NSCAD University Profile | Maclean's

NSCAD University

NSCAD University | Halifax, N.S. | Founded 1887



NSCAD University provides a studio-based model of education, allowing students to learn in an environment that is immersive, hands-on, and intellectually rigorous. Students are encouraged to extend their learning through internships, practicums and exchange programs with 70 participating institutions in 13 countries. “NSCAD has a nurturing culture that is driven by curiosity to achieve academic excellence and a collective well-being,” says president Dianne Taylor-Gearing. Undergraduate students can choose from among a number of disciplines: fine arts; media arts; craft; interdisciplinary design; art history and contemporary culture. There are also master’s programs in fine arts, media arts, craft and design. Located in downtown Halifax, NSCAD has three diverse campuses. The Fountain campus, an interconnected row of 20 former merchant shops and warehouses near Halifax Harbour, is the site for printmaking, painting, fashion and more. The Academy Building, at the foot of Citadel Hill, houses the media arts program, while the Port Campus houses the university’s foundation division—the starting point for all first-year students—and industrial spaces, including sculpture and stonecutting studios, a foundry and wood shop. The Anna Leonowens Gallery, named for NSCAD’s founder, exhibits the work of undergrads and grad students, as well as visiting artists, while Art Bar +Projects is a popular hangout and performance art space.

READ: The inside scoop on life at NSCAD

Standout Programs

Film: Covers all aspects of film production, with an emphasis on technical skills and narrative, experimental and documentary approaches; includes opportunities for internships and support for thesis film projects.

Ceramics: This retooled program focuses on three streams of learning: installation and sculpture; tableware; and architectural applications. Hands-on learning is complemented by craft theory, history and discourse.

Interdisciplinary Design: Focuses on creative, conceptual and technical skills, allowing students to solve problems while taking an interdisciplinary approach. Streams include visual communication, interactive, product and spatial design.

Cool Courses

Audio Explorations: This media arts course provides an analysis of approaches to audio as a primary medium in various contemporary projects, including installation, radio and experimental music.

Advanced Sculpture, Landmark Project: Students participate in a contemporary art project taking place through Canada’s national parks during Canada’s 150th year. Students will research, consider and propose a site-responsive artwork to special regional sites chosen by the project curators.

Minimum entering grade Tuition Number of students Residence spaces
Arts: 70% (plus portfolio) $6,523 ($7,817 out-of-province) Undergraduates: 799
Graduates: 34
Not offered

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