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    Top Design Colleges in Canada: Courses, Eligibility, Fees, Scholarships and Scope

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    Anam Shams

    Content Curator | Updated on - Oct 13, 2021

    Design courses in Canada are popular among international students as there is a growing demand for creative and skilled designers. Top 5 design colleges in Canada namely Emily Carr University, Concordia University, University of British Columbia, University of Ryerson and OCAD University are among the 150 top universities according to QS for Global University Rankings 2020.

    • To make the concepts involved in design studies understandable Universities in Canada consolidate theoretical, practical and research approaches.
    • Design colleges in Canada provide students options to choose certain core and elective subjects of their own choice as a part of the respective course.
    • The average salary of a design graduate in Canada varies in the range of 40,000 CAD to 90,000 CAD per annum.
    • As per the recent study made by StatsCan, jobs in Canada for Design graduates are expected to increase with 21,400 new vacancies till 2026.
    • The salary of graphic designers has seen an increment of about 4% every year since 2016.
    • Average annual salary of a student with masters in design studies is 41% more than that of a student with bachelors degree in design in Canada.

    Table of Contents

    Top Design Colleges in Canada

    While looking for top design colleges in Canada, international students need to have a brief idea about the type of courses provided, colleges and their world ranking. This section deals with the details about the design courses as well as the best universities providing the respective courses.

    Name of the University QS World Ranking (Design) Courses Offered
    Emily Carr University #40 Certificate in interaction Design
    Certificate in Communication Design, in 2D, 3D
    Bachelor of Design[B.Des] in Communication Design
    Bachelor of Media Arts in Animation
    B.Des. in Industrial Design
    Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration
    Masters of Design in Interaction Design
    Master of Fine Arts
    Concordia University #51-100 Bachelor of Fine Arts in Design
    Bachelor of Fine Arts in Animation
    Master of Design
    University of British Columbia #51-100 B.F.A Theatre in Design and Production
    University of Ryerson  #101-150 Bachelor of Interior Design
    OCAD University #101-150 Bachelor of Environmental Design
    Bachelor of Material art and Design
    Bachelor of Industrial Design
    M.A in Contemporary Art and Design
    M.Des in Design for Heath, in Inclusive Design
    Simon Fraser University #151-200 BFA Theatre- Production and Management
    MEd. in Educational Technology and Learning Design
    M.A in Educational Technology & Learning Design
    PhD. in Educational Technology and Learning Design
    University of Alberta #151-200 B.Des in General Route
    B.A in Arts and Design, Visual Culture and Design
    B.F.A in Art and Design
    M.Des in Art and Design
    M.A in Art and Design
    PhD. in Art and Design

    Design Colleges in Canada: Degree Courses and Specializations

    Design colleges in Canada give a wide range of specific courses in design. Majority of the universities provide a Bachelors and Masters of Design.

    With each higher degree, the possibility of finding a more generous line of work turns out to be simple with a huge hike in salaries.

    Design colleges in Canada provide different levels of degree courses for design studies. Mainly they are distributed in:

    • Diploma and Certificate courses, which are basically 6 months to 1 year courses.
    • Bachelor's Degree: Bachelor of Art, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bachelors of and Bachelor of Design.
    • Master's Degree: Master of Art and Design, Masters in Fine Arts in Canada, Master of Design and M.Ed.
    • Doctorate degree: PhD.

    It is quite important for the students to know about the specializations offered in this field. Mentioned below is a table which states few of the popular design specializations available in the Canadian universities.

    Specializations Specializations
    Communication Design Interaction Design
    Visual Culture Graphics Design
    Illustration Design Material Art Design
    Educational Technology & Learning Design Design of Health
    Contemporary Art Design Animation Design
    Instructional Design Product Design and Development
    User Experience Design Organization Design and Development

    Top Design Colleges in Canada: Undergraduate Courses

    Undergraduate courses in design in Canada are professional courses of 3 to 4 years offering numerous specializations like Product Design, Fashion Design, Industrial Design, Textile Design, Fashion Communication and many others.

