Application requirements

The application deadline for all OCAD U Graduate Program's is Monday, January 16th, 2017.

Our Graduate Application Portal and SlideRoom will open on October 3rd, 2016.

Our application requirements are described below. A FAQ is also available to help you along the way.

All programs, except the Master's of Design in Inclusive Design, begin in the Fall 2017 semester. The Master's of Design in Inclusive Design starts one semester earlier, in the Spring/Summer 2017.

General application requirements

In addition to general graduate studies application requirements, found below, that are applicable to all programs, individual programs may have unique application requirements that you can consult, on the right hand side.

Transcripts

Transcripts, from all post-secondary institutions you have attended, must be scanned, uploaded and attached to your SlideRoom application form. If you do not complete this step you will not be able to complete your final submission. Scanned Transcripts must conform to the following presentation standards:

  • One copy of the legend (reverse of each transcript) must be included. Do not scan the legend multiple times.
  • PDF format (.pdf extension); unprotected
  • Must be scanned as a single document
  • Transcript text orientation should be upright (if possible) and must be readable on a computer monitor without any adjustment by the viewer.

If you are offered admission to one of our programs, this offer will be conditional upon receiving official transcripts* from all previous attended post-secondary institutions. These transcripts must be official and confidential, they must show final grades and any degrees(s) conferred. Transcripts must be sent directly from the institution to:

Graduate Admissions
Office of Graduate Studies
OCAD University
100 McCaul St.
Toronto, ON M5T 1W1 Canada

*OCAD U Alumni do not need to request or submit official OCAD U transcripts.

Foreign documents from non-English speaking institutions must be sent in the original language and accompanied by an official, certified English translation of the transcript(s).

OCAD U reserves the right to request Foreign Credential Assessment for international transcripts. Credential assessment is available through World Education Services (WES). The Office of Graduate Studies will contact the applicant if the documents require further assessment.

Reference letters

We encourage you to contact your referees as early as possible. A good referee is someone who can speak to your post-secondary performance, capacity for research and potential for academic study at the graduate level.

All program applications require three reference letters, except for the Digital Futures Graduate Diploma which requires only two.

Once you have entered your referees contact information into SlideRoom, your referees will be sent an email with detailed instructions on how to add their letters of reference. Reference letters must be entered into the portal within one day of the application deadline. Both you and your referee will receive an email confirmation when the letter has been uploaded successfully. It is your responsibility to ensure that your referees complete this step in a timely manner.

Application fee

When you apply to Graduate Studies at OCAD U using the online SlideRoom portal, you will be prompted to pay an application fee of $100 USD, in addition to a SlideRoom submission fee (which may range from $5 to $12 USD). The submission fee amount varies depending on which program you are applying to and how many media items you upload. Application and submission fees are non-refundable and charged for each program for which you apply.

English language competency

The official language of instruction at OCAD U is English.* An applicant whose first language is not English or whose previous degree, equal to 2 year of post-secondary education, has been conducted in another language must demonstrate a graduate level command of English sufficient to pursue their chosen program before being accepted into that program. Applicants are required to achieve a satisfactory score on one of the following standardized academic English tests that include a writing component.

Only tests completed within the 12 months prior to the Application Deadline will be considered.

  • TOEFL IBT (Test of English as a Foreign Language internet-based test)
    • Overall score of 90 and no scores below the following: 22 Reading, 20 Listening, 22 Writing, 22 Speaking.
    • If TOEFL IBT is not available a minimum PBT (paper-based test) TOEFL of 600 and essay of
  • IELTS (International English Language Testing System)    
    • Overall score of 7, and at least a 7 on each of the academic modules.

Hard copy official TOEFL and IELTS scores must be sent from the testing body directly to OCAD U only if you are accepted into one of our programs.

*Note: Subject to the approval of the Graduate Program Committee of the program concerned, a student may write his/her thesis and be examined in French.

Funding

Visit the Funding page for more information about entrance scholarships, graduate assistantships, bursaries and awards.

