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Photo by Ansel Schmidt.
Study art history in the place art and design is made at Canada’s biggest art and design university.

Our program is unique, in that you also get to take studio courses and make art and design yourself.

The program emphasizes the expanded field of modern and contemporary art history, which includes design, photography, architecture, performance and new media, as well as painting and sculpture.

Program Highlights

At the End of this Program...

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

Admissions Requirements

Jobs You Can Get

Graduates of the program work in:

  • Art curation and management
  • Arts journalism and criticism
  • Publishing
  • Graduate studies in art history, education, cultural and museum 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

In first year, in addition to studio art and design classes, you’ll take intro classes in topics such as:

  • Global visual and material culture
  • First year studio
  • Critical frameworks art history

In second year, you will choose from various electives and will study topics such as:

  • Art and globalization 1250-1800
  • History of modern art
  • Art history and visual culture

Third year will feature courses in art critical studies, as well as a selection of electives in areas including art history, studio or liberal arts and sciences.

In your fourth year, you will have an opportunity to research and produce a major research paper.

You’ll showcase your work at GradEx _ OCAD U’s Graduate Exhibition, 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.

Visual and Critical Studies
Degree earned
Bachelor of Arts (Honours) (BA)
Faculty of Arts & Science
4 years
Portfolio required