    In this section we will deal with the popular undergraduate courses in design in Canada, universities providing these courses, along with their duration and fee structure.

    Program Name of the University Annual Program Fee (in CAD) Duration of the Course (in Years)
    Bachelor of Design Emily Carr University 157,700 4
    Bachelor of Design LaSalle College 103,900 3
    Bachelor of Design NSCAD University 89,300 4
    Bachelor of Design in Interaction Design Emily Carr University 157,700 4
    Bachelor of Industrial Design OCAD University 120,500 4
    B.Des in Graphic Design LaSalle College 103,900 3
    Bachelor of Interior Design Ryerson University 116,520 4
    Bachelor of Fine Arts and Design Concordia University 79,200 4
    BFA in Animation Concordia University 79,200 4
    BFA Theatre- Production and Management Simon Fraser University 120,900 4
    BFA Theatre- Production and Management University of British Columbia 159,700 4
    B.A in Visual Design University of Alberta 129,400 4
    Bachelor of Material Art and Design OCAD University 120,600 4

    Apart from these degree courses many certificate and diploma courses are also available in different universities like Emily Carr University, which are basically 6 months to 1 Year courses.

    Eligibility Criteria for Doctoral Degree in Design in Canada

    Eligibility criteria is one of the main prospects that international students should know if aiming to study abroad in Canada. Canadian universities providing bachelors courses in design have a common eligibility requirements which includes different entrance exams like IELTS,TOEFL etc.

    Mentioned below are the detailed criteria for studying Bachelors in Design in Canada.

    • Students need to have a School Certificate or 12 years of education in any field, with an aggregate score of 70%.
    • Students need to provide proof of English Language Proficiency through one of the standardized exams:
      • TOEFL (iBT): 84-90
      • IELTS: 6.5
      • PTE: 58
    • Completed admission application form
    • Letter of Reference
    • Academic Transcripts
    • Financial proof 
    • Health Insurance

    Cost and Funding for Bachelors in Design in Canada

    The average cost of studying a bachelors degree in design in Canada costs about 79,200 CAD to 159,000 CAD for the total program.

    Different scholarships are available to contemplate undergraduate design degrees for the international students in Canada. Along with that, numerous Canadian colleges additionally give several international scholarships to study in Canada assisting in pursuing bachelors in design from Canada. 

    Design Colleges in Canada: Certificate/ Diploma Courses

    Program Name of the University Total Program Cost (in CAD) Duration
    Diploma in Graphic Design- Visual Communication Fleming College 52,045 6 Semesters
    Associate of Arts Fraser International College 59,554 2 Years
    Certificate in User Experience Design St Lawrence College 15,700 1 Year
    Certificate in Fashion Management Humber Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning 16,607 2 Semesters
    Diploma in Graphics Design George Brown College 42,990 6 Semesters
    Advanced Diploma in Graphic Design Humber Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning 55,470 6 Semesters
    Certificate in Arts and Design Fundamentals Centennial College of Applied Arts and Technology 16,339 1 Year
    Advanced Diploma in Graphic Design Niagara College 60,000 3 Year
    Certificate in Sustainable Fashion Production George Brown College 21,900 3 Semester

    Top Design Colleges in Canada: Masters Degree

    Master of Design in Canada is a 1.5 to 2.5 year program offered by selected universities across Canada. Popular Masters degree programs in design are Design Theory, Research Methods in Design and Interdisciplinary Practices in Design, Visual Communication, Built Environment, and Interaction Design. A thesis is required to be submitted in the last year of the course for the effective culmination of the degree.

    This section deals with the above mentioned courses and the universities offering these courses along with their fee structure.

