101 – OCAD University

University program information changes regularly. For the most up-to-date details, view the online application.

Last updated: October 1, 2019

Quick Links


  • You may apply to only 1 program.
  • A non-refundable $25 fee, payable in advance to the OUAC, is required to cover the cost of the portfolio assessment or review of supplementary application materials.
  • Email is the primary communication tool for OCAD University. Important messages outlining the next steps required to complete your application and other information will be sent to the email address associated with your application.
  • After submitting an application, add the “ocadu.ca” domain to your email “safe senders” list and check your junk mail and spam folders regularly.

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About OCAD University


Established in 1876, OCAD University was the first school in Canada dedicated exclusively to the education of professional artists in fine and commercial art.

Today, OCAD University is one of the largest art and design universities in North America.

Specializing in creativity and innovation, we are building on our traditional, studio-based strengths and adding new approaches to learning that champion cross-disciplinary studies, collaboration and the integration of emerging technologies.

Special Characteristics

OCAD University is located in the heart of Toronto, one of the world’s most multicultural cities and Canada’s largest centre for art, design, culture and business. Our students are encouraged to take full advantage of the university’s downtown location, which links to an extended campus of design studios, art galleries, artist-run centres and museums.

Our professors are leading artists, designers and scholars who represent Canada’s largest art and design faculty. OCAD University’s unique learning environment allows students to receive individual attention and work with educators in smaller class settings. The 4,000+ student population represents a wide variety of geographical, cultural and educational backgrounds, and creates a vibrant, energetic atmosphere.

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Undergraduate Degrees and Areas of Major

OCAD University offers Honours Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Design (BDes) and Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degrees with the following areas of major and specializations:

  • Advertising (BDes)
  • Creative Writing (BFA)
  • Criticism & Curatorial Practice (BFA)
  • Cross-Disciplinary Art: Life Studies (BFA)
  • Cross-Disciplinary Art: Publications (BFA)
  • Digital Futures (BDes or BFA)
  • Drawing & Painting (BFA)
  • Drawing & Painting: Digital Painting and Expanded Animation (BFA)
  • Environmental Design: Interior Design (BDes)
  • Environmental Design: Non-Specialized (BDes)
  • Graphic Design (BDes)
  • Illustration (BDes)
  • Indigenous Visual Culture (BFA)
  • Industrial Design (BDes)
  • Integrated Media (BFA)
  • Integrated Media: Digital Painting and Expanded Animation (BFA)
  • Material Art & Design: Textiles (BDes or BFA)
  • Material Art & Design: Jewellery/Metalsmithing (BDes or BFA)
  • Photography (BFA)
  • Printmaking (BFA)
  • Sculpture/Installation (BFA)
  • Visual and Critical Studies (Honours BA – Art History)

Read more about our degrees, majors, specializations, minors, courses and graduate degrees.

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Entry Points and Application Deadline

The fall semester, beginning in September each year, is the only entry point for all programs. The recommended deadline to apply for all programs is February 3, 2020. Applications received after February 3, 2020, will be considered as space permits and some programs may not accept applications after this deadline. You may apply to only 1 program at OCAD University.

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Academic Entrance Requirements

As an applicant from an Ontario high school, you must complete the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) with an overall academic average of at least 70% in six 4U/M courses, including ENG4U (or EAE4U) with a minimum final grade of 70%.

Read more about academic requirements.

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English-Language Proficiency Requirements

If English is not your first language and you have not completed 4 consecutive years of study in an English-language school system, you are required to provide additional documentation of English-language proficiency.

Read more about minimum English proficiency test scores.

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Program Notes – Bachelor of Arts

The Honours Bachelor of Arts in Visual and Critical Studies is a new degree program at OCAD University that officially launched in September 2014.

This program is offered under the written consent of the Ministry of Colleges and Universities for the period of June 2012 to June 2020.

Prospective students are responsible for satisfying themselves that the program and the degree will be appropriate to their needs (e.g., acceptable to potential employers, professional licensing bodies or other educational institutions).

In addition to academic requirements, there are supplementary writing sample assignments required for admission to OCAD University’s Visual and Critical Studies (BA) program. You will be notified of further details and deadlines by email.

A non-refundable $25 fee, payable in advance to the OUAC, is required to cover the cost of the evaluation of the supplemental assignments.

Find further details and deadlines for submission of the supplemental application.

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Program Notes – Bachelor of Design and Bachelor of Fine Arts

Admission to OCAD University’s Bachelor of Design and Bachelor of Fine Arts degree programs is based primarily on a portfolio submission and assessment. Portfolio requirements may vary by program. All offers based on the strength of the portfolio are conditional upon successful completion of the academic entrance requirements.

Portfolios are reviewed primarily in February each year, and you must submit a portfolio to be considered for admission. You will be notified of further details and deadlines by email.

A non-refundable $25 fee, payable in advance to the OUAC, is required to cover the cost of the portfolio review.

Read more about specific portfolio guidelines and submission methods.

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Financial Aid and Awards

The Financial Matters website contains information about government student loans, bursary plans, scholarships, awards and financial counselling.

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Disability Support Services

OCAD University provides individualized support services for students with disabilities. All information about a student’s disability is kept confidential. You are encouraged to identify yourself so that your needs may be accommodated through our Centre for Students with Disabilities.

Visit the disability services website.

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Residence Accommodations

OCAD University does not have student residence facilities. There are excellent housing resources/referrals, including links to independent residences around Toronto, available on the housing information website.

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Campus Visits

Throughout the year, we offer tours and host a number of events that are a great introduction to life at the University.

For more information on campus visits, view our Events and Tours website.

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Contact Information

The Admissions & Recruitment department makes every effort to help all prospective students throughout the application process. Feel free to contact us with any questions.

Mailing Address:
OCAD University
Admissions & Recruitment
100 McCaul Street
Toronto ON  M5T 1W1

In-person Inquiries:
Level 1, 230 Richmond Street West
Toronto ON  M5V 2C5

Telephone: 416-977-6000, ext. 4869
Toll-free: 1-800-382-6516
Email: admissions@ocadu.ca

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