Emily Carr University of Art + Design (ECU)
Emily Carr University of Art + Design (ECU) is a world-class university dedicated to art, design and media education. ECU was ranked the top art and design university in Canada, and among the top 50 universities world-wide by QS Rankings for 2020-2021.
Located in Vancouver, BC, a city known for its natural beauty, diverse population and its creative hub, making it the perfect home base for Emily Carr. With multiple galleries, an arts plaza, a bookstore, a library and lots of dining options—there’s lots to see and do year-round.
All undergraduate degrees begin with the unique Foundation program. This introductory program provides core skills and transformative experiences across a range of academic and studio classes. Foundation year equips students with new technical perspectives, vital relationships and critical insights with which to make personal degree choices. Following the Foundation year, students map an individual path by selecting from eleven majors and minors towards a Bachelor of Design, Bachelor of Fine Arts, or Bachelor of Media Arts degree.
ECU offers the highest calibre of interdisciplinary faculty and progressive research opportunities as the leading Canadian institution solely dedicated to making. Graduate degrees in Fine Arts and Design enhance opportunities as a practicing artist, designer, and aspiring professional to contribute to contemporary creative society.
Alumni and faculty are internationally recognized as award-winning creators and thought leaders who have an enormous impact on both the cultural sector and economy. ECU consistently engages students, industry, and society to explore and think differently about creativity and how it shapes the world.
At Emily Carr University you’ll hone the skills you need to design, create and make. But beyond learning how to create, you’ll learn why you create, and how to channel your talents to make a difference - in an industry, in society or in the broader world.
You’ve got talent in art, media and design. Use it to change the world.
At Emily Carr.
Scholarships & funding
Support is available for students throughout their academic journey.
Incoming students, current students and graduating students may be eligible for a variety of funding support. This includes external scholarships, bursaries, entrance scholarships, tuition scholarships, funding for Aboriginal students, and awards for graduating students.
We recommend researching your funding opportunities early to ensure you have the most options available. It is your responsibility to meet the deadlines for award and funding applications.
Why study at Emily Carr University of Art + Design
Emily Carr University of Art + Design is a school of students, teachers, thinkers and makers unlike any other – at once laser-focused and infinite by practice and nature. Established in 1925, we are the only specialized, accredited, public, post-secondary university in British Columbia solely devoted to education and research in the creative sector and its associated knowledge economy. We merge research, critical theory and studio practice in an interdisciplinary environment, strengthening our work by the integration of our personal and professional practices. Our strategy, facilities, partnerships and resources are intentionally student-centred to foster dialogue, expression and open connections in support of the next generation of creative and cultural leaders.
Our home base in Vancouver – a young, vibrant city, known for its verve, beauty and unparalleled livability – reflects our core belief: Creativity will always be our greatest natural resource, individually and collectively. Inspired by this belief, our programs offer undergraduate, graduate degrees, and applied research in the fields of visual arts, media arts, and design, as well as professional certificates, pre-university, and lifelong learning in these areas.
Emily Carr University of Art + Design is in the Top 10 Countries to Study Abroad
Awards & Accreditations
#40 in Art & Design
QS World University Rankings (2020)
#1 Art & Design University - Canada
QS World University Rankings (2020)
#30 university in the world for art + design
QS World University Rankings (2021)
#1 in Canada for art + design
QS World University Rankings (2021)
Student services & facilities
Galleries and Bookstores
- Libby Leshgold Gallery
- READ Books
- ECU Press
- Michael O'Brian Exhibition Commons
- RBC Media Gallery and Faculty Gallery.
Shops and Studios
- Foundation Shop
- Communication Design
- Wood Shop
- Digital Fabrication Lab
- Flexible Materials Lab
- Interaction Design
- Metal Shop
- Print Media
- Soft Shop
- Stretchers + Surfaces Wood Shop
- Material Matters
- Mixed Reality Lab
- WIP Lab
Emily Carr University's Students' Union independently runs the university's many clubs and student initiatives. The roster of clubs varies each year, though some longstanding groups include the Animation Club, Emily Queers, Social Practice Kitchen, Doodle Club, Intervarsity (formerly the Emily Carr Christian Community) and more give you a taste of the breadth of groups available for students to get involved in.
At the intersection of east and west Vancouver on former industrial land, our campus is at the forefront of the new heart of Vancouver’s creative industries.
Located next to the Centre for Digital Media (577 Great Northern Way), as well as Equinox and Monte Clarke galleries (525 Great Northern Way), the renowned institution is a central hub in this rapidly developing district of cultural and technological innovation. With multiple galleries, an arts plaza, a bookstore, a library and lots of dining options—there’s lots to see and do for both locals and tourists year-round.
Whether you’re walking, biking, taking transit or driving, you can’t miss the gleaming all-white exterior of Emily Carr’s striking facility. Designed by leading Canadian architectural firm Diamond Schmitt Architects, the building is highlighted by vibrant coloured glass: the 15-colour palette was conceived by faculty members and painters, Landon Mackenzie and Ben Reeves, and reflect colours found in works by the institution’s namesake and B.C. artist, Emily Carr.
