The Application Process at an Art and Design School

By OCAD University Modified on November 07, 2018

Here is some insight on applying to an art and design university.


Research. Research. Research. Before you applying to post-secondary, research the programs and see where you may be a good fit. Art and design streams tend to be very different and can also be interdisciplinary. For example, some programs allow more self-directed work and self-expression whereas others assign more specificity to assignments and some programs are a mixture of both. To get a better understanding of each program, review the program guides and course offerings.

Applying to an art and design school means your portfolio is first and foremost the centerpiece of your application. Give yourself time to create an outstanding portfolio by starting early. Document your work as much as possible in order to demonstrate your process and conceptual thinking.

Once your portfolio is submitted, you have to wait to receive conditional offer. If you do, you will then be asked to meet academic requirements. If academic requirements are not met by the specified deadlines given to you, your conditional offer will be rescinded. Most of the time, students have already met the minimum requirements but it never hurts to double check that you’re on the right track by reviewing the requirements a second, third or fourth time!

Applying to post-secondary education can be very stressful but there are plenty of resources to help. Besides the school’s website, you can always meet with the Admissions & Recruitment Team or you can speak to a guidance counsellor at your school who can point you in the right direction.

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