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OCAD University

OCAD University

OCAD University


About OCAD University

OCAD U is Canada’s University of the Imagination

Founded in 1876, OCAD U is dedicated to art and design education, practice and research and to knowledge and invention across a wide range of disciplines. OCAD U continuously builds on its traditional, studio-based strengths, adding new approaches to learning that champion cross-disciplinary practice, collaboration and the integration of emerging technologies. In the Age of Imagination, members of the OCAD U community are uniquely qualified to act as catalysts for the next advances in culture, technology, and quality of life for all Canadians.

Our programs and research bridge fields of digital media and design, sustainability, health and wellness, cultural diversity and indigenous cultures.

Our students engage in creative studio-based, aesthetic and technical learning, together with critical, theoretical, scientific and historical knowledge and methods.

Finally, our location inspires. OCAD U is situated at the heart of the nation's art, design, business, and new media capital, on the ancestral and traditional territories of the Mississaugas of the New Credit, the Haudenosaunee, the Anishinaabe and the Huron-Wendat — the original owners and custodians of the land on which we stand.

Our Namesake

1876 - Ontario School of Art

1886 - Toronto Art School

1890 - Central Ontario School of Art and Industrial Design

1912 - Ontario College of Art

1996 - Ontario College of Art & Design (OCAD)

2010 - The Ontario College of Art and Design University (OCAD U)

OCAD University is located in the heart of Toronto, beside the Art Gallery of Ontario and the historic Grange Park. Its growing south campus is five minutes away in the city’s thriving Arts and Entertainment District.

Sharp Center for Design

Now a Toronto architectural landmark, the iconic Sharp Center for Design opened in 2004 as part of a major $42.5-million campus redevelopment. The award-winning, black and white “tabletop” structure stands above OCAD University’s main campus building on 12 multi-colored steel legs. The center is named after benefactors Rosalie and Isadore Sharp, and is home to OCAD U’s Faculty of Design, with facilities for the Faculties of Art and Liberal Studies. It was designed by acclaimed British architect Will Alsop in partnership with Toronto-based Robbie/Young + Wright Architects Inc., along with structural engineers from Carruthers & Wallace Ltd. and MCW Consultants Ltd. In 2013, architecture critic Christopher Hume named the Sharp Center one of the “five most influential buildings” in Toronto.

Vision and Mission Statements


Transformed By Imaginations

OCAD University challenges you to audaciously and responsibly pursue the questions of our time through the powerful interplay of art, design, the social sciences, humanities, and the sciences.

Mission Statement


  • We invite you to build aware, generous and joyful communities that integrate multiple perspectives and critical practices.

Audacious and Responsible Pursuit

  • We nurture diversity and resilience, and practice equity, inclusion, sustainability, and respect for Indigenous voices and cultures.

The Questions of our Time

  • We seek and respond to the questions of our time to enrich our disciplines and act as transformative social, economic, environmental, and cultural agents.

The Powerful Interplay of Art, Design, the Social Sciences, Humanities, and the Sciences

  • We engage with materials, data, technologies, ideas and pedagogy and diverse Indigenous perspectives to support unique research, studio practice and learning, creating interdisciplinary and emergent forms of knowledge.

Campus Features

For more information on housing near OCAD U, please visit our website.

    Scholarships and Funding

    Financial Aid & Awards at OCAD U advises students, provides referrals to the appropriate financial assistance programs and assists with securing the resources required to meet post-secondary education costs.

    Student Access Guarantee

    OCAD University is committed to Ontario's Student Access Guarantee, which states, "No qualified Ontario student should be prevented from attending our publicly assisted colleges and universities because of a lack of financial support programs. The Student Access Guarantee means students in need will have access to the resources they need for their tuition, books and mandatory fees."

    Funding your Education

    At OCAD U, education costs will be met by a variety of sources, provincial loans/grant programs, US Loan programs, bursaries, scholarships, awards and opportunities to work on campus. In addition to the online resource information, staff in the Financial Aid & Awards office can advise students with respect to their financial situation, provide referrals to the appropriate financial assistance programs, and assist them with securing the resources required to meet their post-secondary education costs.

    Proof of Your Identity Requirements

    If you would like to meet with a financial aid advisor about your OSAP/Out-of-Province student loan account, you must present your student ID and/or valid government-issued photo identification (such as a driver’s licence or permanent residency card).

    For OSAP related inquiries, such as retrieving your OAN, resetting OSAP account password, authorize the release of information to a third party, etc., you must present the following two types of identification

    • Proof of your Social Insurance Number (SIN): This can include your SIN card, SIN document or a Canada Pension Plan Statement of Contributions.
    • Government-issued photo identification(this can include any valid photo ID issued by the Government of Canada, such as a passport, Permanent Resident Card, or a Canadian provincial or territorial government, such as a driver's licence. Any photo identification must be valid (not expired) and legible.



    • Royal Institute of British Architects Worldwide Award, 2004
    • Award of Excellence, Toronto Architecture and Urban Design Awards, 2005
    • Most Outstanding Technical Project, Canadian Consulting Engineering Awards, 2005
    • Benjamin Moore Contract Exterior Award, 2006 (Awarded to Will Alsop)

    Why study at OCAD University

    Founded in 1876, OCAD University has grown to encompass studies in many forms of art, design and new media. We also offer rich courses in humanities, business practice and science that will equip you with insight and inspiration. Our learning environment is hands-on, studio-based and inter¬disciplinary, offering a wide array of production facilities for both traditional and digital creation, and personal attention through small classes. Join a community of creative students who are the artists, designers, and media makers of the future. You’ll be guided and inspired by the best talent from Canada’s cultural capital, whether those are your professors or your mentors from among our many business and cultural partnerships.

    Campus Life & Facilities

    What is Campus Life?

    OCAD University is a 100 per cent commuter campus. With lots of students travelling hours a day to get to school and home again, it can be challenging to meet new friends and get involved on campus. We get it. So, we're here to help!

    Campus Life, within OCAD U's Student Success Programs, ensures that students have access to social, learning and development opportunities outside the classroom. Our programs encourage enhanced personal growth, connection, engagement, leadership, self-confidence, interpersonal and team-building skills.

    Campus Life at OCAD U is what YOU, the student, makes it. So, look into our programming. Find out what's happening on campus, and get ready to meet other students and get involved. Activities help support community building, enhance your student life experience and the overall quality of campus life.

    Student involvement on campus

    We encourage you to get involved with the campus community. There are many different ways to do so:

    • Join the Student Mentor Program as a student mentee or peer mentor.
    • Join or start a student-run group.
    • Keep active with your peers and play in our intramural sports.
    • Attend or volunteer for orientation and welcome—O-DAYS!—in late August/early September.
    • Participate in shaping our educational community with a seat on university committees.
    • Participate in paid, elected and volunteer positions with the OCAD U Student Union.

    OCAD University is in the Top 10 Countries to Study Abroad Top 10 Global rankings 2023 badge Top 10 Global rankings 2022 badge Top 10 global rankings 2021 badge

    English Language Requirements

    Certify your English proficiency with the Duolingo English Test! The DET is a convenient, fast, and affordable online English test accepted by over 4,000 universities (like this one) around the world.


    • Toronto

      100 McCaul Street, M5T 1W1, Toronto