OCAD University Admissions for International Students

OCAD University admission requirements for international students include the language requirements, academic requirements, and transcripts demanded from international students who wish to study at the university.
The Government of Ontario awarded the university full degree-awarding powers, including honorary degrees, on July 1, 2020.
Ontario College of Art & Design University, popularly known as OCAD University, is a public-oriented university of art and design established in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. OCAD’s main campus is adjacent to the Art Gallery of Ontario, inside the Grange Park neighborhood.
OCAD is Canada’s largest and oldest academic institution of art and design. Furthermore, OCAD University offers degree-granting courses through its Faculties of Art, Design, Liberal Arts and Sciences, and alternative programs.

Demographics of the student body (2017–18)
Undergraduate Graduate
Male 26.1% 28.7%
Female 73.9% 71.3%
Canadian student 86.3% 85.9%
International student 13.7% 14.1%

OCAD’S Faculties And Programs

Faculty of Art

The Faculty of Art, with its new Academic Plan, offers six undergraduate majors of study, including:

  • Criticism & Curatorial Practice
  • Drawing & Painting
  • Integrated Media
  • Photography
  • Printmaking
  • Sculpture/Installation.

Faculty of Design

  • At OCAD University, upcoming designers learn to form alternative responses to changing situations. As creators and originators of objects, communications, and environments, they define, enhance and transform the world. Here, you can choose from the six programs listed above, including “Design and Humanity” as a philosophical base.

Faculty of Arts & Science

  • The faculty of Liberal Arts & Science courses engage the theories and ideas that inform art and design practice, providing a historical and critical dimension to studio work in art and design.

Academic And Admissions Requirements For International Students

The Undergraduate Admission Requirements Policy indicates that aspiring students applying to OCAD University’s undergraduate programs must fulfill the minimum academic entrance requirements and submit the following:

  • A Statement of Intent (mandatory for all programs)
  • A Portfolio (required for all studio BFA and BDes programs) or
  • Written sample (required for the BA in Visual and Critical Studies)
  • Official Academic transcripts
  • English Language Proficiency Test scores (if required)

For more information about international admission requirements, please visit the link: Admissions Requirements (ocadu.ca)

Undergraduate Admission Requirements

For Ontario Secondary School applicants:

  • You must have completed the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD)
  • Obtained a Grade 12 U English (ENG4U or EAE4U) and a minimum final score of 70%
  • Completed a total of a minimum of six Grade 12 U or M level courses (including ENG4U or EAE4U) and scored a minimum overall academic average of 70%

For Canadian high school applicants from outside Ontario:

  • You must have graduated high school
  • Obtain an equivalent of 70% minimum average in your university preparatory courses
  • Must have a minimum final score of 70% and an equivalent test in your senior-level academic English course.

For International High School Applicants

To be eligible, you must have obtained a Secondary School Graduation equivalent to Grade 12 in Ontario and scored an overall average of B or 70% in your final year.


  • Should you apply from a country or school system where English is the official language of instruction, a minimum grade of B or 70% in English 12 or an equivalent course is required.
  • If you are applying from a country or school system where the official language of academic instruction is not English, or if your first language is not English and you have not completed a minimum of four consecutive years of high school in an English school system, it is required that you present successful results of an English Language Proficiency Test (ELPT).


As an international student applicant, you must have a valid Canada Study permit/student visa before registering at OCAD U. It is strongly advised that you apply for your study permit as soon as your offer of admission is received.

International Baccalaureate (IB)

  • The admission minimum for an IB Diploma is generally set on 3 Higher Level and 3 Standard Level subjects.
  • You must have obtained a minimum final score of 24 points.
  • IB English is mandatory as one of these courses with a final score of 4 or higher.
  • Students who achieve a grade of at least 5 in Higher Level IB courses approved as equivalent to OCAD U courses may be granted transfer credit.

British Pattern Curriculum

  • Students must supply proof of completion of the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE/IGCSE) with five successful O-Level subjects of minimum C grade or better.
  • General Certificate of Education Advanced or Advanced Supplementary Levels (GCE-A or GCE-AS) of at least two A-Levels or four AS-Levels.
  • A minimum grade of C is required in each A/AS Level.
  • An A-Level or AS-Level English is preferred. However, this must at least be completed at the O-Level.

Non-traditional Applicants

To be eligible as a Mature Applicant:

  • You must be at least 20 years of age by September 1 of the year of your intended enrolment and must not have engaged in any formal education for at least two years.
  • Satisfactory evidence of English proficiency (a course or a test) is mandatory for all applicants.

