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Frequently asked questions

Q. When is the application deadline?

Applications for the 2020-2021 academic year are open! Apply now through the Graduate Application Portal

Apply by December 13, 2019 for priority consideration for funding. Applicants are encouraged to submit their complete application prior to this date to ensure their consideration for financial support.

Except for the Master of Design in Inclusive Design, all of our graduate programs start in the Fall 2020 semester. The Master of Design in Inclusive Design program starts one semester earlier (in the Spring/Summer 2020 semester), with a two-week in-person summer intensive course. This course is normally scheduled in August. Students must be present on campus for the summer intensive courses and full term fees are applicable.

Q. How do I apply?
All applications must be submitted through the Graduate Application Portal. Please follow the steps outlined on the Application Process page.

Q. I have a degree in an unrelated field. Can I still apply?
Each program has specific admission requirements, but most indicate they will accept a “comparable honours degree/certification” when an applicant does not have the degree type indicated. However, it is important to remember that the application process can be highly competitive. You may be competing with other applicants with degrees in more applicable fields that align more closely with the program’s admission requirements. For program-specific requirements, we encourage you to review the Admissions Requirements section of our website. 

Q. Who should I ask for a reference?
A good reference is someone who can speak to your post-secondary performance, capacity for research, and potential for academic study at the graduate level. Other areas for consideration are: critical thinking skills, analytical thinking skills, communication skills, ability to organize and express ideas in written form, diligence and perseverance in research, openness to collaboration, career motivation, ability to work independently, and demonstrated leadership. 

We will gladly accept professional references from employers and other individuals who can speak to your work ethic and practice, which may be relevant to your program of interest. Professional references may be accepted in lieu of academic references for applicants who have been out of school for a long period of time. 

Q. How do I submit my transcripts to OCAD U?
Transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended are to be scanned and uploaded (including the transcript legend) as part of the application process. Applicants who are enrolled in courses must scan and upload an interim transcript of their grades. If an applicant is offered admission before successfully completing their current program of study, this offer will be conditional upon receiving final official and confidential hard copy transcripts. 

Documents from non-English speaking institutions must be accompanied by a certified translation to English or a World Education Services (WES) course-by-course assessment of the credential.

Further information on transcript requirements is available on the Application Requirements page.

Q. If I previously attended OCAD U, do I need to upload my transcripts? 
Applicants who have previously attended OCAD U are required to submit OCAD U transcripts in their online application. Further information on transcript requirements is available on the Application Requirements page.

Q. I attended several post-secondary institutions. Do I need to request transcripts from all of them?
Yes. Official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended are required (whether you have completed a full degree or just one course). We recommend that you request transcripts as early as possible to avoid delays and to ensure that you will have time to receive, scan, and upload them by the application deadline. The university may nullify an offer of admission, revoke registration, and/or rescind funding support if it finds that an applicant has provided false or incomplete information during the application process. 

Further information on transcript requirements is available on the Application Requirements page.

Q. What should I include in my portfolio?
Your portfolio should include 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.

Media files as large as 5GB are supported, but please be advised that larger files will take longer to upload from your Internet connection and may stall if you are on a wireless connection or one that cannot sustain a connection for the necessary period of time. Uploaded documents may contain no more than 75 pages. The following file formats are supported:

  • Video: .avi, .flv, .m1v, .m2v, .m4v, .mkv, .mov, .mpeg, .mpg, .mp4, .webm, .wmv Apple ProRes is not currently supported. If uploading a .mov, please use an alternate codec.
  • Audio: .aac, .aif, .aiff, .iff, .fla, .m4a, .mpa, .mp3, .ra, .wav, .wma
  • Slide: .bmp, .gif, .jpg, .jpeg, .png, .tif, .tiff
  • Document: .doc, .docx, .odg, .odp, .odt, .pdf, .ppt, .pptx, .rtf, .wpd

Q. I have submitted my application through the Graduate Application Portal. What happens next?

Once your application has been successfully submitted through the Graduate Application Portal, you will receive an official email acknowledging that your application has been received.

Only complete applications will be reviewed by our Admissions Committees. The application review process, including interviews if applicable, normally takes up to twelve weeks. In some cases the review process may be shorter or longer than this period. We appreciate your patience as we review your application.

Q. How will I be informed of any decisions made regarding my application?
Once the Admissions Committee has made a decision on your application, you will receive a notification via email advising you to log on to the Graduate Application Portal to view your application's updated status. We appreciate your patience during the review process. 

Q. Who should I contact if I have questions about my application?
If you have any questions about your application, please email gradstudies@ocadu.ca and allow two business days for a reply. We appreciate your patience. 

If you have any questions about our programs, or which program to apply for, please contact our Admissions Office at admissions@ocadu.ca, or 416-977-6000 ext 4867.

Q. If I am an ESL (English as a Second Language) applicant, how and when do I submit my test results?
Applicants who are required to provide TOEFL or IELTS test scores must do so in their application in the Graduate Application Portal. Further information on English language competency requirements is available on the Application Requirements page.

If you are offered admission, we will verify your English language test results with the testing body. You may be asked to provide additional information (e.g. IELTS test report form number, or TOEFL registration number) at this point. When registering for your English language test, please make sure you select OCAD University as a score recipient.

Q. How much will tuition cost?
Tuition costs for the current academic year are posted on our website here. These fees may change slightly from year to year, but reviewing this page will give you give you an idea of what the tuition fees will be for your program of interest.

Q. Do you offer entrance scholarships? How can I apply?
A limited number of internal entrance scholarships are available for full-time students. All applicants are automatically considered for internal entrance scholarships. Scholarships are awarded to successful applicants on the basis of academic merit. If you are offered a scholarship, the applicable details will be outlined in your offer of admission. Please visit our Entrance Scholarships & Internal Sources of Funding page for more information.

Graduate students in full-time studies may be eligible to apply for government-funded scholarships such as the Canada Graduate Scholarships – Master’s Program (CGS-M) and Ontario Graduate Scholarship Program (OGS). These scholarships require a separate application. Please visit our Government-Funded Awards & External Funding page for more information and application instructions.

Q. I am an international student. What funding is available for me?
Funding options for international students in Canada are limited. It is important that you have a solid financial plan in place before beginning your studies. In order to obtain a study permit, you will be required to prove to Canadian immigration officials that you have sufficient financial resources to support yourself.  

Full-time international graduate students are eligible to receive entrance scholarships and may be eligible to apply for governmental merit-based scholarships. Visit our Funding page for more information.

Unfortunately, none of the federal or provincial financial aid programs are available to international students. These student loan and bursary programs are government-funded and students must be Canadian citizens or Permanent Residents to be eligible to apply. Once enrolled, you may be eligible to apply for the international student bursary program. Visit the International Students – Tuition & Finances page for more information. 

For more information about working on or off campus as an international student, please visit our International Students – Employment page. 

Q. Do you offer part-time studies?
We offer part-time options for the following programs: Design for Health, Interdisciplinary Master’s in Art, Media and Design, and Strategic Foresight and Innovation. While the course schedule for each program varies, all programs require part-time students to take courses during the daytime.

Q. Will I get a studio or study space?
All programs have a dedicated studio or study space for their students to work in.

The Interdisciplinary Master's in Art, Media and Design program offers each student in the program flexible studio space and access to quiet research, reading, and writing space.