Graduate Program in Digital Futures launch 2013

Trevor Haldenby

Graduate Program in Digital Futures

How To Apply

OCAD University the CFC Media Lab are partners for the innovative Graduate Program in Digital Futures, with full-time Master's Degrees (MA, MDes and MFA). The graduate program in Digital Futures responds to the increasingly important and sophisticated role of digital technology as a catalyst for change.

Digital Futures has an international student cohort and faculty. The program features collaborative overseas eGlobal courses with world-wide educational and industry partners. A global perspective is key to securing our graduates’ futures in the eclectic international creative digital industries, encompassing design, arts, creative services, entertainment, media and cultural industries. The Digital Futures program is offered in partnership with the Canadian Film Centre (CFC) Media Lab.

The Digital Futures student-centred learning approach applies to both research and practice. The curriculum ensures that you gain core digital knowledge and skills as you explore your specific areas of interest through electives, industry internships, residencies and independent study.

The program focuses on practice-based learning and prototyping, with an enterprise component and supporting thesis research. Industry partnerships help students to build a career runway in advance of graduating. You are encouraged to work with industry partners in internships which lead to mentorship for your thesis research.

In 2019, the first-ever co-production between CFC Media Lab and OCAD University happened as a direct result of the Digital Futures program. Kylie Caraway, 2019 grad and creator of Mother of the Forest, saw international success as the VR film screened at several film festivals, including Busan International Film Festival in South Korea. Read more about it here and here.

Read more about OCAD U’s Digital Futures program  here


The CFC is committed to providing accessible practices that are in compliance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). If you require accommodation at any stage of the application process or have any questions regarding appropriate accommodations please contact Deborah Fallows, CHRO, at:




The master's in Digital Futures is a two-year full-time program. In the program, you will develop practice-based and scholarly research in technologically advanced design, art and media through the following:

  • Critical thinking
  • Research and practice
  • Business and innovation studies
  • Computing and emerging digital methodologies

This is a full-time, 8-credit program comprising:

  • Foundational courses in computation, business creation, innovation and leadership
  • Core courses in digital methods, research, theory and practice
  • Intensive digital project and prototyping courses
  • Individual research and creation overseen by a principal advisor and supervisory committee
  • Summer internship and/or study abroad
  • Elective choices
  • Creative digital thesis project and supporting paper (MFA/MDes) or a written thesis and supporting creative project (MA)

Students declare their intention to pursue the Master of Design (MDes), Master of Fine Arts (MFA) or Master of Arts (MA) at the time of application. The outcomes of the chosen degree are distinctive. The MDes and MFA focus on practice-based research creation with a supporting thesis. The MA flips that focus, with an emphasis on a scholarly research thesis and a supporting creative project.


New elective courses are continuously created in response to trends and emerging technologies. These cutting-edge courses cover theory and practice in design, art, media, technology and enterprise. To view the course descriptions, visit the Course Catalogue.

Read more about OCAD U’s Digital Futures program here


Students entering the program will have strong disciplinary expertise in an area of media art, design, engineering, computer science, technology and/or the social sciences, as demonstrated by an undergraduate degree and ideally several years of relevant work experience. Students will declare their intention to pursue the Master of Design (MDes), Master of Fine Arts (MFA), or the Master of Arts (MA) at the time of application.

The program is open to designers, artists, marketing, media and cultural industry participants, entrepreneurs, technologists, educators, social scientists, scientists and engineers. This diversity drives peer learning, collaboration and group working across numerous parts of the program.

How To Apply


Digital Futures (MA, MDes and MFA)

Applicants must hold a BA, BFA, BDes, BComm, BSc, BEng or comparable honours degree/certification with an average of 75 per cent (B+) or better during the last two years of study, or must demonstrate impressive experience and expertise as a practitioner in a relevant discipline. All applicants must demonstrate creative and conceptual competence at a good level, as well as the clear potential for acquiring a practical knowledge in the diverse disciplines relevant to this graduate program to create an innovative and implementable thesis project.

If the application deadline has passed, an expression of interest in the Digital Futures graduate program may be considered. Please email us at for further details.

For consideration by the admissions committee, and in addition to the basic application requirements outlined below, applicants need to complete and submit the following through SlideRoom:

  • Letter of Intent: Applicants should explain their personal philosophy and reasons for applying to this program and refer to any relevant experience, background and future ambitions. The letter must be typed and be 600 to 800 words in length.
  • Research Outline: Applicants must provide an initial proposal for a research project that they are interested in pursuing in the program. This should include: 1) a title, 2) the area of interest and/or idea, 3) the rationale for the research, 4) expected outcome in terms of innovation and realized creative work, 5) the relevance of the applicant’s background and experience, 6) any reference sources used in the proposal, 7) bibliography of relevant sources. The proposal must be typed and should be 800 to 1,000 words in length.
  • Samples of Work: Applicants must submit samples of relevant student and/or professional work produced in the last five years. Visual work, analysis reports and proposal documents may be included. Applicants are expected to demonstrate an in-depth understanding of their primary area of interest.
  • CV: Applicants should include an updated copy of their curriculum vitae.

Short-listed candidates may be invited for an interview. The interview is an ideal opportunity for the candidate to meet with faculty, ask questions about the program and visit studio facilities and labs at OCAD U. Alternate arrangements will be made for applicants who are unable to attend the interview in person.

Note: admission to the degree program is contingent on the availability of an appropriate Principal Advisor in the student’s declared area of research interest.

Read more about Application requirements here.

Applications are now closed


Recent alumni from the Graduate Program in Digital Futures at OCAD University include the following:

2012 Graduates

2013 Graduates

2014 Graduates

2015 Graduates

2016 Graduates

2017 Graduates

2018 Graduates

2019 Graduates

2020 Graduates

2021 Graduates