Master in Contemporary Art, Design and New Media Art Histories

General

Program Description

Contemporary Art, Design and New Media Art Histories

Offering students a compelling array of perspectives to investigate and assess the ever-shifting worlds of contemporary art, design, and new media art.

OCAD University’s MA in Contemporary Art, Design and New Media Art Histories are unique in Canada in its focus on contemporary art, design and media production and theory.

In this interdisciplinary program, you’ll engage with contemporary issues and works, while drawing on theoretical frameworks, historical contexts, and creative precedents that have shaped today’s visual and critical landscape.

Program facilities are located in the heart of Toronto’s arts and culture district, in close proximity to the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Toronto International Film Festival, and the Design Exchange, the Textile Museum of Canada, the Gardiner Museum, the Royal Ontario Museum, and the Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery.

The program is small (accepting 6-8 students per year), which allows direct access to faculty expertise and supervision. Core faculty in the program are internationally-known scholars, writers, historians, and curators, active in their fields.

Faculty have expertise in:

  • Contemporary Art, Media, and Design
  • Global art history
  • Indigenous theory and practice
  • Feminist and LGBTQ2+ studies
  • Cinema, film and video studies
  • Performance art studies
  • Photography history and theory
  • Video games and game studies
  • Comic art
  • Design history and theory
  • Material culture
  • Critical Theory

Faculty expertise fuels a diverse range of approaches and course offerings and supports students’ cutting-edge research.

The program is able to offer generous funding packages in many cases. Most incoming students are granted teaching assistantships in undergraduate art and design history courses, providing valuable teaching experience.

To apply to the program, you should have a four-year bachelor’s degree in art history, visual culture, film studies, communications, or a similar program, with a minimum 75% (B+) average over your last two years of study.

You can take courses across a range of offerings in contemporary art history, design history, and media studies, as well as elective courses offered in OCAD U’s six other graduate programs. Additionally, there are opportunities to develop Independent study courses with faculty members, participate in study-abroad courses, and gain credit for internships.

Program Conferences

You’ll have the opportunity to organize a graduate-student conference each year, bringing together researchers and visiting speakers. See previous CADN conferences.

This event is supplemented by frequent lectures and workshops from visiting scholars, artists, and curators. Past speakers have included: Nicholas R. Bell, Aleesa Cohene, Douglas Coupland, Robert Diaz, Brendan Fernandes, Hal Foster, Monika Kin Gagnon, Luis Jacob, Séamus Kealy, Janaya Khan, Mark Kingwell, Rick Lowe, Janine Marchessault, Sean Martindale, Lisa Myers, Karyn Olivier, Abdullah Qureshi, Kirsty Robertson, Terry Smith, Sarah Thornton, Eve Tuck, and others

Admission Requirements

Applications for the 2020-2021 academic year are open! Apply now through the Graduate Application Portal. 

Due to study permit processing timelines, May 8th will be our application deadline for international applicants. Applications will remain open until all spaces are filled. Applicants are encouraged to submit their application as soon as possible, as our graduate programs fill quickly.

General application requirements

In addition to general graduate studies application requirements, found below, that are applicable to all programs, individual programs may have unique application requirements that you can consult.

  • Transcripts
  • Reference letters
  • Application fee
  • English language competency

Program-specific application requirements

Application for admission into the MA in Contemporary Art, Design and New Media Art Histories is competitive. Applicants must hold a BA, BFA, BDes, or comparable honors degree/certification with an average of 75 percent (B+) or better during the last two years of study, or must demonstrate exceptional related experience/expertise as a practicing art or design professional. All applicants must demonstrate creative and conceptual competence at a high level.

