Ontario College of Art & Design

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The Master of Fine Arts in Criticism and Curatorial Practices combines history, theory, and criticism with professional practice to explore and experiment with the breadth and depth of contemporary art and design. The objectives of the MFA in Criticism and Curatorial Practices are:

  • To ensure that students acquire advanced research skills for visual and academic investigations in the areas of art, media, and design practice and critical theory.
  • To contribute to new knowledge in the areas of art, media, and design research methodologies and curatorial practices.
  • To promote the development of practices which facilitate sustainability, social responsibility, and diverse social and cultural perspectives.
  • To develop and advance curatorial and critical practices in design.
  • To promote contemporary art, media, and design practices within public contexts.
  • To contribute to the development of the field of Canadian art, media, and design criticism.
  • To contribute to the development of the field of curatorial practice in galleries and museums.

Key features of the program include:

  • A partnership with the Art Gallery of Ontario involves curators, educators and exhibition administrators and includes an annual Collaborative Group Exhibition at the AGO during the Winter term of the first year of the program.
  • The Summer Internship is a six- to eight-week placement with a gallery, museum, arts publication or other relevant cultural institution in Canada or abroad. The internship allows students to integrate the knowledge gleaned from first-year seminars with the practices of criticism and curating.
  • The annual Artist-in-Residence program brings internationally renowned artists, designers, curators and critics to OCAD for a one-week residency during which they conduct seminars, attend studio critiques, and give a public lecture/presentation.


Required Courses and Timeline
Curriculum: 60 credits

Year One Summer Year Two
Fall semester (12 credits)
GGRA 6B01 Contemporary Research Methods (3)
GGRA 6B03 Critical Theory Seminar I (3)
CRCP 6B06 Introduction to Criticism and Curatorial Studies (3)

Elective (3)
Summer (9 credits)

Internship and/or Study Abroad (9)
Fall semester 2 (12 credits)

CRCP 6B05 Issues in Criticism and Curatorial Studies (3)
CRCP 6C01 Individual Research and Reading (6)

Elective (3)

Winter semester (12 credits)

CRCP 6B01 History and Theory of Exhibitions (3)
CRCP 6B02 Criticism and Critical Writing (3)
CRCP 6B03 Inside the AGO: Collaborative Group Exhibition (3)

Elective (3)

Winter semester 2 (15 credits)

CRCP 6B07 Thesis Writing Workshop (3)
Master’s Thesis (one of): CRCP 6E01 Exhibition and Essay (6+6) OR CRCP 6E02 Criticism Thesis (12)


Students may choose from:

  1. Approved graduate-level courses in other OCAD graduate programs.
  2. A 300 or 400-level Liberal Studies course in any discipline, with the approval of the instructor and the Graduate Program Director.
  3. A 400-level studio course in the student’s area of expertise, with the approval of the instructor and the Graduate Program Director.
  4. A graduate course at another university. Students should consult the Graduate Student Handbook for information on the Ontario Visiting Graduate Student Plan (OVGS).

Students should consult the Graduate Program Director for advising on the selection of elective courses.

Summer Options
The MFA in Criticism and Curatorial Practice is a year-round, five-semester program, including one Summer term. Students must make plans for their summer program in consultation with their Supervisory Committee and the Program Director. Among the options available to students in this program are:

Summer Internship (9 credits)
With the assistance of the Graduate Program Director, students will arrange either a curatorial or criticism internship of eight to twelve weeks’ duration with a local, national, or international gallery, museum or journal. A list of potential placements will be provided to students by January of their first year.

Summer International Directed Study/Research Assistantship (9 credits)
If appropriate to their thesis project, students may arrange international directed study or research for the summer between years one and two.

Last Modified:1/24/2012 12:57:22 PM