OCAD University

OCAD University is the third largest of 40 professional art and design universities in the North America. This is a prestigious specialized educational institution, the diploma of which will open
many doors for you.
OCAD University, Canada
The university is a unique, specialized location for the study and practice of art and design. Students immerse themselves in a cosmopolitan community that includes people from 17 to 69 years old of different backgrounds and abilities, who come here from all over the country and from around the world to receive unique education in Canada.

Brief history of the OCAD University

OCAD University was founded in Toronto by the Society of Ontario Artists in 1876 as Ontario School of Art. Only in 1912 the educational institution received the status of a college. This was the first high school in Canada for exclusive training of professional artists in fine and commercial arts. In the 90s the college began adding design programs and in 1996 it was renamed into Ontario College of Art and Design. And it received the status of the university in 2002. Now about 5,000 students study at the university, 21% of which are foreigners.

Many students choose to study in Canada at OCAD University not only because of the university's reputation, but also because of the wide range of programs and excellent teaching staff. This is a unique education in Canada for international students, as OCAD University has specialized in art and design for a longer period and more than any other high school in Canada. The educational institution offers the most profound and versatile educational programs as well as freedom of expression and the development of creativity.

OCAD University is located in the heart of Toronto, the largest center for design, culture and business in the country and in the world. The campus location gives students access to design studios, art galleries, an artist center, museums and more.

OCAD University is formed by the international leaders in art and design. Talented and successful artists, designers, illustrators, workers in the film and photo industries, such as Barbara Astman, Rebecca Belmore, Karl Dare, Theo Dimson, Anita Kunz, Claire Stewart, Gary Taxali, Douglas Ball, Floria Sigismondi and many others have graduated from it.

Educational programs at OCAD University

Study in Canada at OCAD University for the international students is possible through a variety of Bachelor degree and Master degree programs.

Bachelor degree programs

International students can study under 20 different programs:

  1. Advertising is the country's best and only 4-year university advertising program in Canada, which includes graphic design, branding, creative copywriting and career development skills.
  2. Writing - a practical studio program dedicated to writing as artistic creativity. It combines written, performance and visual expression. Students take part in the creation of electronic and print journals, symposia, workshops, shows and public speaking, book fairs, journals and publications, excursions to local readings, conferences and festivals and much more.
  3. Criticism and academic advising training is the first Bachelor degree program in Canada that prepares artists for criticism and academic advisors. Students gain studio experience by doing art. This program includes professional training in museums, galleries and many other creative institutions. Students learn from artists, academic advisors, writers and designers. They will also learn how contemporary art and design works and exhibitions reach the public.
  4. Inter-subject Art: Life Studies - in the life studies specialty, the student can combine practical studio work with the study of subjects related to life and living beings. The program includes the subjects such as: nature, anatomy, technologies, biology, ecology and sustainability. This specialty offers a focus on science and humanities through creative lenses. It also gives you the opportunity to experiment with many different media, including: sculpture, drawing, modeling, animation, photography, performance, digital art.
  5. Digital Future - Students learn to develop games, gadgets, mobile applications, virtual reality, interactive installations and augmented reality. They also explore how new technologies can solve current problems and create future opportunities. The student takes a variety of art, design and humanities courses to make an individual course of studies.
  6. Drawing and Painting - This program teaches you how to become a creative and passionate artist. The students can focus on their skills in a painting studio and study art theory, history and contemporary social issues. They will also learn to speak and write about their work in various formats. A wide variety of courses are available in digital, landscape, figurative and abstract painting.
  7. Drawing and Painting: Digital Painting and Advanced Animation is a specialty in which the student focuses on digital media and painting, including traditional drawing techniques, drawing from digital tablets and animation. This program provides basic drawing classes as well as the ability to experiment with stop-motion animation techniques, 3D animation, and 2D visual effects for animation and painting.
  8. Environmental Design - The program teaches environmental design that creates an environment for people, including architecture, urban planning, retail space, landscape and interior design. Students study research, analysis, design and presentation. They are taught how to turn their ideas into real plans and projects. Many graduates continue their studies in architecture and environmental sciences.
  9. Environmental design (specialty: interior design) - Environmental design creates an environment for people, including architecture, urban planning, retail space, landscape and interior design. The program includes courses in environmental design and four special classes dedicated to interior design.
  10. Graphic Design - Students learn the process of visual communication using a combination of images, photographs and text to present ideas and messages.
  11. Illustration - Students will learn how to create images that complement their writing or as separate ones (for example, in comics).
  12. Visual Culture of Indigenous Peoples - The program includes studio courses, where students create their own art and design. It also includes the study of the visual, cultural, social and political history of indigenous peoples (mestizo and Inuit).
  13. Industrial Design - The program includes the study of research, concept development and prototyping. An important benefit of studying industrial design at OCAD U is that you can take hands-on creative courses like design and painting at the same time.
  14. Integrated Media - Students gain technical and creative skills, which they can apply to a variety of media and digital art pieces.
  15. Integrated Media: Digital Painting and Advanced Animation is a combined program, which includes core classes of the Integrated Media course and allows to experiment with stop motion, 3D animation and 2D visuals for animation.
  16. Material of Arts and Design - The course teaches you how to create jewelry, textiles and ceramics as a professional studio artist or designer.
  17. Visual Critical Research - the program is unique as the student can attend studio courses being independently engaged in art and design. The course highlights the expanded field of contemporary art and contemporary art history, which includes design, photography, architecture, performance and new media as well as painting and sculpture.
  18. Sculpture / Installations - Students learn to create three-dimensional sculptures and installations. They are provided with production studios to explore hands-on and digital creativity. The program includes studio courses that develop imagination, critical and technical knowledge in areas such as: modeling, 3D technology, metalworking, woodworking, mold making, plastic and metal fabrication and bronze casting.
  19. Printing and Publishing - This program is dedicated to exploring the creative possibilities of modern printing and publishing. Students learn to create innovative works of visual art, books and independent publications in modern fully equipped university studios. They also learn to work "in the area" during excursions, book fairs, exhibitions, acquiring the necessary entrepreneurial skills.
  20. Photography - Unlike other universities programs focusing on the commercial side, OCAD U's photography program is artistic and experimental. It helps to find artistic vision, encouraging exploration of a wide range of issues and styles. The course will introduce skills from developing film in a dark room to digital photography. OCAD University has one of the best photo studios in Canada and one of the few schools with both color and black and white photo lab. The course also includes electives from a wide range of creative areas (sculpture / installations, engraving, drawing, etc.)