Program-specific application requirements

To consult each programs’ unique application requirements, please click on the program titles.

Contemporary Art, Design and New Media Art Histories (MA)

Application for admission into the MA in Contemporary Art, Design and New Media Art Histories is competitive. Applicants must hold a BA, BFA, BDes, or comparable honours degree/certification with an average of 75 per cent (B+) or better during the last two years of study, or must demonstrate exceptional related experience/expertise as a practising art or design professional. All applicants must demonstrate creative and conceptual competence at a high level.

If the application deadline has passed, an expression of interest in the Contemporary Art, Design and New Media Art Histories graduate program may be considered. Please email us at gradstudies@ocadu.ca for further details.

For consideration by the admissions committee, and in addition to the basic application requirements outlined below, applicants need to complete and submit the following through SlideRoom:

  • Research Proposal: Maximum 250 words that clearly outlines your background and describes your research interests; bibliography and illustrations may be included.
  • Writing Sample: Not more than 20 pages, which can be in published or manuscript form; if manuscript, the text must be typed and the context in which it was produced identified.
  • CV: Applicants should include an updated copy of their curriculum vitae.

See more at: http://www.ocadu.ca/academics/graduate-studies/contemporary-art-design-and-new-media-art-histories.htm

Criticism and Curatorial Practice (MFA)

Application for admission into the MFA in Criticism & Curatorial Practice at OCAD U is a highly competitive process. Applicants must hold a BA, BFA, BDes, or comparable honours degree/certification with an average of 80 per cent (A-) or better during the last two years of study, or must demonstrate exceptional experience/expertise as a practising artist, designer, critic or curator. All applicants must demonstrate creative and conceptual competence at a high level.

For consideration by the admissions committee, and in addition to the basic application requirements outlined below, applicants need to complete and submit the following through SlideRoom:

  • Research Proposal: Applicants should clearly outline their background in their area of concentration and describe their research interest or theme for their graduate work in the program. The proposal must be typed and should not exceed 500 words. Appendices including bibliography and examples of visual work may be included if appropriate.
  • CV: Applicants should include an updated copy of their curriculum vitae.

See more at: http://www.ocadu.ca/academics/graduate-studies/criticism-and-curatorial-practice.htm

Design for Health (MDes)

Application for admission into the Master’s in Design for Health will be competitive. Applicants must hold a bachelor degree in a design field, such as BA (in design studies), B.Arch., BED, BID, BDes, BSc, BEng or comparable honours degree/certification with a GPA of 75% (B+) or better during the last two years of study, or must demonstrate exceptional experience and expertise as a practitioner in a relevant discipline. All applicants must demonstrate creative and conceptual competence at a high level, as well as the clear potential for acquiring a sufficient level of expertise in the diverse disciplines relevant to this degree.

A portfolio comprised of 10 examples of design work and a 750-word statement of interest will be required.

For consideration by the admissions committee, and in addition to the basic application requirements outlined above, applicants need to complete and submit the following through SlideRoom:

  • Statement of Interest:Applicants should describe their key areas of interest in the health sector, detailing how their academic background and professional experience relate to their interests, and how their intended practice and research align with the objectives of the program. The proposal must be typed and approximately 750 words in length.
  • Design Portfolio: Applicants must submit samples of relevant student or professional work produced in the last five years. Visual work, analytic reports, proposal documents etc. may be included. Applicants are expected to demonstrate proficiency in their primary design discipline(s). The applicant’s best work should be represented.
  • Alternative Portfolio (for non-design applicants): A limited number of candidates with ‘non- design’ qualifications and backgrounds such as engineering, computer science, public health and medicine may be considered for entry on a case-by-case basis, considering criteria such as professional and personal experience within the area of design for health. Requirements for applicants with non-design undergraduate degrees are the same as for design degree graduates, except that the portfolio should focus on providing sufficient documentation of experience relevant to health innovation.
  • CV: Applicants should include an updated copy of their curriculum vitae.

