What follows is some practical information about expectations for the Fall, important campus resources and funding possibilities in the Master of Architecture Program.

There are two streams of students admitted into the MArch:

  1. Students with appropriate architectural education at the undergraduate level are admitted into the first year (M1) of the two-year degree
  2. Students without an architectural education at the undergraduate level are admitted into the Foundation Year prior to the two-year MArch degree (thus making their program of studies three years).

The following information is relevant to both streams.



At this time we don’t know the mode of program delivery for Fall 2021, once the University of Calgary makes its decision we will confirm if our orientation program will be online or in-person. Either way, there will be informative sessions to help you get sorted out for the beginning of your program, as well as some more fun and social sessions to get to know your new classmates. More details to come – set up your UCalgary email as soon as possible and keep an eye on it for more information. 

The SAPL workshop is one of your greatest design assets in the School and safety training is key. New students are required to participate in the SAPL orientation and workshop safety training activities once dates and delivery are determined.

International students who are new to Canada are strongly encouraged to participate in the International Student Orientation.

Campus Resources

The primary pedagogy of the MArch, MLA, and MPlan programs is design studio. Design studio projects engage students in a rigorous synthesis of theory and practice in a design project context. Studios are scheduled four afternoons a week and require significant work outside of studio time. Studio review and presentation deadlines can challenge time management skills. Studio deadline pressures can create feelings of stress and anxiety, and students should be prepared to deal with this as studios are representative of the type of project work done in professional practice studios. If you feel this could be a serious challenge for you, please connect with a SAPL advisor for guidance. The Wellness Centre and Student Accessibility Services can also help.

We all have times when we need support from others. Reaching out for help is an important part of maintaining your health and wellness. Mental Health Services are now being offered in SAPL. For private health and counselling support call 403.210.9355 to book an appointment. 

SAS works collaboratively and innovatively with the campus community to create an accessible, equitable and supportive learning and living environment that enhances each student's academic and personal development. If you wish to learn more about registering with Student Accessibility Services, you are welcome to meet with an Access Advisor to further explore their services


The CBDLab drives innovation and increases research capacity for UCalgary, SAPL, and surrounding area. We generate new research through industry partnerships and municipal engagements, student design studios and the on-site digital fabrication lab. CBDLab is an incubator for strategic research activity and a host for exhibitions to garner feedback and spark discussion. The CBDLab is a gathering place for leading designers and thinkers from around the world to share knowledge and collaborate with our communities.

Our workshop is a 11,000-square-foot centre for making, dedicated to our architecture, planning and landscape architecture students, and a resource for other students on campus. An additional 1800-square-feet of prototype and digital lab provides space for exploration in design builds and digital fabrication. A team of industrial designers, workshop technicians and operations managers offer student support, including materials purchases, and provide the essential safety training (which starts during orientation week). Machinery and tools available include leading-edge laser cutters, CNC routers, robotic fabrication arms, 3D pens and 3D printers, wood shop, plastic and metal shops, spray booth and sandblasting equipment.

The Computer Applications Laboratory provides access to advanced software: computer-aided design programs, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), multimedia and interface design, and Building Information Modelling (BIM) and environmental systems simulations; a high-resolution 11x17 scanner, large-format plotters and a high-speed render farm. Our students have 24-hour access to the Computer Lab (outside of computer class times) and printing room. Specific software used include Adobe Creative Cloud (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign), Rhino 6, and Autodesk (AutoCAD, 3ds Max, Maya and Revit). We will email out an info sheet on laptop and software specs this spring to all incoming students.

The galleries offer an active rotation of exhibitions, and provide design enthusiasts a place to explore research, investigations and visions of the future of places. Guest artists and design exhibitions include partners such as d.talks, alumni, and community groups. 


Program Requirements and Enrichments

The total units required for the degree is 106.5 units for those admitted to the Foundation Year, and 73.5 units for those admitted to the two-year program (starting in the M1 year). 

Find the Academic Schedule in the current University Calendar.

Here are important  2021 dates to keep in mind:

  • SAPL Orientation Week – August 30 – September 3
  • Labour Day (University Closed) – Monday September 6
  • Fall Classes begin – Tuesday, September 7
  • Fee payment deadline – Friday, September 24

Three times a year, our students participate in concentrated, masterclass-style Block Week courses. Design experts from Canada and the U.S. spend a week with students, introducing them to a new technology or approach to design, with public exhibitions at the end of the week.

Our work-integrated learning studios give students an opportunity to spend the semester learning about design from a practitioner. Borderless access to expertise has been one of the key advantages of remote learning, giving our students the chance to learn from practitioners based in Canada, the U.S., or Europe, like the Zaha Hadid Computation and Design group (ZHCODE) or Detroit’s socially conscientious designer Wil Marquez (w/purpose).

Study Abroad is one of the most impactful experiences in our program. Students have an opportunity to learn and live in places like Tokyo, Barcelona, or Zurich during the Spring/Summer Term of their M1 or M2 years. Beyond sightseeing, they learn about the city’s cultural and design context and challenges, and work on related studio projects.

We also offer a Calgary City Studio for any students who cannot go abroad, or want local work experience. All students must complete 9 units of study in the form of Study Abroad or City Studio.

Previous Course Credit

The Master of Architecture program is regulated by accreditation standards for Canadian institutions and the curriculum is offered in an integrated manner. After thorough review of the application materials, applicants seeking to enter into the M1 year of the program may be offered admission to the Foundation Year. If you are can demonstrate an equivalence in courses completed at another institution or at the University of Calgary, please email Jennifer at jtaillef@ucalgary.ca if you wish to start the review process. All requests are reviewed by the teaching cohort and Associate Dean Academic, Architecture.


All three professional, course-based master’s degree programs in SAPL are assessed a program fee every term. It is separate and additional to your main tuition charges.

The Student Association  is a not-for-profit student organization for the Faculty of Environmental Design. Acting as the government body that represents the student interests, they are the group with the primary intent of enriching student life. The SAPLSA organizes many fun events and programs for our students including networking events, puppy therapy, yoga and ski trips!

Our Faculty offers a robust and growing scholarships program for all MArch students. Teaching Assistantships (GATs) and Research Assistantships (GARs) are awarded annually to many students. GAT postings for the coming school year are advertised to SAPL students each summer via UCalgary email. Research assistantships are also awarded out of faculty members’ independent research grants or from SAPL funds and could comprise a wide range of tasks. Research assistantships depend on the availability of positions and are coordinated the professors holding the research grants.