Top Colleges To Study Masters In Design Canada 2022 & How to get in!

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A Master in Design is an excellent career option for all those students who have an understanding of aesthetics and an eye for detail. It offers specialization in different sub-disciplines such as Fine Arts(MFA), Illustration, Interior Design, Graphic Design, Fashion and Textiles designing, New Media Arts, Design Management, User Experience Design (UXD) and Graphic designing, to name a few. Though aspirants can study design in a country like Australia or the US, pursuing a Masters in Design Canada is the most sought-after choice. Keep reading it further to know the best colleges for enrolling in Masters in Design Canada (MDes) and their eligibility and admission process. But before that, let’s take a quick look at the benefits of studying in Canada.

Masters in design canada

Advantages of Studying Masters in Design Canada

The number of Indian students grew to 350% in the time span of 5 years (from 2015-2016 to 2019-2020) in Canada. Here are the three main reasons for the same:

  • Lucrative Job Opportunities: Graphic Designer, Interior Designer, and Illustrator are three major types of jobs available for students holding a master’s degree in design. Amongst them, Graphic Designer is one of the highest paying jobs in Canada. The likelihood of finding a better job increases from 4% to 41% if they pursue a master’s degree after completing a graduate program from a top-notch university.
  • High-Quality Education: The best designing colleges and universities in Canada offer high-quality education to international graduate students with a special focus on hands-on experiences and groundbreaking approaches.
  • Safe Place to Live & Study: International students always enjoy their stay in Canada owing to the safe and inviting environment, student-friendly living standards, multicultural society and flexible immigration policies.

MDes Course Program: An Overview

A master’s degree in design is a two-year design course program. It combines practical, theoretical, and research-based approaches (case studies) that focus primarily on complex design projects to create something unusual. Personal creativity and professional skill like project management are required for making a successful career in design. One can even study further by enrolling on a doctorate course program. Submission of a thesis is a mandatory requirement for completing the Master’s degree program successfully. Design is one field which is constantly evolving. Applicants can choose a specialization in disciplines like interaction design, product design, multimedia, contemporary art, communication design, digital futures, industrial design, interior design, product design, strategic foresight and innovation, visual communication, etc. They can even choose to indulge in research-creation work after completing MDES instead of doing a job.

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Top Colleges To Study Masters In Design Canada 2022 & How to get in!

Eligibility Criteria

The eligibility criteria may vary from one college or university to another. The common eligibility requirements include:

  • A diploma or graduate certificate with a GPA equal to or higher than the college or university’s cutoff.
  • Academic transcripts from senior high school and high school.
  • A well-drafted resume or curriculum vitae highlighting grades, areas of interest, extracurricular activities, community engagement activities, and other relevant pieces of information.
  • A portfolio of creative design practice work meeting the college’s requirements.
  • English proficiency proof via TOEFL, PTE, and IELTS.
  • Minimum three letters of recommendation. Some universities may ask for a minimum of two academic references out of three.
  • Requirement of additional materials like a statement of purpose, writing samples and preliminary research. This may differ from university to university.
  • A certificate displaying prior learning and designing experience in design (if any). However, only a few of the colleges demand such kind of certificate.
  • A legitimate Canadian student visa approved by the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC).

Admission Process

Once the aforementioned documents are submitted, the admission departments of various colleges scrutinize the application on the grounds of GPA, English proficiency test, referral forms, CV, extracurricular activities and other important pieces of information. The complete application procedure includes filling and submitting an application form, submitting fees, uploading necessary documents, and getting a final call from the college for acceptance. The entire process stretches for 2-3 months. In some cases, applicants need to wait for more as the process even takes a longer time than specified. Aspirants can apply for reconsideration of the application in case it gets rejected in the first attempt in a certain university like the University of Alberta. In such cases, the admission process takes more time than usual.

Canada Study Visa

Students interested in Masters in Design Canada can obtain Canada Study Visa or Student Permit in Canada in any of the two ways:

  • Students Direct Stream: For Indian students, students’ direct stream is the best way to apply for the Canada Study Visa. They need to register online by visiting the official website of the CIC and submitting their biometrics (both fingerprints and photos). After that, they need to wait for a minimum of 20 days for the verification process and result.
  • Regular Study Permit Application Procedure: This is a traditional method where students can apply either on paper or via an online method.

Documents Requirements

Some of the important documents necessary to submit with the visa application are as follows:

  • Letter of Acceptance
  • Transcripts/ Marksheets
  • Valid Passport
  • Evidence of GIC Purchase
  • School Leaving Certificate
  • Funding or Scholarships Details (If applicable)
  • Proof of English Proficiency Test
  • Family Information Form
  • IT Records of parents (for the last two years)

Top Universities for Masters in Design Canada

Colleges offering Master of Design programs in Canada offer exemplary education to international students. Some of the finest Canadian colleges to choose from are:

University of Alberta

  • Rank: 6
  • Degree: Master of Fine Arts
  • Course Duration: Two years
  • Fees: INR 6 Lakh per year

Concordia University, Montreal

  • Rank: 1
  • Degree: Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A)
  • Course Duration: 2 years
  • Fees: INR 10 Lakh per year

Carleton University

  • Rank: 16
  • Degree: M.Des
  • Course Duration: 2 years
  • Fees: INR 13.9 Lakh per year

York University

  • Rank: 17
  • Degree: Master of Design
  • Course Duration: 2 years
  • Fees: INR 15 lakh per year

University of Manitoba, Winnipeg

  • Rank: 17
  • Degree: MDes Interior
  • Course Duration: 2 years
  • Fees: INR 9.32 lakh per year

Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD), University

  • Rank: 7
  • Degree: Master of Fine Arts
  • Course Duration: 2 years
  • Fees: INR 11.2 lakh per year

OCAD University, Toronto, Ontario

  • Rank: 3
  • Degree: MDes (Strategic Foresight and Innovation)
  • Course Duration: 2 years
  • Fees: INR 21.7 lakh per year
Masters in design canada


Canada is one of the best destinations for pursuing a master’s degree in Design for Indian students. It is a two-year course program. As per their preferences, they can enrol themselves in different design course programs. University of Alberta, York University and NSCAD are the best colleges to pursue a master in design Canada. Aspirants need to meet the eligibility criteria for taking admission to reputed colleges. The entire admission process usually runs for two months. Apply for the Canada Study visa to take admissions to reputed Canadian colleges and universities.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the total cost to study master’s in design in Canada?

The average cost to study master’s in design in Canada lies between 20,000 CAD to 40,000 CAD per year. For Indian students, the average cost comes around INR 11 lakh to 40 lakh per year.

Do Universities offer scholarships to Indian students to pursue a master in design Canada?

Canadian Colleges and Universities do provide financial aid to ease the financial burden of Indian students. University of Alberta, OCAD University, Concordia, NSCAD University and York University offer prominent scholarship programs. The amount varies from INR 74,000 to INR 9 lakhs. Some of the popular Scholarship offered to International students are:In study scholarship by the OCAD University
Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship programs
Entrance Scholarship
Alberta graduate excellence scholarships
Concordia International tuition award of excellence
Scholarships like the Arts Council of the survey are offered to students of visual arts.

At entry-level, how much I can earn after completing a Master in Design Canada?

On average, students can earn 70,000 to 80,000 CAD per year. With time and experience, they can even earn up to 1,71,000 CAD per year.

Can I do part-time MDes in Canada?

You need to study full-time master’s degree program to obtain a Post-Graduation Work Permit.

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Saket Kohli

An International Higher Ed professional with 7+ years of experience studying, working, and living across three geographies, currently on a mission to share his journey as an International Student.

Articles: 635

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