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Best Universities in Canada for Art and Design

Last updated: 3 August 2022 Art and Design

Students can pursue undergraduate and master’s degrees in art at various Canadian universities. An undergraduate course such as the Bachelor of Fine Arts or Bachelor of Arts is a four-year course, whereas a master’s course that gets the student a Master of Fine Arts degree is a two-year program.

All Canadian universities have state-of-the-art campuses in tune with 21st-century needs. They have mentors and professionals who help push you to your full potential of creativity and thinking. Getting a graduation degree from these colleges ensures you are ready to take up any projects in the real world. 

Learn about the top five universities in Canada to study art and design (QS World Rankings by Subject 2024). If you want to begin your application, arrange a free consultation with SI-Canada today.

best art degree canada

Top 5 Art Schools in Canada

1. Emily Carr University of Art + Design

Emily Carr University of Art + Design is one of the best art institutions in the world and is currently ranked 25th in QS World University Rankings. At Emily Carr, students can find diverse undergraduate, graduate, and continuing study programs in Art. International students from around the globe can apply for co-op credits, internships, and exchange programs at Emily Carr University. Students can consider a visual arts major because it offers freedom and flexibility, allowing them to carve out the academic journey. Whether your passion lies in painting, ceramics, illustration, or any other medium, you'll find the space and support to explore it fully. 

Under the guidance of renowned faculty and prominent figures in the Canadian art scene, you'll refine your techniques and expand your artistic horizons. The campus boasts spacious and well-equipped studios and workshops, providing the ideal environment to bring creative visions to life. After completing the studies, students can opt for various career paths and roles, including educators, cultural critics, art activists, and entrepreneurs.

2. OCAD University

Students should consider studying at OCAD University for a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Visual and Critical Studies due to its prime location in downtown Toronto, offering exceptional access to a vibrant artistic and cultural hub. OCAD U fosters a dynamic and inspiring learning environment for students with over 400 faculty members and a diverse student body of over 4,300 undergraduates and 250 graduates. The university goes beyond traditional co-op programs by providing many experiential learning opportunities, including short placements, industry projects, exclusive internships, gallery exhibitions, and freelance opportunities. 

The university experience will enrich students' academic journey and equip them with invaluable skills and real-world experience essential for a successful career in the arts. OCAD U's career services support students in building professional networks and securing meaningful employment opportunities post-graduation, making it an ideal choice for aspiring visual and critical studies scholars and practitioners.

3. Concordia University

Concordia University is a top public research university in Montreal. It was established in 1974 and is known for its academic excellence. Students pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Visual Arts should consider the esteemed art education program offered at Concordia University. Concordia offers invaluable opportunities for hands-on experience through internships in community art programs and schools, preparing students for careers in education.

Montreal, consistently ranked as one of the top cities globally and also known as the safest city for travellers according to the research of Berkshire Hathway Travel Protection, provides an inspiring backdrop for artistic exploration and cultural immersion. Concordia's impressive rankings and accolades, including being named the best university in North America under 50 years old and receiving top honours for research grants, underscore its commitment to excellence in education and research. Concordia University for art education means students embark on a transformative journey toward fulfilling their aspirations in the vibrant landscape of Montreal's artistic community.

4. University of Toronto

The University of Toronto was founded in 1827 and is ranked in the top 5 in Canada in the QS World University Ranking. Students should choose to study Art History and Visual Culture at the University of Toronto Scarborough, a campus within the esteemed University of Toronto system known for its commitment to excellence in education. The university offers a personalized learning environment with smaller class sizes, ensuring individualized attention from faculty. According to recent surveys, 92% of UTSC graduates secure employment or pursue further education within six months of graduation. The campus boasts many extracurricular activities, including over 180 student clubs and organizations, providing ample opportunities for students to enhance their academic experience. The Greater Toronto Area (GTA), where U of T Scarborough is located, is a vibrant hub for the arts, with numerous galleries, events, and cultural organizations. It allows students to engage directly with diverse artistic expressions and gain practical insights into the art world.

5. Toronto Metropolitan University

Toronto Metropolitan University, established in 1998, consistently ranked among the top universities in Canada for its arts and humanities programs. Arts and Contemporary Studies - BA (Hons) at TMU will provide students with highly developed and latest facilities and well-renowned faculties, maintain its exceptional reputation, innovative curriculum, and vibrant campus life. The Arts and Contemporary Studies program offers a comprehensive understanding of modern society, blending traditional disciplines with contemporary perspectives. The university has dedicated art studios, performance spaces, and research centers, providing students with the necessary resources to excel in their studies.

Moreover, with a student body representing over 100 nationalities, the campus fosters a rich multicultural environment that encourages dialogue and collaboration. Additionally, Toronto Metropolitan University's strong connections to the local arts community offer students numerous internship and networking opportunities, preparing them for successful careers in various industries upon graduation. Toronto Metropolitan University is ideal for students seeking a dynamic and interdisciplinary education in Arts and Contemporary Studies.

Study Art in Canada

If you have further doubts and want career counselling to help you select colleges to study art and design in Canada, arrange a free consultation with SI-Canada today.

Universities featured in this article:

  • Emily Carr University of Art + Design
  • OCAD University
  • Concordia University
  • Toronto Metropolitan University
  • University of Toronto
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