Ontario College of Art & Design

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OCAD provides a student-centred learning environment for first-year students where a common base of design knowledge, skills and processes are acquired with an emphasis on concept development and investigation, rather than specialization. This is also a time to explore OCAD's large community of practicing artists and designers. Contacts made and friendships established will last through the years of study and into the professional world.

The first year of design studies, combined with each student's developing creativity, commitment and passion is a preparation for the advanced work and intense focus of second-, third- and fourth-year. Students benefit from the diversity of talent and wide experience of the faculty.

Students in Design will approach course material from a viewpoint different from that of students in Art, but there will also be common material to assist students in exploring a broad visual range of concepts and skills. This will provide an opportunity for students to see a wide variety of solutions, encourage dialogue and awareness between the art and design streams and promote a better understanding of the creative process.

The studio curriculum for entering Design students consists of four common required courses: Colour & Two-dimensional Design, Form & Structure, Design Process, and Introduction to Experience Design. First-year Design students will complete their studio curriculum requirements by taking either Graphic Communication (required for students entering 2D Design) or Objects & Environments (required for students entering 3D Design) as well as two drawing courses from a menu of options.

In addition, Liberal Studies courses are an integral part of the curriculum. Introduction to Visual Studies I: History and Ideas and Introduction to Visual Studies II: Critical Frameworks, provide an historical, critical and theoretical introduction to art and design issues. The Essay and the Argument courses develop and integrate writing and critical thinking skills into the curriculum. For those students who are interested, there is a 1.5 credit Liberal Studies integrated first-year course available but spaces are limited.

Students complete 5.0 credits in the first year as follows:

Seven studio courses 3.5 credits
Three liberal studies courses 1.5 credits
Total: 5.0 credits

To progress from first-year, students must achieve an overall average of 60% and successfully complete all five credits of the first-year curriculum.

  • Students may register for second year courses when they have completed 3.0 of the 3.5 studio credits and 1.0 of the 1.5 liberal studies credits with an average of 60%. NOTE:  One of the liberal studies courses must be either LBST 1B11/1B12/1B13 or LBST 1D01 or equivalent with a minimum grade of 60%. 
  • Students must achieve a minimum grade of 60% in their second semester core studio, either GDES 1B27 Graphic Communication or GDES 1B28 Objects and Environments, to advance to year two core studio.
  • Please note that the first-year requirements must be successfully completed by May 31 of the following year or students will not be permitted to continue in the upper years of their programs.

Please note that students are eligible to graduate if they:

  • Have fulfilled all graduation requirements
  • Are in good academic standing with an overall average of at least 60%
  • Have an average (at the end of fourth-year) of at least 65% in the designated courses of their major/program (designated first-year courses marked with a ‘∆’)
  • Have no outstanding accounts at the College

On behalf of faculty and staff, we welcome you to OCAD.

Susan King Roth,
Dean, Faculty of Design

Doreen Balabanoff,
Associate Dean, Faculty of Design

Cheryl Giraudy,
Associate Dean, Faculty of Design

First-Year Design Program Guide

All Faculty of Design programs are developed as semester groupings of related courses. In order to be best prepared to meet course expectations, students are normally required to complete all core courses in one semester before carrying on to courses in the next semester.

Students must achieve a minimum grade of 60% in their core studio course each semester (tagged with “†”) to advance to the following semester’s core studio. 

A minimum overall average of 65% must be achieved at the end of fourth-year in all designated courses (tagged with “∆”) of the student’s major/program.

Studio Courses 
GDES 1B23  Design Process ∆  0.5
(If English is not your first language, consider enrolling in English Language Pathwaya special offering for ESL students in First Year Design.)
Choose either the two courses GDES 1B24 and GDES 1B25 or the one course GDES 1C02:
GDES 1B24  Colour and Two-dimensional Design (Design) (0.5 cr)
GDES 1B25  Form & Structure (Design) (0.5 cr)
GDES 1C02 Visual Forces  (1.0 cr) 1.0
Choose one:
GDES 1B00 Drawing: Concept and Practice
GDES 1B01 Drawing the Line
GDES 1B02 Dreams and Memories: Drawing from Imagination
GDES 1B03 Expressionist Explorations
GDES 1B04 From Graffiti to...
GDES 1B05 Life and Still Life
GDES 1B06 Mythologies and Utopias: Invented Landscapes/Cityscapes
GDES 1B07 Reality to Fantasy: Drawing as Transformation
GDES 1B08 Surface Interventions 0.5
Liberal Studies Courses
must take LBST 1B03 and one of LBST 1B11 or LBST 1B12 or LBST 1B13
LBST 1B03 Introduction to Visual Studies I: History and Ideas (LST) 0.5

The Essay and the Argument: Mechanics (LST) (fall or winter)

The Essay and the Argument: ESL (English as a Second Language) (LST)
(continues in winter)

The Essay and the Argument: Rhetoric (LST) (fall or winter)
or take in place of the above combination:
LBST 1D01 Liberal Studies One (LST) (continues in winter) 0.75

Studio Courses
GDES 1B26 Introduction to Experience Design 0.5

GART 1B16 Art & Design in the Social Sphere
Students in Advertising, Graphic Design or Illustration take:
GDES 1B27  Graphic Communication ∆† 0.5
Students in Environmental Design, Industrial Design
or Material Art & Design take:
GDES 1B28 Objects & Environments ∆† 0.5

(Material Art & Design students may take one of the
electives in First-year Art, winter semester, in place of
GDES 1B28)

Choose the drawing course specific to your program:
GDES 1B10 Drawing for Art Directors: A Picture is Worth... (Advertising)
GDES 1B11 Drawing as Graphic Visualization (Graphic Design)
GDES 1B12 The Illustrator's Toolkit (Illustration)
GDES 1B13 Solid and Void: Drawing Form and Space
(Environmental Design)

GDES 1B14 Draw Like Leonardo (Industrial Design)
GDES 1B15 Surface and Substance (Material Art & Design) 0.5
Liberal Studies Courses
must take LBST 1B06 (and one of LBST 1B11 or LBST 1B12 or LBST 1B13 if you did not take one in the fall)
LBST 1B06 Introduction to Visual Studies II: Critical Frameworks (LST) 0.5

The Essay and the Argument: Mechanics (LST) (fall or winter)

The Essay and the Argument: ESL (English as a Second Language) (LST)
(continues from fall)

The Essay and the Argument: Rhetoric (LST) (fall or winter)
or continue with
LBST 1D01 Liberal Studies One (LST) (continues from fall) 0.75

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