Explore Courses

Masters in Graphic Design in Canada

Updated on 12 April, 2024

Akansha Semwal

Akansha Semwal

Study Abroad Expert

The moment we come across the famous ‘Golden Arches’ we know it’s McDonald’s, even if the brand name is not there. It’s the logo of a business worth billions and recognized worldwide. So, wouldn’t it be right to say that the power of a simple-yet-creative design can have a lasting impression on consumers? 

These recognizable logos and brand designs come from some of the best graphic designers. Undoubtedly, graphic design is at the forefront of advertising and designing. Thus, pursuing a Masters in Graphic Design in Canada is a bang for one’s buck.


So, what does one learn during postgraduate graphic design courses in Canada? The coursework encompasses — design principles, typography, studio art and computer design, and hierarchy to create visual objects that aid in information communication to an audience using the available software. In a nutshell, graphic design uses images and text to represent ideas, intentions, experiences, and creativity to achieve specific goals.

Now, you must be pondering if this course will help you to build a flourishing career? There are a slew of  avenues into the industry of graphic design. It is emerging as a highly demanding job in sectors like digital marketing, print media, and advertisement. A graphic designer’s average salary is C$62,467 per year in Canada, as per Indeed.

Start Your Study Abroad Journey with upGrad Abroad

Masters in Graphic Design in Canada: Highlights 

Here is a quick glance of what you can expect from the course and after completing it. 

Average Duration 2 years
Average Tuition Fees C$ 20,994.53/year
Top Universities/ Colleges Concordia University, the University of British Columbia, OCAD University, the University of Toronto, George Brown University
  • A bachelor’s degree or a postgraduate diploma in design
  • A letter of intent 
  • Samples of previous creative work
Entrance Exams  TOEFL, Duolingo, IELTS 
Job Prospects UX designer, Creative director, Web designer, Graphic designer, Industrial designer,UI designer
Average SalaryC$ 62,467

Why Pursue Masters in Graphic Design in Canada

Are you looking for a way to channel your inner creativity into a thriving career? Then to pursue postgraduate graphic design courses in Canada makes for the right choice. A graphic design course teaches how to express ideas via visually appealing representations. While many businesses hire graphic design professionals with a bachelor’s degree, obtaining a master’s degree can give you an advantage over other candidates and help in job advancement. 

Are you still not convinced? Then scroll through the below-enlisted reasons to make a prudent choice. 

  • Canada is a booming graphic design industry. Per the Canadian Occupational Projections System – ESDC, over the period 2022–2031, the number of job openings (arising from expansion demand and replacement demand) for Graphic designers and illustrators are expected to total 27,300.
  • According to the Labour Force Survey, January 2023, employment in Canada increased by 150,000 (+0.8%) in January.
  • The market size, measured by revenue, of the Graphic Design industry in Canada is $1.6bn in 2023.
  • Per reports, the Graphic Design industry in Canada is ranked 20th among Professional, Scientific and Technical Services in Canada industry by market size.
  • Learn the art of communicating ideas via visually appealing representations under the guidance of Canadian institutes’  international faculties.
  • The country houses a slew of headquarters for corporations like Shopify, Tim Hortons, McCain Foods, and more. This makes the county the hub for networking and the right destination for seizing opportunities. 

Top 5 Universities Offering Masters In Graphic Design In Canada

To cut the chase, we have enlisted the expected tuition fees at the best Canadian universities for Graphic Design.

Cost of Studying Masters In Graphic Design in Canada

University NameQS World Ranking 2023Course NameCourse DurationFees*
University of Toronto=34Master of Visual Studies in Studio ArtTwo years$43,990
University of British Columbia47Master of Fine Arts in Visual Art (MFA)Two years



(per year)

University of Regina1001–1200Master of Fine Arts in Visual ArtsThree years$2,632.50 (for 9 credit hours)
George Brown College, Toronto Metropolitan University801–1000Graphic Design Program (G102)Three years$17,728.00
Mount Royal UniversityDigital Graphic Design Extension Certificate

One year


(can be completed up to two years)

$8,600 (five courses per semester)

*Source: Universities’ websites 

Masters in Graphic Design in Canadian Universities: Specializations 

Pursuing a specialization program in graphic design can help students establish themselves as industry-ready professionals in the market. Generally, the courses take up to two to three years to complete, but the duration varies across different institutions and course specializations. 

Specializations in Masters in Graphic Design in Canada include: 

  • Design management 
  • Fashion and textiles designing 
  • Fine Arts (MFA)
  • Graphic design 
  • Illustration
  • Interior design 
  • New media arts
  • User experience design (UXD)

Graphic Design Courses in Canada for International Students: Expected Curricula 

The graphic design courses in Canadian universities are designed to focus on the comprehensive skill development of the students, preparing them to earn a living after course completion. Though the programs at different universities may have different curricula, in general, students can expect to study the following topics: 

  • Contemporary curatorial practice in the visual arts
  • Studio Preparation
  • Drawing and painting 
  • Photo-based media 
  • Printmaking 
  • Photoshop 
  • InDesign 
  • Illustrator
  • Business skills
  • Portfolio creation for graphic design 

Eligibility for Masters in Graphic Design in Canada

The requirements for Masters in Graphic Design in Canada include an overall good academic record. There are also additional criteria on the part of some universities. 

For instance, the University of Toronto requires students to have an overall average of at least a B+, equivalent to a first-class division. You should keep in mind that the eligibility requirements to pursue the course varies based on the university. 

