The Alberta College of Art + Design is particularly well-known for its complement of design and fine-crafts programs, including fibre, ceramics and jewellery and metals. It is one of the few Canadian institutions to offer glassworking programs and the only one to offer a four-year bachelor degree and an M.F.A. in the field. The school recently introduced a number of intriguing new minors, including 3D object design, animation and comics. Already, some of its most notable alumni work in the comics field, including Fiona Staples, Riley Rossmo and Eisner Award-nominee Tyler Jenkins.
Classes are small and there is an emphasis on studio experience and one-on-one instruction. The liberal arts are well integrated into the curriculum; first-year programs include courses on culture and art history. The school’s one building houses textile, glass and photography studios, as well as a metal shop and foundry.
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. 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.
ACAD officially obtained university status in March 2018 and is currently in the process of rebranding to match this change. Still operating under ACAD, the school is on track to update its name and logo by July 2019.
|Size of school||Tuition (degree)||Tuition (post-grad)||Residence offerings|
|Small (fewer than 2,000 full-time students)||$5,603||$6,250||Yes|
• Glass: This degree is taught in a studio setting offering four furnaces and allowing off-hand glassblowing techniques. Students also explore the use of glass in conjunction with other media.
• Jewellery and Metals: The program trains students in laser welders, stonesetting, gemology, enamelling, and offers casting facilities. Students in third and fourth year have individual studio benches.
• Algorithmic and Parametric Object Design: This course investigates some of the most cutting-edge computational tools for design and fabrication. Rather than modelling objects, students set parameters to define geometry, producing an almost infinite number of unique iterations.
• Graphic Design
• Character Design