Many of the school’s notable points of interest are found near its main or west entrance. On your way in, you’ll spot the distinctive bright red flower-shaped building nestled immediately outside the main entrance. The so-called “Red Petal” pavilion (525 Great Northern Way) is the future home of Nemesis Coffee.
Stepping inside, the entrance leads onto Level Two of the university. Immediately on your left, you’ll be welcomed by the Libby Leshgold Gallery. Open daily from 12 to 5 pm, the contemporary art gallery features curated exhibitions by artists both established and emerging, local and international. The Gallery also hosts a number of public events and programs, including artists’ talks and lectures.
Connected to the Gallery is READ Books, another must-visit location. One of the only art-focused bookstores in western Canada, it’s a great place to find one-of-a-kind souvenirs. The bookstore’s unique collection includes exhibition catalogues, artist monographs, artists' books, art magazines, graphic novels, and books published by museums, galleries, universities, and independent presses. Like the Gallery, READ Books also doubles as a social space where public events such as readings, book launches and signings are hosted.
Along the same corridor, you’ll find the school’s largest auditorium, Reliance Theatre. At the far end of the hallway, next to the theatre’s balcony entrances, you’ll be greeted by a painted bronze figure of Emily Carr on horseback by internationally acclaimed sculptor, Joe Fafard. Note the wooden doors to the theatre’s balcony entrance on Level Two -- as well as its entrances on the ground floor -- are carved by Indigenous alumni Dean Heron, Xwalacktun and Edwin Neel. These are just a few of the carved doors by Indigenous artists you’ll spot adorning many offices and classrooms throughout the facility.
Walking through the main hall toward the atrium, you’ll see the Michael O’Brian Exhibition Commons stretching the length of Level Two. The rotating exhibition and pedagogical space frequently features work from Emily Carr students and faculty. The adjacent RBC Media Gallery is dedicated to exhibiting new media and video installations. Both spaces are programmed by a committee made up of members of the Emily Carr community.
The heart of campus is the Ron Burnett Library + Commons. Flooded with natural light even on the rainiest of days, the two-storey library’s print and media collections are focused on contemporary art, media, and design. Its subject area specialties include art history, critical and cultural studies, design research and other creative practices like typography. For $30 a year, anyone with the library’s Community Borrower card is welcome to borrow materials.
The library’s second floor features an extensive collection of graphic novels and art magazines — not to mention an excellent selection of board games to pass the time.
Fans of West Coast artist Francine Peters (formerly known as Fred) will find an excellent collection of posters by the artist on the mezzanine level. The majority of the library’s book holdings are found on the first floor, including a viewing station for watching films and video on DVD and VHS. To the left of the staircase, you’ll see the Artists Books and Special Collections room. This collection is focused on rare artworks in book form from the 1960s until the present, and is dedicated to books crafted, published, produced or altered by an artist or artist collective.
The library’s Archival Collection includes university photographs, academic calendars, student publications and memorabilia dating back to Emily Carr’s earliest days. Some of these are on display along a timeline just outside the Special Collections room.
Right across from the library, stop by The Caf for a bite to eat. Its menu offers plenty of choice, from coffee and baked goods to sandwiches and salads, pastas, sushi and rice bowls. On a sunny day, its huge outdoor patio is the perfect place to picnic, people watch and enjoy views of the North Shore mountains and downtown Vancouver.
For more Italian fare, try Loafe Cafe’s sister operation one level down, Loafe Mini Pizzeria, serving up tasty wood-fired pizzas near the campus’ east entrance.
Tucked around the corner is the Faculty Gallery, a rotating exhibition space dedicated to presenting artwork and research by the school’s faculty and alumni.
No visit to Emily Carr is complete without a visit to the Wilson Arts Plaza, just outside the school’s east entrance. The only art plaza in the city features a digital screen for animation, film and video installations all curated by the City of Vancouver’s public art committee. While you’re visiting you might come across other pop-up public art installations showcased in the outdoor plaza—or even a yoga class in progress. The outdoor plaza, a much-needed public space on Vancouver’s east side, also hosts school and public events.
Right next door, food trucks can be found along the north side of the Centre for Digital Media open for lunch Monday to Friday, from 11:30am to 2:00pm. Check Street Food Vancouver for more detailed information about the trucks and their hours.
There are plenty of other off-campus dining options in nearby Mount Pleasant and Olympic Village. The closest is Kafka Coffee (577 Great Northern Way) across the street from Emily Carr, at the Centre for Digital Media. The coffee shop, also known for providing affordable exhibition space to local artists, even lends out paddles to patrons to play on its outdoor ping pong table.
Curious about housing options?
Emily Carr's students live off campus with plenty of options like private rentals, shared rentals, temporary housing and homestays. Our dedicated website is our guide to finding the right accommodation for you.
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