Generally, a three-year bachelor’s degree is compulsory for pursuing this master’s course. However, there is no limit to academic disciplines as students of various branches can apply for the course. Apart from this, you will need to pass a language proficiency test. 

Language Proficiency Tests for Masters in Graphic Design in Canada

The Masters in Graphic Design in Canada eligibility at some universities requires an English proficiency entrance exam, such as: 

  • Cambridge English Advanced (CAE) 
  • Canadian Academic English Language Assessment (CAEL)
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE)
  • IELTS 
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic
  • TOEFL (Internet-based)
  • TOEFL (Paper-based)
  • Duolingo 

Documents Required for Masters in Graphic Design in Canada

Here is a list of documents that one needs to submit to pursue Masters in Graphic Design in Canada. 

  • Statement of Purpose (SOP)
  • Letter of Recommendation (LOR)
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Portfolio of creative work/Multimedia Portfolio
  • Explanatory Sheet: Some universities can request you to submit it to support the multimedia portfolio on the Online Admissions Application.
  • Writing Sample: In some universities, you will need to submit a writing sample from previous educational courses or professional writing to demonstrate their academic communication skills.
  • Photograph
  • Valid passport

Cost of Living in Canada

In addition to your lifestyle, the cost of expenses varies based on the location of your university. 

ExpenseCost (CAD)
Accommodation (shared apartments)$400 – $800
Books & Supplies $2,250
Travel$80 – $110
Food$300 –  $400
Health Insurance (BC MSP Program)$74
Utilities (Electricity, cooling, water, heating, garbage)$164.64 
Utilities (Internet – 60 Mbps or more)$78.82 

Source: Statistics Canada

Scholarships to Study Masters in Graphic Design in Canada

If you are thinking studying while managing the expenses can be a difficult task, then one of these scholarships can be of great help. 

Scholarship Type DescriptionAward 
University of Alberta International ScholarshipsUniversity-Specific Country-specific and other scholarship awards for international studentsVaries
York University Automatic Entrance ScholarshipUniversity-Specific Aggregate score of 80–95%$60,000 to $100,000 
The University of British ColumbiaInternational Tuition AwardAutomatically considered$ 3,170
University of Alberta Graduate Entrance ScholarshipUniversity-Specific Merit-basis$27,500
Carleton University’s Merit ScholarshipUniversity-Specific Automatically considered$1,000 – $12,000

Graphic Design: Job Prospects & Salaries

In addition to newspapers, magazines, and other publishers, graphic designers also work in corporate communications departments, graphic design studios, advertising agencies, and more. 

Completing a postgraduate degree in graphic design in Canada can help students typically earn an annual remuneration of CAD 46,988. This is for entry-level jobs, and experienced professionals can ask for higher payments, reaching CAD 80,720 yearly.

6 Popular Graphic Design Career Opportunities & Expected Salaries 

Role     Average Annual Salary (CAD)*
Graphic Designer$51,090
User Experience (UX) Designer$80,720 
User Interface (UI) Designer$74,116 
Digital Designers$59,223 
Illustrators $67,528
Branding Experts$72,125

*Source: Glassdoor 

Top Recruiters: Microsoft, Apple Inc., Airbnb, Adobe, IKEA, Amazon, and Saatchi & Saatchi Canada. 

Important Articles for Studying in Canada

Where to Study in CanadaCanadian Visa StatusStudent Accommodation in Canada
Colleges in Toronto for PG DiplomaDiploma in Psychology in CanadaPG Diplomas in Project Management in Canada
PG Diploma in Biotechnology in CanadaMasters in Management Information System in Canada

Embark on Your Graphic Design Journey

A graphic design degree in Canada with a specialization of your choice is a great approach to tailor your education for long-term profit. The high quality of education and the convenience of admission to a master’s in graphic design in Canada make it an excellent opportunity for international students to explore professional avenues. You can check out the recommended best institutions to select your desired course and take command of your study.


Is there a high demand for graphic designers in Canada?

The graphic design industry in Canada is flourishing, and graphic designers will soon outnumber all other jobs in demand. The rapid speed of digitization has resulted in a surge in new career opportunities.

Is it possible for everyone to become a graphic designer?

An individual with the right tools and skill sets can become a graphic designer. If you aim not to be a one-off graphic designer, look for the best graphic design courses in Canada for international students.

What is the average time needed to complete Masters in Graphic Design in Canada?

Every university has a different duration for master’s in graphic design courses. The time needed to complete the course depends on the curriculum and specialization. But in general, candidates can expect the course to take two to three years (six semesters) to complete.

Is it a good idea to pursue Masters in Graphic Design in Canadian universities?

Being a graphic designer can be a gratifying profession in Canada. Besides the numerous job opportunities amidst the industrial growth, it lets candidates express their creativity. So, students with a natural aptitude for creativity will find the profession extremely satisfying. Also, the pay packages are high for graphic designers in Canada. You can expect to earn between CAD 46,988 and CAD 80,720.Thus, it is a smart choice to pursue Masters in Graphic Design in Canadian universities.

Akansha Semwal

Study Abroad Expert

Akansha Semwal is a content marketer at upGrad and has also worked as a social media marketer & sub-editor. Experienced in creating impressive Statement of Purpose, Essays, and LOR, she knows how to captivate the attention of Admissions Committee. Her research-driven;study-abroad articles helps aspirants to make the prudent decision. She holds a bachelor's & master's degree in Literature from the University of Delhi.

See More