts, Interactive Arts & Technology, and Publishing. Programs in the Faculty are taught at all three campuses, located in Burnaby, Vancouver, and Surrey, B.C. Soon FCAT will also be located in the new Woodward's building, a new cultural facility in downtown Vancouver. FCAT was launched in April 2009.[1] As of 2008-2009, the faculty had approximately 1,861 Undergrad FTEs, 208 Graduate Students, 1,600 Majors declared, and 79 continuing full-time faculty members.[2] The current Dean of FCAT is Dr. Cheryl Geisler.[1]



School of Communication

The School of Communication at Simon Fraser University bridges the critical and the applied in its programs. It offers students opportunities and the means to explore, analyze, and critically evaluate the complexities and interplay between the numerous and diverse dimensions of communication — critical analysis of media; the impacts and assessment of new technology; the nature of information and media in local, national and global environments; telecommunications; communication and cultural policy; the political and economic dimensions of communication media; international media systems; culture and communication; international communication; hands-on production and analysis of media; applied communication research and design; and more — all are key components of the programs in the School of Communication.[3] Students in the School of Communication study human interaction from a critical perspective, examining media and culture; technology and society; and communication policy and political economy. Collaborating with others, they deploy their combined insights in areas as diverse as healthcare and communication policy development. Degree offered is a Bachelor of Arts.[4]

School for the Contemporary Arts

The School for the Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University is focused on the study, production and promotion of contemporary art. Programs are offered in art and culture studies, dance, film, music, theatre, and visual art.[5] The School offers degree programs in Art and Culture Studies, Dance, Film, Music, Theatre, Visual Art and a Master of Fine Arts.[6]

Programming began in 1965 on a non-credit basis. There was a collaborative atmosphere from the outset, encouraging interaction between the arts and academic departments. Practicing artists, such as theatre director John Juliani and composer R. Murray Schaefer, ran some of these programs. By the early 1970s, the Centre was a recognized program with a public event series, workshops conducted by invited high profile artists and in-house interdisciplinary productions such as Purcell's opera Dido and Aeneas. In 1975 the Centre became an academic unit in the Faculty of Interdisciplinary Studies, with credit courses in dance, film, music, theatre, visual art and interdisciplinary art history under its first Director: Dr. Evan Alderson. The University brought in new faculty and initiated minor programs beginning with dance in 1977. Grant Strate, choreographer and former principal dancer with the National Ballet of Canada, became Director in 1980. By 1981, there were minor programs for each disciplinary area of the School, a major in Dance, and a BA with a major in the Fine and Performing Arts. Although subjected to cutbacks as a result of the provincial restraint program in 1983, the Centre maintained the academic programs in all fine arts disciplines. In 1986 a new provincial initiative spawned the establishment of Praxis Centre for Screenwriters as well as a professional non-credit summer program called the Summer Intensives. These two four week courses focused upon a range of topics from Art Theory and Criticism, Voice Training, Choreography, New Media, Film Sound and Music and Javanese Court Gamelan. In 1989 the school co-founded the Centre for Image and Sound Research. Funded by a major grant from the federal government, CISR supported innovation in new media through a state of the art lab, workshops and grants to industry until 1992. When composer Rudolf Komorous became Director in 1989, the department was renamed the School for the Contemporary Arts and grew to include BFA's in Film, Theatre, Music, and Visual Art, a BA in Art and Culture Studies, and extended minors in all disciplines. An interdisciplinary MFA was established in 1990. In recent years, under the direction of Owen Underhill (94 - 01, 06-7), Patricia Gruben (97-8) and Martin Gotfrit (01), the School for the Contemporary Arts has increased faculty numbers to 22 tenure-track professors, 5 lecturers, and 2 lab instructors. The School of Contemporary Arts has established Field Schools in Ghana and India.[7]

The School has established faculty research centres at the Great Northern Way campus shared by SFU, UBC, ECIAD and BCIT. Through Praxis, the School developed a nationally recognized program of professional training for screenwriters, and public events with Canadian and international filmmakers like Atom Egoyan, Sally Potter, Costa-Gavras, Mike Leigh, and Walter Murch.[7]

In 2010, the School for the Contemporary Arts will relocate to the innovative new Woodward's redevelopment in downtown Vancouver. The SFU Contemporary Arts at Woodward's building will be at the centre of Vancouver's lively art and cultural scene and a magnet for visitors from across the country and around the world.[7]

Publishing Program

The Masters in Publishing (MPub) program is the only program in Canada to offer a postgraduate degree in publishing. In the 16-month program, a select cohort of MPub candidates learn practical skills from faculty and guest industry professionals. The MPub operates under the umbrella of the Canadian Centre for Studies in Publishing (CCSP), Canada’s book, magazine, and online publishing research and education centre. As part of its mandate to work closely with the Canadian publishing industry, the Master of Publishing program consults regularly with an Advisory Board.[8]

School of Interactive Arts and Technology (SIAT)

SFU Surrey’s School of Interactive Arts and Technology (SIAT) explores ideas where technology and art meet. Students learn about digital interactive media, knowledge management and human computer interaction in labs and instructional facilities. SIAT is an interdisciplinary research focused school where technologists, artists, designers and theorists collaborate in research and study. A SIAT education combines the science of human experience, the analysis of media and culture, the creation of original and experimental works of art, and the implementation of new technologies. The SIAT program includes design studios where cross-functional teams collaboratively work with new media and interactive applications, and the study of the human experience of technology that helps to generate creative design theories and approaches. SIAT combines research with graduate and undergraduate degree programs (MA, MSc, PhD, BA, BSc). Graduates have gone on to many careers in numerous sectors, worked with local and international companies, and have pursued further research and post-doctoral studies for careers in industrial research laboratories and universities. SIAT is one of the first schools to offer PhD degrees in the area of interactive arts and technology, and is unique in that it offers first year undergraduate study through to Master's and PhD level study.[9]


TechOne is the first year cohort program for the Faculty of Communication, Art and Technology and is exclusively offered at Simon Fraser University in Surrey. In TechOne, students study design and technology, and the roles they play in the everyday lives of people. The core courses are interdisciplinary and represent critical concepts in communication, art, and technology theory and practice: design, technology, spatial thinking and collaboration.[10] Each one of these courses offers a concise overview of the central concept, exploring its traditional role in industry, society and academia, as well as students' lives. In all core courses, students work through a combination of theoretical study, hands-on exploration, practice and critical inquiry to develop a solid understanding of the fundamentals of each field and build a broad set of skills that will support them in future work and academic pursuits.

Undergraduate Programs

Bachelor of Arts Degrees in:

  • Communication
  • Contemporary Arts
  • Interactive Arts and Technology
  • Publishing
  • TechOne (first year of B.A. or B.Sc.)

Bachelor of Science Degrees in:

  • Interactive Arts and Technology

Graduate programs

M.A. and PhD Graduate Degrees in:

  • Communication
  • Contemporary Arts
  • Interactive Arts and Technology
  • Publishing

Master of Science and Ph.D. Degrees in:

  • Interactive Arts and Technology

See also


External links

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