- 40-50Acceptance Rate
The institution was established by the Ontario Society of Artists in 1876 as the Ontario School of Art, whose objective it was to provide professional artistic training, and further the development of art education in Ontario. The Ontario Society of Artists passed the motion to "draw up a scheme" for a school of art on 4 April 1876, and the first School of Art opened on 30 October 1876, funded by a government grant of $1,000.
In the late-19th and early 20th centuries, the institution was renamed three times. From 1886 to 1890 the institution was renamed the Toronto Art School. From 1890 to 1912, the school was renamed the Central Ontario School of Art and Industrial Design. In 1912, the institution became the Ontario College of Art (OCA). The institution remained the Ontario College of Art until 1996, when it was renamed the Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD).
In 2008, OCAD president Sara Diamond changed the pedagogy. She emphasised academics over studio time and required full-time instructors to hold an advanced degree.
OCAD offers a Bachelor of Arts (Visual and Critical Studies).
The school combines a studio-based education with liberal studies, which is recognised with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA), a Bachelor of Design (BDes), an Interdisciplinary Master's in Art Media and Design (MA, MFA or MDes), a Master of Fine Arts in Criticism and Curatorial Practice (MFA), a Master of Design in Strategic Foresight and Innovation (MDes), an Executive Master of Design in Advertising (EMDes), a Master of Design in Inclusive Design (MDes), and a Graduate Program in Digital Futures (Graduate Diploma and MA, MDes, MFA).
As outlined in the Admission Requirements (Undergraduate) Policy, applicants to OCAD University’s undergraduate programs must meet minimum academic entrance requirements and submit:
- Statement of Intent (required for all programs) and
- Portfolio (required for all studio BFA, BDes programs) or
- Writing sample (required for the BA in Visual and Critical Studies)
- Official transcripts
- English Language Proficiency Test results (if required)
For Ontario Secondary School applicants:
- Successful completion of the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD)
- Grade 12 U English (ENG4U or EAE4U) with a minimum final grade of 70%
- A total of at least six Grade 12 U or M level courses (including ENG4U or EAE4U) with a minimum overall academic average of 70%
For Canadian high school applicants from outside Ontario:
- Graduated high school
- Equivalent of 70% minimum average in university preparatory courses
- Senior level academic English course minimum final grade of 70% and/or equivalent test
Please note: if your first language is not English and you have not completed at least four consecutive years of high school in an English-medium school system you are required to submit successful English Language Proficiency Test (ELPT) results in addition to Grade 12 English (or equivalent).
For International high school applicants: Secondary School Graduation equivalent to Grade 12 in Ontario with an overall average of B or 70% numeric equivalent in the final year and:
- If you are applying from a country or school system with English as the official language of instruction, a minimum grade of B or 70% numeric equivalent in English 12 or equivalent course is required.
- If you are applying from a country or school system with a language other than English as the official language of instruction, OR if your first language is not English and you have not completed at least four consecutive years of high school in an English-medium school system, you are required to present the successful results of an English Language Proficiency Test (ELPT).
All international students must have a valid Study Permit/ Student Visa before registering at OCAD U. We strongly recommend that you apply for your study permit as soon as the offer of admission is received.
International Baccalaureate (IB): The admission average for an IB Diploma applicant is generally calculated on 3 Higher Level and 3 Standard Level subjects. A minimum final score of 24 points is required. IB English must be included as one of these courses with a final grade of 4 or higher. Transfer credit may be awarded to students who achieve a grade of at least 5 in Higher Level IB courses that are approved as equivalent to OCAD U courses.
Applicants not completing the full IB Diploma must provide official transcripts and proof of Secondary School Graduation equivalent to Grade 12 in Ontario with an overall average of B or 70% numeric equivalent in the final year and satisfy English entrance requirements.
Scholarship & funding
Scholarships recognize overall academic achievement (combined studio/Liberal Arts & Sciences) on the basis of grades only and encourage further studies. They are given at the first-, second- and third-year levels in the Faculty of Design, Faculty of Art, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences and the School of Interdisciplinary Studies. No application required. Scholarships are given as tuition credits prior to the start of the next academic year.
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