Top 10 Art Schools in Canada

Art is a growing field of study worldwide. From photography, visual arts, film-making, motion art to fashion and design, sculpture, glass art, and animation, all art forms are gaining attention rapidly. Art has also become a career choice for many, as they pursue and study various aspects of art to become professional arts or be a part of the vast art industry.

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Art schools are becoming more prominent as they guide students on techniques and application of their workplace skills. Canada sees a rise in its number of students every year and has become a hub for artists and designers. Check out the list of top 10 art schools in Canada and their specifications.

Alberta University of the Arts – Calgary, Alberta

The Alberta University of the Arts is one of the most prominent art schools in Canada. Their primary focus lies in encouraging students to work on their art and gain practical experience, rather than classroom-based theoretical lectures. Faculty at AUArts are professional and skilled artists. The School also holds regular workshops by designers and artists renowned globally.

Degrees and Majors

AUArts offers 2 Bachelor’s degrees – BFA, B.Des, and a Master’s Degree – MFA in the fields listed below:

BFA – Media Arts, Drawing, Glass, Sculpture, Jewellery & Metals, Fibre, Painting, and Print Media

B.Des – Visual Communication, Photography

MFA – Glass, Jewellery & Metals, Fibre, and Ceramics

Tuition Fee

Undergraduate Tuition for Canadian Residents is $159.78, and International Students is $532.68.

Graduate Tuition for Canadian Residents is $15,625.00, and International Students is $31,250.00.

Scholarships

AUArts provides Scholarships and Awards under Automatic Awards based on Academic performance, Competitive Awards, Bursaries, Prizes, and Entrance Awards. You can visit their official website to get more information on criteria and how to apply.

Ontario College of Art and Design University (OCAD U) – Toronto, Ontario

The Ontario College of Art and Design University is one of Canada’s largest and top art schools. They offer students a myriad of distinctive, subject-based courses on art and design.

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Degrees and Majors

OCAD U offers 5 degrees in the following fields of study –

BFA – Drawing and Painting, Integrated Media, Criticism and Curatorial Practice, Printmaking, and Photography

BDes. – Advertising, Illustration, Industrial Design, Material Art and Design, Graphic Design, and Environmental Design.

MA – Contemporary Art, Design and New Media Art Histories, and Art, Media, and Design

MFA – Criticism and Curatorial Practice, Digital Futures, and Art, Media and Design

MDes. – Design for Health, Digital Futures, Inclusive Design, Strategic Foresight, and Innovation

Tuition Fees

Fee for Undergraduate (Fall-Winter and Summer Terms combined):

Domestic Students – $7135.08

International Students – $ 28790.67

Fee for Graduate School depends on various courses, which you can check here.

Scholarships

OCAD U has several scholarship programs students are considered based on and can apply for – Entrance Scholarships, External Scholarships, In-Study Scholarships and Awards, Graduate Studies Funds, and Bursaries.

Concordia University, Department of Visual Arts – Montreal, Quebec

Located in Montreal, Concordia University accommodates students from all over the world for their Undergrad and Grad in Arts, Science, Fine Arts, and Engineering and Computer Science. Though Concordia doesn’t fall under the primary art schools in Canada, its Faculty of Fine Arts provides students a range of courses.

Degrees and Majors

Concordia University offers UG, Graduate, and Doctorate programs in the following:

BFA – Art Education, Visual Arts, Ceramics, Computation Art, Film Studies, Design, Design for Theater, Fibers and Material Practices, Film Animation, Film Production, Jazz Studies, Music, Performance Creation, Photography, Print Media, Sculpture, and Studio Art.

MFA – Studio Arts

MA – Arts Therapy, Creative Arts Therapy, Drama Therapy, and Film Studies

MDes. – Design

Ph.D. – Art History, Film and Moving Image Studies, and Art Education

Annual Tuition Fee

The fee structure in Concordia University is divided per credits for each program, for Quebec citizens, non-Quebec citizens, and Internationals separately. You can refer to the fee structure here.

Scholarships

The University offers quite a few Awards, Bursaries, and Scholarships for national and international students based on set criteria. A few External Award Opportunities you might want to keep an on would be Rhodes scholarship, Iconic Early Bird scholarship, Louer.com Student scholarships, and other External Award Resources.

George Brown College, Ontario

George Brown College’s department of Art and Design is divided into three art schools – School of Design, School of Fashion & Jewellery, and School of Media & Performing Arts.

