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. Read more about OCAD U.
OCAD U’s admission requirements are divided into different categories of learners. Each category 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. Read more about APSIP.
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 Ontario Council on Articulation and Transfer (ONCAT), an organization that provides information on credit transfers in Ontario.
Academic Programs and 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. This section lists examples of the academic programs you can take at OCAD U.
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.
OCAD U offers a variety of services to help you achieve your goals at university. The following are 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 with 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 for 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.
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.
Aboriginal Student Services
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. The following 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.
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. In this section you will find more about student life at OCAD U.
Each year in September, OCAD U welcomes over 1,000 first-year undergraduate students to the community with an 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
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.
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).
OCAD U offers recreational sports and leagues that you can participate in 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.
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.
If you need child care services, OCADU has a list of resources for child care options near its campus.
Safety and Security Services are 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, a blue pole in Butterfield Park and a Walk Safe Program.
Housing and Transportation
Housing and Transportation
Where you live and how you get to your classes are important to your university life. OCAD U gives you information to help you seek housing off campus. You’ll also get information on public transportation options and availability of parking services to help you with your commute.
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).
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). The following are some of the services available to you.
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 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.