See more at: http://www.ocadu.ca/academics/graduate-studies/design-for-health.htm

Digital Futures (MA, MDes and MFA)

Applicants must hold a BA, BFA, BDes, BComm, BSc, BEng or comparable honours degree/certification with an average of 75 per cent (B+) or better during the last two years of study, or must demonstrate impressive experience and expertise as a practitioner in a relevant discipline. All applicants must demonstrate creative and conceptual competence at a good level, as well as the clear potential for acquiring a practical knowledge in the diverse disciplines relevant to this graduate program to create an innovative and implementable thesis project.

If the application deadline has passed, an expression of interest in the Digital Futures graduate program may be considered. Please email us at gradstudies@ocadu.ca for further details.

For consideration by the admissions committee, and in addition to the basic application requirements outlined below, applicants need to complete and submit the following through SlideRoom:

  • Letter of Intent: Applicants should explain their personal philosophy and reasons for applying to this program and refer to any relevant experience, background and future ambitions. The letter must be typed and be 600 to 800 words in length.
  • Research Outline: Applicants must provide an initial proposal for a research project that they are interested in pursuing in the program. This should include: 1) a title, 2) the area of interest and/or idea, 3) the rationale for the research, 4) expected outcome in terms of innovation and realized creative work, 5) the relevance of the applicant’s background and experience, 6) any reference sources used in the proposal, 7) bibliography of relevant sources. The proposal must be typed and should be 800 to 1,000 words in length.
  • Samples of Work: Applicants must submit samples of relevant student and/or professional work produced in the last five years. Visual work, analysis reports and proposal documents may be included. Applicants are expected to demonstrate an in-depth understanding of their primary area of interest.
  • CV: Applicants should include an updated copy of their curriculum vitae.

Short-listed candidates may be invited for an interview. The interview is an ideal opportunity for the candidate to meet with faculty, ask questions about the program and visit studio facilities and labs at OCAD U. Alternate arrangements will be made for applicants who are unable to attend the interview in person.

Note: admission to the degree program is contingent on the availability of an appropriate Principal Advisor in the student’s declared area of research interest.

See more at: http://www.ocadu.ca/academics/graduate-studies/digital-futures.htm 

Inclusive Design (MDes)

The application process for admission into the Master of Design in Inclusive Design at OCAD U is highly competitive. Applicants must hold a BA, BDes, BComm, BEng, BSc, BFA or comparable honours degree/certification in a program that provides a foundational grounding in information and communication systems and practices (e.g., Computer Science, Software Engineering, Information Studies, Culture and Technology or similar field) with an average of 75 per cent (B+) or better during the last two years of study, or must demonstrate exceptional experience/expertise as a practitioner in a relevant discipline. All applicants must demonstrate creative, technical and conceptual competence at a high level, as well as the clear potential for acquiring a sufficient level of expertise in the diverse disciplines relevant to this degree to create a truly innovative, germane and implementable project at the master’s level.

If the application deadline has passed, an expression of interest in the Inclusive Design graduate program  may be considered. Please email us at gradstudies@ocadu.ca for further details.

For consideration by the admissions committee, and in addition to the basic application requirements outlined below, applicants need to complete and submit the following through SlideRoom:

  • Statement of Intent: 1,000 words maximum that describes the applicant’s key area of intended research in the program, how their academic background and professional experience relates to the program, and how the intended research aligns with the objectives of the program. Appendices including bibliography may be included.
  • Samples of Work: Representative samples of relevant student or professional work produced in the last five years. Software, user-experience designs, analysis reports, proposal documents, web applications and websites, may be included.
  • CV: Applicants should include an updated copy of their curriculum vitae.

Shortlisted candidates may be invited for a teleconference or in-person interview.

See more at: http://www.ocadu.ca/academics/graduate-studies/inclusive-design.htm

Interdisciplinary Masters in Art, Media and Design (MA, MDes & MFA)

Application for admission into the Interdisciplinary Master’s in Art, Media & Design at OCAD U is a highly competitive process. Applicants must hold a BA, BFA, BDes, or comparable honours degree/certification with an average of 80 per cent (A-) or better during the last two years of study, or must demonstrate exceptional experience/expertise as a practicing artist, designer or scholar.

