OCAD University

OCAD University | Toronto, Ont. | Founded 1876


OCAD University campus

OCAD University, which bills itself as a “university of the imagination,” offers three bachelor’s streams for undergrads with 16 majors, more than 20 art-related minors in subjects such as wearable technology, and six master’s degrees. Third- and fourth-year students can take part in its art program in Florence, Italy. Each spring, graduating students show their work over several days in a public exhibition, GradEx. Their audience includes recruiters looking for new talent for galleries and firms. The downtown Toronto campus borders on trendy Queen Street West and busy Chinatown. It’s hard to miss the Sharp Centre for Design by British architect Will Alsop, which sits on spindly multicoloured columns behind the Art Gallery of Ontario, where students get free admission. OCAD U has created new space for graduate studies, research labs and additional studios on Richmond Street West. This south campus houses the Onsite gallery, which will move into a new home across the street from its current location in spring 2017, as well as the Imagination Catalyst, an entrepreneurship and commercialization incubator. The expansion, says president Sara Diamond, is part of “a significant contribution to building Canadian capacity in digital media and innovation, multiplying the value of investment in its creation many times over in jobs and economic impact.”

READ: Where to find the best watering hole and more on campus

Standout Programs
• Illustration: One of OCAD U’s most popular degree options, students develop strong draftsmanship skills and are educated in traditional and digital media; business courses are also offered to aid in the transition to making illustration a livelihood.
• Cross-Disciplinary Art: Life Studies: This program uses scientific methods of observation to investigate the figure and body of various forms of life in a studio practice. Courses include biomimicry, wearable technologies, figurative painting, 3D modelling and animation.
• Digital Painting and Expanded Animation: This program gives students the skills they need for both digital and traditional animation. Students can go on to careers in online or broadcast media animation, commercial or music video producing, and gaming/interactive media.

Cool Courses
• Musical Instruments as Creative Construction: Using acoustic sound and timbre as a vehicle, students conceive, design and build a musical instrument.
• Extraordinary Bodies: This seminar course looks at how “physically different” bodies have been viewed artistically throughout history and in our contemporary culture.

Minimum entering grade Tuition Undergraduate students Residence spaces
Arts: 70% (plus portfolio) $7,062 Full-time: 3,358
Part-time: 1,007
Not offered

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