Ontario College of Art & Design

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

The Interdisciplinary Master's in Art, Media & Design is offered as both a full-time and part-time program.


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, create, and practice in interdisciplinary ways.
  • To support effective collaborations, and innovative interdisciplinary research practices.
  • To contribute to new knowledge in the areas of interdisciplinary art, media, and design methods, discourses and creative practices.
  • To promote the development of practices which facilitate sustainability, social responsibility, and diverse social and cultural perspectives.

Required Courses

Curriculum: 60 credits

All students must complete the following:

Students completing an MFA or MDes degree must also complete the following:

Students completing an MA degree must also complete the following: 

Part-time program requirements

Part-time students will commence the program in the Fall and must enroll in a minimum of 3 credits per semester for at least 8 continuous semesters. The chart below outlines the courses that part-time students are required to take in specific semesters. Additional course selection is made by the student in consultation with the Graduate Program Director and based on available course offerings.

Fall (1) Winter (2) Summer (3) Fall (4)
GGRA 6B01 Contemporary Research Methods IAMD 6B08 Issues in Critical Theory 3-6 credits from
the following:

- *Florence Residency Program
- *Banff Residency Programs
- Independent study/research
- Internship


Winter (5) Summer (6) Fall (7) Winter (8)

Thesis Proposal, Research and Colloquium
IAMD 6B07 Graduate Seminar

In addition to the requirements outlined in the chart, part-time students must complete the following courses by the end of the fifth semester of study:

  • GGRA 6B03 Critical Theory Seminar (3)
  • IAMD 6B05 Special Focus: Interdisciplinary Research & Collaboration Workshop (3)
  • IAMD 6B01 Directed Interdisciplinary Studio/Academic Study I (3)

Part-time students must also complete the following courses by the end of the sixth semester of study:

  • IAMD 6C05 Advanced Interdisciplinary Studio/Research (6)
  • 6 credits from the following:
    • Florence/Banff Residency Programs
    • Independent study/research
    • Internship
    • Elective

All other course requirements as outlined above must be completed before the maximum time to completion of the program (14 semesters).


Students may choose from:

a) Approved graduate-level courses in other OCADU graduate programs

b) A 300 or 400-level Liberal Studies course in any discipline, with the approval of the instructor and the Graduate Program Director (supplementary readings and a graduate-level research essay of 3000-4000 words are to be arranged with the instructor)

c) A 400-level studio course, with the approval of the instructor and the Graduate Program Director (supplementary readings and an augmented project must be arranged with the instructor)

d) A graduate course at another university through the Ontario Visiting Graduate Student Plan (OVGS) or the Canadian University Graduate Transfer Agreement (CUGTA).

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

Summer Options

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:

  • Florence Residency Program
    This European campus residency offers a combination of facilitated, and self-directed study approaches to learning. While in residence in Florence, students develop, continue or extend a body of research, studio and/or scholarly work, in a communal studio setting. Art history seminars and field trips will be a component of the program, taught by OCADU's resident art historian.
  • Banff Residency Programs
    In The Banff Centre’s powerful mountain setting in the heart of Banff National Park, exceptional artists and leaders from around the world create and perform new works of art; share skills and knowledge in an interdisciplinary residential arts environment. OCADU will work with the Banff Centre to identify opportunities for OCADU students but students are generally subject to the normal application and adjudication process.  
  • Independent Study/Research
    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.
  • Internship
    Internships provide graduate students with opportunities to gain experience in the professional worlds of art, design, criticism and curating that will complement their studies. On-site work is performed under the guidance of the internship sponsor and the internship credit is supervised and evaluated by an OCAD faculty member.
  • Elective
    Subject to available course offerings.

*Not all summer residencies are offered each year. Residencies are competitive and subject to adjudication of student proposals and available funds, where applicable.

Additional program requirements

Exhibition of First-Year Graduate Work

All students participate in a Portfolio Exhibition, which takes place in the first (Fall) semester. This exhibition is curated by students in the MFA in Criticism and Curatorial Practice program.

In addition, students in the Interdisciplinary Master’s in Art, Media & Design mount a group exhibition and show of work completed during the year or, if appropriate, work-in-progress. This exhibition takes place in the Winter (semester 2) for full-time students. Part-time students will normally participate in the Winter (semester 3) or as soon as they have achieved an introductory body of interdisciplinary work or work in progress to exhibit.

Last Modified:1/24/2012 12:57:19 PM