Master of Architecture

The MArch program engages the challenges facing architecture today with a curriculum focused on innovation, responsiveness and critical thinking.

Students are challenged to develop design approaches that engage cutting-edge digital tools to address issues facing our built environments across many scales. At Alberta’s only accredited school of architecture, SAPL prepares students to become licensed architects in North America and the European Union.  

Message from the Associate Dean (Architecture)

The Master of Architecture program was established in 1971 and has evolved to develop a distinctive approach to architectural education, research and practice. Our approach engages the contemporary challenges facing the discipline of architecture through our commitment to, and expertise in, critical practice, digital design and fabrication, building performance and responsiveness, and cultural theory. Situated within the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape, the MArch program takes a active approach to both design and sustainability – understanding and producing the built environment in relation to ecological concerns, economic challenges and social needs. We expect our students to rigorously explore the discipline of architecture through established and emerging tools, theoretical platforms and making. The program has been developed to challenge assumptions about the limitations design to impact change and the ways in which we pursue design research. Our graduates are sought after for their agility within digital design and fabrication contexts and their critical thinking skills. Our student body is diverse and multinational an our many distinguished alumni are applying what they have learned here in practices around the world.

Driven by an energetic and dedicated group of faculty members, and supplemented by a very generous scholarship program for its students, the Master of Architecture Program is well poised to assume an ever more significant role in the coming decade. During the last several years faculty, students, and alumni have received widespread recognition for their achievements. 

An education in architecture can lead to many career opportunities. Please check out the following web pages, and contact us if you would like more information on the programs we offer.

Jason S. Johnson Associate Dean (Architecture)


Program Philosophy

The Master of Architecture program approaches the discipline of architecture as one with a long history of mixed results.  Changes in climate, the demographics of urban and rural communities, mass migration, material availability and the formal and responsive possibilities of architecture are all addressed through core courses, study abroad opportunities, focused research block weeks and a wide range of electives. Our educational model includes opportunities for applied research supported by a number of design research labs with focuses on energy conservation, life cycle analysis, artificial intelligence, robotics, digital fabrication and innovation in structural design among others. 

Students are expected to work as individuals and in teams to develop a critical and productive body of work demonstrating their commitment to design as an act of research and creativity.  We hope to develop students who are strong thinkers and persistent doers through a curriculum that moves between the historical and theoretical underpinnings of the discipline and the hands on making and production opportunities of the practice of architecture. 

Architecture as a Career

Architects lead a complex process that analyzes many conditions contributing to site and space. They bring together stakeholders and experts from a wide array of fields towards the design of environments and objects at many scales. We train architects who can engage the problems and opportunities of a quickly changing world. Our graduates positively influence the future of the built and natural environment.

Program Structure

The MArch program structure and curriculum prepares students for rewarding, fulfilling careers as designers and fulfills the educational requirements for licensure as an architect. Throughout the course of the program, you’ll learn to navigate contexts, think from multiple perspectives and develop innovative solutions to the world’s design challenges.

The Master of Architecture degree is a two-year course-based program with an additional foundation year required for those students entering with a non-design-based undergraduate degree. 

Explore Student Work

Lauren Fagan (MArch candidate '20)


Student spotlight:

Courtesy Ashley Ortlieb

Class of 2019: World travel informs Master of Architecture grad's global perspective

Whenever she can, Ashley Ortlieb will continue to broaden her perspectives and enrich her craft through travel


Explore other SAPL programs

If you're interested in this program, you might want to explore other SAPL programs.

Master of Planning

Master of Landscape Architecture

Master of Environmental Design

Explore other graduate programs

The UCalgary Future Students website provides a handy tool for comparing degrees. Learn more about this program and explore related programs.

Compare on UCalgary Futures

Have a question?

Answers to your most burning questions here.

Explore MArch Program FAQs