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Photograph of a sunset projection by 2014 Medal Winner Aaron MacDonald
In the Photography program, you will learn skills from darkroom to digital photography.

OCAD University has some of the best photography facilities in Canada and one of few schools with both a colour and black and white darkroom.

You will benefit from studying photography at Canada’s largest art, design and media university, where you will select electives from a wide range of creative areas. These include electives in Sculpture/Installation, Printmaking and Drawing & Painting, among many others.

Unlike some other photography programs, which focus on commercial photography, OCAD U’s Photography program is more artistic and experimental. The program emphasizes your artistic vision, while encouraging you to explore a broad range of issues and styles. In the upper-year levels, you’ll gain real world experience through a placement in the arts community or through an exhibition of your photographs.

Program Highlights

At the End of this Program...

At the end of this four-year program, you will earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree.

Admissions Requirements

Jobs You Can Get

Graduates of the program become:

  • independent artists
  • free-lance photographers and videographers
  • fashion, commercial and editorial photographers
  • curatorial and other gallery administrators
  • educators and/or go on to pursue graduate studies.

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

Before you focus on Photography, your first year at OCAD University will be in our first year art program. You will have a ton of choice in taking different kind of classes to get a good base for future years. A few are mandatory, such as art history, colour and drawing, but the rest of your classes could include:

  • Sculpture concepts
  • Wearable art
  • Photography
  • Painting
  • Animation
  • Body and technology
  • Printmaking
  • Art and code

In second year, you will study topics such as:

  • Colour photography
  • History of photography
  • Concept and process
  • Digital imaging

Third year courses may include topics such as:

  • Photography – theory and criticism
  • Studio electives
  • Professional practice
  • Creativity on demand

In your fourth year, you can choose between the Thesis and the Directed Studio options. In the Thesis option, you will work with a thesis panel to research, produce and present a body of work that is of professional exhibition quality. In the Directed Studio option, you will work on several projects and refine your technical skills and conceptual understanding.

You’ll showcase your work at OCAD U’s GradEx, the biggest free art and design exhibition in Toronto with more than 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.

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