Turn your minor into a major advantage
The Minor in Architectural Studies is an opportunity for University of Calgary undergraduates to get a one-year jump start on the Master of Architecture program. The Minor consists of the courses taken in the Foundation Year of the Master of Architecture program. Undergraduates study alongside our graduate students in a blended learning environment that includes architectural design studios, workshops in 2D and 3D graphics and digital fabrication as well as lecture courses in history, building science, and sustainability theory. If you complete the minor, you’re also completing the first year of the MArch degree.
The Minor in Architectural Studies can be added to almost all UCalgary undergraduate degrees. Admissions are based on your university transcript — how you’ve done on your bachelor degree and/or major so far (most recent 10 courses/30 units).
If you’re planning to apply for the MArch, students are recommended to use their undergraduate studies to develop a broad knowledge base that supplements the discipline-specific training in architecture. Examples include taking courses in the humanities, social sciences, fine arts, biological and physical sciences, computer science, commerce and management. Creative courses that develop skills in 2D graphics and 3D modeling or fabrication are particularly beneficial, as are whenever possible, collaborative experiential learning experiences. Especially recommended are the following courses:
- ARCH 201: Introduction to Architecture and Design (take in first year)•
- ARCH 406: Design Thinking in the Built Environment Studio I and ARCH 408: Design Thinking in the Built Environment Studio II (take in second or third year)
- SUST 201: Exploring Sustainability
- ARCH 400: Introduction to Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture (online course)
- Art history and courses that develop skills in art and design
The professional degree in Canada is a Master of Architecture, so a bachelor (undergraduate) degree must be done first.
What is the best undergraduate degree? Study what you love. Students come into the MArch with a variety of backgrounds. If you like what you’re studying, you will earn higher grades – important for applying to both the Minor in Architectural Studies (ARST Minor) and the MArch. If you love design, consider a Bachelor of Design, or Bachelor of Interior Design.
What is the best undergraduate degree at UCalgary to combine with the ARST Minor?
Again: the one you love.
The most common ones we see are BA in Urban Studies, Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Studies, as well as business, science and other arts degrees.
Students can complete their ARST Minor courses over one or two years, depending on the need to accommodate the requirements of a major, or other scheduling conflicts. Upon completion of the ARST Minor requirements, students can then apply for admission into the first year of the two-year Master of Architecture program. You can take the ARST in your third and/or fourth year of undergraduate studies. Admission is based on GPA and a design portfolio.
Note: The Faculty of Graduate Studies no longer accepts a three-year Bachelor of Communication and Culture with a one-year minor in ARST for entry into graduate programs. For information about undergraduate programs and courses, view the University of Calgary Undergraduate Calendar.
Glossary of Terms
Bachelor degree: undergraduate degree
Major: main program in your undergraduate degree, with a required number of courses
Minor: a smaller specialization, with a minimum required number of courses and normally completed within the number of units required for a bachelor’s degree
Master’s degree: A degree requiring advanced study beyond a bachelor’s degree
Minor in Architectural Studies: aka ARST Minor
Master of Architecture: aka MArch