Ontario College of Art & Design

Course Calendar

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Liberal Studies is a multi-disciplinary faculty that offers courses in the arts, humanities, natural sciences and social sciences. In their breadth, Liberal Studies courses provide students with knowledge and understanding of the postmodern world we live in, of interconnectedness, and of core values. Individually, they challenge you to inform your visual practice with new perspectives and diverse methodologies, while raising questions that explore our larger society, from the local, to the national and the international.

The majority of courses have been developed to support studio programs by providing in-depth historical context and frameworks for analysis. You are also required to sample courses from at least four of the five major Liberal Studies categories: History and Theory of Visual Culture (VISC), English (ENGL), Humanities (HUMN), Social Sciences (SOSC) and Science/Technology/Mathematics (SCTM). Examples of Liberal Studies course topics follow; for a full list of course offerings, refer to the Calendar on the OCAD website.

Visual Culture (VISC)

Art History
Design History
Theory and Criticism
Film and Media Studies
Aboriginal Studies
Asian Studies

English (ENGL)

English/Canadian/American Literature
World Literatures in Translation
Creative Writing
Academic Writing
Literary Criticism

Humanities (HUMN)

Religious Studies

Science, Technology & Math (SCTM)

Earth Sciences

Social Sciences (SOSC)

Cultural Studies
Feminism/Gender Studies
Social Science Methods


In contemporary studio practice, one dramatic change drives another, from the emergence of new hybrid approaches to new forms of collaboration between artists, designers and communities. One outcome has been the increasingly large role of written communication, whether it’s for an artist writing a vision statement or a designer writing a creative brief.

At OCAD, one of our objectives is helping our students learn to write well – clearly, critically and persuasively. Course options in academic writing and creative writing help you focus on the writing process and develop your ability to write.


OCAD recently intro­duced an innovative interdisciplinary first-year program called LS One, based on great ideas and images of renowned writers, thinkers and artists from antiquity through to the present. A faculty team of six instructors combine significant ideas from visual culture, the humanities and literature to invigorate students’ imaginations and root them in the global endeavour of knowledge building.

You’ll engage the learning process through a variety of methods: reading primary texts, listening to team-taught lectures, engaging in seminar discussions and critiquing one another’s written assignments in small, faculty-guided peer-review tutorials. In 2005/06, the LS One theme was “Braving New Worlds: Constructing Culture, Constructing Ourselves” and in 2006/07, “Crossing Cultures, Blurring Boundaries.”


If you plan to apply to B.Ed programs at the intermediate/senior level, you will require a Second Teachable to augment your First Teachable in Visual Arts. For anyone interested in making English or Social Science their Second Teachable, the Faculty of Liberal Studies has expanded its offerings in these areas, which you may fulfill during or following your BFA/BDes studies.

Last Modified:1/24/2012 12:57:06 PM