Withdrawal period for 50% refund on fall term 6 week graduate courses

Withdrawal period for 50% refund on fall term 6 week graduate courses

Withdrawal period for 45% refund on fall term 10 week graduate course

Withdrawal period for 45% refund on fall term 10 week graduate course

Final withdrawal period for fall term 10 week graduate courses

Final withdrawal period for fall term 10 week graduate courses

Final withdrawal period for fall term 6 week graduate courses

Final withdrawal period for fall term 6 week graduate courses

What a DESIGN master’s can do for you

Thinking about a master’s degree? Not sure it’s worth the investment? We get it.

Design careers are largely built on your portfolio of work, not the letters after your name. But there are good reasons – both personal and professional – to head back to school at some point in your career.

Whether you’re a practicing designer, or want to add formal design training to your resume, here are five reasons to think about getting a M.Des.:

User interacting with coloured buttons

 Learn more about OCAD U’s Inclusive Design program

 The healthcare sector is a hotbed for innovation and needs the skills of designers to develop solutions to some of our aging society’s most critical problems. 

Patient laying in bed using tablet based healthcare app

Learn more about OCAD U’s new Design for Health program  


 Design thinking is hot.Learn more about OCAD U’s Strategic Foresight and Innovation program 

Digital futures

Digital futures image

Learn more about OCAD U’s Digital Futures graduate program 

  1. You want to shift your career toward a specific context – and one with growing opportunities.  As your career progresses, you’ll increasingly specialize. You’ll need to expand your knowledge base and re-tool to advance in emerging fields like healthcare, accessibility, innovation and digital technology. 

    For example, accessibility legislation is being passed in many parts of the world, including Ontario’s Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). Many sectors are looking for the expertise to design and re-design their products and systems to meet the requirements and be at the forefront of what is known as Inclusive Design.

  2. You want to go deep. Your career may be satisfying and engaging on a daily basis but you’ve been exploring, maybe obsessing, over some bigger, more challenging concepts in your “spare time.” A graduate education is an opportunity to step back, to look at issues and problems from different perspectives, to engage in research, and to make a contribution to the field at another level. 

    OCAD U Digital Futures student Han Yang, for example, developed, as his major research project, interactive film that takes control from the director and lets the viewer take charge of the camera through the character's perspective.Two student teams from OCAD University’s Strategic Foresight and Innovation Program took their social innovation all the way to the regional finals of the Clinton Global Foundation’s Hult Prize Competition.

  3. Design thinking is hot.  Government, non-profits and business have caught onto the advantages of approaching problems like a designer does. Even the Harvard Business Review described design thinking as “an essential tool for simplifying and humanizing. It can’t be extra; it needs to be a core competence.” An MBA that offers some design thinking courses is always an option for those looking to add these skills to their toolkit, but learning design thinking from designers, and with a multi-disciplinary cohort of students, has its advantages

  4. You need to expand your network. Your career is based on both what you know and whom you know. Graduate programs typically draw learners from all over the world (25% of OCAD U’s grad students, for example, are from outside of Canada) and from a range of professional and academic backgrounds.  Your faculty are scholars and practitioners who can point you in the direction you want to go.  

    Most grad programs have connections to industry that help you get your foot in the door to an even wider network. OCAD U’s Digital Futures students, for example, have the option to work on a project with the Canadian Film Centre’s Media Lab

  5. You want to teach. It’s natural at some point in your career to want to influence and mold the next generation. A master’s degree is definitely an asset, and often required, for teaching positions in Canadian universities.

If one or more of these factors is motivating you to consider graduate school in design, check out OCAD University’s programs. Graduate programs at OCAD University are designed to be completed in two years, full-time. But, there are also part-time and online learning options that could work with your current work schedule.  Applications for OCAD University’s masters programs in design are open until March 31, 2016.

Want an overview of all of our graduate programs, our campus and the requirements for admission? Sign up for an info session webinar.

Admissions Segment: 

Dr. Ashok Mathur named Dean of Graduate Studies

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

OCAD University is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Ashok Mathur as Dean of Graduate Studies, effective January 1, 2018. Dr. Mathur recently completed a term as Head of Creative Studies at the Okanagan campus of the University of British Columbia, which began January, 2014.

“We are delighted to have Dr. Mathur join OCAD U,” said Dr. Gillian Siddall, Vice President Academic & Provost. “He brings with him tremendous administrative and teaching experience, as well as a significant record of research and creative practice. He is very well positioned to contribute to advancing the priorities of the academic plan.”

Before joining UBC, Dr. Mathur served as a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Cultural and Artistic Inquiry, and Director of the Centre for Innovation in Culture and the Arts in Canada (CiCAC) at Thompson Rivers University. Prior to that, Dr. Mathur served as Head of Critical and Cultural Studies at the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design (2001-05).

Dr. Mathur has produced five books and numerous projects, both creative and critical, that focus on and feature the intersections of artistic engagement. His most recent book is a long poem entitled The First Black White Man, which, supported by a Canada Council writing grant, was incorporated into a ‘living arts’ space revolving around one of Kamloops’s early Black immigrants and his role in developing the city. Dr. Mathur is a long-time advocate of critical race theory as it pertains to the postsecondary institution, and works continuously to address radical forms of equity and Indigenous knowledge.

