Diploma Interviews now being taken



The OSA Fine Arts Diploma and Portfolio Certificate Programs place an emphasis on attaining knowledge and skills that are fundamental to the practice of the visual arts. Each program is structured to provide access to study in a variety of studio areas, while allowing second year diploma students the opportunity to pursue a particular studio concentration.


Fine Arts Diploma Program (90 credits)

The Diploma Program is an intensive three-year course of study in the visual arts with an emphasis on practical studio experience. The developmental structure of the program provides students with access to the study of various studio areas including; drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, printmaking and ceramics, while including sufficient opportunity to pursue a particular studio concentration. Studio courses reinforce the mind’s relationship to the eye and hand.


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, Canadian and contemporary art history courses.


In the third year of the program students further their studio interest in advanced studio courses and through apprenticeships with artists working in a medium that will influence their development. The study of contemporary art theories and practices, 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.


Portfolio Certificate Program (30 credits)

The one-year Portfolio Certificate Program is a unique opportunity provided for students who need to develop and expand their present body of work in preparation for application to university, college or art school. This intensive course of study allows for a high degree of interaction with working professional artists in a studio setting. Upon completion of their year, students may apply to continue their studies in the Ottawa School of Art Fine Arts Diploma Program, or apply to other institutions. A high percentage of these hard working certificate students obtain a place in their first choice of schools.


Students who have successfully completed their Portfolio Certificate year have, in many cases, qualified for the equivalent of full or partial first year at the Ontario College of Art and Design, the University of Lethbridge, Mount Allison University, and the University of Wisconsin-Stout.


The Ottawa School of Art offers full time art training to International Students.


Part-time art training in the credit programs can be considered when a minimum of three courses is taken per session.




Fine Arts Diploma and Portfolio Certificate Admission Requirements

The Ottawa School of Art requires a grade twelve Ontario Secondary School Diploma or its equivalent. All transcripts from institutions previously attended and a signed resume (providing further information on experience in art or design) must accompany each application for all credit programs.



Registration starts at the end of May of each year and continues until the last Friday in August. All registrations after that date maybe subject to a surcharge of $25 (plus HST = $28.25) per course in late fees. Early registration guarantees a better choice of courses.


The Diploma Program Coordinator – diploma@artottawa.ca – is available during specific days for consultation. Please confirm all dates and times with the OSA registration desk and make an appointment for an interview. To speed your application, bring the completed application form and all the materials listed on the form to the interview. To download an application form from the school’s web site, look under Fine Arts Diploma Program, click on Admissions for Making a Formal Application.


Interview/Portfolio Review

All prospective students applying to the Fine Arts Diploma Program must schedule an interview and portfolio review with the Diploma Program Coordinator by calling the main number of the school: 613.241.7471.


While prospective Portfolio Certificate Program students are exempt from presenting a portfolio, an interview with the Diploma Program Coordinator is required for entry into the program.