Cross-Disciplinary Art: Life Studies

In the Life Studies specialization, you can combine hands-on studio work while exploring subjects related to life and living things. You’ll look at topics such as nature, anatomy, technology, biology, ecology and sustainability. This specialization offers a focus on science and humanities through creative lenses.

More About the Life Studies SPECIALIZATION

In this program, you’ll experiment with many different mediums including:

  • Sculpture
  • Figure drawing
  • Life modelling
  • Animation
  • Photography
  • Performance
  • Digital art

You will also work in partnerships on campus and beyond. You’ll take part in field trips, exhibitions and events. Be part of a unique course structure that provides mentorship opportunities, both as mentee and later as mentor. You will also take liberal arts and science courses to deepen your creative work.

At the end of this four-year program, you will earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. Get more details about the specialization.

  • For Ontario high school students, a minimum overall average of 70%
  • Portfolio (samples of your work and a visual representation of who you are)
  • Statement of Intent
  • Official transcripts
  • Other requirements

Graduates of the program work in:

  • Artistic practice
  • Medical illustration
  • Natural science research
  • Arts administration and education

OCAD U offers so much more than co-ops because creative careers take many forms. Our approach is specialized, and individual to every student’s needs and goals. You will be able to take advantage of:

  • Short experiential learning placements from among hundreds of organizations
  • Creative in-class projects with real-world industry partners
  • Exclusive summer internships
  • Gallery exhibitions of your work
  • Freelance creative opportunities
  • Jobs after graduation

OCAD University’s dedicated support services will help you build a professional community, valuable experience and skills necessary for a meaningful career.



Before you focus on Life Studies, your first year at OCAD University will be in our first year art program. You will have a choice of different kind of classes to get a good base for future years. A few are mandatory, such as art history and drawing, but the rest of your classes could include:

  • Sculpture concepts
  • Wearable art
  • Photography
  • Painting
  • Animation
  • Body and technology
  • Printmaking
  • Art and code
  • Indigenous sculpture strategies
  • Nature and culture

In second year, you will take Life Studies studio and can choose from other studio classes as well as a range of courses in anatomy, technology, biology, ecology, and sustainability, such as:

  • Anatomy: structure and movement
  • Introduction to biology
  • Human form and function: anatomy
  • Life Study for sculpture
  • Nature, culture and environment
  • Materials and the Anthropocene

Third year will feature a focused Life Studies studio course, with opportunities for collaboration and group work. You’ll choose studio art courses based on your interest, as well as courses in art history, science, humanities, and social science.


In your fourth year, you will work independently on a main project, called a capstone. You’ll gain knowledge through lectures, creating art, gallery visits and panel discussions. You’ll also showcase your work at GradEx ̶ OCAD U’s Graduate Exhibition, the biggest free art and design exhibition in Toronto with more than 40,000 visitors.