Master degree programs

OCAD University also provides the opportunity to obtain a Master's degree in several subjects:

  • Contemporary art, design and art history of new media;
  • Criticism and academic advising training;
  • Design for health;
  • Digital futures;
  • Inclusive design;
  • Inter-subject Master's Degree in Arts, Media and Design.

Accommodation and cost of studies at OCAD University

Before entering the higher educational institution in Canada, it is important to take care of accommodation. You should be aware that OCAD University does not have its own residences.

Therefore, students can either rent housing in Toronto on their own or with fellow students or try to take a place in the residences of other higher educational institutions located nearby.

Special university service will help in settling this issue.

Tuition fees for the international students in 2020/21 will be $ 15,000-16,000 per term.


  • Vladimir
    I've been living in Canada for the last 10 years and I have helped more then 700 students to come and study in Canada, USA, UK and Europe. I live in Toronto area and I have family with two children. My older son completed his studies in the Canadian college and the younger son is in the Canadian school now. That's why I know firsthand what concerns students and families have when looking for studies abroad. As a college counselor with more then 20 years of experience, I know in-depth the foreign education systems, good universities and colleges in terms of career perspective and all the nuances of application process and obtaining visas. My goal is to help you find the right university and program and to make the application process as easy as possible using my experience. If you are looking for reliable and experienced guide to studies abroad, contact me and I will help you.

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  • Julia
    I am a college counselor with more than 8 years of work experience. I have helped to more than 500 students to successfully come and study in USA, UK and Canada. My students received offers from world's top universities like Stanford, Harvard, University College London, London School of Economics, University of Toronto and many more. I enjoy working with ambitious students and their parents, who I can guide to the world's top elite universities. Besides, I love to motivate students to dream big and achieve the highest possible goals, and adore watching how they transform their lives and personalities through studies abroad. My consultations are very detailed. I usually dig deep, build successful strategies for my students, help with answers to every question. If you want to speak to me about your future studies abroad, feel free to contact me.

    +1 226 888 4959 (WhatsApp)

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