NSCAD Graduate Studies are ideal for those individuals who have gained sufficient experience in their own area of interest to make concentrated post-graduate study a useful choice.
Graduate application deadline is January 15th.
Graduate application requirements by program
Admission inquiries should be directed to the Director of Admissions or to the Director of the MDes Program.
Applicants to the Master of Design Program should possess a Bachelor of Design Degree, a Bachelor’s Degree in a related discipline, or the equivalent qualifications from a four year university or college program; ability as an artist, crafts person or designer; an interest in the role of design in society; the economy; design history and theory; teaching and research at a postsecondary level; and academic competency.
Applicants to the MDES Program will generally be expected to have completed the equivalent of NSCAD’s undergraduate art history and critical studies and liberal arts and science requirements and to have maintained an overall “B” average in relevant academic course work.
Applicants from other disciplines are welcome; however, they may be admitted on the condition that they successfully complete specific qualifying courses at the undergraduate level. A minimum grade of “B” must be earned in all courses.
The selection of qualifying courses is at the discretion of the MDES Admissions Committee and may include both studio and historical and critical studies courses. This study will be undertaken at the applicant’s own expense and does not guarantee admission to the MDES Program.
All Admission inquiries should be directed to the Director of Admissions or to the Director of the MFA program.
Applicants to the Master of Fine Arts (Studio) should possess either a BFA degree or the equivalent qualifications from a four-year university or college program, ability as an artist or craftsperson, an interest in teaching, and academic competency.
Applicants to the MFA Program will be expected to have completed the equivalent of NSCAD’s undergraduate art history and liberal arts and science requirements and to have maintained an overall “B” average in relevant academic course work.
Applicants to the MFA Program who have a four-year diploma (but not a degree) will be required to take a qualifying semester to supplement their liberal arts requirements. This study will be undertaken at the applicant’s own expense, and does not guarantee admission to the MFA Program. Such applicants must register for a minimum of three courses (nine semester credits). The courses required in a qualifying semester will be determined by the MFA director in consultation with the appropriate division chair (or designate) and the registrar. A minimum grade of “B” must be earned.
Students are selected for their capability as artists, craftpersons, or designers; their understanding of related critical information; and thepersonal qualities and interests that might be expected to contribute to their success as teachers and scholars.
Applicants often have in-depth training and experience in ceramics, digital media, drawing, film, installation, jewellery/metalsmithing, painting, performance, photography, printmaking, sculpture, sound, textiles/fashion or video.
Applicants to the Master of Art in Art Education should possess either a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine or Media Arts, Art Education, Design, or equivalent.
Applicants without these credentials or those granted by the NSCAD Visual Art Certificate for Teachers, in consultation with the MA Program Director, must complete a minimum of 12 credits in EDAR or studio-based undergraduate courses. This study will be undertaken at the applicant’s own expense and does not guarantee admission to the MA Program. A minimum grade of ‘B’ must be earned.
Steps to apply to graduate programs
APPLY.NSCAD.CA is your guide through the application process. It’s where we’ll answer all of your questions and help you prepare to apply and upload your portfolio pieces. You can sign up for a campus visit/event, track your application process and even receive your admission decision.
A non-refundable application fee of $70 is required.
STATEMENT OF INTENT
MDES: Submit a statement explaining the direction of your practice in design, and your purposes and intentions in seeking to enter the MDes Program at NSCAD University. Maximum length is 500 words.
MFA: Submit a statement explaining the direction of your studio practice in art, craft or design, and your purposes and intentions in seeking to enter the MFA at NSCAD University. Maximum length is 500 words. The file should be in a PDF format.
MAAE: Submit a statement explaining the direction of your work and intentions in seeking to enter the Program. Maximum length is 500 words. The file should be a PDF format.
An academic record of current and previous post-secondary study is required from all applicants. Please have the issuing institution send official transcripts to:
Office of Admissions
5163 Duke Street Halifax
Nova Scotia, B3J 3J6
LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION
MDES: Two letters of recommendation are required. There is no standard reference form. Letters of recommendation should be written by professors or other appropriate persons, referring to your ability as a designer, and your general academic competence to be sent directly to the university.
MFA: Two letters of recommendation are required as part of the MFA application process. There is no standard reference form. Referees are asked to write a one-page letter detailing their experience with you as an artist and demonstrating your suitability for an MFA program. All letters of recommendation must be official and received directly from the issuing institution.
MAAE: Two letters of recommendation are required as part of the application process. There is no standard reference form. Referees are asked to write a one-page letter detailing their experience with you and your suitability for a the program.
PORTFOLIO and LIST OF WORKS
MDES: Upload a portfolio of not more than 20 digital images representative of current work. If an applicant sends more than 20 images, only the first 20 will be viewed. A numbered list of titles, date, medium and dimensions of each work must also be uploaded with all portfolios.
MFA: Your portfolio consists of 20 image files and/or media links accompanied by a numbered and annotated list, which references each file or link.
IMAGES: You may upload up to 20 PDF image files for your portfolio submission, or provide 20 files via a combination of uploaded image files and links to time-based material.
TIME-BASED MATERIAL: Excerpts of time-based work (performance, film, sound or video) maybe uploaded to Vimeo, YouTube or personal/professional website, with links to specific works provided within the List of Works. Total running time of time-based excerpts should not exceed 15 minutes. In addition, you may provide two entire time-based projects via web links. Documentation of electronic, installation and sculptural work involving temporal, kinetic or aural elements may require a combination of images files and/or sound files and movies. Use your best judgment to represent the work with economy and clarity.
LIST OF IMAGE/MEDIA LINKS: Your portfolio should be summarized with an annotated list of works that identifies 20 files (uploaded and/or supplied via a web link), including titles, dates, medium/media and dimensions. These 20 files may include finished works as well as details. Files/links should be numbered 01 to 20. The list document should be uploaded as a .pdf format file.
MAAE: Submission of a portfolio for the Master of Arts in Art Education is optional, but encouraged. Applicants with a studio/fine arts background may upload up to 20 images with an accompanying list of works listing each portfolio piece submitted, including titles, dimensions, materials, and date. Include web links to digital/video work for inclusion in portfolio submission. Refer to upload instructions on the HOW TO UPLOAD YOUR DOCUMENTS page.
Applicants with a background in curation, arts pedagogy, or community-based work may submit visual evidence such as: exhibitions, collaborative art projects, art teaching projects, social practice, and other relevant forms of artistic engagement. Visuals should be accompanied by brief explanatory descriptions.
*MAAE ONLY* WRITING SAMPLE
Graduate applicants to the Master of Arts in Art Education should submit a sample of current writing (created in the last 6 years) such as a course paper, report, exhibition catalogue essay, research proposal, published article, scholarly manuscript, book chapter, blog post or web content, etc. The applicant must be the sole author and the work should demonstrate their ability to write professionally, clearly, and persuasively. This file should be in pdf format.
English Language Requirement
Link to UG English language requirements page in International students.
Transfer From Other Institutions
NSCAD University accepts transfer graduate liberal arts credits at par from those public or private universities and colleges that are either members of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, or are chartered or accredited as post-secondary degree-granting bodies by appropriate agencies in other countries. Students admitted to the graduate programs may transfer a maximum of three graduate liberal arts credits.