Ocad university
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OCAD University

OCAD University (OCAD U) is Canada’s university of the imagination, engaged in transformative education, scholarship, research, and innovation.

OCAD University Profile

OCAD University (OCAD U) is Canada’s university of the imagination, engaged in transformative education, scholarship, research, and innovation. Located in Toronto, OCAD U offers programs such as Advertising, Digital Futures, Drawing and Painting, and Indigenous Visual Culture. It makes vital contributions to the fields of art, design, and media through local and global cultural initiatives, while providing expert knowledge and discovery across a wide range of disciplines. For more information, please visit http://www.ocadu.ca/

Admissions IconAdmissions

  • Overview
  • General Admissions
  • Aboriginal Learner Policy
  • Mature Learner Policy
  • Transfer Policies



Below you will find information about OCAD U’s admission requirements, policies, and supports that are available to you.

To find out about OCAD U’s requirements for entrance into each academic program please visit OCAD U Admissions.

General Admissions

OCAD U’s admission requirements are divided into different types of learners. Each type has different requirements and admission policies. Select the category that describes you best and then find the admission requirements specific to your category.

Applicants to OCAD U’s undergraduate programs must also submit a creative profile, and some programs require a portfolio or writing sample. After you apply, you will be emailed the details for submitting your portfolio for assessment.

Aboriginal Learner Policy

During the academic year, university recruiters travel throughout Ontario to visit Aboriginal learners in many secondary schools and community organizations. These recruiters are part of the Aboriginal Post-Secondary Information Program (APSIP), a collection of Aboriginal recruiters from Ontario and Quebec colleges and universities. They’ll have the most up-to-date information about applying to your university as an Aboriginal learner. The APSIP website includes information on events, resources for students, and contact information for the recruiters.

Mature Learners

If you haven’t attended a secondary school or college full time for at least two years, you might be considered a mature learner. Check out OCAD U’s Mature Learner Policy to find out how you can transition to university as a mature learner.

Transfer Policies

If you are interested in transferring to OCAD U from another university or college, OCAD U’s website gives you helpful information on its transfer policies and supports. You can also check out your eligibility for course transfers through ONCAT, an organization that provides information on credit transfers in Ontario.

Academics IconAcademic Programs and Supports

  • Overview
  • Academic Programs
  • Academic Supports

Academic Programs and Supports


You can choose from a variety of academic programs at OCAD U and will likely find a program that sparks your interest, if you haven’t already decided on your academic studies. Below are some examples of the academic programs you can take at OCAD U.

Academic Programs

The Faculty of Art educates artists and cultural practitioners who will redefine the meaning of contemporary art practice. You can study Criticism and Curatorial Practice, Digital Painting and Expanded Animation, Publications, Drawing and Painting, Integrated Media, and more.

In the Faculty of Design, you will produce objects, communications, and environments that define, enhance, and transform the world around you. Programs you can take include Advertising, Environmental Design, Graphic Design, Illustration, Industrial Design, and Material Art and Design.

At the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences and School of Interdisciplinary Studies, you will explore the theories and ideas informing art and design practice, and explore historical and critical dimensions within studio work in art and design. Programs you can take include Indigenous Visual Culture, Visual and Critical Studies, and Digital Futures.

Graduate Studies at OCAD U educates the next generation of artists, designers, and industry leaders. Graduate programs you can take include a Master of Design (MDes) in Inclusive Design, Master of Design (MDes) in Strategic Foresight and Innovation, and Master of Fine Arts in Criticism and Curatorial Practice.

Be sure to check out all of OCAD U’s academic programs.

Academic Supports

OCAD U offers a variety of services to help you achieve your goals at university. Below is a list of some of the academic services you can access at OCAD U.

The Student Advising Centre provides academic advising services to undergraduate students at OCAD U. You can get help with course selection and program planning, program requirements, and on-campus resources. Student Advisors are also happy to discuss any situation with you that might affect your ability to participate in school and be successful. If they can’t resolve your issues, they will help connect you to those who can.

The Writing and Learning Centre offers you programs that include tutoring help with your work or thesis, workshops on topics such as time management and writing, and support services to first-year students in transition to university.

The Career Development Office, part of the Centre for Emerging Artists and Designers (CEAD), offers you resources and opportunities to help you to develop the skills and knowledge needed to be a successful creative professional. This includes interactive workshops that help you refine your resume, portfolio, and interview skills.

Check out OCAD U’s complete Student Services.

Financial Aid Icon Financial Aid

  • Overview
  • Scholarships and Bursaries
  • Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP)
  • Work Study Program and Part-Time Work
  • Financial Aid Services

Financial Aid


Investing in your future may require some help along the way. OCAD U offers financial aid to eligible students, as well as a number of scholarships and awards specifically for Aboriginal learners.

Scholarships and Bursaries

Financial aid is available to you through scholarships, bursaries, government loans, and Aboriginal specific scholarships and awards. You can find a list of OCAD U’s scholarships and awards. You can also visit Indigenous Student Services for more information about financial aid available to you.

Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP)

A student loan through the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) is one of the ways that you can fund your postsecondary education. The Financial Aid Office at OCAD U can help you apply for OSAP.

Work Study Program and Part-Time Work

The Work Study Program at OCAD U can help eligible students to find part-time work at the university. Some jobs available to you might include helping professors with research or working at campus organizations such as the Aboriginal Student Centre.