Their vision lies in providing the best technical equipment, facilities, and hands-on experience to excel in their careers. George Brown College is associated with several companies that allow students to brush up their skills and apply them in the real world scenario.

Degrees and Majors

School of Design offers Undergrad, Certificate, and Diploma in many courses – Art and Design, Digital Experience Design (Hons.), Game – Art, and Interaction Design.

Postgraduate programs include Concept Art for Entertainment, Design Management, Interactive Media Management, Digital Design – Game Design, and Interdisciplinary Design Strategy.

School of Fashion & Jewellery helps students build their careers in the Canadian fashion industry. This School offers separate programs for Fashion and Jewellery.

School of Fashion offers Diploma and Certificate courses in Fashion Business Industry, Fashion Management, Fashion Techniques and Design, and Industrial Power Sewing. Postgraduate courses include Apparel Technical Design, International Fashion Management, and Sustained Fashion Production. The School offers four full-time certificate courses in Jewellery – Gemmology, Jewellery Essentials, Jewellery Arts, and Jewellery Methods.

School of Media & Performing Arts is one of the best art schools in Downtown Toronto. It is home to students passionate in Theater, Media, and Dance, the three main subject areas.

Media offers Undergrad, Certificate, and Diploma courses in Acting for Media, Video, and Design, Media Foundation, Video Design and Production, and Screenwriting & Narrative Design. Postgrad programs are Sound Design & Production, Media Acting, and Visual Effects.

Programs for Dance and Theater mainly focus on Dance Performance, Theater Arts – Performance, and Theater Arts – Preparation.

Annual Tuition Fee

Annual Tuition for Canadian residents varies per program from $3,537 to $19,646.

Tuition for International students varies from $14,330 to $26,350.

Scholarships

George Brown College offers financial aid for students through OSAP, Awards and Scholarships, and Bursaries.

Ottawa School of Art, Ontario

The Ottawa School of Art comes under the primary art schools of Canada. It is a non-profit private college in Ontario. Learning is based in a studio setting, and industry professionals mentor students. The School aims to provide students a complete knowledge of modern techniques and art styles and enhance their career perspectives.

Degrees and Majors

Ottawa School of Art offers a Three-Year Diploma, 1-year Certificate Courses, Art Camps, and Online courses.

The Fine Arts Diploma (FAD) program consists of subjects like Canadian and Contemporary Art History, Art and Criticism, Media Studies, and Business of Art.

Portfolio Certificate Course is based mainly on Painting, Drawing, and Sculpture.

Specializations cover subject areas of printmaking, photography, ceramics, lithography, art history, color theory, and research methodologies.

Tuition Fee

You can refer to the fee structure for Canadian residents here. International students’ total tuition fee sums up to $7,750, which might vary according to the course chosen.

Scholarships

Ottawa School of Art offers a wide range of Fall and Winter Scholarships and Awards for students. Some notable scholarships would be Ottawa Mixed Media Artists Scholarship, Ottawa Art Association Fine Arts Scholarship, ScribArt Painting Scholarship, Wallack’s Fine Art Scholarship, and others, based on different criteria and fundings.

Yukon School of Visual Arts

The Yukon School of Visual Arts is the best option for students who want to kick-start their first year of art school.  It offers students an 8-month Foundation Year Program, equivalent to the first year of a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree. After completing their program at SOVA, students are transferred to one of the four partner art schools – Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design, AUArts, OCAD U., and NSCAD according to their choice to finish their degrees.

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Degrees and Majors

SOVA’s Foundation Year Program encompasses three main subject areas:

Studio Courses include Principles and Practices of Drawing, Collage, and Painting, and Sculpture Forms, Space, and Entertainment.

Humanities consist of English, Historical Context of Art, Critical Ideas, and Contemporary Issues.

Intermedia & performance involves visual practices and abstract modes of expression in the form of New and Time-Based Media.

Tuition Fee

For Canadian students, the tuition fee is $2,296 per semester.

Total tuition for International students varies from $4,150 to $5,200 according to the number of weeks.

Scholarships

SOVA offers a $1,000 scholarship to a full-time student registered in the Visual Arts Program. The White Horse Motors Visual Arts Award of $1000 is given to one full-time student as well. You can look out for other official awards on their website.

