10 Most Popular Arts and Design Programs in Canada


As the worlds of art, fashion, and media evolve, and as visual effects and video games become multi-billion dollar industries, there is a growing demand for arts and design grads. While these careers can be competitive, the fact that design skills are needed in many industries means international students in these programs have lots of career options. Graphic design, user experience design, web design, photography, and fashion are some of the careers students can pursue. If you’re looking for the right design college in Canada for you, read on to learn about popular arts and design schools in Canada that can prepare you for success.


10. Advanced College Diploma: Fashion Design (Co-op) – Fanshawe College

Interested in the fashion industry? Consider Fanshawe College’s Fashion Design program. As a renowned design college in Canada, and one of Ontario’s largest and most popular colleges for design, Fanshawe is a leader in applied education and welcomes thousands of students from over 100 countries every year. This diploma prepares students for a career in fashion by focusing on hands-on learning. Lab work and field trips expose students to industry trends, while the eight-month co-op provides exciting work experience.

OCAD University

9. Master of Arts: Digital Futures – OCAD University

If you’re interested in studying how technology impacts media, design, and popular culture, OCAD University’s Master of Arts in Digital Futures is a great option. It encourages a global perspective on understanding the current media landscape. Plus, the program is offered in partnership with the Canadian Film Centre Media Lab to offer electives, internships, residencies, and independent study. This program prepares students for exciting careers in arts and culture, creative services, entertainment, and media. Plus, study in the heart of Toronto, one of Canada’s most vibrant and arts-forward cities!

University of New Brunswick

8. Bachelor of Arts: Media Arts and Cultures – University of New Brunswick

The University of New Brunswick’s Bachelor of Arts – Media Arts and Cultures is one of the first programs of its kind in Canada. Students receive both a superb liberal arts education and hands-on experience in their field. Student projects involve creating videos, animations, blogs, and even video games. Located just 10 minutes from downtown Fredericton, the University of New Brunswick is one of the best universities on Canada’s east coast. Plus, UNB students live and study in a city with a vibrant art community, and many boutiques and cafes to enjoy.

British Columbia Institute of Technology

7. New Media Design and Web Development (College Diploma) – British Columbia Institute of Technology

Web developers are in high demand across Canada, and the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) has produced some of Canada’s best. At the end of this two-year diploma program, students will have the skills needed to succeed in digital marketing, graphic design and branding, user experience (UX) design, web design, and more. Plus, students will have completed an internship, which will help to build their professional skills and network.

Also, thanks to BCIT’s location (this program’s campus is in downtown Vancouver), students will be in the heart of Canada’s booming west coast film, media, and gaming industries.

University of Waterloo

6. Bachelor of Arts: Fine Arts – University of Waterloo

The University of Waterloo is recognized worldwide for its technology and engineering programs. However, its Arts faculty is also highly respected. Fine Arts students gain a critical understanding of art through painting, sculpture, printmaking, and other disciplines. Majors include Art History and Visual Culture, Film Studies and Visual Culture, and Studio Practice. UW’s co-op programs extend to Fine Arts: students can get experience in their field during an optional co-op term.

Algoma University

5. Bachelor of Arts: Fine Arts – Algoma University

Interested in studying fine arts but want a more personalized learning experience? Consider Algoma University, which prides itself on being the smallest university in Ontario. With classes capped at 75 students, Algoma focuses less on lectures and more on discussions. The Bachelor of Arts – Fine Arts program can be completed in three years or as a four-year honours degree.

Students receive a thorough education in art history and criticism while receiving direct feedback from instructors. Algoma’s location in Sault Ste. Marie is ideal for this program, as students will live amidst the same natural beauty that influenced the famous Canadian Group of Seven painters.

Seneca College

4. College Diploma: Interactive Media Design – Seneca College

Seneca College’s two-year diploma in Interactive Media Design prepares students for a range of digital media-focused careers. Whether your interest is in graphic design, video games, digital marketing, or even visual effects, classes providing hands-on experience are central to this program.

Best of all, in the final semester, an independent internship opportunity gives students a head-start in a competitive job market. This program is offered at Seneca’s York campus in Toronto, Ontario; one of the country’s largest and most diverse cities.

University of Waterloo

3. Bachelor of Global Business and Digital Arts – University of Waterloo

The University of Waterloo’s Bachelor of Global Business and Digital Arts degree has a unique structure. Students spend the first two years of their degree program at Waterloo’s main campus, and the final two years at the UW digital media campus in Stratford, Ontario. This is a great setup, as the Stratford campus is a highly-respected design college in Canada.

Because of the blend of arts and business classes, this program suits students who want to use creative skills in the business world. Few Canadian arts and design programs combine business and arts education to this extent, which is one reason why this UW program is so popular.


2. College Diploma: Interactive Design – Web Design and Development – SAIT

In this two-year undergraduate diploma program at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) students will learn about digital design tools, design fundamentals, and how to develop concepts into products that meet business needs. They’ll become skilled with design thinking and human-centred design, and work through a variety of projects to develop a professional portfolio. Web Design and Development graduates will build strong front- and back-end web development skills, and may test their skills first-hand in an optional co-op term.

yorkville university

1. Bachelor of Interior Design – Yorkville University

Over the last decade, Yorkville University has emerged as one of Canada’s most popular study destinations for international students, making this one of the most popular arts and design programs in Canada. Want to take the Bachelor of Interior Design? While Yorkville has campuses in Toronto and Vancouver, only the Toronto location offers it.

This program is fully CIDA accredited and ARIDO recognized. Plus, it prepares students for a rewarding design career. Students may complete their degree in three years, and can also take advantage of Yorkville’s great location. The campus is also located in one of Canada’s largest student neighbourhoods, which makes it a fun and vibrant place to be.

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