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Art School

The Ottawa School of Art

PHONE (613) 241-7471

Explore Fine Arts – Make Your Mark

The Ottawa School of Art (OSA) is an exciting and affordable alternative art school, which provides the opportunity for visual expression and creative development in the nations capital. Fine Arts Diploma and Portfolio Certificate students receive the benefits of an intensive vocational training program that allows them to complete their studies close to home. In addition, the Ottawa School of Art receives students from across Canada and from around the world creating an interesting and diverse learning environment. Our students represent a diverse range of backgrounds, training and experience.

Unique Features

  • affordable tuition rates
  • 19 specialized studio spaces
  • intensive, hands-on, well structured training
  • small focused class sizes with professional instruction by dedicated instructors
  • dedicated student exhibition space on campus and opportunities to exhibit at partner gallery spaces in the community
  • mentorship opportunities
  • high level of community engagement
  • graduating group exhibition in the Ottawa School of Art Gallery

Studio Facilities

  • professional print studio with letterpress
  • wood shop
  • photography dark room
  • sculpture studio
  • ceramics studio
  • painting and drawing studios
  • computer lab/photography and digital media facility
  • student and community gallery for public exhibitions

Levels of studies offered

Portfolio Certificate (1 year)

Fine Arts Diploma (3 years)

OSA Educational Philosophy

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.

OSA Credit Programs

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.

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.


Fine Arts Diploma and Portfolio Certificate Admission Requirements

The Ottawa School of Art requires a grade twelve Ontario Secondary School Diploma or its equivalent. If a prospective student has reached the age of 18 and has no secondary school diploma, it is necessary to pass a mature age student-qualifying test given by the OSA and approved by the Ministry Training Colleges and Universities. In this case, the OSA will administer the Canadian Achievement Survey Test for Adults (CAT/2 Series, level 3) on the school premises through an appointment made with the program coordinator.


Registration begins at the end of May of each year and continues until the last Friday in August. Early registration guarantees a better choice of courses.

The Diploma Program Coordinator – – is available during specific days for consultation.

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