Art and Design Foundation is a one-year certificate program that provides students with a broad base of expert knowledge and technical skills in the field of art and design. This program is designed for students who want to explore a variety of art and design disciplines, to develop their portfolio for further study, or for those who wish to enjoy learning creative skills in a studio-based environment.


Program name
Art and Design Foundation
1 year (2 semester)
Starting month
September, January
Ontario College Certificate
Method of study

Year of Study

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Program Availability

Domestic students
Sept. 2020 Open
Jan. 2021 Open
May 2021 N/A
International students
Sept. 2020 Open
Jan. 2021 Opens Apr 6, 2020
May 2021 N/A

Full Description

g108 student drawing

In the Art and Design Foundation program, students gain practical, creative and critical thinking skills in art and design. Students develop their portfolios throughout this studio-based curriculum, integrating a variety of analog and digital projects. The portfolio is designed to support students in their application to both diploma and degree level art and design programs.

The first semester courses introduce students to the language of art and design, history of art, and the foundations of observational drawing, form and space, photography, and digital design. In the second semester, students learn advanced skills and creative problem-solving techniques in design process and the foundations of colour theory and practice.

The art and design portfolio showcase workshops introduce students to professional practitioners in the creative industries and their unique experiences of building successful portfolios. In addition, students can select between optional courses to gain specific skills needed in their future education.*

*Students can consult with the academic co-ordinator of the program about their second semester course selection and their future educational pathways in the field of art and design.

Part Time Study Options

We also offer several evening Visual Arts courses and a part-time Fine Arts certificate. Please see the Continuing Education Course Guide.

Program Standards and Learning Outcomes

The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to:

  1. Create two- and three-dimensional designs using a wide range of materials, processes and techniques.
  2. Use the design process to develop and solve visual problems using various strategies for idea generation.
  3. Apply the formal elements and principles of design.
  4. Utilize a variety of presentation skills across a wide range of media appropriate to portfolios, public and private venues.
  5. Develop skills in portfolio presentation in a variety of media through studio based projects.
  6. Articulate art concepts, history and the role of art in society to the general public.
  7. Manage personal digital presence/brand by participating in professional communities of practice.

Required Courses


semester courses
CodeCourse Name
ART1019Foundation Drawing I: Observational Drawing and Composition
ART1020Foundation Design I: Form and Space
ART1029Introduction to Digital Media
ART1030Introduction to Photography
ART1031Art Culture
COMM1007College English


semester courses
CodeCourse Name
ART1021Foundation Design II: Colour Theory and Practice
ART1036Art and Design Portfolio Showcase
DESN1020Design Process
3 of:
ART1024Foundation Drawing II: Life Drawing
ART1040Painting and Mixed Media Studio
ART10253D Materials and Techniques
ART1035Advanced Digital Media
ART1033Multimedia Storytelling
ART1043Photography: People, Concepts and Stories

Please note that Foundation Drawing II involves life drawing.

Detailed course outlines

General Education Electives

Future Study Options

Graduates of the program with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.5 are eligible for direct entry into the George Brown Graphic Design program.

Educational/Degree Pathway

Educational pathways chart.  You can enter the Art and Design Foundation program from High school, work, college, or University.  After the program you can go into the Graphic Design program, Interaction Design and Development program, the Game Development program or the Honours Bachelor of Digital Experience Design Program


$4,154.00 * †

Additional Cost

*Amounts listed are the total of tuition, materials (non-refundable), student service and ancillary fees for the first two semesters of programs starting in Fall 2019. Fees are subject to change for programs starting in Fall 2020 and at later dates.

† Portfolio Kit: $200-$300 not included in fees

International students: Visit the International Fees and Related Costs page for more information.

Financial Assistance

This program is approved for OSAP funding, provided the applicant meets OSAP eligibility criteria.

Admission Requirements

Applicants are selected on the basis of their academic achievement, including the required courses, and any other selection criteria outlined below.

  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma or equivalent**
  • Grade 12 English (C or U)

We recommend that applicants should have taken at least one high school level art class and have some basic experience in areas such as photography, illustration and digital image creation.

** Mature Student status (19 years of age or older and no OSSD)

Mature Students may take the Admissions Assessment for English, OR may consider upgrading to achieve the credit(s) needed in English.

Please note that George Brown is committed to ensuring that applicants will succeed in their program of choice and meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission to the program. Applicants may be required to have grades higher than the minimum requirements stated.

Course Exemptions

College or university credits may qualify you for course exemptions. Please visit for more information.

International Students

Visit the International Admissions page for more information.

Apply to

Domestic students should apply through Ontario Colleges

Contact Us

School of Design

Phone: 416-415-5000, ext. 2137


For more information about the program, you may also contact the Program Co-ordinator, Bahar Mousavi Hejazi:

For more information about George Brown College, you may also call the Contact Centre at 416-415-2000 (TTY 1-877-515-5559) or long distance 1-800-265-2002.

Visit Our Campus

This program is part of our School of Design, located at our Waterfront Campus, at 3 Lower Jarvis St., Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

School of Design Building

The School of Design resides in a new 103,000-square-foot facility in the Daniels Waterfront – City of the Arts development. This state-of-the-art building supports academic programs and industry projects with features such as:

  • Virtual and augmented reality lab
  • Usability and testing lab
  • Future Ways of Living lab
  • Peer tutor lab
  • Digital Sandbox
  • Incubators
  • Prototyping and workshop spaces
  • Design and innovation showcase spaces

Come and have your questions answered, learn about the program content and career options, meet your friendly professors and staff, and experience what it is like to be in a George Brown College classroom at one of our information sessions. You can also book a campus tour.

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    George Brown College is continually striving to improve its programs and their delivery. The information contained in this calendar is subject to change without notice. It should not be viewed as a representation, offer or warranty. Students are responsible for verifying George Brown College admission, graduation, and fee requirements as well as any requirements of outside institutions, industry associations, or other bodies that may award additional designations concurrently with, or after completion of, a George Brown College program.