International applicants

Why choose OCAD University?

OCAD U is a unique and specialized place to study the practice of art and design. As an OCAD U student, you'll be immersed in a diverse, cosmopolitan community made of of students ranging in age from 17 to 69, from many different backgrounds, coming to OCAD U from across Canada and the world. The breadth of our program offerings, the quality of our faculty and the uniqueness of the OCAD U experience are some of the main reasons why students choose to spend their four years of study at OCAD U.

OCAD U has specialized in art and design longer and more intensely than any school of its kind in Canada. Since 1876, our faculty and alumni have included the most influential icons in Canada's visual culture. This heritage has allowed us to develop the most comprehensive curriculum — and the broadest choice of majors — in the country. We offer you the academic rigour of a university with the experimental freedom of a hands-on, small class studio environment.  


OCAD U is located in the heart of Toronto, Canada's largest centre for design, culture and business. As one of the world's most multicultural cities, Toronto is a vibrant nexus that brings a diversity of creative forces together. And where great minds meet, magic happens.

At OCAD U, you are connected to all of this. Our downtown location links us (and you) with an extended campus of design studios as well as art galleries, artist-run centers and museums that exhibit the work of many leading artists and designers, including many OCAD U graduates. The Art Gallery of Ontario is right next door, and you are automatically a member.


OCAD U is a creative community. While at OCAD U, you will be exposed to a diverse range of ideas, practices and people. Because everyone is focused on art and design, this is also a strong community. There are informal gatherings with peers, opportunities to engage with visiting experts, or participate in exhibitions, competitions, forums and events related to the professional community. The 4000+ member student population represents a wide variety of geographical, cultural and educational backgrounds. The result? A vibrant, cosmopolitan atmosphere.

Want to become a student at OCAD U?   

The admissions process has important steps you need to follow to be a successful candidate for enrolment. The following links will help you understand the process.

Admission Overview
Choose a Program
Apply Online 
Academic and Admission Requirements
English Proficiency
Preparing a Portfolio

The Admissions & Recruitment office makes every effort to help facilitate the application process for international students wishing to study at the OCAD U. Please feel free to contact us by email or phone (416-977-6000 Ext. 2055, 428, 310, 308 or 489) or toll-free within North America (1-800-382-6516) with your questions.

Additional Information

All international students must have a valid Study Permit to register for courses at OCAD U. It is strongly encouraged that you apply for your Study Permit as soon as the offer of admission from OCAD U is received. For more information about obtaining a study permit please visit Canadian Permits & Visas.

All international students studying in Ontario are required to purchase the University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP) at the time of fee payment. Details can be found on the Health & Medical page.

OCAD U does not have its own residence accommodations; however, there are a number of housing options and resources available to help you find a place to live.

Detailed information on tuition, expenses and financial assistance can be found on the Tuition & Finances page.

Campus resources for International Students

Academic Success
Campus Life
Campus Living
Career Services
Disability Services
Financial Matters
Health and Wellness
Housing Information
International Student Services
Living in Toronto
OCAD U Store
Office of the Registrar
Student Insurance Plans
Student Services
OCAD Student Union
IT Services
Tuition & Fees
Writing & Learning Centre
ESL Resources 

OCAD U near you 

Throughout the year, representatives from the Admissions & Recruitment Office visit international high schools around the world. To find out more and to see if we will be visiting your school, please email us.

Representatives from OCAD U attend several National Portfolio Day Events throughout North America. Bring your work, have it critiqued and meet with OCAD U Faculty and staff.

For more information about National Portfolio Day and these events please visit the National Portfolio Day Association website.

OCAD U's National Portfolio Day takes place on campus in Toronto in November.

Imagine yourself here

As Canada’s "university of the imagination," OCAD U delivers art, design, media and interdisciplinary education in a learning environment that integrates studio-based education with historical, critical and scientific enquiry. OCAD U graduates and faculty have made their mark in unexpected ways, contributing to knowledge and invention across a wide range of disciplines.

At OCAD University you'll work hard because you'll want to. Because you will be inspired. Because you can't imagine being anywhere else.