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 the largest and most comprehensive art, design and media university in Canada. Founded in 1876, OCAD U is Canada’s university of the imagination, dedicated to art and design education, practice and research, and to knowledge and invention across a wide range of disciplines. OCAD U continuously builds on its traditional, studio-based strengths, adding new approaches to learning that champion cross-disciplinary practice, collaboration and the integration of emerging technologies. In the Age of Imagination, members of the OCAD U community are uniquely qualified to act as catalysts for the next advances in culture, technology and quality of life for all Canadians. Read more about OCAD U.

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Admissions IconAdmissions

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



In this section 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 the OCAD U admission website.

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General Admissions

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.

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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.

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Mature Learners

If you haven’t attended a secondary school or college full time for at least 2 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.

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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 Ontario Council on Articulation and Transfer (ONCAT), an organization that provides information on credit transfers in Ontario.

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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. This section lists examples of the academic programs you can take at OCAD U.

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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.

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Academic Supports

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.

The University recognizes that the provision of academic accommodations for students with disabilities is a collaborative process with shared responsibility among all stakeholders. The Centre for Students with Disabilities (CSD) has subject matter expertise in the area of disability, accessibility and academic accommodations, and oversees and coordinates the student academic accommodation process. Academic accommodations for students with disabilities are governed by the: Ontario Human Rights Code (Code), Ontarians with Disabilities Act (ODA, 2001) and Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA, 2005).

Check out OCAD U’s complete Student Services.

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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.

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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.

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Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP)

A student loan through the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) is 1 of the ways that you can fund your postsecondary education. The Financial Aid Office at OCAD U can help you apply for OSAP.

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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.

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Financial Aid Services

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

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Aboriginal Student Services IconIndigenous Student Services

  • Overview

Indigenous Student Services


The Indigenous Student Centre offers a welcoming learning environment with a wide range of specialized services to support academic, cultural, social and emotional well-being of Indigenous students at OCAD University.

The Indigenous Student Centre is a culturally-activated space where students can meet, study or relax between classes. We host weekly events, guest lectures, workshops, visiting artists, field trips and a number of extracurricular activities supporting Indigenous visual arts and culture. The Centre includes a resource library and archive, computer workstations, a lounge, workspace and amenities including a microwave, fridge, coffee maker and snacks.

Check out the Indigenous Student Centre’s complete resources.

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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. In this section you will find more about student life at OCAD U.

Find out more about Student Life at OCAD U.

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Orientation Week

O-DAYS! Orientation

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.

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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.

The Indigenous Student Association (ISA)

The Indigenous Student Association (ISA) is a self-governing collective of Indigenous students at OCAD U who organize to nurture community and to support each other. The ISA runs community events and activities, and is the main student group dedicated to bettering Indigenous students’ experiences at OCAD U; the ISA is autonomous from the Indigenous Visual Culture Program, the Indigenous Student Centre and the Student Union. The ISA’s goals may change year to year, but it remains grounded in its dedication to community and safer spaces for Indigenous students to learn, create and thrive. Email the ISA, or find them on Facebook or Instagram.

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).

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Intramural Sport

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.

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Student Services

Disability Services

The University recognizes that the provision of academic accommodations for students with disabilities is a collaborative process with shared responsibility among all stakeholders. The Centre for Students with Disabilities (CSD) has subject matter expertise in the area of disability, accessibility and academic accommodations, and oversees and coordinates the student academic accommodation process. Academic accommodations for students with disabilities are governed by the: Ontario Human Rights Code (Code), Ontarians with Disabilities Act (ODA, 2001) and Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA, 2005).

Child Care

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

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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.

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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 seek housing off campus. You’ll also get information on public transportation options and availability of parking services to help you with your commute.

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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, resource centres and rental listings.

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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).

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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). The following 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.

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