Alberta College of Art and Design

Alberta College of Art + Design | Calgary, Alta. | Founded 1926


Alberta College of Art and Design Students

Alberta College of Art + Design is particularly well-known for its complement of design and fine crafts programs, including character design, jewellery and metals, fibre and ceramics. Responding to calls from students, ACAD formally separated from SAIT Polytechnic in 1985 to become the only stand-alone art and design college in the Prairies. “Every day, ACAD transforms itself, not for the sake of change, but simply because creativity and innovation must be in constant flux to properly thrive,” explains president Daniel Doz. Classes are small and there is an emphasis on one-on-one instruction. The liberal arts are also well integrated, and first-year programs include courses on culture and art history. Perched on top of the city’s North Hill, the campus overlooks the winding path of the Bow River and Calgary’s welcoming urban skyline. Unfortunately, once turned around, students are reminded that the building itself is drab and utilitarian, but plans are under way to significantly update the main mall. The single campus building houses textile, glass and photography studios, as well as a metal shop and foundry. Downtown Calgary, with its galleries, museums and cultural events, is easily accessible via the C Train, and the Rocky Mountains are only an hour away by car.

READ: What it’s really like attending ACAD

Standout Programs

Media Arts: Explore arty fundamentals using new and emerging technologies in the media arts program. Students have the opportunity to create art using media such as 3D printers, interactive environments and video games.

Jewellery and Metals: This fine-crafts program is one of ACAD’s most renowned. Graduates leave with strong metalsmithing techniques, sculptural abilities and project management skills. The program facilities have just finished significant renovations.

Visual Communications Design: This practical program trains students to join the professional worlds of advertising, graphic design, illustration, animation and character design.

Cool Courses

Sustainable Approaches to Cloth and Wearables: The impact of the textile and fashion industries on the natural world has always been high. This studio course investigates environmentally responsible approaches to working with cloth and garments.

International Literature—Hungry Ghosts: In many traditions, hungry ghosts are the legions of the dead who suffer from insatiable desire due to their misdeeds or abandonment. The course uses this notion as an organizing metaphor to research aspects of alienation in world literatures.

Minimum entering grade Tuition Number of students Residence spaces
Arts: 60% (plus portfolio) $5,502 Undergraduate: 1,208
Graduate: 5
Not offered

More Schools: Southern Alberta Institute of TechnologyBow Valley CollegeMount Royal UniversityEmily Carr University of Art + DesignUniversity of Calgary


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