Fine Arts Diploma

The Ottawa School of Art offers diploma students a unique program of intensive, hands-on, well-structured training in the fine art tradition of drawing, painting and sculpture. OSA students have the potential to gain a deeper understanding of their own ideas and practice and to gain greater awareness of how to develop skills in the pursuit of a career in the visual arts.

Diploma Program Handbook

Diploma Program Handbook French

Over three-years of full time study, students learn a visual expression based on their own concerns and experiences. Starting with a challenging well-designed foundation year, through to the advanced studios, apprenticeships and exhibition opportunities of their final year, students find and develop their capacity for creative thinking. The ability to think creatively puts our students ahead of the wave.


The Ottawa School of Art Fine Arts Diploma Program is listed as a private career college and with citizenship and Immigration Canada as an educational institution (DLI#019711214477)


The Fine Arts Diploma is an intensive three-year course of study in the visual arts with an emphasis on practical studio experience. The developmental structure provides access to the general study of various studio areas (drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, printmaking and ceramics) while including sufficient opportunity to pursue a particular studio concentration. Courses are structured to provide access to foundation study in a variety of studio areas while allowing second year diploma students the opportunity to pursue particular studio concentrations. Studio courses reinforce the mind’s relationship to the hand and the eye.


The first year of the program provides an intensive course of study allowing for a high degree of interaction with working professional artists in a studio setting. The curriculum is designed to provide the student with a solid base of information on the techniques and materials used by professional artists. The first year serves as the foundation for building knowledge and experiences in the subsequent years of the program.


The second year of the Fine Arts Diploma Program is composed of courses that develop the student’s ability beyond the introductory level. In addition to intermediate level studios, the student becomes familiar with the history of art through survey courses, Canadian Art History and Contemporary Art History.


In the third year of the program students further their studio interest in advanced studio courses and through apprenticeships with artists who have influenced their development. The study of contemporary art theories, in courses such as Art and Criticism, Media Studies and the Business of Art, gives students access to a solid understanding of what it is to be an artist working in a contemporary way. This final year provides a significant knowledge of the cultural context in which they will pursue their careers.

International Students are accepted for full time studies. Learn more

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