In the Photography program, you will learn critical, creative and conceptual skills from analogue to digital photography. OCAD University has some of the best photography facilities in Canada and is one of few schools with both a colour and black and white darkroom.

More About the Photography Program

You will benefit from studying photography at Canada’s largest art, design and media university, where you will select electives from a wide range of creative areas. These include courses in Sculpture/Installation, Printmaking, Drawing, and Painting, among many others.

Unlike some other photography programs, which offer mainly commercial photography, OCAD U’s Photography program focuses on artistic and experimental lens-based practices. The program emphasizes your artistic vision, while encouraging you to explore a broad range of issues and styles. In the upper-year levels, you’ll gain real world experience through a placement in the arts community or through an exhibition of your photographs.

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 in:

  • Artistic practice
  • Freelance photography
  • Fashion, commercial or editorial photography
  • Digital/print publications or image archives
  • Arts or gallery administration
  • Artist representation, production or photo editing

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

  • Sculpture concepts
  • Wearable art
  • Photography
  • Painting
  • Animation
  • Body and technology
  • Printmaking
  • Art and code

In second year, you will study topics such as:

  • Colour photography
  • History of photography
  • Concept and process
  • Digital imaging

Third year courses may include topics such as:

  • Photography – theory and criticism
  • Studio electives
  • Professional practice
  • Creativity on demand

In your fourth year, you can choose between the Thesis and the Directed Studio options. In the Thesis option, you will work with a thesis panel to research, produce and present a body of work that is of professional exhibition quality. In the Directed Studio option, you will work on several projects and refine your technical skills and conceptual understanding.

You’ll showcase your work at GradEx ̶ OCAD U’s GradEx, the biggest free art and design exhibition in Toronto with more than 40,000 visitors.