For consideration by the admissions committee, and in addition to the basic application requirements outlined below, applicants need to complete and submit the following through the Graduate Application Portal:

  • Research Proposal: Maximum 500-word statement that clearly describes your research interests for graduate work in the Contemporary Art, Design, and New Media Art Histories program. Bibliography and illustrations may be included.
  • Writing Sample: The writing sample should reflect recent work and demonstrate scholarly writing abilities. Maximum 20 pages. Examples of writing samples include published articles or term papers.
  • CV: Applicants should include an updated copy of their curriculum vitae.
  • Potential Advisors: Please name up to two members of the Graduate Studies faculty you would be interested in working with as advisors for your Major Research Paper (MRP) and why you would like to work with them (200-word maximum)

What You’ll Do in the Program

Major Research Paper Stream

First Year

  • Art History Methods & Theory
  • Field Specific Seminar (open) 5000- or 6000-level CADN, VISA, VISD, or VISM
  • Elective
  • Contemporary Art Theory
  • Field Specific Seminar (open) 5000- or 6000-level CADN, VISA, VISD, or VISM
  • Elective
  • MRP/Thesis Proposal

Second Year

  • MRP/Thesis Research
  • Professional Practices 1
  • Field Specific Seminar (open) 5000- or 6000-level CADN, VISA, VISD, or VISM
  • Professional Practices 2
  • Major Research Paper Writing 

Thesis Stream

First Year

  • Art History Methods & Theory
  • Field Specific Seminar (open) 5000- or 6000-level CADN, VISA, VISD, or VISM
  • Elective
  • Contemporary Art Theory
  • Field Specific Seminar (open) 5000- or 6000-level CADN, VISA, VISD, or VISM
  • Elective
  • MRP/Thesis Proposal

Second Year

  • MRP/Thesis Research
  • Professional Practices 1
  • Professional Practices 2
  • Thesis Writing 

Students are automatically enrolled in the MRP stream, which is the preferred conclusion to the CADN program. To enroll in the Thesis stream, an application is required (see the CADN Supervisory Guidelines).

How to Apply

Graduate applications for the 2020 academic year are still open for domestic applicants.

Step 1: Review application requirements and program-specific eligibility

This information can be found on the Application Requirements page.

Step 2: Apply online using the Graduate Application Portal

All applicants to Graduate Studies at OCAD University must first complete a graduate application through the Graduate Application Portal. If you are applying to more than one graduate program, you must submit a separate application for each program for which you wish to be considered. 

Application Fee: The application fee is $110 CAD, payable through the Graduate Application Portal. Application fees are non-refundable and charged for each program for which you apply. 

Step 3: Finalize and submit your application

The Graduate Application Portal will allow you to log in and start a graduate application which you can edit as often as required. However, once your application has been submitted, no further changes will be allowed.

Once your application has been successfully submitted through the Graduate Application Portal and your application fee paid, you will receive official emails acknowledging receipt of your application. Any further required steps or actions will be outlined at this time.

Our online application portal is the only method to submit your application. We do not accept paper applications or physical application materials. If you encounter issues while applying, please contact us at gradstudies@ocadu.ca.

Step 4: Application review process

Only complete applications will be reviewed by our Admissions Committees. Once the program-specific Admissions Committee has reviewed your submitted application, you may be contacted by the Office of Graduate Studies and invited to an interview (where applicable). If you are invited to an interview, it may take place in-person or remotely (e.g. teleconference or Skype). The application review process, including interviews, normally takes up to twelve weeks after the application deadline.

Step 5: Notification of admissions decisions

Once a decision is made regarding your application, you will receive a notification via email asking you to log in to the Graduate Application Portal and check the status of your application. 

Offer of Admission: If you are offered admission to a graduate program, you will have a limited time (normally two weeks) to accept the offer of admission through the Graduate Application Portal. Your offer of admission may be subject to conditions, which must be cleared before you can be permitted to register.

Waiting Lists: If you are placed on a waiting list for admission into a graduate program, you will receive a notification via email when your application status changes. If you are on a waiting list and decide not to attend OCAD University, please contact us to let us know of your decision.

Not Admitted: If you are not selected for admission, you may fall into one of three general categories:

  • Although you meet the minimum program requirements, due to a combination of a highly competitive process and a limited number of spaces, we were unable to admit you.
  • You have not met the minimum program requirements (e.g., GPA, English language requirements, etc.).
  • You were deemed ineligible (e.g., non-relevant degree, lack of academic qualifications).

Please note that applicants meeting the minimum requirements for admission are not guaranteed admission into a graduate program. Furthermore, program admission may be limited to students whose interests are compatible with the specific program mandate, available resources, and faculty expertise.

Last updated Jun 2020

About the School

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 ... Read More

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. Read less