101 – OCAD University

Last updated: September 22, 2022

University program information changes regularly. Refer to the application and the university’s website for the most up-to-date details.

Quick Links


  • You may apply to only 1 program.
  • We require a non-refundable $25 fee, payable in advance to the OUAC, to cover the cost of the portfolio assessment or review of supplementary application materials.
  • Email is our primary communication tool. We will send important messages outlining the next steps required to complete your application and other information to the email address associated with your application.
  • After you submit your 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, we are 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

We are 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. We encourage our students 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. Our 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 Majors

We offer Honours Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Design (BDes) and Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degrees with the following majors and specializations:

  • Advertising (BDes)
  • Creative Writing (BFA)
  • Criticism & Curatorial Practice (BFA)
  • Digital Futures (BDes or BFA)
  • Drawing & Painting (BFA)
  • Environmental Design: Interior Design (BDes)
  • Environmental Design: Non-Specialized (BDes)
  • Experimental Animation (BFA)
  • Graphic Design (BDes)
  • Illustration (BDes)
  • Indigenous Visual Culture (BFA)
  • Industrial Design (BDes)
  • Integrated Media (BFA)
  • Material Art & Design (Jewellery/Metalsmithing and Textiles) (BDes or BFA)
  • Photography (BFA)
  • Printmaking & Publications (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 Point 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 1, 2023. We will consider applications received after February 1, 2023, as space permits, but 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 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

The language/medium of instruction at OCAD University is English and it is important for your success at OCAD U that you demonstrate proficiency in both spoken and written English.

In addition to meeting academic entrance requirements and English prerequisite course requirements (if applicable), all applicants whose first language is not English are required to submit results of an English-language proficiency test, complete an approved language pathway program, or provide proof of qualifying for an exemption from this requirement.

Read more about English-language proficiency requirements.

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Program Notes – Bachelor of Arts

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

In addition to academic requirements, there are supplementary writing sample assignments required for admission to our Visual and Critical Studies (BA) program. We will notify you of further details and deadlines by email.

We require a non-refundable $25 fee, payable in advance to the OUAC, to cover the cost of the evaluation of the supplemental assignments.

Read more about submission of the supplemental application.

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Program Notes – Bachelor of Design and Bachelor of Fine Arts

Admission to our 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.

You must submit a portfolio to be considered for admission, and we review portfolios primarily in February each year. We will notify you of further details and deadlines by email.

We require a non-refundable $25 fee, payable in advance to the OUAC, 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

Our Tuition and Funding website provides information about the:

  • cost of attending,
  • scholarships and awards,
  • financial assistance programs and
  • ways to connect with our Financial Aid and Awards team.

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Student Accessibility Services

We provide individualized support services for students with accessibility needs. We keep all information confidential. We encourage you to identify yourself so that Student Accessibility Services may accommodate your needs.

Visit the Student Accessibility Services website.

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Residence Accommodations

We do 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 information sessions, portfolio-building events and tours that are a great introduction to life at the University.

For more information, refer to our Visit web page.

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Contact Information

The Admissions & Recruitment department makes every effort to help 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:
Rosalie Sharp Pavilion
Level 1, 115 McCaul Street
Toronto ON M5T 1G1

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

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