Interdisciplinary Master's in Art, Media and Design (MA, MDes and MFA)

OCAD University Graduate Programs

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OCAD U is the university of the imagination

Study in Canada’s most culturally vibrant city.

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Full time September MA, Other 2 years

About the course

The Interdisciplinary Master’s in Art, Media and Design (IAMD) draws experienced artists and designers from around the world, encouraging them to investigate and produce works that combine art, design and interdisciplinary academic study to create new forms of visual and social research and creative production.

Each student’s primary discipline and chosen emphasis among art, design, or media practice and theoretical inquiry will determine whether the degree earned is an MFA, MDes or MA.

Students thrive in a creative environment led by an accomplished faculty. Matchless opportunities for innovative learning are offered through visiting experts, internships, independent studies and the Annual First-Year Graduate Student Exhibition.

Upon entering the IAMD program, students will already have strong disciplinary expertise in art, design, media, art history, visual culture or a related discipline, plus an appropriate undergraduate degree and practical experience. They will be interested in augmenting their skills through a program that relies on research, collaboration and practice models to reframe contemporary issues through hybrid and interdisciplinary forms. Importantly, participants will rise to the challenge of working in an experimental environment where the outcome of their interdisciplinary efforts is not crystal clear at the outset and where the path of discovery may take them to unexpected places. This will entail rigorous academic study and the creation of a significant body of studio-based work and critical/theoretical writing.

The IAMD program aims to achieve these objectives through a course of study that includes:

Intensive graduate level directed study in the student’s studio practice
Seminars in critical theory and research methods
Elective courses that supplement the core curriculum by allowing each student to explore his or her individual interests in studio, theory or research
Either a major studio project supported by a written critical analysis (leading to the MFA or MDes degree) or an academic master’s thesis accompanied by a creative project (leading to the MA degree).


Provide a flexibly structured, advanced studio-based learning environment that enables students to integrate art, media and design production, in combination with other disciplines, through processes that remix theory, methodology and practice.

Ensure that students acquire advanced research skills for visual and academic investigations in the areas of art, media and design practice and critical theory.

Foster the development of individuals who can think, create and practise in interdisciplinary ways.

Contribute to new knowledge in the areas of interdisciplinary art, media and design methods, discourses and creative practices.

Promote the development of practices that facilitate sustainability, social responsibility and diverse social and cultural perspectives.

Each cohort will be carefully selected to maximize opportunities for interaction among art, media, design and non-studio subject areas. Students will work with an Advisory Committee that includes leading scholars/practitioners in each of their disciplines who will guide the students' individual studies and contribute to the development of their master's thesis work.

Key features

The opportunity for students to undertake coursework, directed studies, lectures and workshops with OCAD U faculty and with visiting faculty from other institutions and visiting experts in a wide range of disciplines
The option of an independent study, internship, elective and/or residency during the summer term between the first and second years of the program
Annual First-Year Graduate Student Exhibition
Graduate Thesis Exhibition
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Entry Requirements

See Program description

 Course Content

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OCAD University

Eli Schwanz, Punctured Drape, cotton, flourescent bulb, balast, 2017.

OCAD U is the university of the imagination

Are you willing to embrace a creative future? Then you're ready to consider Graduate Studies at OCAD University — the university of the imagination, in the heart of Canada’s most culturally vibrant city.

We’ll give you the tools and space to explore your creativity

OCAD University is Canada’s biggest art and design university. We’re a world-famous hub for art, design, digital media, research, innovation and creativity. At OCAD U, we will give you the tools to explore your creativity.

We’re located in downtown Toronto, just a couple of blocks from the Entertainment District, next to the Art Gallery of Ontario and surrounded by artist-run centres, studios, pop-ups and major events like Nuit Blanche (Toronto’s all-night contemporary art show). From small class sizes to technical support in all our shops and studios, you’ll be more than a number at OCAD U.

Find more information about our university and graduate programs here.