    Program Name of the University Total Program Cost (in CAD) Duration (in Years)
    Master of Design OCAD University 49,000 2
    Master of Design Emily University 40,900 2
    Master of Design NSCAD University 42,250 2
    Master of Design Concordia University 38,100 2
    Master of Design University of Alberta 25,600 2
    M.Des in Interaction Design Emily Carr University 40,744 2
    M.Des in Inclusive Design OCAD University 35,950 2
    M.Des in Art and Design University of Alberta 25,900 2
    M.A in Arts and Design University Alberta 25,900 2
    M.A in Arts and Design OCAD University 45.950
    M.A in Educational Technology and Learning Design Simon Fraser University 30,300 3
    MFA in Art and Design University of Alberta 28,100 2

    There is also a post bachelor certificate course in design available in NSCAD University. It is basically a 1 year certificate course which costs around 20,710 CAD.

    Eligibility for Masters in Design in Canada

    Students with a bachelor’s degree in design or equivalent work experience can apply for the postgraduate courses in Canada. For applying for a postgraduate degree in Canada, international students need to have the following eligibility criteria:

    • Must have an equivalent bachelor’s degree with an aggregate of 75% and above.
    • Must have good scores in ELPs
      • IELTS: 6.5-7
      • TOEFL:90
      • PTE: 58
    • Academic Transcripts.
    • Curriculum Vitae reflecting grades, extra-curricular activities and experience.
    • At Least 3 letters of recommendation, with a minimum of 2 from the academic background.
    • Valid proof of prior experience in the field of design. 

    Fees and Funding for Masters in Design in Canada

    Masters in Design in Canada cost in the range of 25,900 CAD to 49,000 CAD approximately for the total program. Along with the tuition fee, students need to bear their living costs in Canada such as accommodations, meals and other expenses to study in Canada, which ranges around 18,000 CAD yearly.

    To support these expenses, numerous colleges and universities provide numerous scholarships for international students. Few of the colleges also offer departmental fellowships.

    Design Colleges in Canada: Doctoral Degrees

    As per recent statistics by Job Bank- Canada, 90% of the graduates get jobs within the 3 months of completing their courses with an average pay of around 85,000 CAD-100,000 CAD/annum. Thus, the PhD. courses in Design in Canada is a good choice to improve your job position, as well as your salary.

    Mentioned below are few of the Doctoral program offered by the Canadian colleges:

    Program Name of the University Total Program Cost (in CAD) Duration of the Course (in Years)
    PhD. in Art and Design University of Alberta 51,820 4
    PhD. in Educational Technology and Learning Design Simon Fraser University 60,600 6
    Environmental Design University of Calgary 33,088 4

    Eligibility Criteria for Doctoral Degree in Design in Canada

    For pursuing a doctoral degree in Design in Canada, an individual must have good academic scores with a mandatory prior work experience in the related field. Mentioned below are the overall eligibility criteria:

    • Students must have an equivalent postgraduate degree with a minimum of 3-3.5 GPA in the scale of 4 GPA.
    • Student must have good score in English Proficiency:
    • Minimum of 3 Letter of Recommendation.
    • Academic transcript.
    • Curriculum Vitae.
    • Work experience and minimum of one published research paper is required.

    Fees and Funding for Doctoral Degree in Design in Canada

    Cost of pursuing a doctoral degree in design in Canada costs around 33,088 CAD to 60,600 CAD for the total program. International students also get opportunities to avail numerous scholarship programs to sustain their stay in Canada.

    Scholarships at Design Colleges in Canada

    To facilitate the money related burden on the students, numerous numbers of awards and scholarships are provided by the Canadian colleges. Few of the most noticeable scholarships in Canada for international students are mentioned below:

    Name of the Scholarship University Amount (in CAD) Eligibility
    In-Study Scholarship OCAD University Variable Graduate International Students.
    Concordia International Tuition Award of Excellence Concordia University Discount on Tuition Fees Graduate International Students
    Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship Programs _ 50,000 Doctoral candidates.
    Alberta Graduate Excellence Scholarships Alberta University 12,000 All levels of students are eligible.
    Entrance Scholarship NSCAD University 500-6000 All levels of students are eligible.
    Arts Council of Survey Scholarships Emily Carr University of Art and Design Variable For students of Visual Arts

    Design Colleges in Canada: Scope and Job Prospects

    The enormous divisions of the corporate world, like engineering, automobile, interior design, mechanical technology, fashion, modern and aviation sector remain as the potential job providers for graduated design students. Beginning from a decent starting pay of 47,400 CAD/annum, a Design graduate in Canada can earn upto 171,000 CAD/annum depending on the degree specialization and experience gathered.