Emily Carr University of Art & Design

Located in Vancouver, Emily Carr University of Art & Design (ECUAD) is one of Canada’s first prestigious art schools. Their main objective encompasses both theory and experiential learning to help students excel in all disciplines and reach the zenith of success. Artwork of various artists and designers is put up on exhibition inside the art school as well, displaying its rich art culture.

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Degrees and Majors

ECUAD offers Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree, Certificate courses, online courses, and other specialty programs.

BFA – Critical & Cultural Practices, Illustration, Photography, and Visual Arts

BDes. – Communication Design, Interaction Design, and Industrial Design

BMA (Media Arts) – 2D & Experimental Animation, 3D Computer Animation, Film + Screen Arts, New Media + Sound Arts

MFA – Contemporary issues and Creative research

MDes. – Industrial Design, Sustainable Design, Material Practice, Interaction Design, Health Design, Inclusive Design, etc.

Annual Tuition Fee

Tuition fee (18 credits) for Undergraduate Canadian residents is 2,819.64, and International students are 10,620.66

The tuition fee for Graduate Canadian residents is $17,227 for MFA and $18,184 for MDes. For international students, the price is $18,827 for MFA and $20,784 for MDes. Program.

Scholarships

ECUAD considers tuition waiver and provides scholarships to Undergrad and Graduate students based on entrance scholarships, external scholarships, provincial student loans, SSHRC scholarships, President’s Research Fund, and other significant awards and bursaries.

Sheridan College, Faculty of Animation, Arts and Design

The Faculty of Animation, Arts and Design in Sheridan College is known globally for its multiplex courses. It is one of the largest art schools in Canada. Programs are offered in 5 major subject areas – Animation and Game Design, Illustration and Photography, Film TV & Journalism, Material Arts & Design, and Visual and Performing Arts.

Degrees and Majors

The college offers a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in various fields under the mentioned areas. You can check out the courses on their official website.

Tuition Fee

Fee for Canadian Residents is $1,350, and an international student is $7,638 per term.

Scholarships

Sheridan College provides scholarships to students based on academic achievement, community involvement, demonstrated leadership skills, and financial need. It also offers over 600 academic awards and bursaries.

Nova Scotia College of Art & Design

Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD) is one of Canada’s best-renowned art schools, ranking at the top with its outstanding contribution to the art scene. The School invites well-known professionals from around the globe to mentor and refine their students.

Degrees and Majors

NSCAD offers Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree and various certificates and specialization programs.

BA – Art History and Contemporary Culture

BDes. – Foundation and Interdisciplinary Design

BFA – Ceramics, Expanded Media, Film, Fine Arts (drawing, painting, printmaking sculpture), Jewellery Design and Metalsmithing, Photography, and Textile & Fashion

Graduate programs include MA in Art Education, MDes. In Design and MFA in Fine Arts Craft Design, Media Arts, and Contemporary Culture.

Tuition Fee

The annual tuition fee for Bachelor’s – Residents is $7,500, and Internationals is $12,500

The tuition fee for Master’s – Residents is $5,000, and Internationals is $12,500

Scholarships

NSCAD awards scholarships to students annually. The entrance scholarship is considered with the admission application. More than $100,000 is awarded to students based on internal and external scholarships like Canada Graduate Awards, Marion McCain, and other financial aid.

Yorkville University, Toronto

Sitting in the heart of Toronto, Yorkville University is the home to several international students. It aims to help students excel academically and stand on their own in industries of their choice. The campus location is very friendly and is surrounded by major commercial areas for students to base or kick-start their work experience.

Degrees and Majors

Yorkville University offers Bachelor of Interior Design (BID) and Interior Decorating Associate Diploma for 3 years or less.

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Annual Tuition Fee

Total tuition for all students – Canadian and International, sums up to $69,300 and may vary according to courses per term.

Scholarships

Yorkville University provides limited scholarships to eligible students. Notable external scholarships include The Jacob Markovitz Memorial Scholarship and USMCA Bursary. Students can visit and apply for scholarships and awards within the deadlines.


Many art schools in Canada encourage all art forms and guide students to reach their professional potential. Apart from the mentioned art schools, you can also check the Fashion Design program at Fanshawe College, Fine Arts program at Algoma University, and Fine Arts programs at the University of Toronto.

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Canada is the best study destination if you are looking for art schools. Art schools in Canada are friendly, welcoming, and provide some of the world’s best faculty and equipment to enhance learning.

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