Admission Requirements

As outlined in the Admission Requirements (Undergraduate) Policy, applicants to OCAD University’s undergraduate programs must meet minimum academic entrance requirements and submit:

  • Creative Profile (required for all programs) and
  • Portfolio (required for all studio BFA, BDes programs) or
  • Writing sample (required for the BA in Visual and Critical Studies)

Studio-Based Degree Program Admission Requirements

All offers of admission to OCAD U's studio-based degree programs, the Bachelor of Design (BDes) and the Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) are based on the strength of the applicant’s portfolio and are conditional upon meeting the minimum academic requirements and supplying all required documentation as outlined below. 

After you apply, you will be notified by email of the details for submitting your portfolio for assessment. Information on portfolio preparation, tips for your presentation and methods of submission can be found at Preparing a Portfolio

Non-Studio Degree Program Admission Requirements

Admission to the Bachelor of Arts in Visual and Critical Studies is based on a combination of a review of the written assignment and your grades. Applicants to the BA in Visual and Critical Studies are required to submit the following to be considered for admission. 

  • Creative Profile
  • Original writing sample responding to an assigned topic provided by OCAD U

After you apply you will be notified by email of the exact dates and deadlines for you to submit your supplemental application materials, the topic for the writing sample and when you will need to meet the academic requirements as outlined.

Academic requirements

Official transcripts, unless collected and submitted through the OUAC, and supporting documents should be mailed to Admissions & Recruitment at OCAD U's main address. The following academic requirements must be met to complete the admission process.

For Ontario Secondary School applicants

  • Successful completion of the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD)
  • Grade 12 U English (ENG4U or EAE4U) with a minimum final grade of 70%
  • A total of at least six Grade 12 U or M level courses (including ENG4U or EAE4U) with a minimum overall academic average of 70%

Please note: if your first language is not English and you have not completed at least four full years of high school in a Ministry approved Ontario school system you are also required to submit successful TOEFL (or equivalent test) results in addition to ENG4U.

For high school applicants from outside Ontario: 

  • Graduated high school
  • Equivalent of 70% minimum average in university preparatory courses
  • Senior level academic English course minimum final grade of 70% and/or equivalent test

Detailed information can be found here, Academic Requirements by Province.

Please note: if your first language is not English and you have not completed at least four full years of high school in a Canadian School system you are required to submit successful TOEFL (or equivalent test) results in addition to Grade 12 English (or equivalent).

For International high school applicants: Secondary School Graduation equivalent to Grade 12 in Ontario with an overall average of B or 70% numeric equivalent in the final year and:

  • If you are applying from a country or school system with English as the official language of instruction, a minimum grade of B or 70% numeric equivalent in English 12 or equivalent course is required. 
  • If you are applying from a country or school system with a language other than English as the official language of instruction, OR if your first language is not English and you have not completed at least four full years of high school in an English school system, you are required to present the successful results of TOEFL (or equivalent test).

All international students must have a valid Study Permit/Student Visa before registering at OCAD U. We strongly recommend that you apply for your study permit as soon as the offer of admission is received.

International Baccalaureate (IB): The admission average for an IB Diploma applicant is generally calculated on 3 Higher Level and 3 Standard Level subjects. A minimum requirement of 24 points is recommended to be considered for admission. IB English must be included as one of these courses with a final grade of 4 or higher. Transfer credit may be awarded to students who achieve a grade of at least 5 in Higher Level courses that are approved as equivalent to OCAD U courses. 

Advanced Placement (AP) Courses: OCAD U recognizes the value of AP courses and will take successful completion of these courses into consideration when assessing academic requirements. Transfer credit may be awarded to students who achieve a grade of 4 or higher in courses that are approved as equivalent to OCAD U courses.

British Pattern Curriculum: Applicants must provide proof of completion of the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE/IGCSE) with five O-Level subjects with a minimum C grade or better as well as General Certificate of Education Advanced or Advanced Supplementary Levels (GCE-A or GCE-AS) with at least two A-Levels or four AS-Levels. Minimum grade of C in each A/AS-Level is required. English at the A-Level or AS-Level is recommended but must at least be completed at the O-Level.  

For Mature Applicants (at least 20 years of age by September 1 of the year of intended enrolment): Satisfactory proof of proficiency in English (a course or a test).

NEW: OCAD University has established a partnership with the Academic Bridging Program at the University of Toronto's Woodsworth College. OCAD U will now accept successful completion of the Academic Bridging Program as equivalent to meeting the requirements for entry and will grant Liberal Arts & Science transfer credits to students entering via that pathway. Learn more about this option.

For Transfer Applicants (students coming from another university or college): Please visit our Transfer Pathways section. 

Statement on Offers of Admission: Admission to an undergraduate degree program at OCAD University is based primarily on the review of an applicant’s portfolio/supplemental application materials which indicates an applicant’s suitability for and ability to be successful within the program applied to.  Admission to OCAD University is competitive; meeting minimum academic entrance requirements does not guarantee admission. Final decisions on matters of admission rest within the Undergraduate Admissions Office.  All admission decisions are final and are not subject to appeal. 

Statement on Application Fraud: It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that application information and all supporting documentation is truthful, complete and correct. OCAD University reserves the right to verify any information provided as part of the application. It is an act of serious academic misconduct to provide any false or misleading information (either by omission or commission) in an application. If it is proven, or if the University has reasonable grounds to conclude, that any information in the application, or in any of the material submitted in support of the application, is determined to be false or misleading, or written by a third party, the application may be invalidated at the absolute and sole discretion of OCAD  University. This could result in immediate rejection of the application, or, in the revocation of an offer of admission, or, in the termination of registration at OCAD University. Any such information may be shared by OCAD University with other universities and colleges across Canada.

OCAD University reserves the right to be the sole arbiter of what it will accept on an academic and equivalency basis. Academic entrance requirements are subject to change.