    As per Job Bank Canada, the median annual salary of a graduate with a masters degree in design is about 71,027 CAD, whereas an employee with a bachelor's degree in Design earns an average pay of 53,411 CAD/annum. It is observed that females have higher chances of getting employed after gaining a design degree. 

    Students who are looking to avail a design course in Canada, it is very important for them to know about the job positions they will be applying for after completion of their courses. The mentioned below table illustrates the jobs in Canada in the field of design with their average yearly pay.

    Designation Average Annual Salary (in CAD)
    Creative Designer 70,000-170,000
    Interaction Designer 73,000-163,000
    Art Director 72,000-150,000
    Illustrator 40,000-138,000
    Copywriter 50,000-125,000
    Multimedia Specialists 48,000-121,000
    Sketch Artist 40,000-118,000
    Animator 46,000-114,000
    Graphic Artist/Designer 59,000-104,000
    Interior Designer 67,000-98,000
    Fashion Designer 68,000-98,000

    Popular companies offering employment to design graduates in Canada include names of Groupe Dynamite Inc., B+H Architects, Critical Mass Inc, Figure 3, KPGM LLP. 

    The field of design is continually changing and growing with specializations developing in the area of multimedia, design, engineering, automobile, interior designing,robotics etc.. Anybody with an enthusiasm for workmanship can build a decent profession in the design sector at this moment. Students can likewise select research in structural design after fulfillment of their master, rather than looking for jobs. 

    With an annual increment of around 7.2% in salary, the Design sector has a booming future in the coming years. Along with that, students can apply for a Canadian work permit to legally work in Canada post studies at top design colleges in Canada.

    Reviews

    d

    IIT Madras has introduced new courses in Banking, Financial Services and Insurance sector. These courses will be launched by Digital Skills Academy. IIT Madras is inviting application form for admission to the Executive MBA. The last date of applying is October 18. The application form can be filled online through the official website of the Institute and the application fee of INR 1500/- should be paid through the online gateways. The virtual test and interview will be held on 7th/8th/9th (Saturday, Sunday and Monday) of November 2020.

    Fees :

    IIT Madras has introduced new courses in Banking, Financial Services and Insurance sector. These courses will be launched by Digital Skills Academy. IIT Madras is inviting application form for admission to the Executive MBA. The last date of applying is October 18. The application form can be filled online through the official website of the Institute and the application fee of INR 1500/- should be paid through the online gateways. The virtual test and interview will be held on 7th/8th/9th (Saturday, Sunday and Monday) of November 2020.

    AB
    9.0 /10

    One of my relatives lives there in Canada. They were inviting me for so long but due to my schooling, I don't have time to go to them. But after completing high school I decided to pursue my bachelor's from Canada and spend time with them. Therefore I applied to this university through their official website by paying an application fee of $150.

    Fees :

    $ 16,695 was the per year fee paid by me.

    JS
    8.0 /10

    I got to know about this college through one of my seniors, who's been studying there. Then I researched about this college and finding the course in which I wanted to pursue further studies I applied for the same through an online application paying $50. My CGPA marks of 8.2 helped me with the selection.

    Fees :

    My fees were $33000. Though I didn't have an opportunity to go for the scholarship there was a scholarship called International Student Scholarship which was given to the students with really good academic credentials. I thought about this but the competition level was very high.

    JR
    7.5 /10

    Various Universities offer business diploma but I applied to Algonquin because of the unique diploma of business agriculture. The application form had to be submitted online with a nominal processing fee of $95. The basic criteria to surpass was of minimum 65% in higher secondary examination.

    Fees :

    There are various expenses that are added to the tuition fees for international students. The rough figure goes around $17000 excluding the residential and dining plans. This includes annual tuition fees, school supplies and some other petty expenses.

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