Criticism & Curatorial Practice (MFA)
The Master of Fine Arts in Criticism & Curatorial Practice
program offers graduate students an exceptional opportunity to explore and
experiment with contemporary art, media and design through engagement with
history, theory and criticism within curatorial practice.
OCAD University’s distinctive program focuses uniquely on the
practices of curating and criticism, leading to the Master of Fine Arts degree.
Our graduate faculty and adjunct faculty include practising curators and
critics who bring deep intellectual and professional expertise to the studies
of criticism and curatorial practice.
OCAD University’s reputation for excellence entices internationally
renowned authorities to its annual Artist-in-Residence program, and assists
students to establish programmatic internships in Canada and abroad.
The MFA in Criticism & Curatorial Practice is a full-time, 60-credit
program normally completed within two academic years or five sequential
semesters. With the Program Director’s approval, some part-time students
may be admitted with a more flexible completion schedule.
The program comprises the following:
- Five core seminars (critical theory, research methods, issues in
exhibitions, critical writing, and issues in criticism and curatorial
- Two core practice and issues-based studio/seminars
- An institutionally embedded theory and practice-based course,"Inside
Curatorial Practice", which including a collaborative group exhibition
- Two elective seminars or studios
- Individual research
- Summer internship or study abroad
- Thesis: curatorial exhibition and critical essay, or criticism thesis
Students entering the program will have an honours-equivalent four-year
bachelor’s degree in studio art or design, or art history/visual culture,
or a related discipline, and several years of practical experience. They will
be interested in augmenting their existing knowledge base through a program of
study that facilitates exploration of and experimentation with the full range
of contemporary art and/or design curatorial and critical practices, and that
provides the historical, theoretical and critical armature required.
The objectives of the MFA in Criticism and Curatorial Practice are:
- to ensure that students acquire advanced research skills for visual and
academic investigations in the areas of art, media, and design practice and
- to contribute to new knowledge in the areas of art, media, and design
research methodologies in criticism and curatorial practices;
- to promote the development of practices that facilitate sustainability,
social responsibility, and diverse social and cultural perspectives;
- to develop and advance curatorial and critical practices in design;
- to promote contemporary art, media, and design practices within public
- to contribute to the development of the field of Canadian art, media, and
- to contribute to the development of the field of curatorial practice in
private and public galleries and museums and to independent curatorial
- Partnerships, internships and events at organizations such as the Art
Gallery of Ontario, the Textile Museum, C Magazine, the Toronto Alliance of
Art Critics, and various Toronto artist-run centres.
- The Summer Internship, which is an approximately four-week placement with
a gallery, museum, arts publication or other relevant cultural institution
in Canada or abroad. The internship allows students to integrate the
knowledge gleaned from first-year seminars with the practices of curating
- The annual Artist-in-Residence program, which brings internationally
renowned artists, designers, curators and critics to OCAD U for a one-week
residency during which they conduct seminars, attend studio critiques, and
give a public lecture/presentation.