Graduate Programs

  • Contemporary Art, Design, and New Media Art Histories (MA)
  • Inclusive Design (MDes)
  • Interdisciplinary Master’s in Art, Media, and Design (MA, MFA & amp; MDes)
  • Criticism and Curatorial Practice (MFA)
  • Design for Health (MDes)
  • Strategic Foresight and Innovation (MDes)
  • Digital Futures (MA. MFA, MDes)

General Application Requirements

Inclusive of the general graduate studies application requirements listed below that apply to all programs, individual programs or faculties may also have specific application requirements you are required to fulfill to be eligible for admission.


  • These are records of your studies at an institution, including a list of completed courses, grades obtained, and degrees conferred.
  • Unofficial transcripts, that is, scanned copies of your transcript or printouts of your student record must be uploaded as part of your online application.
  • If your transcript does not clearly state that your degree was conferred, you must upload a copy of your degree certificate along with your transcript.

Reference Letters

  • Note that all program applications require three (3) reference letters.
  • Your referees must complete their reference letters directly at the Graduate Application Portal.
  • Ensure that the contact information of your referees is entered into the application portal before submitting your application.
  • You are responsible for ensuring that your referees complete this step in time.
  • You are advised to contact your referees as early as possible because a review of your application will be delayed until the three reference letters are received.

Application Fee

  • The application fee to OCAD University is CAD 110, which you are to pay through the Graduate Application Portal.
  • Remember that application fees are non-refundable and charged for each program you apply for.

English Language Competency

The official language of instruction at OCAD U is English. To demonstrate English language proficiency at a graduate level, you must meet one of the following criteria:

  1. Finished a bachelor’s or higher degree from an institution where the language of instruction was English.
  2. English is the first language
  3. Have completed an English language test with the below minimum test scores:
    • Overall: 90
    • Reading: 22
    • Listening: 20
    • Writing: 22
    • Speaking: 22
    • Overall: 7
    • Reading: 7
    • Listening: 7
    • Writing: 7
    • Speaking: 7
  • Duolingo English Test
    • Overall: 120

Funding and Tuition Fees at OCAD University

Courses Duration Tuition Fees
Engineering (1 Courses) 4 year CAD 19355
Arts (1 Courses) 4 year CAD 2325
Media Films (7 Courses) 4 year CAD 10660 – CAD 23235
Management (1 Courses) 2 year CAD 9092

Visit the Funding page for more information about entrance scholarships, graduate assistantships, bursaries, and awards.

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OCAD Scholarships

OCAD U offers competitive funding packages to applicants. 

  • Nearly 2/3 of students will receive financial aid from OCAD to offset their tuition or living expenses. If you don’t receive funding, you are encouraged to apply for scholarships and other financial aid opportunities during your studies.


  • An assistantship is a paid opportunity that offers you a chance to build your resume through teaching or research activities at OCAD U.
  • Research and Teaching assistantships range from $2,000 to $3,600 per appointment, often offered in your application. However, you can always seek out and apply for others.

Internal Scholarships

  • OCAD University’s internal scholarships range from $6,000 to $25,000. Usually awarded to applicants with strong GPAs, reference letters, professional/academic backgrounds, and resumes, thus, are highly competitive.

Travel Bursaries

  • As a Graduate student at OCAD U., you are encouraged to travel regionally, nationally, and internationally to present your research to the scholarly community and conduct research. Therefore, you can apply for a travel bursary of up to $500.

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External Scholarships

Canada Graduate Scholarships – Master’s (CGS-M)

  • Deadline: December 1
  • Eligibility: Canadian citizens and Permanent Residents of Canada

Ontario Graduate Scholarships (OGS)

  • Deadline: January 12, 2020
  • Eligibility: Canadian citizens, Permanent Residents of Canada, and international students in Canada on a student visa

For more information on scholarships at OCAD University, please visit:

OCAD University Scholarships For International Students – WorkStudyVisa

How To Apply To OCAD University Graduate Program

The following under-listed steps are required to apply to any program at OCAD University

  • Review the application requirements and program-specific eligibility
  • Apply Online using the Graduate Application Portal
  • Finalize and submit your application
  • Application review process
  • Notification of Admission decisions

Application Deadline

Application for the graduate programs of the 2021 – 2022 academic session is now closed. However, the 2022 – 2023 academic session applications will open in October 2021. So keep up to date to receive a notification when the next session’s applications open.

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