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Photograph of 2013 Medal Winner Tara Bursey, Criticism & Curatorial Practice. Photo by B. Needham.
Criticism and Curatorial Practice at OCAD U is the first undergrad program in Canada to prepare artists to be critics and curators.

Students in our program also get experience in the studio making art themselves. We believe that people who work in all areas of the art and culture world benefit from this hands on experience.

In this program you’ll learn about professional practices in museums, galleries and many other creative institutions. You’ll benefit from studying with artists, curators, writers and designers. You’ll also learn how contemporary art and design productions and exhibitions reach the public.

Program Highlights

At the End of this Program...

This exciting four-year program will earn you a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree. 

Admissions Requirements

Jobs You Can Get

Graduates of this program have found careers in:

  • Museums, art galleries and artist-run organizations
  • Exhibition production
  • Arts administration and advocacy
  • Art consulting for private collections or auction houses
  • Grad programs in art history, museum studies or cultural studies
  • Working in arts publications and social media

Internships & Experiential learning

OCAD U offers so much more than co-ops because creative careers take many forms. Our career services help you build a professional community, valuable experience and skills you need for a meaningful career. Get access to:

  • Short experiential learning placements from among hundreds of organizations
  • Creative in-class projects with real-world industry partners
  • Exclusive summer internships
  • Gallery exhibitions of your work
  • Freelance creative opportunities
  • Jobs after graduation

What You'll Do in the Program

All art students, including those going into Criticism and Curatorial Practice, take the First Year Art program. You’ll have lots of choices to explore different kinds of classes and to establish a strong base for your future years. A few courses are mandatory, such as Global Visual Culture, Time-based Media, and Drawing Across the Disciplines, but the rest of your classes could include:

  • Animation
  • Art & Code
  • Body & Technology
  • Curating: Nature & Culture
  • Indigenous Sculpture
  • Sculpture concepts
  • Painting
  • Photography
  • Wearable Art

In second year, you’ll take Museums, Galleries and Alternative Spaces and studio courses based on your interest in art or design. You’ll take an Art or Design History course of your choice and:

  • Art History and Visual Culture
  • Contemporary Issues: Art Today
  • An English course of your choice

In third year, you’ll take The Work of the Curator. This class gives you professional experience and an experiential learning course that could include the opportunity to study at the AGO or work in one of the OCAD U galleries. You’ll also take courses based on your studio interest in art or design. And, you’ll take:

  • A Question of Beauty: Reframed
  • Art Writing: Practice and Ideas
  • Professional Practice
  • History and Theory of Art Criticism

In fourth year, you'll be able to do independant study or a guided thesis and take the Proseminar (a course with graduate and undergraduate students) that puts you in direct contact with professionals in the field.

You could curate your own show in one of the OCADU galleries. You’ll take breadth courses based on your interest in humanities and the social sciences.

In fourth year, all students will also have the option to showcase work at OCAD U’s Graduate Exhibition, the biggest free art and design exhibition in Toronto with over 40,000 visitors.


In all undergraduate programs you can choose to take a minor alongside your major to explore and expand your practice. Minors give you the opportunity to pursue a focused secondary field of study in addition to or sometimes instead of taking electives in your program and can help you look better for employers or in grants or grad school applications.  You don’t need to choose a minor on your application – rather once you start at OCAD U, you’ll be able to choose from over 90 electives that can build towards one of our 25 focused minors. Learn more about Minor Programs here.

Criticism & Curatorial Practice
Degree earned
Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours) (BFA)
Faculty of Art
4 years
Portfolio required