Ontario College of Art & Design

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The Interdisciplinary Master’s in Art, Media, and Design challenges students to investigate, research, and produce creative works that combine art, design, and cross-disciplinary academic study to create new, hybrid forms of visual and social research and production. Each student’s primary discipline and chosen emphasis between studio practice and theoretical inquiry will determine whether the degree earned is an MFA, MDes, or MA.

The objectives of the Interdisciplinary Master’s in Art, Media, and Design are:

  • To provide a flexibly structured, advanced studio-based learning environment that enables students to integrate art, media, and design production, or production within these disciplines with another discipline, through processes that combine theory, methodology, and practice.
  • 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 foster the development of individuals who can think in interdisciplinary ways, practice interdisciplinarity and collaboration, and conduct interdisciplinary research.
  • To contribute to new knowledge in the areas of interdisciplinary art, media, and design methods and practices.
  • To promote the development of practices which facilitate sustainability, social responsibility, and diverse social and cultural perspectives.


Required Courses and Timeline
Curriculum: 60 credits

Year One Summer Year Two
Fall semester (15 credits)

GGRA 6B01 Contemporary Research Methods (3)
GGRA 6B03 Critical Theory Seminar I (3)
IAMD 6C01 MFA/MDes Individual Studio I (6)
IAMD 6C03 MA Individual Academic Study I (6)
IAMD 6B01 Interdisciplinary Studio I (3) OR IAMD 6B03 Interdisciplinary Academic Study I (3)
Summer (3 credits)

Independent Study




Study Abroad Option


Fall semester (12 credits)

IAMD 6D01 Advanced Interdisciplinary Studio/Research (9)
IAMD 6B06 Special Focus: Research & Innovation Lab (3)
Winter semester (15 credits)

IAMD 6C02 MFA/MDes Individual Studio II (6) OR IAMD 6C04 MA Individual Academic Study II (6)
IAMD 6B02 Interdisciplinary Studio II (3)
IAMD 6B04 Interdisciplinary Academic Study II (3)
IAMD 6B08 Critical Theory Seminar II (3)
IAMD 6B05 Interdisciplinary Studio Seminar (3)
Winter semester (15 credits)

IAMD 6E01 MFA/MDes Thesis (12)
IAMD 6E02 MA Thesis (12)
IAMD 6B07 Graduate Seminar (3)

Exhibition of First-Year Graduate Work
During the Winter semester of the first year, students in the Interdisciplinary Master’s in Art & Design mount a group exhibition of work completed during the year or, if appropriate, work-in-progress.

Thesis Colloquia
In the Fall of year two, students will present their thesis proposals to their peers and the university community in a colloquial setting.

Oral Defense
Each student is required to defend their MFA/MDes/MA thesis to a committee comprising the Program Director, the student’s three-member Supervisory Committee, and an external examiner who shall normally be a specialist outside of OCAD from another university. The Oral Defense normally occurs in tandem with a Thesis Exhibition or Thesis Demonstration of the student’s Thesis Project or Thesis Research.

Thesis Exhibition
At the end of the student’s final semester, a show of the Thesis Project and/or Thesis Research work will be mounted.

Summer Options
The Interdisciplinary Master’s Program in Art, Media, and Design is a year-round, five-semester program. Students must make their summer plans in consultation with their Supervisory Committee and the Graduate Program Director. Among the options available to students in this program are:

  • Independent Study (3 credits)
    Independent Study courses provide graduate students with the opportunity to undertake studies of significance to their educational objectives, where otherwise not available through the regular university curriculum. Independent studies are supervised and evaluated by OCAD faculty members who act as Independent Study Advisors. The Independent Study proposal must be approved in writing by the supervising faculty member, the student’s Principal Advisor, and the Graduate Program Director.
  • Elective (3 credits)
    Students may select a 300 or 400-level Liberal Studies course or a 400-level studio course in any discipline, with the approval of the instructor, the Principal Advisor and the Graduate Program Director. For Liberal Studies courses, supplementary readings and a graduate-level research essay of 3000-4000 words are to be arranged with the instructor. For studio courses, supplementary readings and an augmented project must be arranged with the instructor.
  • Study Abroad Option (3 credits)
    OCAD has mobility agreements at the undergraduate level with 28 art and design institutions in the United States and Britain, and is investigating establishing some similar arrangements at the graduate level. Students who are interested in studying abroad at a particular institution should discuss this option with their Principal Advisor and inform the Graduate Program Director so that the university can investigate the possibility of mobility agreements. All other opportunities for summer study abroad will be communicated to students as they become available.

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