"I am thrilled to join the diverse and progressive environment of OCAD U, and keen to work with students, faculty, and administration to continue to develop excellent graduate level programming in the years to come," said Dr. Mathur.

Dr. Mathur holds a Ph.D. in Postcolonial Literature from the University of Calgary. As Dean, reporting to the Vice-President Academic & Provost, Dr. Mathur will be responsible for the educational and research leadership, development and supervision of Graduate Studies and its alignment with the academic plan and integration into the larger strategic plan of the university.

Congratulations to our Masters Graduands!

Graduate students at convocation 2017
Thursday, June 15, 2017 - 10:30am

The Office of Graduate Studies congratulates our 2017 Graduands!

We are delighted to celebrate your incredible achievements and the culmination of years of hard work, determination, creation and discoveries. As well, we’d like to thank the friends and family of our students/alumni for their support.

Now that you are representing OCAD U, we hope you keep in touch by joining the Alumni Association. We invite you to visit and participate in future OCAD U events!


The Office of Graduate Studies

OCAD University


This year, the Graduate Studies community at OCAD University is once again fortunate to be able to acknowledge & recognize particular individuals who have demonstrated exceptional achievement in their studies through their research and creative practice.

Contemporary Art, Design and New Media Art Histories

Cydney Langill Contemporary Art, Design and New Media Art Histories Award for Outstanding Writing

Criticism & Curatorial Practice

Justine Hartlieb-Power Criticism and Curatorial Practice Award for Outstanding Thesis ExhibitionValentynaOniskoCriticism and Curatorial Practice Award for Outstanding Exhibition

Digital Futures

Egill Vidarsson Digital Futures Award for Best Thesis Defence Presentation

Fusun Uzun Digital Futures Futures Award for Best Thesis Document and Award for Best Social Innovation

Jordan Shaw Digital Futures Award for Best Exhibited Thesis Work

Ling Ding Digital Futures Award for Best Thesis Defence Presentation

Marcelo Muller Luft Digital Futures Award for Best Social Innovation

Inclusive Design

Chad Lesch Inclusive Design Award of Excellence

Interdisciplinary Master’s in Art, Media and Design

Eli Schwanz Interdisciplinary Master’s in Art, Media and Design Award for Media Experimentation and Excellent Execution

Iveta Karpathyova Interdisciplinary Master’s in Art, Media and Design Award for Interdisciplinary Excellence

Mariam Magsi Interdisciplinary Master’s in Art, Media and Design Award for Achievement in Local and International Artistic Recognition

Thomas Haskell Interdisciplinary Master’s in Art, Media and Design Award for Rigor in Material Investigation

Strategic Foresight and Innovation

AdriennePacini Strategic Foresight and Innovation Award for Best Major Research Paper

Inclusive Design Summer Intensive Exhibit Opening

Friday, June 23, 2017 - 5:00pm to 7:30pm
Venue & Address: 
Graduate Gallery, Ground Floor, 205 Richmond St. W.
Inclusive Design Logo

IAMD Student Work at Sur Gallery

David Constantino Salazar, Due to Circumstances Beyond Our Control, 2017, oil-based clay
Thursday, April 13, 2017 - 9:00am

"To ‘strike a chord’ is to create or trigger an emotional negative or positive response to an action. In this exhibition, artists respond to times of peril and violence: they retaliate with protest, search for healing, all while conjuring an atmosphere of resistance. At times when our role as citizens seem to ever more bluntly demonstrate that actions need to be taken in order for there to be change, Montreal-based artist Claudia Bernal, Toronto-based artists —Coco Guzmán, Julieta María and David Constantino Salazar— use performance, video, installation, sculpture and drawing to position themselves as activists in a society that has revealed its ultra-right wing ideology. 

Artists in Strike a Chord present multiple perspectives and offer various tools to activate social integrity, social justice, and respect. While both Bernal and Guzmán tackle performance and drawing as change catalysts and see the power of individuals capable of redefining the course of history through memory and action, Salazar reveals the vulnerability we all share and the obstacles that expose our precarious lives. María offers a comforting and nurturing encounter with our mothers, revealing our instinctive nature to survive despite sentiments of fear and isolation lingering in the world today. During times of uncertainty and anxiety, it is artists who create meaning and a sense of purpose when all else seems to be crumbling. Artists raise their voices; they elicit and provoke those who do not want to change and strike something within all of us. 

This exhibition is co-presented by Mayworks Festival of Working People and the Arts"

More on the exhibition can be found on the Sur Gallery website: http://lacap.ca/sur-gallery/current-exhibition/single-view/calendar/2017/04/13/event/tx_cal_phpicalendar/strike_a_chord/

A review of Strike a Chord on akimbo: http://www.akimbo.ca/akimblog/?id=1243

More on the IAMD program: http://www.ocadu.ca/academics/graduate-studies/art-media-design-masters.htm

Design for Health Open House

Design for Health Poster
Friday, May 5, 2017 - 1:00pm to 7:00pm
Venue & Address: 
205 Richmond St. W., Room 303