All applicants must demonstrate creative and conceptual competence at a high level, as well as the clear potential for acquiring a sufficient level of expertise in a secondary discipline to create an integrated interdisciplinary thesis project at the Master’s level.

For consideration by the admissions committee, and in addition to the basic application requirements outlined below, applicants need to complete and submit the following through SlideRoom:

  • Research Proposal: Applicants should clearly outline their background in at least two areas of expertise and describe their interdisciplinary research interests or theme for their graduate work in the program. One of these areas of expertise must be in studio art, media or design. The proposal must be typed and should be a maximum of 500 words. Appendices including bibliography and examples of visual work may be included. It is strongly suggested that applicants identify at least one graduate faculty member they would like to work with during their studies.
  • Portfolio and Statement: Applicants must submit a maximum of 15 still images representing no more than five bodies of work. Quicktime movies or other time-based image files should not exceed three minutes in length. Applicants are expected to demonstrate an in-depth understanding of their primary area of concentration and are encouraged to submit any examples of interdisciplinary work. The portfolio should represent the applicant’s best work (formally, conceptually, and contextually resolved). A significant number of the images should represent work produced in the last 12 months. The portfolio must be accompanied by an artist/designer statement of no more than 250 words. The statement should speak to recent work and explain its relevance to the research proposal. It is suggested you discuss the discursive vectors of your practice, your existing expertise and how you would like to grow your practice during your graduate studies. A list of the works submitted should also be included in the portfolio.
  • CV: Applicants should include an updated copy of their curriculum vitae.

Shortlisted candidates may be notified regarding an interview. No original work is to be presented during the interview. The interview is an ideal opportunity for the candidate to meet with graduate faculty and to discuss the program and the candidate's research proposal. Alternative arrangements will be made for applicants who are unable to attend the interview in person.

See more at: http://www.ocadu.ca/academics/graduate-studies/interdisciplinary-masters-in-art-media-and-design.htm

Strategic Foresight and Innovation (MDes)

Application for admission into the Master of Design in Strategic Foresight and Innovation at OCAD U is a competitive process. Applicants must hold a BA, BFA, BDes, BComm, BEng or comparable honours degree/certification with an average of 75 per cent (B+) or better during the last two years of study, or must demonstrate exceptional experience/expertise as a practitioner in a relevant discipline.

All applicants must demonstrate creative and conceptual competence at a high level, as well as the clear potential to create a truly innovative, germane and implementable project at the master’s level. Short-listed candidates will be invited for an interview.

If the application deadline has passed, an expression of interest in the Strategic Foresight and Innovation graduate program may be considered. Please email us at gradstudies@ocadu.ca for further details.

For consideration by the admissions committee, and in addition to the basic application requirements outlined below, applicants need to complete and submit the following through SlideRoom:

  • Statement of Intent: 800 to 1,000 words that describe significant personal or professional experiences which have shaped the applicant’s goals, how the SFI program can support the applicant in meeting those goals, as well as a brief description of a topic area or challenge for which the applicant would be interested in conducting research, including a rationale for its potential value. A student may change the research topic prior to embarking on his/her major research topic. A bibliography and relevant examples of work may be included. The statement serves to assist us in better understanding the alignment between the objectives of the SFI program and of the applicant.
  • Samples of Work: Please submit relevant professional and/or student work produced in the last five years. Applicants are encouraged to include the best examples of work that are typical of the variety of work they have done. Diversity in experience in the cv should be evident in the portfolio. Visual work, analysis reports and proposal documents may be included. Applicants are expected to demonstrate an in-depth understanding of their disciplinary/professional work.
  • CV: Applicants should include an updated copy of their curriculum vitae. Applicants should include information regarding educational achievement, professional practice and community service.

See more at: http://www.ocadu.ca/academics/graduate-studies/strategic-foresight-and-innovation.htm