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In the Graphic Design program, you will learn the process of visual communication through the combo of images, photography and text to represent ideas and messages.

Some graphic design programs at other schools have a sole focus on technical skills and commercial, corporate work. OCAD U’s Graphic Design program teaches you the skills you need but also encourages you to use graphic design as an art form, to challenge barriers and create work for social good.

You’ll learn how graphic design impacts society and generates dialogue. You will benefit from hands-on training, as well as theory courses that explore design as a form of expression.

Hands-on courses include:

  • Design Process
  • Editorial and Publication Design
  • Typography
  • Interactive Communication
  • Packaging Design
  • Motion Graphics

Theory courses in topics like brand strategy will teach you to explore the creative process and develop designs that help promote ideas and products.

At the End of this Program...

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

Admissions Requirements

Jobs You Can Get

Graduates of the program work at:

  • Graphic design studios and communications firms
  • Cultural and public institutions
  • Journalism and broadcast media
  • Entrepreneurial initiatives

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

In first year, you’ll take intro classes in topics such as:

  • Design process
  • Drawing
  • Photography for communication
  • History and theory of visual culture

In second year, you will study topics such as:

  • Typography
  • Sustainable design
  • Development of three-dimensional form
  • Packaging design

Third year will feature courses of your choice and more advanced courses, such as:

  • Research methods for graphic design
  • Advanced typography
  • Experimental typography

In fourth year, you will focus on a thesis project, reflecting your personal interests and values. You'll work closely with a faculty member, as well as visiting professionals and critics to complete projects. You’ll also choose two open electives, including Professional Practice.

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.

Graphic Design
Degree earned
Bachelor of Design (Honours) (BDes)
Faculty of Design
4 years
Portfolio required