Financial Aid Services

To find information on financial aid specifically available to Aboriginal students, contact Financial Aid and Awards or OCAD U’s Indigenous Student Services.

Aboriginal Student Services IconAboriginal Student Services

  • Overview

Aboriginal Student Services


Indigenous Student Services strives to be a home-away-from-home for Indigenous learners. You can talk with counsellors, meet other students, and join in activities and cultural events. Below are some of the services you’ll find at OCAD U and the Indigenous Visual Culture (INVC) Office.

The INVC Office supports all Indigenous students regardless of their program. You will find traditionally inspired and culturally relevant services, resources, events, and activities that are designed to build community and engage all OCAD U students, faculty, and staff.

You can participate in ongoing events that include a Weekly Buffalo Stew Lunch, a drop-in craft circle called Bead & Read where you can bring your readings and learn beading techniques, and a monthly Pancake Breakfast.

You can also get mentoring and advising support from an accomplished artist if you’re looking for guidance, or help with your art practice. Academic and writing support is available through one-on-one tutoring. You can talk to a counsellor about issues related to gender, race, age, culture, abilities, sexual orientation, income, and faith.

Check out the Indigenous Visual Culture Office’s complete resources.

Student Life iconStudent Life

  • Overview
  • Orientation Week
  • Clubs and Societies
  • Athletics
  • Student Services
  • Security

Student Life


At university, you can explore your interests, inside and outside of the classroom. You will have opportunities to attend social events or join a student club. You might also like to play extracurricular sports or, if you live on campus, become involved in your residence community. Below you will find more about student life OCAD U.

Find out more about Student Life at OCAD U.

Orientation Week

O-DAYS! Orientation

Each year in September, OCAD U welcomes over 1,000 first-year undergraduate students to the community with orientation called O-DAYS! The programming gives you details about key resources on campus and helps you prepare academically, but is also designed to be fun and inviting, and helpful in building a sense of community.

Clubs and Societies

General Clubs

At OCAD U, an important part of campus life is getting involved with new organizations and interacting with other students who share similar interests. Student groups create an atmosphere of diversity, excitement, and support. Groups you can join include the Environmental Design Society (EDS), MAAD Teatime, and Mixed Steps Dance Club (MXD).

The Indigenous Student Association (ISA)

The Indigenous Student Association (ISA) is a group of students who wish to create a positive, nurturing, and inclusive community at OCAD U. The members aim to collaborate and unify perspectives and thoughts through their artworks, community involvement, and exhibitions.

Student Union

Your student union plays an important role at university. The union advocates on behalf of students on campus and in the community. Members may also organize your Orientation Week and student clubs. At OCAD U, you are represented by the OCAD U Student Union (OCADSU).


Intramural Sport

OCAD U offers recreational sports and leagues regardless of your skill level. Recreational sports include volleyball, basketball, and dodgeball. They are a great way to meet other people and stay active, whether you are continuing to play a sport or starting a new one.

Student Services

Disability Services

If you have a disability that requires academic accommodation and support, the Centre for Students with Disabilities (CSD) is available to help. It is important that you reach out to the centre as soon as possible to ensure the appropriate supports are in place for you. For more information about supports you can access, visit the CSD website.

Child Care

If you need child care services, OCADU has a list of resources for child care options near its campus.


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Safety and Security Services is committed to your safety and upholding the values of equity, respect, fairness, and impartiality. The department works in partnership with all members of the OCAD U community to create an environment that is safe and perceived as safe. Programs and services include emergency response, emergency red phones across campus and a blue pole in Butterfield Park, and a Walk Safe Program.

Aboriginal Student Services IconHousing and Transportation

  • Overview
  • Housing
  • Transportation

Housing and Transportation


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Where you live and how you get to your classes are important to your university life. OCAD U gives you information to help you decide whether you should apply for residence or seek housing off campus. If you live off campus, you’ll also get information on public transportation options and availability of parking services to help you with your commute.


OCAD U has no student residences of its own, but you can visit OCAD U’s Housing Information website to help you in your search. It gives you information on housing options that includes external residence buildings located around Toronto, resources centres, and rental listings.


Public Transportation

Public transportation services are provided by the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC). You can use the TTC trip planner to figure out how to get to OCAD U’s campus from where you’re living. There is also public parking available around campus; you can find a list of Green P parking lots. Plus, GO transit services run to Union Station from across the General Toronto Area (GTA).

Wellbeing IconWell-Being

  • Overview



Wellness in mind, body, and spirit is important to your success at university. The Health and Wellness Centre is staffed by trained service providers (family physicians, personal counsellors, registered nurses, psychologists, psychiatrists, and wellness educators). Below are some of the services available to you.

Health Services

The Health and Wellness Centre is an on-campus clinic that provides medical and health services to all OCAD U students. You can book an appointment with one of the centre’s healthcare professionals, and access services that include immunizations, medical treatment for injuries, prescriptions, and referrals to other campus and community resources and supports.

Counselling Services

Counselling is an active process where you and your counsellor work together to find ways to resolve your issues or concerns in order for you to lead a healthier and more balanced life. Counsellors at the OCAD U Health and Wellness Centre can help you work through a number of challenges, including stress, anxiety, depression, relationship or family issues, sexuality, grief or loss, self-esteem, and drug or alcohol use.

For more information on the well-being services provided by OCAD U, contact the Health and Wellness Centre. You can also visit Indigenous Student Services for information on the cultural aspects of health.