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OCAD University

Canada Full Member Institution

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Mission Statement

OCAD University shapes imagination through the delivery of excellent art, design and media education at the undergraduate and graduate levels through student-focused learning that integrates studio-based education with historical, critical, aesthetic, scientific and technological inquiry. OCAD University – offers vibrant disciplinary and cross-disciplinary opportunities for cultural and lifelong learning in concert with local, national, aboriginal and international communities. – values, respects and advances ethical practice, flexibility, advocacy, diversity, accessibility, aboriginal cultures, wellness, global citizenship, and the manifestations of creativity in entrepreneurship, innovation and sustainability. – prepares students, faculty and alumni to be cultural leaders, practitioners, educators, creative thinkers, strategists, inventors and innovators who take calculated risks and make strong contributions to the cultural,social and economic prosperity of Canada and the world.

International Role

The study and practice of contemporary art and design demand that students develop the ability to examine through different perspectives shaped by culture, faith, identity, experience and place. The University’s location in the heart of one of the world’s most diverse cities provides an inherent advantage. Daily, students navigate a cosmopolitan landscape of shifting influences and expectations. International exchanges and study abroad programs will provide students with deeper opportunities to challenge their own thinking. OCAD University expands the range of opportunities for students to build cross-cultural competencies and to prepare them to make contributions that permeate borders. Faculty exchanges reinforce the international scope, as do international research initiatives. OCAD University identifies research partnerships as one of the most valuable means to amplify the capabilities and relevance of its faculty and students and ensure the impact of its research. It builds upon current international research projects, such as mobile-focused projects in China (Central Academy of Fine Arts) and India (National Institute of Design), data visualization in Brazil (University of Brasilia, UFRGS) and Inclusive Design with multiple partners in Europe, the United States and Africa. OCAD University is committed to identifying external funding opportunities for research projects that help build the institution’s global reach and reputation.

National Role

As well as our historical focus on art, design, media and cultural and social theory, OCAD University bridges these fields, engaging our most compelling contemporary themes and knowledge sets: digital media and design, sustainability, health and wellness, cultural diversity and Aboriginal cultures. We do this through cross-disciplinary programs and research within OCAD U and in concert with industry, not-for-profit, university and college partners, at home and abroad. OCAD U has forged strong ties with industry leaders in the creative, information and communication technology sectors, in healthcare and in sustainable green technology. This has positioned us as a key player in Ontario’s innovation economy as well as Canada’s.

Main Focus

BA, BFA, BDes, MA, MFA, MDes in Art, Design, New Media

Faculties and Departments

Faculty of Art Faculty of Design Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences School of Graduate Studies

Bachelor Level Programs

Advertising (BDES) – Digital Futures (BDES/BFA) – Graphic Design (BDES) – Illustration (BDES) – Environmental Design (BDES) – Industrial Design (BDES) – Material Art & Design (BDES/BFA) – Creative Writing (BFA) – Criticism & Curatorial Practice (BFA) – Drawing & Painting (BFA) –  Experimental Animation (BFA)  – Indigenous Visual Culture (BFA) – Integrated Media (BFA) – Photography (BFA) – Printmaking & Publications (BFA) – Sculpture/Installation (BFA) –  Visual and Critical Studies: Art History (BA)

All bachelor programs are 4 years.

Master Level Programs

Master of Design (MDes) in Inclusive Design (Two-year full-time Master's) – MA, MDes, MFA and Graduate Diploma in Digital Futures (Two-year full-time Master's) – MDes in Strategic Foresight and Innovation (Part-time two-year program; Full-time 16-month program) – MA, MDes and MFA in Interdisciplinary Master’s in Art, Media and Design (IAMD) (Two-year full-time program; Part-time eight to fourteen semesters) – MA in Contemporary Art, Design and New Media Art Histories (Two-year full-time program) – MFA in Criticism & Curatorial Practice (Two-year full-time program) – MDes in Design for Health (Two-year full-time program; Part-time option)

Research Activity and Main Areas

1. Healthy and Inclusive Environments • Healthcare Design; • Healthy Environment design; • Inclusive Design; • Ambient Experience; and • Healthcare and Visual Art. 2. Sustainable Futures • Urban Ecology; • Bio-Inspired design; and • Sustainable materials and product research. 3. Material Innovation, Aesthetics and Communication • Image-making, material inquiry, and haptic methodologies; • Materials and methods in contemporary art practice; • Multi-sensorial experience, synesthesia, and visual music; • Corporeality, contemporary figuration, and the body in art and design; • Advanced colour studies; • Aesthetics, cognition and inquiries in perception; and • Graphic design, information systems and data visualization 4. Creative Economies • Strategic Foresight and Design Thinking; • Media and Entertainment Design; and • Art and Entrepreneurship 5. Digital Futures • Data visualization; • Mobile media and augmented reality; • Game studies: location-based gaming; Alternate Reality Games; and games as art, research and play; • Wearable technology, tactile interfaces, and tangible computing; • Emotion studies; and • DIY practices, “hacking” and the maker movement. 6. Art and Design Education • Phenomenology of art making; • Teaching in virtual worlds and distance education; • Aesthetics and ethics in art & design practice; • Interactive methods in studio teaching and learning; and • Participatory and user-centric design and methodologies. 7. Aboriginal Visual Culture • Aboriginal visual culture, contemporary art, critical and curatorial practice; • Traditional and contemporary design innovation in Aboriginal communities; • Sustainable practices and the application of these to Aboriginal design, architecture, art and ethics in contemporary Canada; • Aboriginal cultural history in the Americas and beyond; • Gender identity in Aboriginal cultural expression; and • Visual art and design education: impacts on Aboriginal youth. 8. Critical Studies • Networks, Localities, and Global Studies; • Cultural Movements and Social Change; • Bodies and Embodiments; • History, Theory and Criticism of Art, Media, and Design; and • Technologies and Digital Culture

Doctorate Level Programs

not applicable

Subject Areas for Exchange Students

Undergraduate student exchanges in all undergraduate subject areas with select partner institutions.

Application Deadlines

May 15 for fall semester Oct 15 for winter semester

Teaching Languages


Semester Dates

Fall semester: early September to mid December

Winter semester: early January to mid April

Cost of Living Per Month (Studying and Living)

Exchange students pay tuition fees to home university. Living costs are approximately $1,500 CDN per month. Exchange students also have to purchase health insurance through the University Health Insurance Plan ($57 per month).


Bachelor: 4369
Master: 255

Exchange Students

Incoming: 32
Outgoing: 35

Teaching Staff

Professors: 161
Lectures: 365

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