Indigenous Visual Culture spotlight image

Indigenous Visual Culture

In the Indigenous Visual Culture program, you will be inspired to learn from the creative traditions of of First Nations, Métis and Inuit art and design practices. The program includes studio-based courses where you make your own art and design. It also includes studying the visual, cultural, social and political history of Indigenous peoples.

More About the Indigenous Visual Culture Program

This unique program develops Indigenous and Non-Indigenous students’ knowledge of Indigenous cultural and artistic practices, including painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, installation and digital media.

Students in the program receive academic, cultural, social, and wellness support through the Indigenous Visual Culture Student Centre.

Students in the program are creative, innovative and curious and have many different skills and interests. Most have story telling instincts and strong imaginations. Some have drawing and painting ability or dance experience, some are DJs or VJs with an interest in communication. Many have well-developed visual-spatial skills and are interested in screens, games or performance, digital media production or computer programming.

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

  • 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 at:

  • Publishing companies
  • Advertising and graphic design firms
  • Digital studios
  • Community organizations
  • Freelance illustration

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.



In first year, you’ll take intro classes in topics such as:

  • Observational drawing
  • Design process
  • Illustrative concepts
  • Observational painting
  • Art and design history

In second year, you will study topics such as:

  • Graphic design for illustration
  • Human form and function: anatomy
  • Graphic design history
  • Media studio: digital

Third year will feature an open elective and more advanced courses, such as:

  • Graphic novel illustration
  • Book illustration
  • Illustrative painting

In fourth year, you'll complete a year-long thesis project, developing an original portfolio designed for self-promotion.

You’ll 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.