Toronto Art Direction Portfolio

2-Year Program | Full Time | Online & Hybrid | Open to International Students

Next Start Date: April 8th, 2024

For more info on the program, careers, and scholarships take a look at our Art Direction info pack:

Are you an Art Director?

Channel your passion for art and design into a full-time (and lucrative) career. An Art Direction diploma allows you to be creative for a living. Over time, those big ideas can translate into big bucks with seasoned Art Directors making well over $100,000 a year.

“The reason why I joined advertising definitely is just to do something different every day and to learn something new everyday.”

Ela Kallonen

Content Manager, Spline

Possible Career Paths

• Art Director
• Graphic Designer
• Creative Director
• Project Manager
• Copywriter
• Digital Artist 
• Production Artist

Program Approach

Real World Projects & Case Studies

Working Industry Mentors & Instructors

International Agency Experience

4 Internships Before Graduation

Year 1: Build Your Skills + Portfolio

The 1st year of our Art Direction program will push you creatively to think outside the box. Students will develop and refine design skills, concepting, and their presentation ability. All courses will be taught by experienced and current advertising professionals. These four quarters are focused on preparing you for the workplace. With each quarter you’ll add to your repertoire and start designing a professional Art Direction portfolio.

Taught by experienced and current advertising professionals, students will develop and refine design skills, concepting, presentation ability and portfolios, preparing them for the workplace.

Year 2: Intern + Network While Studying

In year 2, the midpoint of the program, students will begin to gain agency experience while still continuing to take 2 Art Direction courses each quarter. You will be able to choose up to 4 agency placements locally or around the world through the NoM.AD Program. Meet new mentors, adapt to new markets, and work on real brands. Students will have the option to participate in remote/online placements.

Students choose up to 4 agency placements locally or around the world through the NoM.AD Program. Meet new mentors, adapt to new markets, and work on real brands.

Art Direction Graduates


program related employment


of grads offered jobs before graduation


of grads work outside of Canada

is the average salary when hired

*Stats current as of 2022

“Being at M.AD Toronto, with all these killer instructors and full-time agency mentors, it’s inevitable that their essence is going to rub off on you and make you a better creative and professional.”

Runda Dong

Art Director & Founder, Space Hotel

“If you want to get into this industry, this is the place to start. It’s not just a first step, it’s an open door. The moment you’re in the school, you’re in advertising. It’s truly the best experience you could ask for.”

Ela Kallonen

Content Manager, Spline

“I recently came across a list of goals I had written to myself 3 years ago, before applying to go back to school. On that list included “Learn Design, meet more creative & inspiring people, work in a new city”. MAS has given me the opportunity to achieve all those goals (and honesty more). I am so grateful for the MAS community and the experiences I’ve had!”

Victoria Lyons

Art Director at TBWAChiatDay, Founder at Slipp

Recently hired Grads

Sara Lledo

Art Director – McCann Canada

Michelle Meng

Art Director – Mosaic NA

Ryan Cookish

Art Director – Rethink

What You’ll Learn

Ideas First

Great design starts with great ideas. Learn how to solve the communication problem first, then find the appropriate media to give the idea maximum creative impact.


Learn how branding affects the strategy behind the message and communication, product and brand development, storytelling, packaging, marketing, promotion, and signage.

Pop Culture Engineering

Break down the images, perspectives, ideas, and the influence of mass media to find out what makes up mainstream art and culture. 

Product Creation

As the media landscape has “morphed”, so has the role of the ad agency. Today’s leading shops not only promote products, they come up with product ideas and then develop them. This course is a primer on the process. 

Head to Head

Don’t shy away from the creative competition. Throw your Art Director hat in the ring and make a name for yourself by entering (and winning) every student competition out there.

Thinking Strategically

Make smarter campaigns and hit your target market by leveraging the power of strategy to influence your creative decisions as an Art Director.

Video Storytelling

Learn how to tell stories with motion and sound by mastering digital shooting, storyboarding, stop motion animation, audio and video editing, and special effects.

Digital Campaigns

Discover how an idea can be expressed across multiple online platforms in a concerted effort to reach and connect with users, regardless of digital media.

For a full list of courses and outlines please connect with admissions.

Over the 2-years you will learn practical and soft skills like:

  • Concepting ideas first
  • Product creation
  • Visual design fundamentals
  • Video storytelling
  • How to think strategically
  • Brand and brand stategy
  • Digital Campaigns
  • ‘Pop Culture Engineering’
  • How to win at award shows
  • How to present yourself and your work

Learn from Anywhere

M.AD Toronto’s campus currently has two streams for students to opt into:

  • Online
  • Hybrid – (Overall program experience, 60% online – 40% in person)

Our online and hybrid streams have granted our students flexibility to work and study at the same time, gain even more access to some of Canada’s top industry creatives and has taught them to adapt to the ever evolving advertising industry. Our programs use best in class software and tools to keep students connected and collaborative from wherever they are.

Industry Tools

“For any digital native that’s comfortable with online collaboration, I think it’s a no-brainer that online learning will naturally feel like a second home“

Andronicus Wu

M.AD Grad, 2020

Please note that we cannot guarantee remote internships. Most agencies will require you to be in person at their offices during your internship/agency lab experience. For more information, please connect with admissions.

Admission Info

We divide our year into quarters that each run for 10 weeks, with a 3 week break between them. You can start your journey at any one of the quarters (January, April, July, October).

Tuition for the program is $5,000CAD per quarter, totalling $40,000CAD ($40,150CAD with application fee).

Please check out Financial Aid Section to see the various scholarships and payment plans we offer.

Toronto is now accepting international students! The tuition for international students is the same as Domestic, $5,000CAD per quarter, totalling $40,000CAD ($40,150CAD with application fee). International students may also need to pay part of their tuition in advance.

Please look at our International Students Page for more info on tuition, applying and FAQ’s.

Start your profile on the Canadian Application Portal.

It takes 10 minutes to start your application and interview process if you have the following information and documents:

  • Your preferred start date (Jan, April, July, Oct)
  • 2 pieces of valid government issued photo ID
  • Emergency contact info
  • Your most recent transcript/diploma (if the institution you attended was outside of Canada, you must have Canadian Equivalency report attached ex. WES)
  • An up to date copy of resume/CV
  • 2 personal references

After you start your application you will be contact by admissions to:

  1. Show us your creative work or portfolio
  2. Pay $150 CAD application fee (non-refundable)
  3. Complete a 20 minute interview with a member of the admissions team

You should start this this process for the Art Direction program at M.AD Toronto at least 6 months before your preferred start date.

Next start dates:

January 8th, 2024
April 8th, 2024

We welcome students from all educational backgrounds and experience.

Requirements for the Art Direction Portfolio Program:

  • Must be 18 years old or older
  • Secondary/High School Diploma or equivalent
  • Strong English language comprehension and ability
  • Passion for creativity
  • Basic understanding of advertising industry

If you are unsure if you meet the criteria for eligibility, please connect with admissions.

Have any Questions?

Feel free to reach out to an Admissions Advisor for no-strings-attached info about:

  • Career Advice
  • Application Process
  • The NoM.AD Intern Program
  • Financial Aid and Scholarships
  • The Student Experience


Apply by December 1st








Start your art direction career and enroll today

Have Any Questions?

Feel free to reach out to an Admissions Advisor for no-strings-attached info about:

  • Career Advice
  • Application Process
  • The NoM.AD Intern Program
  • Financial Aid and Scholarships
  • The Student Experience

Enroll by December 1st, 2023 and start your art direction career








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